When and How to Discuss With Children

When and How to Discuss With Children

This is a discussion on When and How to Discuss With Children within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was introduced to guns at such a young age I can't remember. Hunting and shooting were almost a way of life when I was ...

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Thread: When and How to Discuss With Children

  1. #1
    Member Array jrjensen's Avatar
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    When and How to Discuss With Children

    I was introduced to guns at such a young age I can't remember. Hunting and shooting were almost a way of life when I was a kid. My dad and grandpa taught me the ropes and I got my first .22 at 7 years old. I have a one year old daughter and while it may seem like I'm considering this a little early, she's growing so fast I can't believe she's already one and ready to start walking and talking. My shotgun and carry pistol are always loaded in the house (she cannot currently access them), but someday she will know where they are and what they are. My current plan is to introduce her the exact same whay I was introduced. Take her shooting. My big concern is that today's society has changed so much and I'm worried what her teachers, friends, friends parents might say or do. If she goes shooting with me or I start teaching her gun safety practices and she goes to school and says "my dad took me shooting" or "my dad taught me how to shoot guns this weekend" should I be worried that schools will turn this in to a big deal? Should I be worried OCS is gonna come knocking on my door?

    A seperate question altogether....... should she know that I carry concealed every day?

    Ultimately I will do what I feel is best, but I would like some insight and ideas of what you folks did with your kids.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Array mulle46's Avatar
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    From your location, I doubt children services would be called, just because she said in school that dad took me shooting. About telling her about concealed carry, that depends on whether you can accept the fact that she may spill the beans about CC, if you keep it a secret from family/friends so YMMV.
    You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Crowman's Avatar
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    There is not one age to introduce a child to weapons. Keep in mind the younger the child the shorter the attention span. As for informing the child that you conceal carry unless there is a real need to know I wouldn't tell them.
    Piratesailor likes this.
    "One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation."
    --Thomas B. Reed, American Attorney

    Second Amendment -- Established December 15, 1791 and slowly eroded ever since What happened to "..... shall not be infringed."

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    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    My kids are 1, 3, and almost 5. They have no idea that I carry a gun. They know that there are such things as guns, and they talk about "booming" "bad guys" sometimes - they know it is a way of protecting yourself. But they haven't been shooting yet, don't have the attention span for it yet, don't watch cartoons or movies with guns in them....so their exposure is pretty limited. My oldest is starting to have the attention span to listen to more detailed explanations - soon she will be learning to read. I think learning to shoot will be a good reward for learning to read....but time will tell. I'm not going to rush into it with them. But I will definitely be getting one of those little Chipmunk rifles - with a threaded barrel! You know....for the kids...

    As for how - there will be a lot of talking, a lot of safety, a lot of supervision. I do most new things that way. They won't be running around the yard with 10/22s anytime soon.

    Austin

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array BamaT's Avatar
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    I was much like you, in that guns were a way of life growing up. Guns were kept in the open, and we were taught about them from an early age. I did the same with my son. I began teaching him when he was 3, let him shoot a .22 at 6, and maybe 4 or so years later he was making regular range trips with me. He's 26 now and we go shooting together as much as we can, and shoot IDPA matches together. I taught my daughter about guns, and have taken her to shoot, but she has zero interest in the shooting sports, but at least she knows something about guns.

    In my opinion it's better to teach them early. Personally, I feel that as long as you are responsible in how you approach children's gun education it shouldn't be a problem. It wouldn't in my area anyway.
    DaveH likes this.
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  6. #6
    Member Array GunsAndViolince's Avatar
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    Interesting issue. I told my oldest child about 6 months ago after it was clear she could keep a secret. I didn't want her blabbing out in the store, "Daddy, did you bring your gun today?" She's 7 now and doing very well with it. I also didn't want her talking too much at school about guns being in our house. We live in a great community and it would probably be absolutely fine, but should one of her friends tell, say, a relative of unsavory character, that there were guns to be found at a certain residence, well, that is to be avoided if possible.

    The biggest issue for us, actually, turned out to be finding something she could shoot when she sort of suddenly expressed an interest. I tried letting her shoot an air rifle, as well as the 10/22, but she is really to small to handle them comfortably and it was frustrating for her. But, we found a CO 2 air pistol that she can handle really well. She surprised even me with her accuracy. Of course, being a pistol she is only allowed to use it under very, very close supervision, but she listens well to directions, has committed safe handling rules to memory and has tons of fun shooting now.

    Anyway, it sounds like you'll be fine. But if she ever does tell anyone and you get questions from a proponent of the Nanny State, just be prepared to put their fears to rest by explaining to them how you store the guns safely, etc. I have a safe downstairs for long guns and small safe under the bed so when my .45 isn't at 3 o'clock, it's in one of those two places. Having said that, I'm sure I could leave my pistol on the counter and the kid would never touch it, but I never do that personally and I'm sure some 'Anti-' wouldn't like to hear that as part of our gun safety practices at home since they don't trust us to handle weapons either. Ugh.

    Cheers,

    Gav

  7. #7
    Member Array MASSIVE's Avatar
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    I'd consult Eddie Eagle (seriously). They (the NRA) have to have some sort of interesting thoughts on this sort of stuff...

    Personally? I wish I would've introduced it all much earlier (I was shooting small caliber when I was 8 or 9). I finally took my daughter (10) out with the "tactical 22" over the summer -- She tore it up. Worst shot was on the 8/9 ring (25 yds.). That said -- She doesn't know I carry even around the house. THAT said, I wish she did (mom's pretty hip, but still a bit of a stick-in-the-mud about it). THAT said, I've driven it home pretty hard that if she sees, she doesn't touch and she tells (someone like me).
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    Member Array jrjensen's Avatar
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    Although I wish my hometown was the same as it was 20 years ago, it's not. I still can't fathom that over 40% of Alaskans voted "blue", but we get more and more west coast folks moving up here every year. One of my friend's daughters (8 at the time) came home and told her dad that her teacher told her that it was "evil" and "wrong" to shoot and eat animals when she told her teacher she was going hunting with the family. He came unglued on the teacher (rightfully so), but nothing ever came of it.

    I don't expect that my daughter will be interested in shooting/guns, but I at least want her to know the basics of safety and to not be afraid of them. If she shows additional interest, well, I may have to get one of them chipmunks with a threaded barrel as well.

    Thanks for the input. I didn't really think too much about the attention span, but I suppose I would have once she gets older and develops more of a personality. I expecially like the idea of using shooting as a reward for learning to read.

  9. #9
    Ex Member Array Piratesailor's Avatar
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    Good thread. My young daughter knows that I have guns and shoot. We have talked about it, discussed safety and thought about taking her to the range. She's 10 and pretty mature for her age (biased). I do keep them in a quick access safe though.

    I carry all the time and I don't mention it to her, or anyone for that matter. My wife knows I carry. I don't hide it from my daughter but I done out it out front either. Put on the holster/gun in private, not in front of the family. My concern would be that in the wrong situation she would say something out loud about my gun.

    I keep it concealed..

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    If you carry every day your kids are going to know, But like your wallet or keys how often do your kids comment on them? At some point you will have to tell them that not everyone carries every day, and we don't talk about those that don't or cant! DR
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    Member Array Blackheart6's Avatar
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    My kids are 10, 7, & 5. They all know I carry (I don't know how you could hide it with hugs, etc), we have safety talks/rule reminders every 4 months or so. They know what to do if they find a gun (don't touch, get Dad or Mom), and I will "test" them once a year or so by unloading and leaving one out, filming the room and leaving. They have never touched it, though they will stare at it for a good ten seconds before getting us.

    They know what to do if they are with a friend that has a gun or wants to show their parents gun off.

    I explain that we don't talk to anyone but family about guns. And they've never brought it up in public.

    My ten year old has a BB/pellet gun he has shot since 8 years old. I got him a .22 two Christmas' ago and he is safe and a good shot. I feel like I could leave him on the rifle range alone (I don't).

    The seven year old shoots a pink BB gun she asked for as a gift.

    Discuss the ground rules with your significant other, then hold a family meeting. Have your gun out on the table (unloaded),talk about it, let them handle it to get the curiosity out, and discuss the rules. My take is, you can't hide anything from kids, so get it out in the open and everyone will be safer.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array velo99's Avatar
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    I had "the talk" with my girls when they were very young. A couple of years ago, as teenagers, I started them shooting my pistols. Safety,scenarios and technical aspects of various types of firearms.

    It's nice to take them to my LGS and let them handle various types of guns. My friend that owns the store has kids about the same age and he talks directly to them about the guns they like. Nice to have another voice helping me guide them along the road.
    We have different gifts,according to the grace given to each of us.

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    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    Good advice. I'll second Eddie Eagle and repeatedly reinforcing the lessons - one time ain't gonna get 'er done. Don't forget about youth stocks for guns you already have for the little ones from Ramline, Brownell's, Midway - Brownell's has a youth stock for the 10/22 with a 11.25" LOP.

    Awesome so many girls are being introduced to guns at such young ages.
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  14. #14
    Member Array uscarry45's Avatar
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    I would not tell her at 7 that you carry everyday, but I would start talking about the reasons why people carry -- start with the very basics and tell her why a policeman has a firearm.

    I highly suggest making a conscious effort to talk with her when everyday things happen. For instance if their is something on the news, or television show that sparks a thought then start talking.

    As for your concern that she might tell her teachers or friends -- I would begin with putting yourself in the shoes of someone who is not familiar or is opposed to guns. So you could start by saying that while some people are afraid of firearms I have one because. Encourage lots of questions. and Good Luck

  15. #15
    New Member Array Gumbo's Avatar
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    No kids for me, but I am an active uncle of a 5 year old girl.

    Her father (my brother) and I taught her about firearms when she was three. She knows the four rules by hear, as well as Eddie Eagles rules. She has never actually fired or held an assembled gun, but she knows to never pick one up until either myself or my brother gives an OK.

    One time her father, myself, and her stopped by a gun store and she actually called out an employee for not checking/clearing the gun before handing it over the counter... made us both very proud.

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