My boys love pirates, swords, bow and arrows, knights, cowboys, dragons and any other kind of weapon you can think of. Ever since having a boy I have been conflicted about how to handle toy weapons. I thought at first of outlawing them all together- but they are so drawn to them that it seems impossible. I can't very well say no sticks, no rocks, no blocks because all of these things can become weapons if their games call for them.
I never really felt settled about any of my solutions and then a while back I had a thought that made sense to me. (Maybe I am crazy and it won't make sense to anyone else). I was watching them play their games and listening to them talk about defending the castle, I saw them arm themselves and head off to battle. While I watched I thought to myself- These little boys are going to grow up to be Fathers. I realized that just like little girls are drawn to dolls (not to say boys don't play with them- mine do) and love to hold and love them. Little boys have this built in need to protect and provide. I realized I didn't need to be scared that they love those things I just needed to help them channel that inner desire to protect and provide in positive ways. I need to teach them that it is wrong to want to hurt and kill but that it is good to make sacrifices for families and to defend righteousness. I love that my Dad protected and provided for us and that Tyler does it for us now. I think I need to teach my boys about violence and weapons and help them understand them but I think it is also good to discuss how good it is to take care of the people we love.
I am still trying to find a good balance but I don't worry so much when they want to fight dragons and save Princess Adele. I don't think it means that they are destined to the life of a criminal I think it means they have a strong desire to protect and it is up to me and Tyler to help them develop that.