Unschooling Weapons

Over the last few months Devin has had a growing interest in real weapons. He has always liked weapons and he has had many toy swords and Nerf guns over the years, but he’s almost a teenager now and things are evolving. It took me a while to get to a place of being totally comfortable seeing him using such dangerous things that I have never had the confidence to experience myself. However, now that I have witnessed what a capable, and careful person he has grown to be, I have shifted from fear to complete trust in regards to his growing passion.

Devin respects and appreciates the information we offer him because we are not threatening punishment, or treating him disrespectfully in our communication with him about safety. As Unschooling parents, we choose not to be the wall between our children and their desires. We do not get locked into power struggles, and instead choose to help our kids get what they want in life, whatever it is.

Helping kids get what they want in life runs to contrary to our cultures predominant message of control and lack. Shifting to a yes life of connection and abundance takes courage and conviction. It is a revolutionary approach to parenting.

Living this life is really different than conventional parenting, because we are our kids partners in life and in living this way I believe our children are much safer than kids whose parents place limits and control their choices. Our kids never have a reason to sneak around, lie, cheat, steal or do things they wouldn’t naturally do, all for a struggle for autonomy. Unschooled kids are themselves in the purest form and their interests are an extension of who they are!

Joe built Devin a safe place to practice using his arsenal outside, complete with a dart board handing on a tree to practice using his Chinese throwing stars safely. He has got a few small cuts once or twice by his butterfly knife learning to swing it around, but, he learns a new level of respect for his weapons the more he uses them. He told us that small injuries are all part of learning. What an insight!

This is a new area of interest that I have had to grow and learn from myself. I’m finding as my children get older and their passions shift to more and more complicated topics, I need to sometimes extensively research the topic myself to be able to facilitate their interest to the level that they desire. The Radical Unschooling life is not for the lazy parent! It is a journey of constant rethinking, reevaluating, researching, stretching and growing.

I wouldn’t change our lives for the world! I love this role and no matter what our kids are interested in we will always be there to support and facilitate their passions in life, without judgement, control or fear. I trust my children and will always respect who they are and facilitate their freedom and growth, no matter what their interest.



  1. It’s a GOOD thing for children to become comfortable with weapons, I say, the younger the better. Even a butter knife in the hands of a 4 year old is good training for future use. My kids are trained with bb guns, airsoft, and when they care to, .22’s at targets. One never knows when one will have to hunt their own food. Each time one of mine asks, I show him my pistols, how they work, and what they are capable of. Otherwise they are locked unless I am with them. It’s the law, and a necessary one.
    I don’t worry that they will cut their arms off with a knife, they are not stupid, they can well feel how sharp they are.
    When my then 6 year old asked me if he would hurt himself if he touched the stove, I said, yes, it hurts, it will leave a burn for several days. He then reached out and touched it, leaving a burn that lasted, well, several days. He had to find out for himself, and was very careful thereafter lol. Would I let my 6 yr old daughter take the lit, glass oil lamp up the stairs into her room by herself when the power was out? Absolutely not. Especially since she sleep walks. Because, like them, I am also not stupid. Each parent has to use their judgement, it’s part of how kids learn it.
    Safety rules are universal; don’t shoot when the dog is around, or your brother. Don’t load a mag or chamber a round until you are ready to shoot. Don’t shoot your brother point blank in the chest with the airsoft rifle (yes, they need to know that, little brother doesn’t appreciate it lol). But there’s times when they have to learn things because it gnaws at them, and the worst thing about NOT learning, is always wishing you had.
    My daughter wants to take up the sword at karate, and I am all for it. How I envy their youth and passion!!

  2. Thanks so much for posting this! My 11 year old also decided to study weapons this year, so I just plunged in and helped him find the things he needed. He’s being so careful and responsible (not normally traits he has expressed before). I have been amazed at his growth in maturity and self-esteem since we started this a month ago. Now he knows I won’t balk, he has slowed down and wants to spend more time on each type. He’s gone through a real bow and arrow, and now he is interested in the trebuchet. I’m really proud of him.

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