“We Don’t Point Guns at People”

Once while browsing through clothes at a consignment shop, I witnessed an interesting mother. She and her daughter were looking through dresses. A small boy zoomed past; I guessed him to be 3 or 4 years old. He waved a toy pistol he’d ‘borrowed’ from the toys for sale and made shooting sounds as he ran.

“Pew! Pew!”

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The woman stopped the pretend assault and relieved him of his weapon. “Now, Garrett**,” she admonished, “We don’t shoot guns.”

She might have gotten offended if she’d seen my expression, a mixture of hilarity and shock. For, in our house of 4.5 boys, we possess a full arsenal of Nerf guns, Nerf crossbows, plastic bows, Nerf swords, Minecraft swords, and many off-brand toy hand guns. When not shooting darts all over the basement; my kids and their friends hurl pillows, socks, and each other at each other.

The consignment shop mother’s comment reminded me of my own mother’s words, once upon a time. My oldest was two years old, and he had been fascinated with guns since he’d learned to speak. After aiming a squirt gun her way, my mother said, “No, Samuel**, we don’t point guns at people.”

All this talk of guns and swords and pro-gun rights for children might peg me as a weapons-happy, gun-lovin’, dyed-in-the-wool carrier who won’t have my right to bear arms ripped from anything but my cold, dead fingers.

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Although I am in favor of that amendment, my support of the boys and their pretend weapons stems from logic.

  1. My children turn most objects into weapons, and then use those weapons to attack each other. The toy guns with their sponge bullets give them a better outlet for that aggression.
  2. It’s impossible to play the sorts of war games mentioned in #1 without ever pointing a gun at a person.
  3. All of my rules have been created to channel the boys’ actions into somewhere productive instead of trying to make them stop feeling the way they do.

So, what’s a mom to do? Our official rules are:

*You can’t shoot anyone not playing The Gun Game and not holding a gun.
*You can’t shoot heads or sensitive parts.
*You can’t shoot at close range.
*Swords can only hit other swords.
*Only wrestle with Dad.

Actually, our #1 rule, the one I made years and years and years ago is:

*No heads, no necks.

My sister thinks it’s hilarious, but now she has children of her own….

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Sunday, September 8: “Parents, Put the Phone Away!!!,” a post encouraging parents to put the phone away.

Monday, September 9: “The Boy Mom Poem

Tuesday, September 10: Shared a funny parenting meme.

Wednesday, September 11: Outlined the steps for framing a beautiful food picture.

Thursday, September 12: “Underpants and Floor Food,” a snippet about what children prefer.

Friday, September 13: Discussed teaching how income and credit cards work in, “Kids and Credit Cards (The Magic Money.

Saturday, September 14: Shared Anxiouscougar‘s tweet about funny things we tell our toddler.

Sunday, September 15: That’s today!

**Names changed

 

Photo Credits:
Image by ariesa66 from Pixabay
Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels
Photo by Alex Kalligas on Unsplash
Image by นัทธิ์กวี แก้วบุญ from Pixabay

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Kids and Credit Cards (The Magic Money)

Every child has wanted to help me ‘pay’ for groceries at the store. I say ‘pay;’ because I know a credit card does not actually purchase our milk, bread, and cereal. I know that piece of plastic will only work if there’s money to pay for it -even if it’s a tight month.

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But do my kids know that?

I try to turn every moment into a learning one; to bring up Life Lessons when my boys are a captive audience in the car:

Driving a car is really fun, but it’s more expensive that many people think. I know I thought I’d just get a license and that was that; but there’s the cost of the car, then insurance…

When you boys grow up you’ll need to pick a career that pays for your lifestyle…

Make sure you treat the woman you marry well, and that she treats you well in return…

It wasn’t until I watched my children playing ‘Store’ that I realized they didn’t quite understand money. It wasn’t until I talked to them about “where Daddy goes” that I realized they didn’t understand a job. It wasn’t until I overheard one of them explaining how jobs make credit cards work that I realized they didn’t quite have the process right.

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So that captive car lecture turned out as Dad goes to work all day. His company pays him every two weeks, but they put the money right into our bank account. Then, when we go to the store, the credit card takes some money out of our account to pay for the food. If we don’t have money in the bank, we can’t pay for the food.

I know; I know: credit works a little differently than that. As they get older, I’ll explain a few more details about birds and bees as needed. For now, the simple explanation should suffice.

The bonus part is that, when my kids get wide-eyed over impulse buys at the checkout, they now remember that candy bars have numbers printed next to them for a reason. Those numbers are a cost, and that cost is paid by Dad’s hard work.

 

Photo Credits:
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay
Image by Виктория Бородинова from Pixabay

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens