Tuesday, July 23

A bit about guns, wants, needs and parenting

Last week while I was running away other bloggers were busy getting down to the nitty gritty and discussing toy guns and whether children should be allowed to play with them.

Danielle over at Keeping Up With The Holsbys raised the topic which prompted 10% Inspired to share her view.

Both left me with plenty of food for thought.

So where do I stand on the toy gun debate?

Well I agree with Mrs Holsby. Guns are not toys. Guns do kill people, but only if there is an idiot controlling the gun. I am so incredibly glad that as the mother of girls I have not had to face the barrage of requests for toy gun paraphernalia. However, I am not adverse to water pistols or even water bombs for that matter. They are just good natured fun and fall into the same catergory as laser tag and paint ball type games which are essentially gun based.

I also agree with CJ, who knew from an early age that guns had a purpose, were dangerous and how to handle them. She grew up in the country and guns were a way of life. I didn't grow up in the country so much as a back water capital city. This means I have clear recollections of my dad taking us out bush for a shot with his rifles. 

While my girls haven't ever held a gun they have seen one being used. We are a bit fond of magpie goose stew. Sadly you can't exactly get a magpie goose at the local Woolies so we go hunting for them. One of my proudest mummy moments was watching them not get squimish or upset as they watched the birds become dinner.

I have never really been a girly girl and I dread the thought of having girls that are. I have always wanted for my girls to grow up strong and independent. While recognising a difference between genders I have never wanted my girls to feel like they are held back based on the bits between their legs.

Which leads me to my next train of thought, prompted by yesterday's post by our IBOT hostess with the mostest. Jess explained how she refuses to give her children the world.

Super, super wise words right there I tell you.

I don't give my children the world either. Partially because I just can't but even if I could I am not sure I would want to give into their each and every demand. Raising demanding and greedy little so and sos is not on my list of things to do. Raising kind, caring, compassionate and thoughtful little beings however is exactly what I hope to achieve.

As a single income family with three children there are lots of things outside our realms of possibilities. Things like overseas holidays, or weekly trips to the movies or a treat every time we go to the shops. However all of those things are wants as opposed to needs. At the end of the day nobody needs all the things they want anyway.

And anyway as long as your basic needs (food, shelter, clothes, love) are met should we really want for anything else when there are so many in the world that don't even have that?

What really got my thoughts a churning when I read the post though was the bit about needing to be the kind of person that you want you children to be. That hit home to me with a resounding thud.

That is kind of person I want to be as well. Someone I want my children to follow proudly behind. The kind of mother that passes a lasting legacy on to her offspring, who in turn pass onto theirs.

Only to be that kind of mother I need so much more than I currently have.

I need commitment, dedication, drive, energy and focus, and that is just to get started. And honestly, just between you and me, some days I struggle to find any and all of those things when I need them most.

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  1. I think your last line is a little sad - I hope you realise NO ONE is ever the best they can be all the time. I hope I'm misreading but if you are thinking about being the best parent, you probably are close. No one is perfect, and we all get tired. But as long as we keep getting back up to try, then we are doing fine...(if I've misread, just ignore)
    And yes, I'm not weighing in on the gun thing...

  2. I think everyone feels like that. And we're all in the same boat, really - we're doing the best we can. That's all we can do, after all. My rule is, if everyone is still alive at the end of the day and the house hasn't burned down, I've done my job. ;)

  3. my opinion on toy guns... let kids be kids x People love to over think things :)
    My 8year old plays with guns.. make believe shooting aliens in the backyard.

  4. I think it is ok for our kids to want things, we just need them to know that often you have to work hard for them, and that sometimes even then it is not possible. I want my kids to strive for things, both material and not, but I want them to know it is not their right to have nice things or have all the elements of a happy life....that takes work too. That's why it is important to say 'no' to our kids even when we can afford it. After 5 kids I know that if I say yes to a lollop I have to be prepared for a reaction when I say no the next day. This is one thing I think I have got better at with each child as I have learnt that they still love me and know they are loved no matter how many times I say no! And the guns.....well mine have had them, played with them, got bored of them and moved on.

  5. I think we all go through stages feeling like we aren't good enough when the reality is that we are. We do the best with what we have at that point in time and nobody can ask more of you - especially yourself !!!
    Even though K is an only child, we have tried to bring up to realise that difference between needs and wants - she didn't get everything she wanted because she wouldn't have valued it. As a child I could see that she certainly valued and appreciated more the items she had saved her pocket money for and bought herself than some of the things we bought for her. Sometimes at 21 I still see the same trait (which annoys me no end but that's another story !!)
    Have the best day !

  6. I really think that if kids are given everything they want, they'll never truly appreciate anything. The pride you get when you're able to save for something and buy it with hard earned money is so much sweeter that getting everything you ask for.
    I also don't know many parents who think they're doing the best job 100% of the time. We doubt ourselves way too much Rhianna, and I'm sure if your girls were asked, they would say that they think you're pretty perfect x

  7. With the wisdom of hindsight, I guess hubster and I have spoilt our kids (now 19 & 16) in many ways. I know for me it is probably a reaction to having a rotten childhood/no money - not sure what is the hubster's excuse though! We have spoilt them with love and cuddles and affection (not that I think that it's possible to spoil with these), but yes, we've also probably given them way too much materially. But, we did the best we could and that's all anybody can do.

    Visiting from #TeamIBOT xxx

  8. Gorgeous post Rhi! For me, it is important to teach my kids the difference between a need and a want. I will provide what they need, I will always make sure they have enough, but when it comes to 'wants'.
    I truly believe it is essential to go through the emotions of going without, missing out or simply not having the latest and greatest gadget. Because early adult ( and later adult) years are tough, and we need to teach our kids to prioritise so that the essential needs like food, water, warmth, safe shelter are first on their list, and wants like Iphones, alcohol, cigarettes and "shiny new stuff". We need to teach our kids how to wait and save and budget and even give up the things they want for so that the essentials are always met first. We are raising the next generation of parents. They need to know how to put someone and something ahead of their own wants.

  9. I dont buy my kids guns. they have water pistols, toys come with guns and they make them with lego etc. i dont encourage it. they know i dont really like it. but i dont prevent them.
    We're single income too and sometimes it bothers me that we dont do extravagant things all the time and i dont spend $80 on kids jeans etc but you know they'd still rip holes in the $80 jeans and that'd bother me more.
    I think not spending so much money on things is good i feel proud when my children are genuinely grateful for things they earn and are gifted. They appreciate so much more.

  10. I was brought up on a farm, I have shot guns, as a teen and as a journo and as a mother, it's a complex issue. As a mum I want my children to understand consequences.... Welcome back hun xxx

  11. I think we all have moments where we doubt our abilities and decisions as a parent - I know I do! But I think we just have to follow our gut and try to lead by example as best we can. I know you are doing a great job Rhi!

  12. I choose not to buy my boys toy guns, but am not totally against them, if they pick them up and play with them I'm ok with that. I'm running with the idea that if you ban them and make them unatainable, then that will only make them so much more interesting. Of course a whole lot of education needs to go with it.

    I agree with you, I'm so focused on not over doing it with my children where materialistic things are concerned, there are way better ways to create a good life for your children.

  13. Great post and thank you for the mention :)
    None of us are exactly the people we want to be, and that's ok; that's the journey of life. It would be boring if we achieved that straight away, and exhausting for our kids too. They need to see where we fail and how we pick ourselves up again, so that they can learn to do that too. You find it when you need to, and that's what is important

  14. We are not at the gun age yet. I don't know what I'll be like. I'm uncomfortable around hubby's shooting games on the computer. He can play them but not around me and not around the kids. I think water guns etc are ok. They've watched a zillion movies with guns, when you think about it.. Madagascar, despicable me,

  15. Re your last paragraphs: I find that WANTING to be a good mother generally means you're more than halfway there. x


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