Do You Let Your Kids Play With Water Guns (or, What Toys Don’t You Let Your Kids Play With?)?

Do You Let Your Kids Play With Water Guns and Other Toy Weapons: A Discussion with Working Moms

It’s the season for outdoor water fun — swimming, running through sprinklers, etc. — so we thought it would be a good time to ask: Do you let your kids play with water guns and other toy weapons, such as Nerf guns? For his birthday last year, my son got one of those giant, Super Soaker-type of water guns (from a classmate), and this year for his birthday he received a Nerf gun (also from a friend — not us). He’s been asking for a Nerf gun for a long time and was so excited to get one. The kids’ parents didn’t know that we hadn’t given him any toy guns (I’m not a big fan), and in the end, we’ve let him play with the gifts (although we do have rules, such as “Don’t ever aim them at people or animals”).working moms discuss whether they let their kids play with water guns or other gun toys

If you want to keep your kids away from toy guns, a total ban seems impossible. If you prohibit them from playing with water guns and other weapon-like toys, won’t they just go and use them at a friend’s house and/or get invited to a “Nerf Wars” type of party for a friend’s birthday? (My son, who’s in primary school, has gone to two so far.) Or does it make a difference if you personally show your disapproval? Some parents just give up and go along with with the (stereotypical) reasoning that “Boys will turn anything into a gun anyway.” If we give our kids water guns and so on, should that enter at all into our conversations with them about, for example, why their school has lockdown drills? Do kids really look at violence or guns any differently when they play with toy guns.

I’ll admit that I haven’t been motivated enough to do any Googling about the effects of playing with toy guns, and whether my uneasiness is warranted — and when I finally did, er, today, I learned that research hasn’t found a link between violent play as a child and violent behavior as an adult. Many studies have drawn conclusions like that of this one, as summarized by Slate: “[W]hen kids incorporate violence into their pretend play, they may learn how to control real violent impulses and regulate their emotions.”

So, do tell: Do you let your kids play with water guns and other toy weapons? If not, why — and if so, what are your ground rules (and the conversations you’ve had with your kids about them)? Have you bought things like water guns or Nerf guns for your kids’ friends? If you prohibit toy guns at home and your child receives one as a gift (or gets one in a party favor bag) what do you do, and how do you explain it to your child? 

Further Reading:

  • It’s Fine for Kids to Play With Pretend Guns [Slate]
  • Why Boys Love Guns, and What to Do About It [CNN]
  • Boys and Guns: What’s a Parent to Do? [PBS Parents]
  • Weapons Ban: Just How Bad Are Toy Guns for Kids? [ParentMap]
  • Keeping Kids From Toy Guns: How One Mother Changed Her Mind [The Atlantic]

Pictured: Deposit Photos / leon_traut.

The Best Maternity Dresses for Work

the best maternity dresses for workIf you’re far enough along in your pregnancy that you’ve outgrown your regular-sized, old-standby work dresses and have realized you need to expand your maternity work wardrobe to actual maternity wear, fear not — today we’re rounding up the best maternity sheath dresses for work, many of which we’ve included over the years in our regular maternity workwear recommendations. We’re featuring options from the more affordable end of the spectrum (a possible strategy if you’re planning to be one-and-done) to higher-quality maternity dresses that will last you through two or three (or more) pregnancies.

What are your favorite maternity dresses for work? Do you ever choose double-duty styles that are meant for pregnancy and nursing? When you buy maternity dresses, do you tend to buy a few that are higher-quality or buy a bunch of less expensive ones? (Does it depend on how many kids you plan to have?) Which of your “regular” dresses have been particularly pregnancy-friendly? What do you think are the best maternity dresses for work?

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The Best Free YouTube Workouts for Working Moms

Searching YouTube for “workouts” brings up more than 35 million results, and since you probably don’t want to spend time weeding through too many of those, today we’re highlighting the best free YouTube workouts for working moms. Although we’ve previously discussed fitting in exercise as a working mom (including how to find time to work out as a mom, quick workouts for busy moms, and the best prenatal exercise and workout DVDs), we haven’t specifically recommended YouTube channels with free workouts. It’s so convenient to have access to workouts of any length, type, and fitness level, and then immediately watch any that you choose, from traditional strength training and cardio workouts to, say, a “yoga-barre hybrid” or hip hop Tabata.

Here are some of the best free YouTube workouts for working moms:youtube workouts for working moms - image of home exercise equipment

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Family Friday: Soft Booster Seat

When your kid gets too old for a high chair or a booster seat with straps (we liked this one from Graco), this booster seat from Prince Lionheart is a great option. We like it so much that we’re on our second one — we got the first when our son was 6, and now that he’s almost 8, we’ve bought a replacement. (The first seat got a crack on it, but I think that two years isn’t too bad, considering that he uses it two to three times a day, every day.) My son is about 4 feet tall, so he’s not really too short to sit on a chair without anything on top — and yes, he’s 8 years old — but the extra height helps, and he likes the slightly squishy seat more than the wooden chairs we have at the table. The booster is pretty easy to clean and comes in brown, dark gray, pink, blue, orange, and green. (Not all colors are available at Amazon right now.) It’s $24–$35 and Prime eligible, and it offers free returns on everything but the brown. Prince Lionheart Soft Booster Seat

This post contains affiliate links and CorporetteMoms may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

How to Decide If You’re Ready for a Pet

It can be easy to add a dog, cat, or other animal to the family without truly knowing how to decide if you’re ready for a pet — or thoroughly considering the typical pros and cons. For example, living with cats has helped my son learn about pet care and has led him to love cats like we do, but it brings frustrations, too — for one, I can’t think how many times I’ve reminded him not to leave anything lying around that could be dangerous if the cats eat it (including toys with string or wires, craft supplies, and so on). My son wears velcro shoes, but I’m not looking forward to the switch to shoelaces — one of our cats, Diego, loves to eat them (which is why we can never leave sneakers out). He also likes to drink my son’s milk and steal his toast, pizza, etc., so I can’t leave those things on the table unsupervised. I also don’t like to think about how much we spend on their premium food and cat litter.

Pets can add almost as much frustration to the household as the love they bring, so here are some tips on how to decide if you’re ready for a pet:  [Read more…]

Family Friday: Foogo Insulated Stainless Steel 10-Ounce Food Jar

A couple of weeks ago, my son stopped wanting sandwiches in his lunch, and he never wants to buy lunch at school — so I bought this Thermos container to send him with hot food. I picked it because it has great reviews at Amazon, and it’s worked really well. My son has brought pasta, mini pancakes, and rice & beans to school so far, and all of them have stayed warm. (It’s supposed to keep food warm for five hours, and he eats his lunch about four hours after I pack it. Before I put the food in, I boil water and put it in the container to warm it up.) It’s small enough to fit in his lunch bag, and it’s dishwasher safe. There are several colors and designs, ranging from $12.84 to $17.99, and it’s eligible for Prime. (Thermos also makes Foogo straw bottles and sippy cups). Thermos Foogo Insulated Stainless Steel 10-Ounce Food Jar

This post contains affiliate links and CorporetteMoms may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!