On Parenting
Posted at 03:00 PM ET, 09/07/2012

Family Almanac’s Marguerite Kelly: A gun-crazy 7-year-old worries his mom

From elsewhere in The Post: A mother is concerned that her 7-year-old son, who loves military heroes, might be too obsessed with guns and asks Marguerite Kelly for advice.

(Hadley Hooper for The Washington Post)
“I think he is drawn to them because we live in a military area; he builds model airplanes to help his hand/eye coordination, and his latest library books have been about Theodore Roosevelt,” she writes.

“His play, however, is all about guns, bombs and violence even though my husband and I don’t own any guns nor do I let my boys wear camo. It seems disrespectful to let them play in camouflage when there are soldiers who die in their camo. ...

“How do I balance our country’s need to serve and to protect us when my son talks about blowing things up? How do I applaud the military without encouraging him to think that guns bring us power and strength?”

Kelly says the mother’s concerns are misplaced. She points out that a certain amount of war and gun play is normal in children that age, particularly boys. Parents should talk to their children about their values and have open and honest, but age-appropriate, discussions with them about these kinds of issues.

“There’s no need to talk about war and peace with your son when he’s chasing the boy next door with a sword, but you can talk with him and his brother about it at the dinner table, and you can ask provocative questions that will really make them think,” Kelly writes.

Read Kelly’s full column here.

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By On Parenting  |  03:00 PM ET, 09/07/2012

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