The Swords of Sharing

Our Soldier Boy got foam swords for Christmas.
When I tell people that, they get this knowing look that says, "I bet it was from a crazy uncle. I'm so sorry." What really shocks them is when I tell them that I was the one that put it on his Christmas list.
"What?! Why would you let a three year old have swords?"
"Well, everything from my kitchen spatula to his sister's markers were swords any way. I figure that foam swords would be safer for everybody."
"But aren't you worried that it will teach him to be violent?"
"Um.... I think we have already crossed that bridge. He already knows about swords."
"But what about teaching your kids not to fight?"

Actually, this has been teaching him to share. You see, he got 2 swords and the main rule was this You may only 'Get' someone if they have a sword, too. So, its fun to run around with a foam sword in your hand. But, it is even more fun to have someone to play with.

So now, instead of hearing, "He hit me with a car track/sword" we hear "You wanna play swords with me?"

Who would have thought that swords would teach my kids how to share?

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  1. (Hubby here)

    Hey Babe, I love you!

    The other thing I like about the foam swords is the opportunity it gives us to teach self-control and responsibile use of power.

    As every little boy instinctively knows, a sword, even if it's just made of foam, is an object of power--power to make you feel like a genuine pirate, power to thwack your sibling.

    When we gave Soldier/Alligator/Tiger Boy these objects of power, we also imposed a framework of 5 basic rules suggested to us by a friend who is a fencer (thanks Alex!):

    1. Your sword may not touch anyone who isn't holding a sword.
    2. You must not attack an opponent who has yielded.
    3. You may yield to your opponent at any time.
    4. You may not attack your opponent when they are down.
    5. If a swordfighting game ceases to be fun for anyone involved, it's over.

    By giving our kids a sense of power within a structure of rules based on the Golden Rule, we are trying to teach them responsible use of power. As both Spiderman and FDR once said, with great power comes great responsibiliy.

    Someday my kids will swing baseball bats, use sharp kitchen knives, shoot firearms, and maybe even drive automobiles--all objects of great power with the potential to kill instantly. Someday, they will hold the lives of other people in their hands on a daily basis.

    In preparation for that day, I want my kids to begin internalizing a sense of mindfulness, self-control, and responsibilty to humanity and ultimately to God. I want to raise kids who, someday, will be safe to unleash on society.

  2. SUPER smart! I'm going to have to re-teach our foam sword/light saber rules. These are great!

  3. My boy LOVES swords, too! At first I didn't want him to have toy guns but he made them out of sticks and stuff anyway. Boys will be boys!

  4. I agree with Southern Fried Gal. I didn't want my son to have guns or swords but he made them anyway! Like you, I'd rather be "hit" with a foam sword than a spatuala (because if you were to accidently get hit with a spatuala it HURTS!) Great idea!
    (love that your hubby not only visits your blog but comments as well!)
    Thanks for visiting my blog. Enjoy your week!

  5. Thanks for popping by my blog. I'm baking today but have bookmarked you to visit and read later.