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kgm3
09-24-2010, 10:41 AM
this is a little hard to talk about because it feels almost shameful in this day and age of people blowing things up and kids shooting up schools-buts it's really been weighing heavily so here goes! when my my oldest was 3 his uncle came to visit from the army and let robby dress up in all his gear and from that point on the military, weapons, and war has been an obsession. he plays war games, designs new kinds of guns, and says that when he grows up he wants to be a marine sniper. now i have mixed emotions about this-my father and grandfather were marines and i have always taken great pride in that but this is my baby boy who wants to be in a war and that's different. when he was little i even made a rule that nobody was allowed to give any toy weapons to him because i thought it was sending the wrong message-well the opposite effect of what i wanted has happened and now there are toy guns and swords and shields all over the place. now i am very careful to pay attention to his behavior and attitude. he is very affectionate, and shows great empathy towards others. he is very kind to animals and even insects. i'm trying to watch for all the signs of him turning into a violent, lunatic sociopath and i don't see that happening-yet. it's not just modern war and weapons that he loves-he's very into roman times, too. anything that involves fighting and killing-oh it was so hard to actually type those words! my husband says he's a boy and it's perfectly normal-that from the beginning of time little boys have dreamed of being warriors, but as a mother in 2010 it scares the hell out of me! i try to steer him in other directions and he'll go along w/it but there is no excitement or enthusiasm and it never sparks anything he wants to pursuit more. he just gets through it because i told him to and it's right back to war. should i be worried or is it ok that this is his thing?

mjzzyzoff
09-24-2010, 11:14 AM
I firmly believe it is okay. My 9-yr-old is the same way, but also he is kind and loving and empathetic. I agree it is a boy thing, and I encourage healthy outlets for him, such as cub scouts shoot-o-ree where the emphasis is on the responsibility of weapons, as well as the fun to be had shooting targets.

I think you are looking out for the right warning signs and not seeing them, so relax! A plus to his intense interest is that wars have pervaded pretty much all of history so letting him obsess about it will at least get some historical knowledge into his head.

MamaB2C
09-24-2010, 11:15 AM
My son, 4.5, is also more interested in guns and swords and fantasy war (like Star Wars) and good guys vs. bad guys and fighting than I am comfortable with. We have been very careful not to assign gender to toys or activities, so he ALSO plays with kitchen toys, and costumes, and takes dance classes and stuff...so he is probably very balanced.

DH seems to think he is incredibly normal, other boys I know are no different, he is a sweet kid that loves to give hugs to family and friends, and won't leave the house without petting and saying goodbye to the dogs....so the problem is me, I guess. I am so uncomfortable with violence that I get queasy when he talks about shooting bad guys, or blowing up the enemy.

I am willing to bet our worries are baseless, but I wanted to let you know you are not alone.

kgm3
09-24-2010, 11:21 AM
thank you both so much for that! i too get queasy every time he starts talking about that stuff-like yesterday when he came up talking about how excited he was to shoot the enemy in the head w/his turret gun that he made from toilet paper and paper towel rolls and duck tape-I HATE IT and never know how to react to it!

StartingOver
09-24-2010, 11:23 AM
Two of my sons were the same way. One is now a medic in the Navy, and the other in basic training in the Army ! Who knows what your son will grow up to be ?

kgm3
09-24-2010, 11:33 AM
jana-any advice on how to react to these things? i don't even know what to say to him about it.

MamaB2C
09-24-2010, 11:38 AM
I HATE IT and never know how to react to it!

Well, right or wrong, I have told DS that I will not play with him if people die in the game, nor do I want to hear stories about war and death. He has always had a knack for keeping relationships separated, meaning he doesn't try to roughhouse with Nana, but does with his daddy and uncle...so he seems to have accepted that I am not comfortable, and if he wants me to play with him, or listen to his stories, he has to be creative. If he is playing by himself, or someone else, I just ignore it (even if it's hard)

One day we had a battle between the Potato Heads and the Assorted Action Figures, and had them fight with magic sleep spells and stink bombs and other non lethal weapons. When he tells me stories now, he qualifies things with "He didn't die, he was just injured and the doctors helped him". HTH

kgm3
09-24-2010, 11:43 AM
One day we had a battle between the Potato Heads and the Assorted Action Figures, and had them fight with magic sleep spells and stink bombs and other non lethal weapons. When he tells me stories now, he qualifies things with "He didn't die, he was just injured and the doctors helped him". HTH

LOL!!! That's funny!

StartingOver
09-24-2010, 12:24 PM
jana-any advice on how to react to these things? i don't even know what to say to him about it.

What I did with the boys was to research military history. Showing them that not everything was war. My son was just on a Mercy mission in the orient on the USNS Mercy. He hasn't seen minute of war yet. But he had helped to repair cleft plates, helped to clean up after disasters, etc. There is much more to military service than war.

Bring a Soldier or Sailor home for the holidays !! Have him write to our soldiers, I am sure you have friends of family serving.

camaro
09-24-2010, 12:48 PM
My boys are the same way, all three of them. I was, too. For most of my childhood I wanted to join the Canadian Forces. I got a taste of it in the Reserves and then moved on. With my own children I don't mind them playing war but as a military history enthusiast I feel I am able to deal with their interest in this sort of thing and educate them in what war is really like. I think there is a difference between a child interested in weapons and war and a child who with the same interests who isn't taught that real war is not a game and real firearms are not toys. How many times have we heard a parent on the news say "I had no idea"? As homeschooling parents we have an advantage in that we can see what our children are interested in and use it as a way to educate them.

A couple of months ago I posted about a fantastic resource for this sort of thing - The Pritzker Military Library (http://www.pritzkermilitarylibrary.org/). It is especially good for American military history.

kgm, from what you've described I don't think you have anything to worry about. As a homeschooling parent, you obviously love your son and love teaching him. That in itself goes a long way to preventing him from going down the wrong path later in life.

Melissa541
09-24-2010, 01:08 PM
As a homeschooling parent, you obviously love your son and love teaching him. That in itself goes a long way to preventing him from going down the wrong path later in life.

That sounds spot-on to me, too. I would be willing to bet that your love & influence will keep him on the straight & narrow. :)

My younger brother's favorite game when we was young was "weapons." I guess this is a boy thing, huh?

dbmamaz
09-24-2010, 01:28 PM
While not all boys are in to weapons and war, many are. But few girls and women are. This is one of the issues which sometimes comes up in the education of boys - some of the ways that boys just ARE, are unpleasant for girls and women. This is believed to be part of why boys do so badly in school. Girls are good at sitting still and reading and writing for long periods of time long before boys are, and thats what teachers want. Boys like to fight and run, and teachers punish this. Boys end up being punished for being boys.

as long as your son isnt torturing small animals, I would be glad that he has found a passion which inspires learning. So many of us never find a passion. Let him be a boy, love what he loves, make sure he knows its ok to be exactly who he is (as long as he's not torturing small animals)

Shoe
09-24-2010, 01:31 PM
this is a little hard to talk about because it feels almost shameful in this day and age of people blowing things up and kids shooting up schools-buts it's really been weighing heavily so here goes! when my my oldest was 3 his uncle came to visit from the army and let robby dress up in all his gear and from that point on the military, weapons, and war has been an obsession. he plays war games, designs new kinds of guns, and says that when he grows up he wants to be a marine sniper. now i have mixed emotions about this-my father and grandfather were marines and i have always taken great pride in that but this is my baby boy who wants to be in a war and that's different. when he was little i even made a rule that nobody was allowed to give any toy weapons to him because i thought it was sending the wrong message-well the opposite effect of what i wanted has happened and now there are toy guns and swords and shields all over the place. now i am very careful to pay attention to his behavior and attitude. he is very affectionate, and shows great empathy towards others. he is very kind to animals and even insects. i'm trying to watch for all the signs of him turning into a violent, lunatic sociopath and i don't see that happening-yet. it's not just modern war and weapons that he loves-he's very into roman times, too. anything that involves fighting and killing-oh it was so hard to actually type those words! my husband says he's a boy and it's perfectly normal-that from the beginning of time little boys have dreamed of being warriors, but as a mother in 2010 it scares the hell out of me! i try to steer him in other directions and he'll go along w/it but there is no excitement or enthusiasm and it never sparks anything he wants to pursuit more. he just gets through it because i told him to and it's right back to war. should i be worried or is it ok that this is his thing?

I was the same way when I was a kid-all the games I played were war games, whether it was running around the house with star trek disk guns, playing Diplomacy and Blitzkrieg, etc. If I didn't have a toy gun, a hockey stick, tennis racket or whatever would serve just as well. One of my favorite novels then (still, is actually) was Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein-which I could see being used as a recruiting tool.

I grew up. By high school, in the midst of the Cold War, I began to question all the preparations for war that countries had, and over time, my views have become much more pacifistic. "Play" war, "movie" war, "game" war is really very different than real life violence. My studies of history, and the ability to fell the difference between fantasy and reality, took the romance away from it.

Your son may still want to join the military when he is older, but the fact that he wants to play war games at that age is pretty much a normal part of boyhood.

Topsy
09-24-2010, 02:10 PM
as a military history enthusiast I feel I am able to deal with their interest in this sort of thing and educate them in what war is really like.

That is such great advice! I have a 14 year old who has been very interested in war since he was knee-high to a grasshopper, but I feel like maybe I have done him a bit of a disservice by not giving him some real, behind-the-scenes info on the true life of soldiers and battalions. I think I'm going to do some Netflix research and see what kind of documentaries there are that focus on the whole story behind the famous wars.

kgm3
09-24-2010, 02:15 PM
ya'll have brought me a great amount of relief! i'm an only child and have no male cousins so i really have no idea how to handle boys. guess i'll be learning quickly because i have 3 of them and they're all growing up so fast! i just want to help them grow into honorable,confident, and loving men who can find contentment and peace w/in them selves. i really appreciate all the input!

callie
09-24-2010, 02:28 PM
I have to agree with everyone else, boys are just this way. I think having family in the military encourages it also. My father, father in law, and husband served, and we have two nephews that are active Marines right now.

My 13 yr old is very into anything military. He used to be more interested in guns, but now has leaned more towards tanks, planes, ships and other types of vehicles I didn't even know existed. My 3 yr old loves swords. And as horrible as it sounds - he is really good at playing dead. So dramatic! I think as long as you are there to supervise and make sure it doesn't go to far, like zeroing in on just death, then he is probably just being a boy. I make sure that my oldest doesn't play the video games that are really graphic and just concentrate on killing. Like I said before he is concentrating on military craft so he is playing a lot of flight simulation games right now.

Sometimes we have to think about how creative they are being also. The other night the boys were running around the yard playing, which of course included the nerf guns. We have a tent set up in the backyard and the 13 yr old was hiding in it. The little one came running towards me and dove under the patio table. He grabbed hold of the support for the umbrella and started "shooting" towards the tent. When I asked him what he was doing, he said he was in his tank. :D

Teri
09-24-2010, 02:32 PM
None of my kids have ever really been into weapons or wars, but they are all three taking a Weapons and Warriors class at Co-op (which they all chose over astronomy). A friend of ours is teaching it and he graduated from West Point. He is a huge military history buff.
I think it will be a great thing for kids who are and are not into WAR. The first day he was already discussing strategy and having them act out the English with their longbows and the French with the Crossbows and the poor blokes who had swords doing the advance work. They all came home discussing how many people had died and just going on and on about it.

I watched the WWII series on the history channel last summer (to preview for the kids who have not seen it) and it is VERY graphic. They found color footage from battles. So you actually SEE the piles of men while an eye witness is telling you how he remembers the stench.
The Pacific battles were especially brutal and gruesome in the footage.

I would go with the interest, but I would make sure it is not a romanticized version.

I do think it is very normal though.

Jennifer Gray
09-24-2010, 02:38 PM
I remember being obsessed with the Vietnam war in Jr. High...I read everything I could get my hands on about it both fiction and non-fiction. It was a phase lol and I safely grew out of it into the pacifist I am now :)

camaro
09-24-2010, 05:51 PM
For Canada's role in the world wars, I suggest finding Norm Christie's "For King And Empire" (WWI) and "For King and Country" (WWII). Both air with some regularity on our history channel and both are available from Zip.ca. He also has a series on Canada's role in the Korean War entitled "In Korea with Norm Christie" which I didn't find on Zip.ca. Christie's series' are very well done, with tours of battlefields, visits to memorials and cemeteries and stories from soldiers' memoirs describing what life was like for the soldiers.

Firefly_Mom
09-24-2010, 07:28 PM
My 15 y/o son has been obsessed with all things war related since he was about 3, and I assure you it hasn't turned him into a raving lunatic. :D It has, however, made him quite popular with senior citizens, who rather enjoy having a youngster who can have an intelligent conversation regarding the Nazi's invasion of Poland, or why he thinks the M1 Garrand is the best infantry rifle used during WWII. He's also had some amazing opportunites to meet and talk with veterans who are thrilled to have someone who is both engaged, and knowledgeable, about history. (Because, like it or not, a good portion of human history centers around conflict.) I would also suggest that you have him research the everyday things in our lives that were developed first for the military. It's a really interesting topic.

As for movies, the one that Teri mentioned (WWII in HD) is very good, and as she mentions it does show everything. Band of Brothers is also very realistic, as is Saving Private Ryan (SPR is fiction, BofB is not - my son even got to meet on of them.) I would wait until he's a little older to watch them, though.

camaro
09-24-2010, 08:55 PM
Oh, BoB is my favorite all-time show ever! It's amazing! I'm only half-way through The Pacific (it's the sort of show I like to watch uninterrupted so don't get to it often) but it looks good, too. I think I need to watch it through a second time to wrap my mind around the characters.

You know, what really grabbed me and pulled me into BoB was the scene in "Day of Days" where Winters is running down the trench toward the German guns, popping up occasionally to fire, and the camera was almost running along with him. It made me feel like I was there, feeling the same fear and adrenaline rush.

Stella M
09-24-2010, 09:12 PM
Even my sweet, gentle little girls - once they had read the Narnia books - started making daggers from sticks and having battles out in the yard. Daily. My son spends 90% of his time making battle scenes out of Star Wars Lego. I have my limits - I would never purchase toy guns, for example, and we do talk about the real-life consequences of battles, wars and violence in general - but mainly I just let it go. I don't exactly enthuse over the new weapon ds has invented for a clone but I'm not going to ban it either. I figure the less oxygen I give it, the more likely he is to later move on to other things. Or not. Maybe your boy will grow up to be a very nice, sociable, caring military historian!

Firefly_Mom
09-24-2010, 09:14 PM
Oh, BoB is my favorite all-time show ever! It's amazing! I'm only half-way through The Pacific (it's the sort of show I like to watch uninterrupted so don't get to it often) but it looks good, too. I think I need to watch it through a second time to wrap my mind around the characters.

You know, what really grabbed me and pulled me into BoB was the scene in "Day of Days" where Winters is running down the trench toward the German guns, popping up occasionally to fire, and the camera was almost running along with him. It made me feel like I was there, feeling the same fear and adrenaline rush.

Our whole family loves BofB! Don Malarkey lives a few hours from us, and my son got to meet him a couple of years ago. He considers it the high point of his life thus far. :) None of us liked The Pacific as much, but I think it's just because we compare to BofB, which is impossible to top. One of my favorite scenes is also from "Day of Days" - when they're in the planes with all of the flak expolding all around them and seeing the other planes (and burning paratroopers) fall from the sky. It just makes my heart skip a beat every time I watch it.

SunshineKris
09-25-2010, 04:06 AM
The older of my 2 sons is also into the whole war and gun-fighting thing. Of course, Daddy is in Afghanistan right now and we live on a military base. The kid, just like his dad, is also a huge history buff and talks about joining the Air Force too. He's 8. The sound effects he (and now his little brother too) makes when "shooting" drives me insane. I hate that sound! But I've noticed most boys are totally into that sort of role playing game. Even the parents who have refused to let their boys have toy guns or swords, or any weapon really or don't watch any violence on TV or movies in the home have seen their boys pick up sticks off the ground and start "shooting" with them. It seems almost an innate behavior.

I've directed my son into learning more. My husband has always explained what a real war is like, how not everyone uses their gun, not everyone is on the frontlines (he thankfully is not), but those who are have to be specially trained before heading off. He has explained that war isn't just about shooting guns and that there are people on the other side who hurt and bleed just like he does. And there are people who don't carry guns in war at all (mainly the chaplains; they have assistants though who do carry weapons). So let him play. But take the time during a "cease fire" to explain a bit about real war.

Yes, it is frustrating to see such violence in your own children. But you've said you are keeping an eye on his behavior. Most kids don't turn psychopath so you are most likely fine. Plus, the uniforms are just cool! My boys always want to wear one (they make decent costume ones for the kids, maybe he can dress up for Halloween?).

elkhollow
09-25-2010, 02:47 PM
This is all excellent advice. We are seeing the beginnings of this in our 4 yo ds so I read the responses with great interest. I think there is a partial explanation to be found in evolutionary biology, but he obviously has a loving and caring family and he probably feels comfortable exploring these interests within that safe environment.

Unfortunately our society glorifies and romanticizes war and that is something I hope to avoid, or at least counter, with my own children. One of the things I intend to do when they are much older is to present the awful truth of war with memoirs. Books by American veterans, such as A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo and The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, are real eye openers to the reality of war. Vietnam War poetry is quite moving and very disturbing. And looking at the other side is important too. The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh is written by a North Vietnamese veteran. Hiroshima by John Hersey also leaps to mind as a very graphic depiction of the horror that war brings upon human beings. Some parents may have strong objections to books such as these, but I feel it is necessary to counter the John Wayne mentality we tend to have about war. Oh, another one my children will read in high school is A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah, written by a young man about having been kidnapped and forced to fight in the civil war in Sierra Leone when he was 12 years old. It would be very difficult to read those books and think that war is heroic, romantic, or fun. I wish members of Congress were forced to read them upon being sworn in and given the power to declare war.

kgm3
09-25-2010, 04:28 PM
i agree, ashley. as i said in the original post my father and grandfather were marines. pop fought in korea and wwII and daddy fought in vietnam. i had every intention of going to annapolis and continuing on the tradition and was very interested in the history of various wars and wanted to watch all the war shows that were coming out in the 80's and 90's. my dad was EXTREMELY particular about the shows he would allow me to watch. any of them that glorified war were not allowed in his house. i've always appreciated that he did that for me. i want to facilitate some get togethers for robby and my dad so that he can give a real account of what war is like. it'll be good for him to talk about it w/someone who is proud to be affiliated w/the military but at the same time will not in any way glorify what war is about.

fbfamily111
09-26-2010, 03:56 PM
My 9 yr. old DS is a very sweet and sensitive soul. He is also very interested in weapons, and military maneuvers. When we go to the library he checks out books on ancient weapons and warfare for "fun". He has his "life plan" already figured out. He says he's going ROTC for college, then wants to design weapons while in the military. As a mother I am torn. I am all for his ambition and drive to do something he already loves. And we have discussed the fact that lethal weapons kill people, would he feel responsible? Is it worth the lives possibly saved for those surely taken? ect... Just the thought of my baby dying in some desert is enough to make my heart break. But I can't discourage his love of all things "war-like", he is so inspired by them. He taught himself degrees of radius to figure out what angle a shield should be at to best deflect an arrow. We learn multiplication arrays using troop formation.

InstinctiveMom
09-26-2010, 04:43 PM
My oldest is 8 (almost 9) and also VERY interested in war and war-games. He used to want to be a jet pilot so he could fly bombs all over the place. {sigh} This has been a BIG topic of discussion between me and Loverly Husband, so you're definitely not alone.
As for how to discourage it, I'm with you... talking about and presenting the very real, very detrimental effects of war has had an impact on my son. As he gets older and it becomes more meaningful, his talk has come more from a 'play' perspective - he gets the difference between playing games and what 'real' violence would look like and feel like on an intellectual level. Nowadays, he wavers between wanting to own a grocery store and wanting to run an orphanage (that stems from discussion about what happens to children during wars...)
He still likes playing Halo and taking the (unloaded) Nerf guns to the park and playing battle games... but it's not as worrisome now as it used to be - although a few months ago, we were at the park and the boys were playing battle and got into an argument over who 'assassinated' who first. I was torn on whether to be dismayed at them 'killing' each other or proud that they knew the meaning of and were using the word ''assassinated' in context...
LOL
~h

Wilma
09-26-2010, 09:40 PM
I don't see a problem with this. My girls like to go to the shooting range. They are very kind docile people. When I was in high school, there were times when half the boys were gone because it was the first day of hunting season. As far as I know, none of them became sociopathic postal shooters. I firmly believe that kids need a place to safely work out good and evil and their play is that safe. CS Lewis (sorry to paraphrase a Christian, but he was spot on) said kids need fantasy to figure out good and evil.

I come from a family with a lot of veterans, especially of the Marines. Our armed forces leave their families, get little pay, and often get treated with disrespect when they carry out their duty, sometimes participating in situations they don't agree with. And our veterans dept. is in a deplorable shape. If there is a noble profession left, it is our military. There is no shame in wanting to serve our country in the armed forces, IMO.

On a different note, as the mother of 3 girls and one of 5 girls (no brothers) I am very aware of my girl being self sufficient. DH and I often feel we walk a fine line with telling the girls it is okay to be feminine and getting them to be assertive, self sufficient women. however, even though I have no sons, I worry about the devaluing of masculinity in our society. I think we are breeding a society of males who will wind up being passive aggressive manipulators because they can't be boys, and they will wind up marrying or dating my daughters. I have seen some of the boys who are interested in my dds, and I often picture my dds defending the boys' honor instead of the other way around. I don't want them to wind up with a chauvinistic neanderthal, but really. Let the boys be boys. Please, for my dds' sakes!

SunshineKris
09-27-2010, 02:54 AM
Wilma, you are right about the devaluation of boys, and men for that matter. We are raising a society of people taught to be afraid of men. Children traveling alone on airplanes will not be sat next to men if possible on some airlines. Why? In case they are pedophiles! (I need to find my source for that; I'll post when I do.) But any woman is fine? Boys are constantly told that what they do for play is wrong, it's too violent, too mean. Well, it just happens that boys for whatever reason, nature perhaps, gravitate toward more aggressive behavior. Yes, parents do need to teach right from wrong, fantasy vs reality, respect vs disrespectful behavior and words. Schools are trying to focus more on the girls in certain subjects (math and science mainly) and have begun to leave out the boys. I don't want my boys to be constantly told what is wrong with being a boy while my daughter hears nothing but why girls are so fantastic.

Wilma
09-27-2010, 07:47 AM
Thanks Kris. I would hate to be the mother of boys right now. I honestly don't get it. I can change the oil in my car, I have put up drywall by myself, I can pick out stocks (though I hate it), I can load and fire a weapon and otherwise take care of myself. But I love the idea of my big strong guy taking care of me. That doesn't make me a doormat. That doesn't mean my dh is a cretin. It just means that at the age of 45, I still like the idea of being married to Sir Gallahad. And my dh kinda digs the idea that I think of him as my guy. And he doesn't mind ironing his own shirts. And he helps with carpooling. And I know that he would and, more importantly, can, if necessary, go to any lengths to protect his family.

I just don't get why men are supposed to be so understanding of our estrogen issues and how it affects our behavior, but their testosterone makes them bad and they need to get a grip on it. Very sad.

wild_destiny
09-27-2010, 08:39 PM
I would not worry about the boys playing at war. In my memory, both younger males and females play "war" type games, whether those games are called Cowboys and Indians, or Hide and Seek, or even just chase. What would be a worrisome sign is a child who is overly aggressive with the others, even in play, or a child who tries to get away with hurting people, using the game as an excuse. Since you have not mentioned any of these, then you and your boy are likely fine.
However, unpopular as it may be, I would like to gently broach the notion that the world is a violent place--and it is full of victims. There are likely to be times and places, even if you are not in the armed forces, where the ability to act quickly and without hesitation will save your life or the life of someone you love (or even a stranger). Ideally, we would live in a society that sees all men-and women- grow to be strong, resourceful, valiant, respectful people who possess the ability to protect themselves without sacrificing either their humanity or wonder at this beautiful (and deadly) thing called life. To achieve such a reality, we need to be prepared to teach our kids realistically about the appropriate use of any force, when it should be used, how, to what extent, and why. And teaching compassion for others should go hand in hand with this.
In commiseration with what Wilma and Kris just posted about the devaluing of males and about girls being fantastic, I would like to add my own ire that is along similar lines. I am totally fed up with the abundant advertising that is clearly attempting to reach females by portraying all mothers as super hero figures. Apparently, just being female and having given birth is enough to give you some mystical eyes in the back of the head, as well as other super senses. And, of course, all the males in these commercials are never depicted as thoughtful fathers, but as bumbling, but lovable, idiots. Where would they be without their oh-so-wonderful wives?! It is embarrassing to be a female and see this constant display of such blatant (reverse, perhaps) sexism. We want our sons (and daughters) to grow up to be upstanding men, but we show them images that say, when you get older, you will likely be a moron, and will only manage to survive, due to the hospitality of some woman who is just putting up with you, like a cute puppy, that keeps peeing on the floor. I know of no mother who is perfect, nor any father who is a complete bumbling idiot, although I do know losers and winners of both sexes. Anyway, hope I did not derail your thread, kgm, it just seems that a lot of these issues are tied together. How can we worry about treating our boys one way, and then turn around and treat their fathers completely different? (Not at all bashing anyone on this site, just saying in general, in our American culture, women are revered to a point of ridiculousness now, while men are merely tolerated, at least in popular media. --Not that I am necessarily complaining, I mean, I am a woman, after all! :))

SunshineKris
09-28-2010, 02:00 AM
I would not worry about the boys playing at war. In my memory, both younger males and females play "war" type games, whether those games are called Cowboys and Indians, or Hide and Seek, or even just chase.

Just an aside...my older son, his buddy and I were talking the other day and I told them (both age 8) to go and play Cops and Robbers. They were completely clueless!!! I mentioned Cowboys and Indians as well and I got the Deer in the Headlights look! I had to explain it, which took away all the fun for me. They went back to their swords and light sabers on the trampoline.

Deanna, you are right, though, about treating boys one way and their fathers another. Luckily, we don't have commercials here (I am always amazed at the bombardment of commercials on TV when we go home to the states). And the environment my family happens to live in is all about the strong male (and women too but as a much, much smaller percentage). But in the public school, they were taught the opposite. "Boys, stop doing boy stuff, it's too aggressive!" "Girls, great job doing it 'all!' You can always do anything and everything you want to do." "Boys, put the sticks down and stop pretending they're guns." "Girls, great job climbing that tree!" Of course the boys wanted to play tree branch guns; we live on a military base and their school is located on the base and at least one of their parents is a military member or is actively in a support role as a DOD employee. Duh! Guns are a part of everyday life here (though not in homes; very strict regulations about weapons in homes; in the civilian world the NRA would be all over the issue). But don't let our boys take part in that kind of play. However, my daughter can climb the trees with praise (before being told to get down before the potential lawsuit happens). Boys, we are dumbing you down; girls, you are the future Wonderwomen of the world. I personally love my big strong handsome man coming home and being our protector while I teach the kids and bake the bread and cook the dinner. The Husband doesn't get a free ride; he still has to help with chores around the house, but I would never want him to get all weepy at the chick flicks.

kgm3
09-28-2010, 10:48 PM
wilma, deanna, and kris- my hubby wants you to be my new best friends!LOL! i hadn't thought about something that you mentioned-how someday my boys could be husbands. what kind of husbands would i want them to be? well, like my husband-strong and masculine but at the same time kind and able to show great tenderness and sensitivity. i also hadn't thought about the fact that what i am really doing is telling my son is that there is something wrong w/who he is. he's boy -he acts like a boy -and that's a GOOD thing!