Megan Giles Case Study 3 11.25.12
Prompt 4: Are you more in agreement with Tina or Charles about whether toys teach important lessons to children?
I am more in agreement with Charles that toys do teach important lessons to children. I think he is correct in his choice to explain to his son that, even in play, it is not a nice thing to hurt people. Children need to be informed of the reality of what shooting someone means before they choose to shoot with a toy gun. Kids have been killed by other kids when mistaking real guns for toy guns and also when not understanding that a gun can take a life. I do not think that Charles is overreacting in this situation because he does not state anywhere in the text that Derek cannot have the Power Zapper, I think he just wants him to understand that the Power Zapper is portraying a tool used for violence. Tina makes a good point as well. She says: “He isn’t going to learn that with us as his parents” while referring to Charles’ comment that he does not want Derek to learn that violence is cool. It is more important that a parent communicates right and wrong to a child than to not let that child play with a gun, the way most of us did growing up. Kids are going to be inundated with violence through television, video games and other media. A parent cannot control everything that their child will see and I do not even think that it is healthy to keep a child completely guarded. If you guard a child too much they will not understand how to function in a
world that is not perfect. We all wish that children could grow up and never have to experience pain and hardship but they inevitably will.
If I were a parent I would take the following steps. I would explain to my child, as Charles begins to, that shooting someone can either hurt or kill them and that killing a person means that they die and cannot come back. I do not think at age 6 you need to scare them with a speech about death, but letting them know that there are things that take a person away forever is important. Then I would explain the necessity for guns using an example like police using them for protection. I would then tell my child that pretending can be fun and it is not bad to â€œplay shootâ€? someone. I would ask my child if they understood what I was saying about the difference between real and make believe and ask them to repeat back to me, in their words, the importance of what I told them. I would certainly let my child have a toy gun if I thought that they at least understood that there is a difference between really hurting someone and pretending to. In my opinion, a parent should also not buy life like guns but rather ones that are easily identifiable as toys. Another good thing to explain to a child would be that they never touch a gun that does not come from whatever place the parents and child identify is the place that the child will keep the toy gun. I know that a child may still be tempted to play with a gun they find, real or fake, but I think the idea that they could get hurt or in trouble with their parents might help keep them from touching an unknown gun.
Communication is important in raising a child. Restricting is not always a fool proof plan.