DS obsessed by all things strong, am struggling to think of positive role-models(14 Posts)
For months now my otherwise fairly timid DS (4) has been having a love affair with rockets, pistols, cannons, fire, aeroplanes and pretty much anything else that he considers to be fast/powerful. The attraction seems to be so in-built, and on the whole I let him get on with it, but it bothers me that positive models of "strength" are so hard to come by.
He knows that pirates are actually "baddies", that DH and I don't like guns, that fighter planes kill people, etc etc, and he seems to be able to take that on board in a way that allows him to carry on enjoying the thought of them. But I wish I could offer him something exciting and strong that didn't have a "but..." attached to it.
Sorry, I know some of you will think it's a bit precious even to be thinking about this, but does anyone have a good way round this? (That doesn't involve me casting off my lefty sensitivities, obviously. )
Yes, I did think of that sort of thing. He does seem to go for pure, unadulterated power though! Perhaps the crux of the problem is that I can't get excited enough about any of it to direct his enthusiasms in an alternative direction.
RNLI boat and rescue helicopter might be worth a go though. Thanks!
Thrust and the land speed record?
It's the 40th anniversary of the moon landings right now, and it was only possible because of the most powerful rocket ever built - the Saturn V. Show him this (if he asks what all the white stuff falling off the rocket is, it's ice - the liquid oxygen in the tanks was cold enough to freeze the moisture out of the air).
Alternatively, how about motor racing - F1, powerboats, motoGP, rallying, drag racing etc? A day up at Santa Pod watching drag cars and bikes throwing themselves up the track at astonishing speeds might go down very well and it's fairly cheap (although take ear plugs!).
The thing I struggle with about space exploration and motor sports is that I just don't get the necessity of them myself. But perhaps non-violence and environmental justifiability are too much to ask for
Thanks a lot for the suggestions, though. I'll give them a try anyway.
What about stories where the underdog wins? "Red indians" or freedom-fighter types? David and Goliath etc? Anyone got any good suggestions?
Why not just let him enjoy these things for now without adding your "but..." every time? He's only 4 - he has plenty of time to learn later that power can be used negatively as well as positively.
Just let him enjoy big fast powerful machinery - it's one of those things which small boys just seem to like. The fact that you don't "get it" doesn't make it wrong, or something to be lukewarm about.
Do you feel you can go down the superhero route? Spiderman, Batman saving the world and overcoming baddies?
Being a girl I struggled with this a bit too, but eventually even got persuaded to dress up as cat woman and play batman with ds and his friends
Athletes and sports men and women in general?
I think you've miss understood me, AMumInScotland, I'm not subjecting him to a lecture on ethics every time he wants to play aeroplanes. I'm just letting him get on with it really. It's more that I feel he picks up on the fact that I am lukewarm about some things, and it seems a shame.
Seeing as I'm not going to start pretending I think military aircraft and guns are as cool as he does, I'm looking for some alternatives, and finding it quite sad that most of the stuff available to feed this particular "need" seems to be to do with violence and/or excessive fossil fuel consumption - neither of which rate that highly with me.
I just want him to feel good about being male (if that's what it's about) without having to lie too much about my own feelings. But it's fair enough if you think I'm getting my knickers in a twist over nothing.
The superheroes and sportspeople ideas are really interesting. I was thinking about sport too. (For some reason I tend to think everything has an evolutionary explanation - and I guess in this case it's really about physical strength and prowess, isn't it?) Perhaps feeling more competent physically himself would diminish the importance of the "props". And I think the superheroes might be helpful too because they offer a way round the feelings of impotence that a small child must often have. Better start sewing myself a suit!
BFQi - many rockets (eg, the Space Shuttle's main engines) are powered by a mix of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. No fossil fuels. Admittedly not all rockets use such fuels; the shuttle's solid rocket boosters use a mix of ammonium chloride and aluminium.
As for not understanding the value of exploration... Well, um, I'm not quite sure how to respond to that. The desire to see what's over the next horizon has been a fairly basic human drive for quite a while now.
Snorbs, must tell you that we were in town this afternoon and DS had a little bit of money saved up which he wanted to spend in the toy shop. In the end (and without any suggestions from me) he chose a model space shuttle, paid for it at the counter and carried it all the way home looking prouder than I think I've ever seen him! He went to sleep happily with it on his bedside table, and I told him I knew a good film I could show him in the morning
I don't think space exploration is ever going to excite me - sorry - but thanks all the same. I've found the thread really helpful.
BFQi, you're doomed, I'm afraid. I have had to simulate interest, successively, in railway engines, Bionicles, Exo-Force, Runescape and Pokemon. I can't fake interest very well. (Okay, I actually got hooked on Runescape myself, but I can't talk about it incessantly for hours on end, unlike DS.) So at some point you just have to say 'I'm glad you find it interesting' and try to move on.
I'm only grateful that DS has the same level of interest in professional sport as I do (ie none at all) or I think I might have lost the will to live altogether...
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