Mama Crum is a pacifist. I believe that battles can be won by using words. I want my boys to learn that fighting is not the way to solve disputes. I think that when God gives the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," he probably means it. I don't see him making exceptions in his command. Yes, I know you can make biblical arguments to the contrary. I'm not writing to debate about theology though. I am certain that Jesus was serious when he stated the greatest command is "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself."
So what's the problem? I have boys. Boys are fascinated by shooting. Monkey learned about pointing at people and making shooting noises while he was in the church nursery. Yep, I'm positive that's where he learned it. Everything is a gun, everything is fun to shoot.
|Anger, Frustration, Sadness Happen. How do we teach our kids to deal with it?|
I recognize that the boys have no concept about what shooting really is or what it means. They don't know that it hurts people. My boys don't understand fighting and war. They do know that sometimes their friends shoot while playing, and sometimes they shoot while angry. It scares me to see little boys pretend to shoot while they're angry with someone. Why? I've worked in an environment where young boys were learning how to cope with hurts. When they were angry and pretended to shoot someone, they meant it. They were practicing hurt in their hearts and with their hands and minds.
My rule for my own boys is no shooting people. I know they're going to play guns, even if they don't have any - they will make guns. They are learning conflict resolution even now. They are learning to express emotions, to talk about problems, to work things out, and to consult others when they cannot find a peaceable answer. I wish they would stop play shooting, but I recognize that they are learning to make neat noises and exert power in their surroundings.
One day while I was in a meeting at church I heard Monkey "shooting" at his brother while they played in the hallway. I called him into the room to talk with me. When I confronted him about what was going on, he said to me, "But.. he's a penguin". Sheesh - he's already looking for ways around the rules!
What are your thoughts on shooting? Do you allow it? Do you teach it? How do you teach conflict resolution? How do you teach your boys to use their power?