Amy wants to know about soldiers & guns

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by Minette, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. Minette

    Minette Well-Known Member

    (Mods, if this belongs in the Den, feel free to move...)

    Amy has been asking about guns, why they aren't allowed to play with guns or play shooting games (which is the rule both at home and at school), why guns are dangerous, do only "bad guys" use guns, etc. I told her that some "good people" use guns, either to hunt food or because they are soldiers or police officers. But then she wanted to know what soldiers do and why it is OK for them to use guns, and I was at a loss.

    I was raised in a very pacifist family and taught, essentially, that war, shooting, and killing were always wrong. I still believe that to some degree, but as an adult I see that things are more complicated. I want my kids to respect soldiers because they do a hard and dangerous job. But I can't figure out how to explain to my kids (who have no concept of national security, terrorism, geopolitics, etc.) exactly what that job is -- especially in a way that doesn't make it sound like shooting and killing are OK.

    I know people have very different beliefs about the military, guns, etc. -- I'd be interested to hear from anyone even if yours are not the same as mine.
  2. MeldieB

    MeldieB Well-Known Member

    Whenever my children ask me a question, no matter how difficult or complicated, I answer always truthfully, and in as factual a manner possible. The girls lately have been asking me a lot about death ... "What's a grave yard?" "So there are bodies in the ground????" "Why do people die?" They're only 4, for Pete's sake!

    In terms of soldier and guns, I would probably just explain that there are indeed "bad guys" in the world. Sometimes, the "good guys" need to be protected. Police officers and soldiers protect us. They never use their guns unless they need to, but to protect our homes and protect our people, they might.

    I don't know. It's hard being a parent!
  3. ldrane

    ldrane Well-Known Member

    :good: This is how I would probably reply, too.
  4. Minette

    Minette Well-Known Member

    That's a good way to put it, at least as a first answer. I'm probably overthinking it. :unsure:

    And yeah, she's also fascinated by death and people being buried in the ground. And she wants to know why American Indians didn't have electricity and why the dinosaurs died and how fish evolved into human beings. :blink:
  5. Sylvarin

    Sylvarin Well-Known Member

    I'd say that sometimes people have to defend themselves (make sure others don't hurt them or people they love) from other people that might hurt them, and using your words doesn't always some people have to use guns even though they wish they didn't have to. I dunno...just how I'd say it :)
  6. Snittens

    Snittens Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I've gotten a lot of death questions, who made us, how do babies get in the mommies, eeek!

    I would probably go with Meldie's answer. I tend to overthink these things too.
  7. AlphaBeta

    AlphaBeta Well-Known Member

    I love these kinds of questions. They are hard to answer, but they do make me stop and think about things that adults just accept as the "way things are." And how to put it in terms appropriate for a child. I also try to give as much of the truth as I can, and I like Melissa's (MeldiB's) answer. It's very similar to the one I used. The death and graveyard questions have been a challenge, but I welcome them. I like seeing my kids investigate and question things, just gives me that lovely tingley pride feeling! :)
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