The other night I had the privilege of sharing at a small group. The topic of boys and guns came up and when I gave our perspective a mother spoke up and asked, “But what is their reason for going after the other guy?” Hmmm, we had not run into that problem.
As a group we agreed we did not want to play bad guys; we wanted to promote standing up for what is right. It was a great discussion and here are a couple of options the group came up with:
It doesn’t matter what the child is protecting, one could protect the cow and one could protect the chickens. A reason to go after the chicken team might be because the chickens are pecking the cows. A reason to go after the cow team might be because the cows are stepping on the chickens. If the children demand a reason then compel them to be creative and come up with a reason.
Another option would be to have an outside reason to be fighting. Perhaps the king has decreed that the cows must take over the chicken land and the chickens must take over the cow land. Again a decree wouldn’t have to be completely reasonable it just has to give reason to the fighting.
Hunting is another gun play boys could indulge in. Friends of ours even have mom and dad pretend to be the big buck and doe for the children to go after. In a hunting scenario a child is not protecting anything but they are providing food for their family.
Lastly, one of the men said, “If the child is old enough to realize that just protecting isn’t enough then perhaps they should just move to capture the flag.” So whether it is capture the flag or just a likeness to capture the flag, a boy could still feel a sense of competition, strategy and conquest.