Sunday, August 18, 2013

Knight in Shining Armor

Boys like to play games that seem, well, violent.  They like to shoot things, blow things up, have sword fights, hit balls and smash things.  It is all a bit disconcerting until I realize how normal it really is.  Still, I have read that it is our job as parents to teach them that their strength is only to be used to protect the things and people they love.  Fighting can be noble given the right context.  Still, I was fuzzy about how to apply that knowledge with a four and two year old.  My husband, however, gave me a great example to follow.

The boys had plenty of toys to borrow on vacation and one toy was a Fisher Price castle.  It had horses, knights and cannons at the top to protect the castle.  Golf ball sized cannon balls were loaded into the cannons and they would shoot three or four feet with the push of a button.  The boys squealed with delight every time the cannon shot out of the hole until they needed to up the challenge.  They wanted a target.

I was sitting on the floor messing around with all the little knights when BOOM - A little cannon ball hit me on the side.  It didn't hurt, just surprised me, but I took a second to react.  My oldest said, "Mommy!  I'm going to shoot you again!" as he reloaded the cannon with a big smile on his face.  My husband jumped in front of me and said, "No way!  I'm her knight in shining armor and you have to get through me first!"

My oldest did not like this turn of events.  "But Daddy!  Move!  I want to shoot Mommy!" he whined.  My husband did not relent.  "Nope.  I love Mommy and it's my job to protect her.  You'll have to get through me first," he said.  "Fine," my oldest said.  But I could see his little wheels turning.

As much as I wish we could impart all of our life knowledge to our children through a series of lectures, most of their learning comes by watching us.  My husband showed him what a husband is supposed to do.  He is supposed to protect his wife.  I know that they will see that a million other ways throughout their time with us and that gives me the faith to know that they will learn.  I'm so thankful to my husband for always protecting me, in every way.

How do you teach your little boys when violence is appropriate?  How do you help them channel that energy?

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