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December 14, 2007



I think you are right. I don't have boys, but I don't allow violence, real or pretend. And as for him being hard to buy for, I think it's a requirement to have one child you can't buy for.


I think it's okay. The point isnt to teach kids not to fight EVER or that violence is bad, its to teach them right from wrong and what is appropriate. Playing with a blow-up clown punching bag whose purpose is to be punched is appropriate. Punching his sister isnt...
But of course, I just got finished reading Eldridge's "Wild at Heart"... you should read it if you're dealing with boys in your house!!

Sincerely Anna

Oh my goodness, that clown needs to be punched :) I agree with Nikki, teaching boys to be appropriate with WHEN and WHERE they show aggression (a boy trait that we can't deny is innate), is the key. Some boys are more inclined to this type of play (mine included) and I think offering healthy outlets is important. The boxing gloves even would be fun. Make it a game of fun but teach limits like not hitting certain places or that when Mom, Dad, or Ariel says "that's enough" the game stops.

Sara T

Colin has one...but its not one that says...hey punch here. LOL! But it just has Lightening McQueen on it. I thought the same thing as you...would it promote violence? Doug convinced me to get it since he had one when he was younger. And so far...zero, zip, zelch, nada violence. He mostly thinks it is a giant balloon. He thinks its funny when it falls and comes back up.
So since racecar (LOL) is the same age as Colin...I thought I would share with you what I am buying him. Plus they always seem to be the same kid. So here is his list...keep in mind it also includes his bday:
scooter (they make them with 3 wheels for their age..looks cool)
his first skates
Whiz kid (it has an electronic pen to point to different educational games...he loved it at the store)
Little People Construction set
LOTS of Geotrax stuff (I am telling you...they LOVE this! Ask Jenn.)
V-smile games (he loves these games...they are great)
Lite brite (can you believe they are only $10 now??? Crazy)
Lots of arts and crafts stuff (my boy loves to do stuff like that with me)
Hot Wheels 4 lane raceway (it says its for 5 and up...but no clue why...you just race the cars)
And some games like Cariboo, Elefun, ants in the pants, etc.

Ok...that is the master list...some other things but that is the jist. Hope it helps a little. I had a lot of trouble with Colin last year...but this year is alot easier. Geotrax were my life saver last year and the vsmile game system.


I bought Carson a Spiderman blow up punching bag along with matching boxing gloves for one of his Christmas gifts this year. I almost did not, but I figure this is a great way to guide his aggression and I totally see myself taking advantage of it as well. Win-win situation if you ask me.

When it was just Taylor I would have NEVER bought anything to do with punching or shooting, etc. But once you have more than one boy things change and we come to realize some boys are into rougher play than others. Plus it's completely normal.

If this interests Racecar then go for it. Don't be afraid. You just have to have those ground rules.


First of all I love your blog! I have to say that I don't think that would promote violence. The way you raise him is what's important in teaching him to live a non-violent life. And from reading how you mother, I don't think they'll grow up to be violent! Oh, and if you don't get that gift it makes them want it more. It may just be a stage and in your yard sale next year! LOL Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Minivan Mom

Oh Beth...I feel your pain.

And you know that I do.

I have wrestled with this over the years, as a committed pacifist AND the mother of 2 boys (and a girl, but luckily, she hasn't shown a propensity for violence yet. Just all things pink and girlie. Which is almost as bad).

I think you have to really decide what you can live with. When the boys were young (ie Racecar's age and younger) I swore nothing, NOTHING, remotely related to violence and/or weaponry would be tolerated.

Then I slowly started to slip...first it was the Harry Potter wands, which I got for Halloween costumes, and which they use to duel magic duels. Okay, I can live with that.

Then it was begging for the Jedi light sabers, which I held out for quite some time, and then thought long and hard and decided that since it wasn't "real" (ie, the violence was make believe in that there are not REAL light sabers) I let them have it.

I held out against water guns for 7 years, until Bailey went to karate camp this past summer, and every other week they had "water gun wars". Not wanting him to be the only kid without a water gun, I reluctantly gave him one.

So as you can see...my stance has loosened over the years. Especially with 2 boys close in age, the wrestling is CONSTANT in my house. I would literally be in a straitjacket if I prohibited all man-to-man combat.

What do I still hold fast to? No guns (except water guns). No Pirates of the Caribbean swords. Not even pointing a finger and "pretending" to shoot a gun, even if that gun is your hand. No "I'm going to kill you", even said in jest. No overly violent video games.

I'm trying. Most importantly, I talk with Bailey about the war, and how I'm against war, and how I don't think war should be the answer...how can we teach our young ones to "use their words" if the leaders of the world can't?

So I'm trying. But I understand your dilemma.

And notice I didn't give you an answer on the boxing. I don't have a good one. I let Bailey do karate, but his Master talks ALL the time about how it is for self defense and how you NEVER use it to fight on the playground, or with siblings, etc. If there was not that cultivated respect for the martial art, I would not let him do it.


I feel your pain.

The Chatty Housewife

I think that if you have qualms about something, and it ultimately doesn't matter that much in life (it's just a TOY after all) a disappointment for your son now is much better than regret later. I would tell your son why he is not going to get boxing gloves ahead of time, and try to put other ideas into his head. It might save a blow-up at Christmas when he realized he didn't get them. Maybe a walk through a sporting goods store is in order? Or a learning type toy store?

Stay strong, stick with your gut!


Ok, so your post is making me think of the picture w have with me and Brian posing, practically hugging our Darth Vadar punching bag one Easter in the 70s! And while I remember the picture, I don't remember ever playing with the punching bag.

Anyway, if you're not comfortable with it, I wouldn't buy it.


Oh, thanks for posting this. My just-4-year-old wants GeoTrax, badly, but otherwise, is all about boxing gloves and "things for fighting." I am bewildered as to this uncontrollable urge he has to punch out at things as a first response to frustration as we are in a Quaker town and he even attended a Friends preschool! And I remember having a punching clown but unlike my son, I didn't have a little brother...tough to navigate. Thanks for putting your thoughts out there!


I don't have the right answer, but if you as a mommy don't feel it's time yet for him to have one, then wait on it. Talk more about it with him on how to control his hands and body when it comes to "boxing, punching, playing".

If you feel better about then, maybe it can come from the Easter Bunny?


Well. This is from a mom who lets her son play with toy guns. so consider the source. But I think boxing gloves are totally appropriate for a little boy. How fun! Of course, I agree with the other commenters who say to teach him when and where (and WHOM) it is appropriate to punch. But boys are innately drawn to physical (and yes, violent) games, and I wouldn't want to totally squelch that.


Well, my kids acquired a wonderful pair of boxing gloves from somewhere....I seem to think someone "slipped" them into a bag of hand me down clothes. Now, I don't recall them ever getting violent with them, but I do know that I HATE them and I can't wait to slip them into the next person's hand me down clothes bag! I think it would be easy for you to find something else that Racecar would like just as much if you aren't comfortable with him possibly becoming the next Mohammed Ali or Rocky Balboa. Yo Adrian!

New Diva on the Blog

I do understand your hesitation, I felt the same way when my son was little about getting him play swords, guns, etc. However, my husband won and we got him some of those things over the years. He had a blast with them playing pirates etc. He was never allowed to point the guns at a person and never allowed to "stab" anyone with swords...just dueling. Anyway, he has mostly outgrown them at this point. It didn't, in my opinion, foster aggression. He is an awesome kid. Besides, prior to buying the toys he would build his own swords out of his Tinker Toys, so where there is a will there is a way! ;)


I feel your pain and with 2 sons have had to make this same exact decision with one of them and 2 nephews. But no matter what "advice" you get from others ultimately the decision is yours. Think about it and pray about it and then go with your gut. Parenting isn't an exact science, it is a life time of hard, harder, & hardest decisions!


I kind of consider myself an expert on this subject, having 5 boys ranging from age 9 to almost 18.

I've found things like this do in fact divert agression. Boys naturally have more raw agression than girls and need to get it out.

I've told mine time and time again, if you feel the need to punch someone, go to your room and let your pillow have it. It keeps them from punching each other. You'd be surprised at how many fights with brothers it has saved. lol. And keeps me from having to referee so much. Now if I could just figure out how to keep them from calling each other names ...


Ya know what?

I thought about this more over the weekend.

If you were to give him a punching bag such as this. There could be benefits. For boys, who are usually more clumsy, it could help with large motor skills and hand eye coordination.

Just sayin'


passionate housewife

Goodness Gracious sweetie! Buy him the boxing gloves and a blowup clown to hit!
And then go buy yourself the book "Wild at heart" :)
I can attest to all the same feelings you had when my 2 eldest sons were little. They are now 12 and 9 and are non-violent, non-aggressive, yet very nurturing boys!
We are a weapon, wrestling friendly house!
Gasp! I know, but before you go a judgin'- re-read the amazing stories in the old testament. Your boy wants to be one of Davids mighty men, now its yours and your husbands job to equip and train him to have a heart for God like David!
p.s. my children don't get to play ANY video games, or watch any television.
p.p.s just found your blog, will be back! :)


I have girls, one of whom is a hitter by nature and may very well ask for boxing gloves when she's older...

My brothers both had boxing gloves while growing up, and my dad said they could ONLY use them when "boxing" with him, or with a punching bag. My dad taught them how to box - how to take a swing - and how to defend themselves, too. Any other use and they were taken away or some other consequence followed. Outright fighting was not tolerated, either. To this day, neither one of them have been violent - either during adolescence or as adults - but they certainly could defend themselves if they had to.


How about the Rock'em Sock'em robots game? He would probably enjoy that just as much and it is something he and his Dad can play during boys only time!

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