Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Touchy Subject - Kids & Gun Safety

Maine is pretty gun friendly - we're big on hunting, gun ranges, etc.  When I was very little I was never really exposed to real guns and it wasn't really a huge issue.  Bear has a neon green plastic revolver (eh-ehm daddy) and we have always told him not to aim the gun at people or our pets and we made a target to hang on the wall.

Well I thought I was doing the right things but we've hit the terrible two's like a seagull flying into glass.  EVERYTHING makes Bear grumpy or sets him off, he's mad if you're "playing wrong" or cooking dinner too loudly or if the tv made a noise he didn't like.

Last night I was cooking dinner and he came out with the fake gun and "shot" Daddy - I immediately jumped and said absolutely not, I'll take it away if you aim at people and Daddy lay on the floor playing dead.  I can't really blame him since that's how he played guns as a kid.  But it seems Daddy and I need to be on the same page at least.  Bear responded to me "It's not Daddy it's a robot"

What surprised me is what Bear did next.  He kept pushing the trigger aiming it at Daddy and saying "reverse button reverse" (at this point it became kind of funny but I kept from showing it).  I explained that guns don't have a reverse but he was so busy playing robots I don't think he really got it.

Basically I am having an internal conflict.  If I take the toy guns away, he will find other things to be "guns" and if I let him keep them I feel like I am being a terrible parent.  We don't have any real guns accessible let alone one's Bear has any idea exist but I know some day he will know that guns are real and do real things.

Am I over-thinking this one?  How do you teach an almost 3 year old gun safety?  Is it OK to still play traditional western cowboy in the living room?


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