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Advice needed: DD has put "penknife" on Santa's list

(69 Posts)
doesthismatter Thu 25-Nov-10 09:55:34

She is 9 and very sceptical about Santa but still seems to want to believe. She told me she had put a secret on her list to see if Santa brought it (and so to test if he was real).
I said he would not bring anything that I didnt know about. So she told me she wanted a penknife....
Apparently she had seen one recently at a friend's party. I had no idea about this but friend is generally quite sensible.

The thing is DD was very serious about wanting it and promising not to be dangerous and to stick to "any rules" I make and never to take it to school etc. But of course these days for a child to have a knife of any sort is not so acceptable is it? I am undecided what to do as I dont even really know how dangerous a penknife is to be honest as I have never held one I dont think? Where do you get them from?

I would really appreciate advice from people who may have them for their DC. Or any negative experiences. Would it be okay to let her have one on condition that she cant take it out of the house/garden?

Also advice as to if I do say no to having one (am not yet decided but suspect DH will say NO) then how can I explain it to DD so she understands that I do trust her, but....

Sorry to ramble on - just looking for a few more points of view before I let her know. I am tending to saying no, but I know how disappointed she will be. She loves using scissors, digging in the garden and making a mess outdoors generally so I can see how the knife appeals to her. She got hold of our garden shears this summer and before I knew it she had "helped" by cutting the roots of a beautiful flowering vine that had grown for many many years....

Littlepurpleprincess Thu 25-Nov-10 09:58:05

I can't imagine any parent would ever give their child a pen knife.

Ask her why she want's one.

At 9 I don't suppose she has thought this through, or understands the danger.

Littlepurpleprincess Thu 25-Nov-10 10:01:37

I just want to add, I'm all for children learning to use tools properlly and allowing them to take risks that teach them how to keep themselves safe. If she were doing something that requires using a knife I would allow her to do so under supervision. The thing that concerns me here is that she seems to want one just for the sake of having one. Maybe it's a status thing among her peer group at the moment, which is very scary considering her age.

seeker Thu 25-Nov-10 10:04:26

My dd had a little pink Swiss Army knife at this age. Still has it, usus it for all sorts of things, including sharpening eye liner pencils.

My ds has a pen knife he got from his uncle last Christmas. He loves it - uses it to whittle sticks occasionally but usually he just looks at it and loves having it.

Bramshott Thu 25-Nov-10 10:05:52

I'm sure I had one at about that age or a couple of year's older. It had all sorts of useful little tools on it and I LOVED it!

Bramshott Thu 25-Nov-10 10:07:13

Oh Lord - years, not year's blush! Are you sure she hasn't just got the idea from reading the Famous Five or Just William?

StuffingGoldBrass Thu 25-Nov-10 10:09:37

FFS! Why not make kids eat with plastic spoons in case they fwiten themselves with nasty cutlery.
Penknives are lovely, you can use them for sharpening your pencils, trimming plants, unscrewing things etc. I very much doubt your 9 year old wants to start stabbing her classmates.
Have a look round stationary/novelty shops and you should be able to find a variety of little penknifes with short, not very sharp blades - the variety that have two blades and a bottle opener or screwdriver are nice - and get her one of those.

mousymouse Thu 25-Nov-10 10:09:51

I was given a swiss knife at that age. used a lot, sharpening sticks for barbequeing marshmallows, making home made candles and lots of other uses. lost it during a camping trip few years back and was devastated.

go for it and teach her safe use!

bamboobutton Thu 25-Nov-10 10:10:01

we had swiss army knives when we were children and if ds is sensible enough i would buy him one at 9.

we mostly used the knife for sharpening pencils, whittling wood etc.

how about this? and blunt the blade with a metal file.

UnquietDad Thu 25-Nov-10 10:10:29

I had a penknife when I was 8. It only had two blades but I thought it was the Best Present Ever.

thenightsky Thu 25-Nov-10 10:11:10

We all had them at that age as kids. Didn't you OP?

They were tiny little coloured ones. I had a whole set of different colours that I bought with pocket money.

Nobody got cut.

notso Thu 25-Nov-10 10:12:59

I got a swiss army knife for Christmas when I was 10, I still have it nearly 20 years later, it's one of the most useful presents I have ever had. Mostly I just used the scissors and nail file bits until I was older.

I don't see how you arrived at the peer group status conclusion Lpp. DD saw the knife at her friends, and liked the look of it, if she had seen a T-shirt at her friends she liked the look of then you wouldn't cry peer pressure.

Bumpsadaisie Thu 25-Nov-10 10:14:21

I had a little swiss army one when I was 7 (took it to Brownie Pack Holiday too!)

I think you should buy her one!

ChickFlit Thu 25-Nov-10 10:14:33

DS(8) has asked for one this year he goes to scouts and they take them off into the woods and show them how to use them properly.

I'm not entirely sure I'm happy about buying him one I might wait a year or two.

seeker Thu 25-Nov-10 10:17:05

DON"T blunt the blade - blunt knives are much more dangerous than a sharp one used properly!

Is all this peer pressure talk because poeple are worried abotu 'knife culture"? Really a pink Swiss arem knife with a 1.5 inch blade?????

meridian Thu 25-Nov-10 10:19:14

I used some of my dad's penknives when I was little and a few years ago he gave me a mother of pearl handled fruit knife that I carry with me everywhere... my DS (7) likes to hold it.... My dad has promised to give him a knife on the next trip we take to visit (next year sometime) and as long as its not too sharp and does not leave the house I'm fine with it. The other week I let him use a sharp knife to cut some asparagus and beans with and he was very careful and very proud of himself and couldn't wait to tell everyone that he got to use a sharp knife to help out.

there are various colours for swiss army knives including pink and teal.

cmt1375 Thu 25-Nov-10 10:23:05

Consider buying your children knives and make a descision that you are comfortable with, and if you get them one teach them to use it properly, but please don't blunt them.
It makes them more dangerous, not less. Blunt knives slip instead of cutting so are more likely to end up causeing injuries to your children. It only has to be cutting an apple or sharpening a pencil, but if the blade does not move in the direction you expect it is all too easy to get hurt.

IMO if they are not old enough to have a sharp knife they are not old enough to have a knife.

suzikettles Thu 25-Nov-10 10:23:44

I was desperate for a pen knife at this age. Totally for boys-own-adventures (well, girls own obv..), playing in the woods, whittling sticks, carving initials in trees reasons - nothing sinister at all.

I got a wee (fake) Swiss Army Knife and it was my favourite thing for a long, long time until I lost it down the back of a massive boulder in Norway <sob>

She sounds sensible and I don't think you'd be unreasonable to consider it.

MmeLindt Thu 25-Nov-10 10:25:03

How about this one? or this

Or from Wenger: Scout Knife

If my 8yo DD asked for one, I would have no problem buying her one.

MmeLindt Thu 25-Nov-10 10:27:13

Wenger actually have a whole range of junior penknives, with a vary of other gadgets.

Teach them to use them properly, only under supervision.

exexpat Thu 25-Nov-10 10:31:07

Seriously, what is the problem with a 9-year-old having a penknife? She's not going to go round threatening people with it, is she?

DD has had penknives since she was 5 (and had been borrowing mine since she was 4), is very careful with them, loves whittling things, takes it on walks in the woods etc. She is now 8 and has the purple round-ended scout knife Mmelindt linked to above.

I think Santa should bring your DD one.

SoupDragon Thu 25-Nov-10 10:31:17

I had one at that age. I used it to whittle sticks and carve lumps of chalk into polar bears.

suzikettles Thu 25-Nov-10 10:36:05

Lets face it, if she was likely to go around threatening people with a little penknife (I like the ones that Mme linked to with rounded tips) she could do the same thing, with the same, if not more, potential for harm with a pair of nail scissors hmm

ISNT Thu 25-Nov-10 10:36:45

Swiss army knives are v covetable, irrespective of age / gender, IMO.

ISNT Thu 25-Nov-10 10:37:24

Age / gender of the person looking at the knife, not the actual knife, obv.

i don't know if there is a way of sexing swiss army knives grin

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