Tag Archives: Prince George

Vogue magazine asks, “Should we still let children play with toy guns?”

It’s the “Classic Mother BB Gun Block.”

Pro-tip for the women cited in this article: We have THOUSANDS of strict gun laws already on the books. The problem is enforcement and those darn criminals who don’t obey them.

And if you’re interested in teaching your child about proper firearm safety instead of an irrational fear, there are LOTS of resources available. For example, see here, here, here, here, here and here.

From Yahoo (originally from Vogue): Over the weekend, on a party supplies run at Flying Tiger, the charming Danish discount store, my 4-year-old daughter’s eyes sparkled at the sight of a neon-color water gun. “Can I have that?” she asked—the same question she’d repeated at the sight of the modeling clay and princess crowns and silly straws.

I wavered for a beat. I’d come of age in the late ’80s and ’90s—the height of the backyard Super Soaker battle. And before that water gun became the hottest ticket at Toys “R” Us, my brother and I had wielded tiny green plastic water pistols filled and refilled with rudimentary plugs, sneakily shooting each other in the eyes. I remember all of this as pure, absurd fun.

“No,” I told my daughter, and briskly steered her on.

I offered no explanation in the moment—and I hadn’t really turned the question over in my head before—but my gut gave me my answer: that I didn’t want to introduce her to this or any other gun in a world that already seemed to be teeming with them in movies and video games, on TV and, most of all, on the news. Her fleeting interest in the toy gun was innocent, but, sadly, my view of it no longer was.

The water gun fights my brother and I used to have in the summer were from another era, maybe even another world—before Columbine and Parkland; Orlando and Sutherland Springs; and before these much-covered mass shootings rightfully reminded the public of the regularly occurring violence in lower socioeconomic and minority communities.

Back then, guns might have been just toys; now, it’s impossible for me not to see them as charged with the trauma of recent events.

I considered that same question again today—should we let our children play with toy guns at a time when the U.S. is grappling with the impact of gun violence?—when I saw the pictures of Prince George holding a rather realistic-looking black toy gun at an English polo match over the weekend. Part of the debate over toy guns has hinged on distinguishing them, clearly, as toys—so as never to be mistaken for the real thing. There are state laws, including one in New York, requiring toy guns be brightly colored, as opposed to black, aluminum, or silver. Perhaps for this reason, the photos stood out: to some eyes, the prince’s looked eerily like a real pistol.

“I gasped when I saw the photos,” an American friend said on Facebook.

And she has a reason to: America has a gun violence homicide rate that is 25 times higher than that of other developed countries, according to Everytown for Gun Safety; we outrank all other countries in the number of mass shootings that occur here; we own an estimated half of all civilian guns worldwide. A child wielding a toy gun in the U.K., where firearms are much harder to obtain, arouses a different sense of shock or unease than they might in America, though no less alarming—remember the brouhaha when Pippa Middleton’s friend pointed a firearm out of their convertible at a paparazzi?

There’s also the matter of who’s holding the toy gun. “The photo of Prince George juxtaposed with the story of Tamir Rice, a young black boy killed by police in Ohio because he had a toy gun in hand is an important part of the racial and white supremacy dynamics at play here,” Erika Soto Lamb, the founding and former head of communications for Everytown and Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety and a mother of two sons, ages 5 and 7, told Vogue. “It’s not safe for a black child in America to play with toy guns.”

Soto Lamb is a Texas native who was raised around real guns; she grew up playing cops and robbers and revering A Christmas Story—the irreverent classic in which mischievous young Ralphie Parker dreams of his very own BB gun. But she does not allow her two sons to play with toy guns of any kind. While at Everytown and Moms Demand Action, “when my life was a daily deluge of news stories about gun violence in America, and working with mothers whose children had been killed, it was simply untenable to come home and hand my children guns to play with,” Soto Lamb said.

When I began asking other parents today about kids and toy guns, many echoed her uneasiness. “My daughter is just 3, but I don’t think a gun can be an innocent toy in this day and age,” Anna Davies, a fellow writer in Jersey City, New Jersey, told me. “It’s much easier to just not have them in our lives.”

Another friend said she was “uncomfortable” when her 5-year-old daughter recently received a toy water gun in a birthday party goodie bag. One mother stealthily returned a “machine-gun” toy loaded with foam pellets that her son received at his own birthday party. “It was designed to look like the real deal,” she said. “I was so horrified, I immediately stashed it away while he was busy tearing into his other gifts.”

I can hear the other side now: that parents denying their kids toy guns are overthinking this. That a toy is still just a toy. But if Barbies arguably possess the power to body shame little girls, and princesses can mess with their sense of independence, then can’t guns, even if just subliminally, sanction violence? “I believe we have a cultural problem with guns in this country, and I don’t want to normalize the use of them,” Kathy Healy Champion, a mother of three in Connecticut, said. She doesn’t allow her children to play with toy guns. “I see it as a step in the right direction.”

After Sandy Hook, Soto Lamb says she began to view A Christmas Story through a different lens: “I realized that America’s problem with gun violence goes deeper than any laws, there is a cultural shift that needs to happen,” she said. “We give them blocks to inspire them to be builders, we give them paint to inspire artistic expression . . . what are we feeding our children, in the metaphorical sense, when we hand them toy guys to play with?

It doesn’t have to be a real gun to spark debate: According to Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter, even emoji guns carry a certain charge that doesn’t necessarily belong in our texts or tweets: all of those companies scrapped their original gun emojis in favor of “water guns.” The TSA—Transportation Security Administration—recommends toy guns be packed with checked baggage; it bans “squirt guns, Nerf guns, toy swords, or other items that resemble realistic firearms or weapons.”

For some parents, the question of how to handle toy guns is ongoing—some allow just water guns and only of the bright-colored variety. Others have nuanced rules—that toy guns should never be pointed at people or used to pretend-kill someone. (But, then again, that’s usually the point of a gun, whether real or fake.) Some parents say the decision isn’t easy—one mother reluctantly allows her sons to partake in paintball gunning, so as not to make them feel left out among friends. The hardest part for Soto Lamb is banning water guns. “Water guns are really so fun, but let’s be honest, Super Soakers are basically assault weapon–style water guns,” she said. “We make do with water blasters”—long tubes with no trigger—“and water balloons.”

Several parents told me their concerns about toy guns tend to get dwarfed by their worry over real gun violence. Responding to some online backlash about Prince George’s toy gun, Davies said, “I wish the outrage would continue to be directed at the NRA, not Prince George and the royal family. Maybe if we lived in a society that had strict gun laws, our toddlers could also play with pretend guns. I think it’s actually something to aspire to—let’s become a society where guns are just as fantastical as lightsabers.”

DCG

US schools to pick up on the UK trend to ban the term “best friends?”

inclusivity

From Daily Mail: Schools around the world are banning the term ‘best friends,’ stopping children from naming their favorite buddy in a bid to ensure classmates don’t feel left out. A New York psychologist says the trend that started in London is now spreading across the US.

‘The idea of banning the phrase “best friends” is a very intriguing social experiment,’ clinical psychologist Dr. Barbara Greenberg tells CBS in New York.

‘Let’s face it, you can’t ban somebody from having a close relationship, and you can’t really ban somebody from having a best friend but what the schools are trying to do is foster the idea of kids having more than a single friend,’ Greenberg says.

The movement, which is believed to have started in Prince George‘s school in South London, isn’t intended to discourage intimate friendships, but rather encourage more inclusivity, Greenberg says.

The idea is to increase the number of interactions a student may have with different members of his or her peer group.

It’s now garnered support from educators in America, Greenberg says, who is licensed to practice psychology in both Connecticut and New York, and personally believes the rationale behind the notion is strong.

‘I see kids come in all week long who are feeling dreadful because they are excluded and because they are either nobody’s best friend or their best friend has moved on,’ Greenberg says.

Jay Jacobs, who operates Timber Lake Camp in New York, stresses the downside of not fostering multiple relationships at a young age, for exactly that reason. ‘I think that there are pitfalls in just having one friend,’ Jacobs says. ‘Remember as you grow up, interests change, children go in different directions.’

Jacobs adds that counselors at Timber Lake, which alternates in location between Glen Cove in Winter and Shandake in Summer, have made it a point to promote a more inclusive environment for years.

His philosophy is that children will be better set up for success later in life if they get used to having a wider friend group at a young age.  ‘You can’t be on the soccer field and just be dealing with one child, they’re going to be interacting with a team,’ Jacobs says.

‘It’s about promoting kindness, looking to children to be kind to one another and to be aware of what it looks like when you’re not.’

DCG

Anglican minister: Christians should pray that Prince George is homosexual

A senior Scottish Episcopal church minister and LGBTQ campaigner, the “Very Reverend” Kelvin Holdsworth, says Christians should pray that 4-year-old Prince George — the son of Prince William and third in line of succession to the British throne — be homosexual, so as to force the Church of England to accept same-sex marriage.

Holdsworth, 51, is the rector and provost (or highest official) of the Scottish Episcopal St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, Scotland. The Scottish Episcopal Church is part of the Anglican denomination. Holdworth is openly “gay,” and is considered to be the 35th most influential LGBT person in the UK in 2015.

In a blog post on November 27, 2017, Holdsworth writes on how “I think LGBT inclusion will be won in the Church of England”:

“The key here is that getting permission to marry gay couples in church unlocks all the other things you want too . . . . If people don’t want to engage in campaigning [for the Church of England to accept gay marriage] . . . they do in England have another unique option, which is to pray in the privacy of their hearts (or in public if they dare) for the Lord to bless Prince George with a love, when he grows up, of a fine young gentleman. A royal wedding might sort things out remarkably easily though we might have to wait 25 years for that to happen.”

The Guardian reports that former chaplain to the Queen, Rev. Gavin Ashenden, calls Holdsworth’s injunction “profoundly un-Christian” and the “theological equivalent of the curse of the wicked fairy in one of the fairytales”. Speaking to Christian Today, Ashenden said:

“To pray for Prince George to grow up in that way, particularly when part of the expectation he will inherit is to produce a biological heir with a woman he loves, is to pray in a way that would disable and undermine his constitutional and personal role.

It is an unkind and destabilizing prayer. It is the theological equivalent of the curse of the wicked fairy in one of the fairy tales. It is un-Christian as well as being anti-constitutional. It is a very long way from being a blessing for Prince George.”

H/t FOTM‘s Maryaha

See also:

~Eowyn

Liberalism is a mental disorder: UK schools are banning students from having best friends

September 7, 2017 was Britain’s Prince George’s first day of school at the Thomas’s Battersea private kindergarten school in London.

Jadie Troy-Pryde reports for Marie Claire, September 11, 2017, that “there’s actually a rule at Thomas’s that discourages any of the children from having a BFF” (best friend forever).

Jane Moore, a panelist on the TV talk show Loose Women, lives near the school and many of her friends have children in the school. Moore said on Loose Women that students are encouraged to be friendly with all of their classmates, and not to pick a favorite friend. The school’s aim is to make every child feel included, and this also extends to birthday parties. Moore said:

“There are signs everywhere saying ‘be kind’ – that’s the ethos of the school. They don’t encourage you to have best friends. There’s a policy that if your child is having a party – unless every child is invited – you don’t give out the invites in class. I think it is quite a good thing as you don’t feel excluded.”

Reporting for Business Insider on Sept. 20, 2017, Chris Weller writes that it’s not just Thomas’s Battersea that bans best friends. Schools across South West London, Kingston, and Surrey have also taken up the practice.

The trend of banning best friends has been growing for several years, and is spreading beyond European borders to the United States and Canada, where teachers in big schools shuffle friendships around to expose kids to a range of peers.

School officials and some psychologists argue that children become more well-adjusted when they have larger friend groups and can avoid negative feelings associated with feeling left out. It is claimed that best friends, with their tight bonds and inside jokes, throw a wrench into that open environment. Christine Laycob, M.S., director of counseling at Mary Institute in St. Louis, Missouri, told the New York Times: “We try to talk to kids and work with them to get them to have big groups of friends and not be so possessive about friends.”

Critics, however, say the no-best-friends policy robs kids of the chance to form valuable coping skills because grappling with mild social exclusion when they’re young will help them to become more capable, resilient adults.

In fact, a wealth of research indicates best friends create value for people throughout their lives:

  • One study recently published in Child Development found that people with childhood best friends enjoyed better mental health well into adulthood. The study’s lead’s author, University of Virginia doctoral student Rachel Narr told New York Magazine: “We weren’t surprised that better adolescent close friendships turned out to be important, but we were surprised by just how important they turned out to be into adulthood.”
  • Narr’s study also found kids with broader friend groups tended to grow up with higher rates of social anxiety than kids with smaller numbers of closer friends.
  • Although anti-best-friend policies may help kids in the short-term, research suggests the strong connections found among best friends could be vital for mental health in a world where adolescents are lonelier than ever.

I’ve had a best friend in every period of my life, from the time I was in kindergarten, and I cannot imagine life without them. If I had a kid in school, if that school bans best friends, I will simply remove my child from that school.

~Eowyn

LGBT website calls Prince George a “gay icon”

josh jackman

The author of the Pink News article, Josh Jackman/@josh_jackman

Because that’s what every ordinary person would label a child.

From Yahoo: An article on a leading LGBT website has been branded ‘sick’ and garnered complaints after it drew attention to people on Twitter referring to Prince George as a ‘gay icon’.

The piece was published by PinkNews after a picture surfaced of the four-year-old prince with his hands on his face in a helicopter in Germany last month.

A Northern Ireland politician has launched a complaint about the website. Jim Allister, leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) party, has demanded PinkNews withdraws the article and apologises.

He said:  “Sexualising a young child in this fashion is entirely inappropriate. In reality, the photo which prompted the piece shows a four-year-old boy who is smartly dressed and excited about being on a helicopter with his male father and female mother.

“To take an image of a little boy and to fantasise of him being an icon for a life defined by sex is outrageous and sick.”

The article by Josh Jackman was published on 25 July with the headline: People think Prince George looks fabulous in this new photo. It then goes on to describe the young prince as a “gay icon”.

It said: “The monarch-to-be has always been cute and well-dressed, but one day before his fourth birthday, a photo of him excitedly holding his face changed everything. At least, that’s what the people – sorry, his subjects – are saying.”

The chief executive of PinkNews, Benjamin Cohen, told the BBC he had no intention of removing the article.

He said it was a “tongue-in-cheek” piece, based on the comments of “hundreds” of social media users.

He also said  he had “never heard of Jim Allister” and that it was a “legitimate” piece of social commentary and rejected Mr. Allister’s claim that it had “sexualised” a young child.

DCG

Organization calls upon the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to not have a third child for “environmental reasons”

kate and william

Mind your own business.

From Daily Mail: Royal-watchers have been speculating on whether the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will choose to add to their brood with another little Prince or Princess.

But one organisation has controversially called on William and Kate to ‘lead by example’ and stop at two children for environmental reasons.

Having Kids, which promotes smaller families, wrote an open letter to the royal couple this week urging them to ‘consider forgoing having a third child (…) in favour of modelling a smaller, sustainable family.’

They point to factors including climate change, economic equality and the distribution of ‘resources’.

Kate, 35, recently hinted she’d like a third child after being handed a gift designed for newborns during the couple’s royal tour of Poland and Germany. She was seen turning to William at the business event in Warsaw and saying: ‘We will just have to have more babies.’

The organisation said that Kate’s comments raised ‘compelling issues of sustainability and equity’.

Having Kids executive director Anne Green said: ‘William and Kate have a tremendous opportunity to model their choice of having a smaller family. By doing so, they set an example as to what has the most potential for mitigating climate change and its impacts, including severe flooding, deadlier heatwaves, increase in diseases, and wildlife extinctions.

She added: ‘Moreover, given the vast economic inequalities in the world today, the couple also has the opportunity to model a simple principle: That every child deserves as fair start in life’.

But the organisation’s open letter has been met with some skepticism, with one woman writing on Facebook: ‘This is beyond the most ridiculous thing I have ever read.

If someone wrote a letter to me suggesting how many children I should have, regardless of my societal status, I’d be sure to kindly return the letter, straight into their a**. Although there may not be enough room since their head is already so far up their a**.’

On its website, the San Francisco-based organisation says its mission is to promote and protect ‘every child’s right to a fair start in life by replacing parent-centered family planning models with the child-centered Fair Start family planning model.’ 

A third child for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would mean a little brother or sister for Prince George, four and two-year old Princess Charlotte – currently third and fourth in line to the throne.

MailOnline has contacted Having Kids for further information.

DCG

Caption Contest! Chelsea, a princess in her own mind

This is the 84th world-famous FOTM Caption Contest!

Here’s the pic:

Chelsea Clinton mimics Kate Middelton
The pic on the left is of Chelsea Clinton and her husband Marc Mezvinsky leaving the hospital after she had given birth to their daughter, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky, on September 26, 2014. In 2001, Marc’s dad Edward Mezvinsky was convicted of 31 of 69 felony charges of bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud, totaling nearly $10 million.

The pic on the right is of Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, and her husband Prince William leaving the hospital after she had given birth to George Alexander Louis on July 22, 2013. George is third in line to the British throne, after his grandfather (Prince Charles) and father (Prince William).

You know the drill:

  • Enter the contest by submitting your caption as a comment on FOTM (scroll down), not via email or on Facebook.
  • The winner of the Caption Contest will get a gorgeous Award Certificate of Excellence and a year’s free subscription to FOTM! :D
  • FOTM writers will vote for the winner.
  • Any captions proffered by FOTM writers, no matter how brilliant (ha ha), will not be considered. :(

To get the contest going, here’s my caption:

Chelsea: “Blue dress like Kate’s. Check. Long flowing chestnut hair like Kate’s. Check. Pose in front of hospital steps like Kate. Check. So why is Marc, after I’ve kissed him again and again, still a frog?”

This contest will be closed in a week, at the end of next Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014.

For the winner of our last Caption Contest, click here.

Seen any good pics that you think would be great for our Caption Contest? Email them to us! :D

fellowshipminds@gmail.com

~Eowyn