February 06, 2009

Gunning for it!

Anushka was playing at a friend's place. He began playing with a toy gun.
Anush asked me if she could play with it. I wanted to say no but I relented.
They generally enjoyed making a racket and then I told her to stop.

Then the boy took out a mock sword - Anush was terrified by it.
"NO ! Knives are dangerous" she yelled.

The boy's mother said "Oh if Anush was a boy you would have had to get her guns and swords"
I did not agree. But I did not try to explain either.

My objection to the gun/ sword is NOT that it is not-for- girls. I do not believe any toy is gender specific. But guns are destructive and represent violence.

It also means you need to launch an explanation of good vs bad, law enforcement etc
It is not educative though I can see it can be very engaging to children and grown ups.

I could get her a water gun maybe. A mid way route? Am not sure. What do you think?
Where do you stand on this?

18 comments:

VJ said...

I agree with you on this.. just cant accept guns and swords even if they are made of rubber or plastic.

How do we know said...

oh i m very clear on this. I have a boy and the only time he saw a gud was at his 7 year old cousin's house. His play school has no guns to play with. Building blocks, cricket gear for the older children, but no guns.

When he was visiting his cousin he looked at me to check if he could play. I got the cousin and my baby together and said "Beta, this is not a toy. Everyday, a lot of children just like you, die because of this thing. Do you want to play with something like that?" Lecture i know.. but there it was..

WhatsInAName said...

am with you! i dont even like those video games which have war and fights as their theme! no wonder in this age everyone is more aggressive

apu said...

you're totally right on this. I don't think kids, whether boys or girls should be encouraged to think of guns as toys. A water gun doesn't sound threatening though :)

Just Like That said...

Sonny boy has not had a gun to play with till date. Nor a knife. Tho' he did use a knife as a knife at his Montessori school.
Girl or boy is not the issue, both me n my hubby are one in not wanting to buy any violent toy for Sonny boy.

Jayashree said...

Totally with you on this one. don't think it is a gender issue at all. My daughter has not seen a gun except at a friend's place and then, she didn't seem to keen on playing with it.

Anonymous said...

Bang on on the gun part...
Totally agree with u...

But a bubble gun should be good fun for Anushka...

Swap

ammani said...

On a slight tangent check this article about girls and Barbie dolls - http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/dec/19/women

It presents both sides of the argument rather well and lets you make your mind up.

2 B's mommy said...

Absolutely ! I never got toy guns for my son or daughter either because of the violence factor. I was horrified when I saw a little boy with a toy gun in his hands in the docs clinic, immitating killing all the patients there.

Monika,Ansh said...

Can one really avoid this? I wasnt' able to coz grandparents got a gun for Ansh & he did play wit it for a week before it was broken. But I explained to him that ony policemen & militarymen use guns to defend & stuff like that. He even dressed up as military man with a gun for fancy dress.
So I guess it's just as to how we explain things to the kids. It is difficult to completely escape

Mama - Mia said...

oh i dunno. we had a fancy music kinda gun as kids. and it had setting to increase or decrease the volume. am sure we must have mock killed each other too dying with lolling tongue and all.

i think its all about the overall environment a kid grows up in. its about knowing that a toy is just a toy and a real gun can cause serious consequences and is not meant to be played with.

and a water gun sounds fun! :)

cheers!

abha

Sands said...

The OH & I were on the same viewpoint as you. But what we did realize was that us not letting them have it was increasing their curiosity. We then felt it was perhaps a better idea to give it to them after explaining the facts about these. We think that has helped. We still don't allow them to point these at any person :)

choxbox said...

my girls don't have one. they don't have barbies either.

they're okay this far, aage pataa nahi.

Anonymous said...

Never bought my son (8 years old) a gun, but teh first time he figured out how to connect legos together, what did he make? A gun!

He's been given gyaan on why guns as toys are bad, who uses them in real life, etc. etc. DH is the most pacific guyon the planet. Agrees with all that we say, and actual hates any real play with guns (like Paintball, which is a popular birthday party activity here) - but still uses his fingers/any object to point and shoot at random things - not other people, not even irritating younger sister, but things around the house/outside, that turn into enemies in his games.

We decided it was in the DNA and left it at that :-)

M

Alan said...

Hey Art, I'll go with Mama-Mia on this one. It's related to the environment the kids grow up in.

Back in the Stone Age, all the kids in our neighborhood, including yours truly, had cap guns that actually went BANG! and produced smoke. We were always playing "Army", "Cops and Robbers", and (dare I say it) "Cowboys and Indians".

Most Dads had gun cabinets with rifles and shotguns. We were all smart enough to know what was real and what wasn't. No one ever brought out a real gun to play with or took one to school. (Of course that was back when principals and teachers actually ran the schools.)

We all grew up and turned out fine. No crazed killers among us. For us, guns were always around and it was not a big deal. Today there is a certain taboo about them. Naturally, anything that is forbidden is going to get people interested.

Anyway, use common sense, teach kids reality, and ignore the media hype.

Oh, and water guns are a lot of fun... unless you're a cat. ;)

dipali said...

Follow your instincts!

Monika said...

oh i guess at some point this explanation is very important we do need to get the point across between good and bad... the only thing to discuss is at what age???

what i totally disagree is the conditioning abt girl toys and boys toys... i have got my son dolls too thats the separate thing he never plays with them much... but then he chooses but then i think u are right i might never get a gun for him

Artnavy said...

all- intersting thoughts....

I had a chat and plan not to buy a gun for the time being

maybe a water gun when i find one. . .