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Old 02-02-2002, 12:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i need some advice about my four year old son being exposed to toy guns etc at friends homes. My husband and i will not allow any guns etc in our home and feel quite stronly about our son not playing with them. I have talked to our son about guns and what they do, hurt, kill and that he does not learn anything from playing with them. What i find hard is when we are at someone elses home and their son is running around with a gun. I don't want to offend the parents by asking them to put the guns away(or should i?) and risking a tantrum from their child, but ireally don't want my son to get into that type of play, there is so much more fun and non violent things they could do. It worries me that because we feel so strongly about violent toys that we are going to make it more attractive to our son. Do we allow it to happen in somebody elses home and explain to our son that that is what they do in their home but we don't do it in ours? What does everyone else think?
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Old 02-02-2002, 01:18 AM
 
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If I were in your situation and they began playing with guns I would go up to the boys and tell them both (hopefully within earshot of the other mom) something like "Guys, we don't allow 'Johney' to play with guns or weapons. What can we find for you to play with instead?" Hopefully at this point the other mother will help you out. We are dealing with this with the older neighbor boys and some mario bros. video games we don't consider appropriate. This week when all the boys went running into the neighbors house to play my son had to leave (crying, of course) but after that the next door neighbor's talked to their son and let him know that if he wants our son to be able to stay, they will have to play games like baseball, or car racing games. The neighbor is fine with it and when it came up the next day he really stuck up for my son. The other two neighbor boys wanted my son to leave so they could play the other game, but the nice neighbor boy said that he wanted my son to stay so they weren't going to play that game. He's such a sweetie.

I've found that if you bend the rules on things you really believe strongly in, it becomes hard to enforce them from then on.
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Old 02-02-2002, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks jbcjmom, good suggestion. I will try it next time. You do have a good point about bending the rules and it being harder to enforce the next time. I understand your feelings about the video games too. It helps that your neighbour is supportive of your choices too.
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Old 02-03-2002, 04:21 AM
 
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I understand why parents would not want their children to play with toy guns, but remember, if you take away the guns, they'll turn something else into a gun - a stick, a loaf of bread, etc. However, this is more acceptable to some parents. To a kid, "Bang bang you're dead" doesn't mean anything more than "You're it" does. He does not know what it would really be like to shoot somebody.
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Old 02-03-2002, 04:53 PM
 
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I draw the line at toy weapons, also. We have recieved these as gifts, but always discarded them after a few weeks.

If my child had a friend with these kinds of toys, I would ask their parent to put them out of sight during the play date. I'd focus on that fact that *I* am uncomfortable with them, rather than implying that the parent is wrong to have them.

It is true that most kids will turn a stick, etc. into a play weapon at some point in their development. When my son does this, I try to just let it pass without too much attention (as long as he is not upsetting someone else.)

When he was about five, we did have a talk about real weapons and the damage they can inflict.
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Old 02-04-2002, 02:40 AM
 
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I have a clear "conditions of play" that is explained to all mothers and fathers of friends. Such as no sweets, ice-cream, violent TV (actually no TV) and guns etc.

If they think they can not comply with these, then their home is off limits.

a

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