Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Evolution of a Parenting Philosophy. . .on Nerf Guns

My kids have lost all the bullets to their Nerf guns, and I have been thinking about whether to get some spares for a fun surprise.  I never would have considered this a decade ago.  Let me walk you through the evolution of a parenting philosophy - from pre-children brilliance to resigned compliance.

1. Before I had my first child -"My children will never play with toy guns.  Guns are serious business.  They should be used for getting some venison and little else.  My future children will be thoughtful and not ever consider perpetrating acts of violence either real or imaginary."

2.  First child is an infant/toddler - "Look at all those hooligans kids shooting things."  A smug smile would accompany my obviously better parenting.

3.  Now that child is even older - "Stop turning those sticks into guns.  Put your fingers down.  I'm looking at you Mister.  Put your fingers down.  You may NOT say 'Bang bang you're dead' to the tree."

4.  Add another kid - "Maybe if I pretend I don't see them, I don't have to try to stop the inevitable.  I played Star Wars and GI Joe as a kid and managed to not turn into a sociopath killer.  Lets hope for the best."

5.  Kids a little older  - We went to a garage sale and there was a whole arsenal of toys spread on the lawn.  "Yes, kids.  You can each pick out a sword.  No, not a gun."  Swords became our gateway drug into the word of weaponry.  I end up duct taping many of these weapons after rowdy games of pirates, which kept my children content in their make-believe worlds for a full summer.  Imagination is good, right?

6.  Kids got little older, as they tend to do - Child receives Nerf gun as a gift.  Clearly this is the coolest thing he has ever gotten.  "At least its not a realistic replica of a tommy gun or howitzer."  I sigh in resignation.

7. Present Day - "Just don't shoot anyone who doesn't want to be shot."

Sometimes you pick your battles, don't you, Moms?  Sometimes those battles involve foam bullets and plastic swords.


  1. This is an interesting subject. I wonder what my husband and I will decide, when I get married.

    When we were growing up, we were told that guns were not toys, so we were never allowed to shoot our rubber band guns at each other. We could shoot anything else (ok, not people), but not each other. Pointing guns was out... with the exception of squirt guns. Maybe it's because all the others had a danger of putting someone's eye out.

    Mind you, we learned our lesson when it came to real guns, though. My bros and I go target shooting together, and we certainly know that our real "guns are not toys".

    Every parents has to deal with this one, with varying results. :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks Rachel! Yeah, it's a touchy subject in some homes. I've just learned that I'd rather them pretend to avenge their brother with make-believe rather than their fists. We don't have a gun in the home, so it seemed like the logical way to go. lol.