Sep 16, 2009

Can You Really Spend Your Own Money Any Way You Want?

Have I told you the air soft gun story? I haven't? Well then if you want to feel good about your parenting skills then I would highly recommend getting comfortable and enjoying this post.

Before we moved to Massachusetts the Baird family did not own a single air soft gun. We really did not even know to much about them. So halfway through Joe's first semester of school here he finally made some friends. The best kind of friends, the kind who shoot air soft guns, the kind who live on acres and acres of wooded land, the kind who spend all weekend running through woods shooting the heck out of each other, the VERY best kind of friends. He started talking about air soft guns a lot. All I knew about air soft guns were that the word air meant.....well, you know.... air..... and the word soft.....sounded well, harmless. And guns....well I am not opposed to them I actually enjoy shooting them and my husband will gladly tell you I am actually pretty good at it. So there we were. Joe had his own money. A lot of his own money that he earned doing his paper route so there really was not much discussion after that. I really want them to have their own money for this reason. So they can make their own choices and understand consequences of spending...oh and don't forget the consequences of shooting your sisters....all the grownups I know who never learned about that consequence are in therapy :)

I can not remember how he acquired his first air soft gun. I think it was ordered through the Internet but I could be wrong because they are also available at Dick's Sporting Goods and Sports Authority. The point is that I am using the word "first" thus indicating that there has been more than one air soft gun purchased by Joe.

At this point I am forced to admit to you that I think he has ended up spending at least $400.00 on air soft guns.


That my friends is the same question I have been asking.....the answer is bewildering but simple... they keep breaking.


I do not know.

I have shot them with Joe and they are very heavy, seemingly, well made guns. He claims his dad broke one....that is a whole another story...with all sorts of claims and intrigue....we'll save it for another day, far from this day :) Anyway, that only covers one of the guns he has owned in the last year what about the others? Well I tell you the other stories are a little vague.

Every time this happens and he buys a new one I mention to him that at some point this really is a draining hobby. How much of a 13 year old boy's own money should his mom let him spend on air soft guns? How does the aforementioned mom find out where to buy a air soft gun that won't ever break? I have been anxiously waiting for the class at Home and Family Personal Enrichment on the subject but I fear it may never come. But it would be very enriching for me. I definitely need to be educated on it. I need some statistics. I need a group of, "air softing mom's" to chat with. I need Joe to take up knitting :)

The minute the gun he is currently using breaks I am doomed....oh, wait it is could I forget? I swear Joe talks about the broken air soft gun and his need for a new one as much as Obama talks about his health care plan...which is A LOT.

So guess where Joe and I are headed today after soccer practice? Sports Authority.......and yes, I give you permission to judge me :)


Marty C. said...

I'm trying to decide if I want my son, Taylor, to read this as soon as he gets home from school. Some of his friends have air soft guns and he wants one. Even though he begs us to let him buy onw with his own money, (and am not judging you or any of the other parents), I don't think it is a good idea to pretend to shoot/kill anyone.
Actually, I am not sure which is my bigger concern - the fact that they look too much like a really gun or Taylor shooting at people (even in fun).
I agree with you in that I wish I could talk with the other parents about this. One neighbor won't let their kids watch Sponge Bob Square Pants, but will let them have air soft guns and pretend to kill each other. To me, that doesn't make sense.
I am curious how you feel about kids playing the video game Halo?
Oh, if I have Taylor read this he will still want one and still obsess over it so maybe I will wait until he brings it up.

Ackerman/Mejias Family said...

We had toy guns as kids. We were not allowed to shoot each other, but we could shoot anything else.(As kids will often do, we shot at each other without our parents knowing!)
They were cap guns. We had alot of fun with them. When they broke, we used sticks or our hands.
I don't feel that guns promote violence. I believe that kids who are prone to violent behavior are going to use whatever they can get a hold of to cause harm. Educating kids on safety and teaching them how to use things appropriately makes the difference.
I think it's also better to let your children try things and do things at home under parental supervision and guidance so they can learn cause and effect in a safe enviroment. But I must stress, that I am a firm believer that if you go against your gut feeling, good things don't usually come out of it. So, you need to do what you feel is right for your own family, whatever that may be!
I'm all about letting kids buy what they want with their own money, but we have veto power!;)
By the way, what is a soft air gun??
What does it shoot?

Jenn said...

Amen to the veto power.
Coming from a "gun" family in which the hubby makes a living in the gun industry, I am all about guns. Owning a gun of any kind requires safety and responsibility. Air guns are fun in the right conditions, just like paint ball guns, and they do hurt, BTW, when you get hit with them.
A kid, teenager, or adult really needs to know what the rules are and abide by them. In my opinion, no judgement intended, the air gun era would have totally ended in our family with the actual firing at siblings, for fun or out of anger and frustration, not sure what your situation entailed. I would have immediately thrown the thing in the trash, and it would have been a LONG time, own money or not, before the discussion of air gun ownership would even be entertained again. It is a MUST to know when and under what condition guns can be used. Even though air guns are used for "games," they can not be considered toys.
I'm sure you have already discussed the rules and what the consequences are if they are broken. I think each family will have their own level of comfort with guns and rules may vary, but some safety and responsibility rules are universal and MUST be obeyed.
Do kids Joe's age really earn money all on their own any way? There would be no money anyhow without parental assistance in the transportation department, etc...
It's alright, and even healthy, to invoke veto power and say no to our kids even if they don't like it or even agree with it. The real crime, in my opinion, especially when it comes to guns is being complacent, uneducated, and/or unwilling to dole out the consequences when needed.
Jenn, ya know I love ya, you and your family, but I do have very strong opinions about gun ownership in general. Love guns, we own lots of them, our kids shoot them, and so on. For me, it's all about safety and responsibility!!!!! :D

Pam Mueller said...

When we lived in CA all the boys had air soft guns and would run around the canyons all day shooting each other and then come home proudly sporting blood and black and blue marks!
We moved to PA and Aaron had to buy a paint ball gun.
I just had (feel guilty)making them spend their own money on such expensive stuff. Then I again, I hate them SPENDING my money too!
I can learn a few things from you in that department!