Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Boys and Pocket Knives - What Age??

This morning I was in my weight room (A.K.A. the laundry room) when there was a knock at the door. The kids know not to bother me when I'm on an adrenaline high - so it must have been an "emergency". Of course what an 8 or 6 yr old thinks is an emergency might just be a "tattle" or it could be a catastrophe.

"Brother is taking apart the blade in the sharpener with a screwdriver?" informs older sister. The laundry room also houses the work bench, so I did see the boy in there earlier getting out a screwdriver - I guess I should have inquired to his need for a screwdriver at that point. I tell her to send her brother to me. Down he comes with these objects in hand:

He had already removed one of the razor sharp blades from the little pencil sharpener. I have to give him points for his dexterity in removing the small screw from the blade - even used the right type of screwdriver head, and for even coming up with the idea in the first place. Remember he is the brother to the daughter of invention.

When I inquired into this dangerous sport, blinking rapidly and with a tearful voice he replied, "I just want to have a knife!"

He's been trying other methods recently...I know he was sharpening a stick with a bread knife the other day and I've heard talk of using some kind of milk lid for a knife ????

He wants a pocket knife. More accurately a Swiss Army Knife.

So this is my question - at what age do you allow a boy to have a pocket knife? I know some folks would say "never" and that's OK, but this is the son of a country boy, so someday he will have a pocket knife - just not sure when.

My dad had 5 girls - but he still gave us various pocket knives...I think they were more along the line of novelty pocket knives a pocket knife shaped like an ear of corn, hanging on a keychain.

The boy just turned 6. I'm sure the age for a pocket knife all depends on the maturity of the child and how much you trust them - but I'd still be curious to know how other folks have handled the pocket knife issue.


Heather said...

My brothers and I grew up in the country--had 13 acres to run on. We we each got a pocket knife at our 9th birthday though I believe my brother may have gotten a slightly duller one earlier. We also were trained how to use it using my dad's BEFORE we got our own. We had to show we knew how to cut properly etc. My son has a playdoe pocket knife made of plastic that he likes to pretend is real. You might be able to find a play one that would make him happy for now with the unerstanding that if he proves he can take good care of it and learn to use a knife properly he can get a real one.

jj said...

I agree about maybe a play one for now -- six is a tad young yet; would be more concerned about him hurting himself.

But it sure sounds like he won't have any problems using it when he's old enough!

We are THAT Family said...

Yeah, I'm with the others. My son will turn six in a couple of week and he is WAY too immature for a knife. Maybe you could compromise with a tool set or something that he would think is cool.

Kevin said...

My Pop showed me how to use a pocketknife when I was about 6. I was fascinated and have carried a pocketknife ever since.

When my son turned 4 I gave him his first pocketknife and it lives in my (our) knife display case in my home office. I get it down for him when he wants to see it. Only I open and close it. It is a learning process and I am evaluating his level of understanding and respect for the knife before I grant him greater access.

My son will be 5 in June and he is still not ready to handle the knife by himself, but it is a good father/son thing we are sharing as he learns. Just this morning we (I emphasize "we") took his pocketknife for show & tell at his preschool. He was very proud of it.

Whether he will carry a pocketknife all his life as I have or lose interest is yet to be seen. But I will be involved in his growing up years to make sure he learns respect for the knife.

Anonymous said...

My friends son came to our house yesterday and told my son that he had a Swiss Army knife and he had the cut to prove it too!!!
We live in South London!! It is for use only when camping I was informed by his mother. Then at the dinner table we were all informed by the son that his friend had bought a knife to school and asked my son if he was getting a knife! I asked my friend to leave this age is far too young. If your son is pulling apart pencil sharpeners then think of what he will do with a knife.
9 sounded like a good age under supervision if you live in the country!!!
I just think about all the parents who have had their children stabbed and what they would say.

Nathan said...

I am 13. My dad bought me a switchblade with a 2 inch blade when I was 4 but I just looked at it. When I was 6, I used it to sharpen sticks with supervision from him. When he thought I was responsible (I was 7), he gave it to me. Get him a Knife but dont let him have it until he can prove he is responsible.