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To want to buy my son a knife...

(14 Posts)
Almacks Sun 03-Jul-11 23:44:09

not necessarily now, but before too long? We went camping this weekend, some of the children in the group pitched next to us were whittling sticks and my seven and a half year old asked if he'd be allowed to do it. I'm all for allowing/teaching children responsibility and I also think owning a knife can be a rite of passage. Thinking in terms of Swallows and Amazons, that sort of thing. Of course, would have to be taught by an older person for safety. DH thinks I am completely mad. AIBU?

worraliberty Sun 03-Jul-11 23:47:38

Why buy him one?

If he wants to 'whittle sticks'...why not lend him one and 'whittle' with him?

Sorry but I'm loving the word 'whittle' and I have no idea why?!?

<Hides empty wine bottle> grin

JellyBeansOnToast Sun 03-Jul-11 23:48:22

I had a penknife at that age, to be used only under strict supervision. It was as blunt as anything, anyway. But yeah, if he was allowed it whilst you watched and for camping holidays etc, don't see why not. If you were planning to let him have it and have access to it as and when he pleased, then YABU.

Depends on the kind of 7 yo he is. Some are sensible, some I wouldn't let within a fifty metre radius of anything remotely sharp. You know him best. But remember, even sensible children can have accidents so please don't let him use it without an adult present!

jade80 Sun 03-Jul-11 23:51:07

Yes definitely sensible to get him one as long as he will listen when you show how to use it safely. Your husband is the mad one- why does he have a problem with it?

harecare Sun 03-Jul-11 23:53:58

We started off with really little single blade penknives. I can't remember how old I was when I got my first penknife, definitely by 9. I can't remember if I had one at 7. Let him borrow the small blade off a swiss army knife and see if he seems safe.
I spent hours whittling sticks as a child. I don't remember EVER cutting myself.

Almacks Sun 03-Jul-11 23:55:45

Worra, yes "whittle" is a cool word, think that is why whittling appeals! I don't think having a knife which your parents were in charge of would carry the same joy (being trusted, making own decisions etc). Like the idea of learning together first, though. I always want to rush into things...maybe just having a go would be enough to start with smile

letthembe Mon 04-Jul-11 00:00:41

I think if the child is sensible and supervised, a knife to whittle would be good. I too had a penknife as a child, or i might just have 'borrowed' it from my brother....
Going to use the word whittle A LOT tomorrow - thanks.
<going off to plan lesson/assembly about whittling>

worraliberty Mon 04-Jul-11 00:00:58

Sounds like a plan!

Oh to be seven and a half again...they know everything and feel they can be taught nothing grin

Maybe if you show him how to do it safely...and he learns and takes on board the safety 'talk'...his reward could be his very own knife?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 04-Jul-11 00:01:45

Whether you're 'U' or not depends on you and your child. But I'm a cub leader and have a particularly nasty memory of one kid bringing a knife to camp. Found him sat in a tent 'whittling' something ... using his sleeping bag to rest it on. BIG mistake smile Mind you, the same kid also had a lighter which he was quickly separated from.

NearlySpring Mon 04-Jul-11 00:03:54

There's a fantastic song by singing comedian Stephen Lynch called "Whittling Man" about a guy who whittled everything! Put it into YouTube- bet you all love it!

Op yanbu seems fine if he is sensible and you believe he will use it only when camping.

Almacks Mon 04-Jul-11 00:07:01

Hare care - glad to hear you didn't cut yourself, my brother cut himself almost immediately and had his knife taken away, so good to hear of more positive beginnings!

Jellybeans - yes, perhaps we could look after it until camping/whatever, not because DS isn't sensible etc wink but because knives must be stored safely away from other people who might not be as sensible as him.

Jade80 - DH just instinctively wants to keep DC far away from anything that might hurt them. It's like a reflex reaction, on reflection he usually realises that it's safer to teach them how to do something than ban them from it, but he had such a strong reflex reaction against this I think it will take quite some talking him down. Maybe I'll show him this thread!

yellowflowers Mon 04-Jul-11 00:07:01

What about a Swiss army knife so the blade is only part of the attraction. A good one can last a lifetime too and would be an ultra cool birthday present.

Scholes34 Mon 04-Jul-11 09:09:13

Mine have Swiss Army knives and have used them when camping. Of course, the blunter the knife the more dangerous it is to use, because of the pressure you need to exert, which may cause you to slip and cut something you didn't want to cut.

Also, for fans of the word "whittle" where I come from, if you tell someone to "stop whittling", it means "stop worrying".

SybilBeddows Mon 04-Jul-11 09:14:14

OP - there is a special Swiss Army knife designed for Duke of Edinburgh participants where the blade has a round rather than pointy end so they can't stab each other in Lord-of-the-Flies type situations at the top of Welsh mountains. You could get him one of those.

or just get him a normal penknife and not worry.

my nephew got rather too much into Ray Mears books recently and asked for a machete for Christmas but he was very pleased with the Swiss Army knife.

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