Friday, November 14, 2008

Raising boys - Should violent play be aloud?

“See that? You’re having a boy!” exclaimed the ultrasound technician. Perfect! 2 boys, brothers. Close in age, they’ll take care of each other, and together, be role models for future siblings, and watch over any sisters they might have. 2 boys! We started calling our families and my brother John said “wow! Jane, you’re a mom of men!” “What? No, they’re just babies. They’re not men. I can take care of babies, I have no clue how to be a mom to men!”

As Gideon is getting older, and daily showing less signs of infanthood, and more signs of boyhood, I’m faced with a specific conflict. Is it possible to raise a boy to be a man who defends justice, protects the weak and helpless and stands up for what is right, without allowing violent play? Is it possible to raise them to be that way with violent play?

I joke with Jeffrey (my younger brother) about how I’m not a pacifist, I’m a peaceful activist. It’s rather silly, seeing as how I’m rarely active in expressing my beliefs. And honestly, still coming to my own conclusions on so many issues, that I may not even know where to start most kinds of activism.

I am going to try to refrain from making blanket statements or using any kind of generalities. With that said, I am going to avoid disclaimers as much as possible, if someone actually wants to comment on this blog, I’d love some free discussion.

I do not want any of my sons (and obviously my daughters) to join the military, any branch. I don’t believe that Jesus would have done any such thing, and regardless of what happened in the Old Testament, I see NO evidence in the New Testament that such a thing is honoring to God.
The dilemma? Do I allow my sons to “reenact” battles from wars of our history? Does the learning opportunity outweigh the moral? Do the moral issues involved in war actually give me an avenue to teach my sons about social injustice? If I never want them to participate in the killing of human beings legal or otherwise, how can I allow it in their play time?

Carol - put a post up about a week ago giving great gift giving advice. She had several links to articles and other blogs, that analyzed play and such… the one I chose to read was called “band, bang! You’re dead.” It was interesting. I read it, Mark read it, and we’ve been discussing it whenever we get a chance. The other night we stayed up WAY too late, because we couldn’t stop chatting. (sometimes, when bed time comes around, my husband and I are more like little girls at a sleepover, rather than a married couple with a toddler and a baby on the way… wow, not that I’m calling Mark a little girl… man, that sounds bad… anyway…) The author of this article had many interesting points. I wish I just had a recording of the 3 hour conversation we had on this, it was riveting. (everything seems more insightful late at night, don’t you think?) Over the next few weeks, I’m going to try to do my best to recap the conclusions we came to. The reasons for why such conclusions were made, and what we intend to allow in our home, and for our family.


Erin said...

You mean Gideon and his little brother won't get to fight like this? Disgusting. Obviously I'm against anything like that, but I think there's some benefit to allowing kids to role play good vs. evil and chivalry and other traits you want them to have. Either way, I'm sure they'll both be the sweetest little boys!

Erin said...

Congratulations on baby Silas!! I love his name. God has blessed you so well!

Jeffrey said...

I agree with Erin good vs. Evil stuff is benefiting .

And I mean I played all that kind of stuff and look at how I turned out : D