Saturday, June 26, 2010

the other post

the photo above shows what Hugo and Archie and I spent yesterday afternoon doing. Enjoying time together and playing games that are age appropriate.
today.... well that's a different story
Hugo was invited to a friends birthday party at this place. it was a laser tag party. (due to my naivety i was unsure what this meant on the invitation.) when we got to the venue all the children were taken into a room and given laser guns. they then spent the next 2 hours running around playing "laser gun games" as a solo or team effort. the children had to shoot each others laser gun to score points. i have a real problem with 10 little 6 year olds running around a darkened room shooting each other. apparently many of the boys had been to a party like this before.

we have a no gun rule in our house, and i think they are an unnecessary toy for children to use. there are enough opportunities for imaginative play with their own hands and sticks in the garden to play out goody/baddy cops and robbers type games. but to set your kids up with their own laser guns as a fun way to fill in time, how can this be appropriate for any child?

i was so out of my comfort zone, but then watching my son look utterly confused when he was handed a laser gun and explained how to use it was a hard moment for me. he looked at me for approval and as i nodded i thought.... have i sheltered him too much? am i wrapping him in cotton wool? if i teach him the right values what does it matter as he will understand that this is just a game and not real life? but as i sat and waited for the end of the party i decided that i am doing wha'ts best for us as a family. He is 6. 6 is little, 6 is dirt, mud, role and imaginative play, magic, joy and wonder, its exploring and discovering new experiences and the wonder of the world around them. its not about shooting down friends to win points in a game. we will leave this experience for a later stage in our journey, at the moment i am happy with my children being 6 and 3... children with wide open eyes full of wonder for the rich experiences in the world around them.

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Julia said...

Your boys are lucky to have you. If they are considered sheltered because they are not privy to the intricate workings of a laser gun, then so be it. Six is little. Kids are allowed to grow up so quickly these days and the magic and wonder of childhood is lost all too soon. Good on you for keeping it simple and magical for as long as you can. x

Victoria said...

I don't have boys, as you know, but a girlfriend with 3 children, 2 of whom are boys (the eldest is 10), and she's very similar to you. She doesn't let her boys go to those parties, although she says they're very popular. Her boys aren't sheltered as I'm sure yours aren't either - but some things just aren't necessary. The fact your boys look to you for approval means they understand. Don't feel too bad, I think what you're doing is perfectly reasonable and in my world, normal.

lilredsquirrel said...

Snaps to Julia's comment. Its true- six is little. They are in such a hurry to grow up that they miss all the fun! I am all for mud, dress ups, imagninative play. I wish I could go back to it myself. (We have two guns in our house and both came from Mr P!!!!!!!!!!! and I hide them)