Raising Gentle Men

Raising little boys into peaceful, gentle men is not as easy feat. But I try. Today Uncle Dave took my boys out for their birthday presents. They both had birthdays in October and I am a proud Mama to boys ages 9 and 11. Yup, they are big boys. So Uncle Dave, the cool Uncle that he i,s bought each of my boys, "air soft guns". These are not your Walmart variety of air soft guns either.  In addition to being the "cool" Uncle, Uncle Dave is also a Nebraskan-bred Midwestern style guy and he knows about guns. They went straight to Jax, Fort Collin's local outdoor, camping, hunting gear arena. Jax isn't really like the white bread trendy R.E.I. outdoor store that also has a home here in the Fort. Jax is more..well, I guess you can say carries the top red-neck gear. Not that Uncle Dave is a red-neck, but being from Nebraska and all, he does have some red-neck tendencies.
Actually, I didn't really know what an air soft gun was and I'm not one to shelter my kids from guns. Ahhh, things we'd never say we would do...

As little guys, they learned quickly that they can create a gun out of Legos and blocks and even cooked carrots, so I knew it would be a losing battle. And when you think about, if I was ever completely denied something growing up, I just HAD to have it. When my Mom told me at 16 that I wasn't allowed to have sex and "end of dicussion"( not that there even was a discussion). Well what do you think I did?

So yup, my gentle parenting practices include the use of play guns in my home. Ironic, isn't it? I parent on the philosophy to follow my children's lead and let them be who they are and explore what interests them. The cornerstone of attachment parenting is to listen to our children, let them explore and guide to make good decisions. And it turns out that they like playing with guns and so I teach them safety and remind them that guns hurt people and animals. I hope they are listening too. I learned that I cannot achieve what I want them to be by hardfast rules, like saying, no guns allowed.
So let me just tell you that an air soft gun is nothing like a Nerf gun. These actually look like real guns and I am a bit petrified of an accident.
 I found myself saying "don't shoot your eye out" just a few times knowing full well what I sounded like; a regular mom.

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