It’s the nature of the boy-child to be fascinated with orange-tipped toy guns the same way boys are enamored with dirt, pickups, a ball, worms, and mud holes.
When the toy gun fascination caught up with my son around three, my instincts knew it: he was all boy, but my husband still likes to tease me about my wayward mommy moment. I was only trying to do my job as a mother and copy what the other “sensible” moms I was acquainted with were doing. In a weak moment of misguided parenting, I went through a phase of trying to stifle my boy’s interest in his cowboy holster-filled chrome-painted toy guns.
In attempt to do the right thing and achieve “a good mother” status, I allowed myself to be persuaded by some misdirected, media-influenced prudent mothers I met through my son’s pre-school, play dates, educational toy parties, and young mother groups. I felt compelled to dictate my boy’s toy gun play the same way these mothers did with their preschool-aged sons: against their nature. I buckled under the parental influence of moms with non-violent agendas of three and four-year old boys so as not to look like an uncouth redneck mother from the country, but I was wishy-washy about curbing my son’s toy gun playing. My subconscious questioned my decisions to do what these other moms were doing, but once I regained my country senses I realized I’d been doped.
I was heavily sedated with peer pressure influence of other moms I didn’t know very well. I put up the toy guns especially around these mothers, and I should’ve realized then, that I was messing with the genetic makeup of my boy. His male instincts went into imagination-mode to find play guns manufactured out of nature or from my silverware drawer. He substituted sticks, branches, tools, broken rocks, and my butter knives but his cleverest makeshift gun for acting out his boyhood behavior was a bleached-out jawbone.
Later, it became apparent to me that maybe these particular women didn’t understand that boys’ fundamental wiring is different than girls’, or what the real causes of violence are, or that they feared all guns because they were uneducated about them. I admit I had a weak moment in using my common sense and became temporarily brainwashed by mothers who appeared to have watched a lot of television and believed the media’s negative, biased propaganda.
Around the same time, I started reading Bringing up Boys, by Dr. James Dobson, to amp up my child-rearing repertoire. What I read clarified my understanding of the nature of boys and where their fixation with toy guns comes from. It was all I needed to reassure my motherly instincts to let boys play like boys. It reminded me that boys are genetically designed to be more aggressive, competitive, and action-oriented than girls and that violence stems from feelings like anger, frustration, and rejection.
Once relieved, I happily gave my boy back his guns and holsters and put an end to wondering whether the butter knife I was using was the same one he’d been packing in his underwear.
Don’t take my word for it—read Dr. Dobson’s book “Bringing up Boys” or visit the Christian-based website, and read the article, “Do Guns Encourage Violence Later in Life?”
The Nature of The Rootin’ Tootin’ Boy
Health Week/Health Fair held Thursday, May 9th, 2013 at the Wolsey-Wessington School. See page 4 for more pictures and info