Barbies, Guns or Waterballoons?

This weekend I was posed with this thought provoking question: Would I rather have my kids play with toy guns or barbies?

water balloon

One camp will say, “guns are dangerous weapons and if your kids play with toy guns they will end up being violent and aggressive!”

The other camp will say, “barbies are dangerous weapons and your kids will end up with eating disorders and a screwed up body image!”

When I was young we played “good guys and bad guys” all the time. We had toy guns. We had toy grenades and toy bow/arrows and we’d make our own weapons out of sticks and rocks. Yeah, sometimes someone would get a little overzealous and you’d get pinged with a rock to the head. Now, I’m not saying I am okay with my kids throwing rocks at peoples heads, so don’t all jump on me for that. But kids tend to do stuff like that and they don’t typically end up being mass murderers.

Kids can turn ANYTHING into a weapon. And I think it is LUDICROUS when  young children get suspended or expelled for pointing a chicken nugget at their teacher and saying “bang bang”. Really? Was there a REAL threat of harm there? Did the teacher feel that because a YOUNG CHILD pointed a chicken nugget at them that they would then go home, get a real gun and come back and shoot them?

My daughter didn’t watch any news of the Sandy Hook shooting and we didn’t talk to her about it because she is 3 and doesn’t need to be terrified. We focus on following teacher directions in an emergency. All of a sudden she is coming home and telling me; “I can’t say “pow pow” at school”. Well, until that moment she’d never said “pow pow” ANYWHERE.

Good job school- now you have just about guaranteed my daughter is going to say “pow pow” at school.

Believe me, as a school administrator I understand guns in school is nothing to joke about or take lightly, but you also need to be realistic and reasonable.

So would I let my child play with toy guns? I won’t encourage it because I don’t necessarily want her engaged in make pretend violence. But will she get in trouble for it? No. The key here is to communicate with your kids and let them know that we never want to hurt our friends for real.

And the barbie debate. As one that grew up with my own body image issues leading to eating disorders, I can say that barbie had pretty much nothing to do with it. I had a few barbies, but I didn’t have much interest in them, other than cutting off all their hair and dismembering them. Because I had a brother who liked to break stuff and that’s how we played with them. Nowadays they talk about how if barbie was “to size” it would be completely unrealistic and having kids play with barbies sets up unrealistic body expectations.

Whatever. I just don’t buy it. Pretend playing with toy guns (and especially with toy chicken nuggets) does not create violent kids. Playing with barbies is not going to screw up your kids body image. IF YOU TALK TO YOUR KIDS about why real guns are not okay to play with and hurting people is never okay. IF YOU TALK TO YOUR KIDS about how being healthy and getting exercise is what is important and it’s not about having a size 0 waist like a barbie.

I mean, if your kids play with a my little pony are they going to think horses talk…and are pink?

Talk. To. Your. Kids.

I mean, my daughter was playing with her “water balloon family” this weekend. Yep, she thinks dolls are “gross”. But she does like for us to  fill up water balloons and then she names them and plays “family” with them.

Yesterday one sprung a leak and she said, “oh no, grammy’s peeing!”.

And then proceeded to aim the water into her mouth.

So, hopefully my daughter won’t grow up to be a pee drinker!

So what about you all? Barbies or Guns?

Theme Thursday

Theme Thursday

Have a great crazy day!


8 thoughts on “Barbies, Guns or Waterballoons?

  1. It was never in my thought process to play with guns or point things and go pow pow, but I didn’t have brothers or boys in the neighborhood. I did have a Barbie but she spent 99% of her time with her legs in a split, naked on the floor. Does that mean I like to unclothe women and lay them on my floor? Did I grow being promiscuous because Barbie was? Of course not! People are so ridiculous about the Barbie thing and the gun thing. I think it’s hysterical that she likes water balloons and makes them into families. It reminds me of Barbapapa, a cartoon I saw only once in a while when I was a kid. The family was all a bunch of blobs that could make themselves into anything they needed: a piano, a barrel, etc. I’m glad your kid has an imagination. As a teacher, I’m finding more and more of today’s kids don’t imagine or make believe. It’s just so sad.

    • Remember all the Tom and Jerry cartoons where they hit each other with frying pans? I watched those ALL THE TIME and not once have I hit someone with a frying pan!

  2. Awesome post! I get so much flack for letting my son play with toy guns. He’s a boy for heavens sake! When I was his age boys had BB guns and actual slingshots! He loves to play cops and robbers, what is the problem with that? And I did the same thing with my barbies, just because. Teach your children and they will learn from YOU. Great post.

    • Thanks, Jen! There is a difference between pretend and real violence. Playing cops and robbers is different than being in a real physically violent environment. Kids learn from their parents; so be kind, and your kids will turn out okay….for the most part….

  3. What an amazing dose of COMMON SENSE you share with us here. Unfortunately, there are all too many “experts” out there getting paid to do studies on what can screw up your kid. Here, I’m gonna give it to you for free: ALL parents are going to screw up their kids to a certain extent – just take a little moderation with your morning cup of crazy and maybe we’ll all turn out okay.

    • People are studying the crap out of stuff, aren’t they? I think we should conduct a study on people that conduct studies….

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