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Old September 4th, 2006, 19:36   #1
techobo
 
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Airsofting Parents

This topic is a little different than a lot of the other posts I have seen written by kids worried about how their parents will react to them having airsoft guns and military gear. I am the father of a 2 year old girl and am wondering if having all this equipment will have a negative influence on my child. I am new to the sport and have not purchased anything yet because I want to make sure that I can participate responsibly.

I figure that teaching her that these are not toys and that she should never play with them is the obvious route (Which shouldn't be a problem because I plan on locking storing all my equipment in a room that she will not have access to). But at some point she will be old enough to realize what I am doing. A sport where we point real looking guns at each other with the intent of hitting each other can be the wrong message for little ones.

I guess my question is for you other parents out there. What are some of your experiences talking about the sport with your kids, and what were their reactions?

Thanks everyone.
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Old September 4th, 2006, 19:43   #2
FOX_111
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The best way is to talk to your kid about it. Teach her about it, what it's like and compared to the real thing.

If you keep her in the dark, that will spark her interest some day and than she will try to make up here own mind and talk about it to other who might not come to the right conclusion.


If you dedramatise the sports and it's image, it won't do anything wrong to your kid. They are not stupid, they can understand. You just have to make the aprorpiate comparisions for their age and level of understandment.
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Old September 4th, 2006, 20:06   #3
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ive got 2 kids; a son 4 and a daughter 2. neither have seen any of my guns yet. i have them locked away. i guess i will show them someday, but as for when would be good i dont know. i am interested to hear some responses too. my gear and stuff is no big deal because i already have a couple woodland outfits for my son, he just thinks its cool to wear pants like dad's.
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Old September 4th, 2006, 20:16   #4
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Even when my friends find out about my airsoft gear, they thought I'm some sort of war freak.

But yeah, took a little explaining for them to understand the concept of airsoft and what it's all about. For kids, I would imagine it's the same deal but obviously explained to them in the proper level.
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Old September 4th, 2006, 21:01   #5
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I totally agree with the comments of Fox, adding that as a parent technobo, YOU are going to be the best teacher your kids will ever have.

In growing up in a country where the outdoor activites of many was a way of life, education was the key especially in regards to weapons/firearms and their use regardless whether they were just an air rifle or a full on semi auto military weapon. That was passed along thru the generations that follow.

Education is the key, talking to them on a level that they understand, hopefully taking away that "curosity factor" they may have to go looking on their own will provide them with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions in the future.

In regard to airsoft, at what age do you start to educate them??...good question, that is what makes a good parent, knowing when to start.

Cheers!!
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Old September 4th, 2006, 22:28   #6
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It is always best to be straight forward and let them know it is not a toy and have trigger locks you don't want her to loose a eye, but straight up talk to her about it, let her know that it is a sport and helps teach about team work, and keeps you health to live longer
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Old September 4th, 2006, 23:03   #7
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If the children are that young (less than 5), I would not even let them see or know about weapons yet. Even toy guns.

They would stay locked away like the real versions, as they should, until you judge the child is old enough to know about such things. At two, that's pushing it a lot.

The other thing to consider... if the kid then insists on playing, what would you tell them anyway? Wait until you are 16? Sorry, children are not that patient. We see that every day even here.

For some things, ignorance is bliss. When the kids reach around 10-12, you can start them off with some safe guns. By then they will have better coordination too, and will understand the concepts of safety a lot better.

I think a good reality check would be to ask yourself if you'd be ok to take the kid to a real gun range under supervision. If the answer is no, then they are not ready for airsoft either.
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Old September 4th, 2006, 23:26   #8
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I think one has to consider the actual development of a child and their ability to understand what a gun actually is and the difference between an airsoft gun and a real gun. Developmentally, a child up to about ages 6-8 does not understand the concept of the permanance of life and death. To them, life is like a Road Runner cartoon. Wiley coyote gets flattened by a truck and then pops up again. Life and death is interchangable. Clearly this would be part of my explanation.

In the same line of thought, my concern is not so much my child seeing my airsoft but seeing my airsoft rifle and then seeing almost exactly the same weapon on TV in movies, TV shows or the news. They see death being caused by a weapon, the same as daddy has at home. Therefore, there is the possibility of confusion and possibly the generation of fear, even mortal fear. If the child is aware of your airsoft rifle, then at some point there has to be a simple discussion with the child on exactly what the airsoft rifle or handgun is and the difference between them and real guns your child may see on TV or at a movie. The real danger is not the information you give your child, but the information they receive, uncensored from the idiot box.

With the Baby Boom Generation, following WW11, toy guns were everywhere. Ask your father about "Johnny 7" rifle, or "Mighty Moe". Part of growing up in the suburbs was to play war games. We knew the difference between the toys we played with and weapons our fathers carried in WW11 and Korea. I did Civil War re-enacting for 14 years. My children grew up around muskets, swords, bayonets, cannons from age of 3 & 5. They understood. I was always careful and respectful with weapons around them. They were at re-enactments and saw huge battles fought with explosions, cannons going off, thousands of muskets being fired. Men dropping like flies. Far more violent than airsoft. They understood and knew the difference.

So, whats the answer. Just use good sense. Treat the airsoft rifle with respect. Help them understand the difference between an airsoft gun and real ones. Teach them in simple terms they can understand. Recognize learning opportunities when they arise. I think by asking the questions that you have already asked shows you're responsible. A good first step. Congratulations.

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Old September 5th, 2006, 00:14   #9
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I dont have kids, but I have been shooting guns since I have been 7. I lived in a small town and father is x military, he has tought me the respect of guns. And I have understood that before I ever shoot my first .22 rifle at the age of 7. He tought me how to be safe with a gun and the functions of the gun, but the first thing I got to learn was the destruction a gun will do.[this in my opinion is the most important thing] And at the age of 7 he shoot my dog infront of me after the dog jumped out of the back of the truck at highway speed.[Not that he is sick and twisted it was best for the dog and I happened to be there, I didnt take it to easy but it is a lesson in life you have to learn about] The next day he started to explain guns to me and I went shooting not to long after that. I guess I am saying is it is how you bring them up around guns, the more education they have about them the better, they can decide if they want to use them or not. You are going to talk to them about sex,drugs and guns arnt you?
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Old September 5th, 2006, 03:43   #10
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well i've been interested in guns for most of my life i dont now why but but when i first saw a war movie when i was like 6-7 i've been into guns and video games and shit like that did not help curb my interest either.

but it was made PAINFULLY clear that guns are not to be joked with. so as i grow up i was told the difference between real guns and fake guns and that playing with toy guns is ok as long as its safe and stuff like lazer tag was a great way to learn about about how guns can be fun and safe.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 06:22   #11
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Did any one look at this from the child's point of view? being raised how I was. (military brat) My father never actually taught me real gun safety. in place i got the lesson of "never point a gun at a target you dont intend to hit", and "the best way to avoid shooting your self in the foot is to turn the safety on". Having handled an assault rifle at a young age, well lets just say it was demoralising. If i had to pick the age that I learned how to use a gun, knowing what I know, I would say 16. 14 to learn that my old man kept them in the house.

My suggestion to you is get a nice hockey bag big one. Take up the sport hockey in her eyes and dont let her see whats really in that room till shes 15.(I say hockey bag cause then you put rifle cases in hockey bag at least until you get to the car.)

as for why I learned to use an assault rifle before I could barely hold it. I wish I knew the only one whom knows is my old man.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 07:26   #12
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Guys... take note the kid is TWO years old. I'm sorry but there is no safe gun or weapon for a baby.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 08:35   #13
raycran
 
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i agree ,

Both my Kids are aware of my airsoft toys , my son is 8 , daughter is 6 .

but on the safety side of things for a 2 year old the toys should be kept out of sight , till such time as they know the right from wrong .
then when you feel the time is right you can introduce them into their life ,

i have been airsofting for 2 years now , so my kids were aware from the start and very curious ,but over time i was able to teach them the value of safety (do's & don'ts) and now spend time with them target shooting in the back garden , i have bought my son a tm boys M4 which he loves to use for target practise with me or my wife ,and all my daughter wants to know "who going to clean the mess up ".

both my kids are very safety aware now , but it took time and alot of patience .plus it gets us involved as a family and a little healthy competition .

Niether have a toygun phobia or are nuts about them , they see them as a family activity .That have to be used responsably.

Thx Ray
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Old September 5th, 2006, 09:03   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greylocks
Guys... take note the kid is TWO years old. I'm sorry but there is no safe gun or weapon for a baby.
You have no doubt forgotton the Johhny seven
http://www.sterlingtimes.org/politically_incorrect8.htm
I must be older then you 8)
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Old September 5th, 2006, 09:12   #15
markedman
 
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Originally Posted by Greylocks
Guys... take note the kid is TWO years old. I'm sorry but there is no safe gun or weapon for a baby.
You have no doubt forgotton the "Johhny seven"
http://www.sterlingtimes.org/politically_incorrect8.htm
I must be older then you 8)
I have 3 kids. Daughter is 14 and 2 sons 19 & 21. The sons got involved because I forced them to. It was easier to buy camo then try and build the armor suits in Warhammer 40K. I also ended up getting my Nephew involved.
Gun safety? okay maybe there have been a few "friendly fire" accidents in the house. Still fewer than the americans VS canadians.
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