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Time4Learning Demos

Boys And War Games

What to do when boys' war games get frightning.

When Scott was about six the Gulf War was on. He was going nuts about collecting military “vehicles” and GI Joe “action figures.” (Do NOT call them dolls and cars, Mom!) Every night he’d line up his army just back a bit from our front door, ready for any invasion.

I realized that we were perhaps watching too many news stories on TV while he was still up, pretending he could care less about news TV, but listening and glancing anyway.

He was also noticing that his parents were worried but not doing anything in particular to save our home from eminent destruction! So his masculine hormones kicked in and he was going to do what he could do to rescue us. After all, he had no idea how far away the middle east was from California! Goodness knows what is going through little boys’ heads since they now fear local terrorists, too!

Just be aware of this innate programming to protect in the psyche of young males, especially as the war in Iraq has commenced. There’s enough military news now to get a little boy very worried. It is probably “cute” when they are rescuing snow-bound travelers with their toy heliocopters, but when they start insisting on weaponry to kill imaginary Iraqies, it can cease being cute and get sort of frightening.

Little boys love to learn how to rescue. You’ll have no problem involving them in activities that involve first aid and rescue skills. (I’m not saying that girls won’t either, I just have a boy who likes this stuff.) The American Red Cross and often your local fire department will have classes. If the classes are only for teens and adults, go learn the skills yourself and bring what you can home, scaling down to your smaller children. Get your kids involved in planning, organizing and how to use a first aid kit. Teach then how to safely use a camp stove and to cook canned food on it. I have some emergency resources for my city linked on my Emergency Preparedness page. You may wish to develop a page like this for your use or your town.

By Ann Zeise

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