My son wants to play a violent video game. Help!

[deleted account] ( 21 moms have responded )

Please help! My son is in 4th grade and loves video games. He has a Wii, Dsi, and plays Minecraft on the computer. He is very stressed and feels left out because his close group of male friends are all allowed to play a RATED M (18 and up), extremely violent shoot em up game called Modern Warfare. He feels left out because they incessantly talk about it at school and he can't participate in the conversation because he's never played the game. I tried explaning to him the reasons he is not allowed to play, which he seems to understand, but this seems to be a real emotionally upsetting issue to him. I am truly struggling with understanding why other parents allow this type of gameplay for their kids--each and every day, no less--during the formative years. Why add to their stress level and add to the violence that already exists in the real world? I know, it's none of my business what others do, but I can't seem to help it! Am I crazy? What is the best way to deal with this constant battle? Thanks for listening.

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Deidre - posted on 03/20/2012

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This topic for me is a little bit in the gray area... At first I was TOTALLY against any form of violence once I had my kids. But, now I'm raising 3 boys on my own and have realized aggression in many different forms is inevitable. Now, I do agree with the rating system, it is there for a reason. Although, I tend to be very specific on what type of violence or aggression I am 100% against.

The ones that encourage Grand Theft Auto, Graffiti, Robbery, Rape, violence towards women, Prostitution, and drugs are the ones that get my "You are out of your mind!!" response. I am open to the "WAR" types because it is a form of Male Guidance that I am unable to provide on my own as a woman. I try to be well educated in all kinds of things including Gun Handling, Self Defense in the form of Boxing, Sports in general, Trash Talking ( which I really suck at), but you get my drift, right?



Never underestimate the POWER of "Others may run their house differently and that's ok." I will NEVER break down when it comes to "Well, Jonny has the game!!" Because "Well, I'm not Jonny's mother, I'm yours and what I say goes" Don't allow his feelings to steer the way you are running your house. Trust me they learn at an early age what they can get away with. Stand your ground. If you don't STAND for something you just might FALL for anything :)

Kay - posted on 03/22/2012

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Desensitization is no joke. When we hear it, we tend to think things like Columbine. That is desensitization--in the extreme. It is a rare exception.



The real danger of desensitization is that it is the slow loss of empathy for other human beings. That is, because you see it on the screen over and over again, your subconscious reacts to that by detaching you from the humans in the game, which can cause a loss of empathy in real life.



What does that really mean? Well, it does not mean your child will be a mass murderer. But it does mean that they may show some callousness towards others. For instance, a child that is perceived as different may be easier to bully, because they don't relate as well to that child. Or, later in life, a wife that is emotionally abused, because her husband can't relate to her feelings. It is not being as inclined to help others, because you don't empathize with them.



So my sons will not be allowed to play violent video games until they are in high school, at least. This is, of course, a personal parenting decision, and that is my personal reasoning for it, based on my research. Other parents choose to do differently, and that is okay--live and let live. Only you can make the right decision for your son.

Deborah Marie - posted on 09/11/2012

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My son is 11 and plays Modern Warfare. When it comes right down to it it's just a game. Parents that try to shelter their children from what's out there end up frustrated and always fail to keep them from what they are trying to protect their children from. In the end you have to educate your child and make sure they know it's just a game. The social and psychological damage you're doing by not letting him relate to his peer group far outweighs the risk of him playing a violent game.

Elias - posted on 05/03/2014

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Hey, I'm a kid only a year older than your son. Everyone at my school are Call of Duty fans whom I hate all of because they tease me for not playing the game. Tell him "Do you really want to play that dumb ol' game? Because you might bully other kids if you play that game, and you might go to jail if you bully!" That might convince him.

Brandi - posted on 04/26/2012

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my son is 5...we play Call of Duty,Halo, Left for dead, he plays racing games, shooting games he even plays educational games for his age and he also knows he needs to get outside, play with other toys and do other things besides live on the game...i dnt see what they harm is as long as he knows that its fake and that its just a game and that u cant really do those things in real life. We have fun...he is not a violent child he is a typical boy. kids are gonna learn things out in the real world. Its about teaching them whats right and wrong, real and fake, truth and lie, and consequences for actions. They are JUST games...i personally think the more u shield from ur child the more they are gonna be tempted to try as they get older...its no didfferent then signing a child up for kung fu or karate, boxing, wrestling, etc...but those kids know not to use those skills just for fun...all those things can lead to violence so please explain the difference...i understand as a parent of 3 that u wanna protect ur kids as much as u can...its all about educating them and knowledge...everything we choose to do for our kids is based on those 2 things...

i say give him a chance like a month (borrow the game b4 u buy it)....educate him first for example..."im thinking aboout what u want...but here are some things u need to know and the stipulations...1 u have to understand that its all fake, etc. 2 u can NOT act any of the game out 3 u have 1hr a day (or whatever) and can not be blasting. 4 if i see or hear of u acting on any of this or repeating any of the language you WILL lose it, i am giving u a chance to prove u can be responsible." It takes ur child to another level of responsibility...and teaches us another level of trust for our kids...its a teching/learning experience for all around.

my husband plays all sorts of violent games including grand theft auto, call of duty, modern warfare, prototype, halo i on the other hand like call of duty, red dead redemption (western game), zombie games, kids games, i play em all when i can...then again i guess its all n ur comfort level as well.

again its all about education and knowledge...responsibility. Good LUck =)

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Melissa - posted on 05/17/2014

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I believe in trusting your children and giving them room to breathe. My son is 12 and he plays all of those games. He is a straight A student, has many good friends, plays sports at school, gets in no trouble at school, he is not violent at all, as a matter of fact he is a teddy bear. He is one of the most easy going, appreciative children I have ever come across. I feel that parents that shelter their children have so many more problems with their kids than the parents who expose their children to the world they live in. If you think that your children arent hearing or seeing worse at school or out in the community than you are sooo very wrong.

Kala Ann - posted on 10/17/2013

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I would not recommend it my nephew plays grand thief auto and its not a game for young minds. I find that it made him angry and aggressive. and he is always on it now and not like other children who play outside and get dirty.

Pooeater - posted on 10/10/2013

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Im 16 and damn love torture. I have played violent video games like modern warfare since I was 3 years old and just want to watch people burn alive. I actually get quite sexually satisfied by others pain and death. I harm myself in many ways. (cut my scrotum with a rusty nail, burn my rectum shut, etc) Pretty normal self harm techniques I think. I can barely move because all I want to do is die. But all I can do when I think about dying is flashback to when I was in 4th grade and my mother finally bought me Modern Warfare and all the murder and blood I was able to produce! GOD! It was beautiful! I played a Wii, DSi, and Minecraft on the computer, but then.... my Mom bought me Modern Warfare and all I could do is search videos of men getting raped by horse dick, women getting shot to death and raped and then eaten. ALL BECUASE OF MODERN FUCKING WARFARE.

Ahlmann - posted on 04/19/2013

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Scientific studies over and over show that violent games do NOT lead to more violent behavior in children. Please let us parents educate ourselves and each other better, because otherwise we will live in a fantasy world of fear for the non-existing!

Can you not have a truthful discussion about violence and videogames with your child Amy, without ordering what and what not to do? What makes your perspective on the matter so much better than that of your child that you find you have the right to order him to destroy its own and replace it for yours? Could you ever consider your child knows best when he wants to play videogames and doesn't believe it is "bad" for him?

Please don't get offended or attacked Amy, because I am not, I only want you to consider these questions.

Ahlmann - posted on 04/19/2013

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Scientific studies over and over show that violent games do NOT lead to more violent behavior in children. Please let us parents educate ourselves and each other better, because otherwise we will live in a fantasy world of fear for the non-existing!

Can you not have a truthful discussion about violence and videogames with your child Amy, without ordering what and what not to do? What makes your perspective on the matter so much better than that of your child that you find you have the right to order him to destroy its own and replace it for yours? Could you ever consider your child knows best when he wants to play videogames and doesn't believe it is "bad" for him?

Please don't get offended or attacked Amy, because I am not, I only want you to consider these questions.

Kaylea - posted on 02/26/2013

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i say let him i love violent video games call of duty black ops 2 is my favorite.

Maddy - posted on 04/16/2012

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My son can plays Modern Warfare, but I limit is. He can not play on weekdays unless on vacation. If he does all his home work for the entire week he can play 30 minuets on Saturday and 30 minutes on Sunday. He is 11.

Krista - posted on 04/12/2012

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My son is 9 and plays all kinds of violent video games and behaves very well and is doing well in school. The games don't effect him in anyway. He is 9 I don't see the problem with it. However I wouldn't let him play grand theft auto at all considering you can pick up prostitutes etc. however he plays all kinds of zombi games fighting games war games and my son plays and love modern warfare it isn't going to hurt him.

Tracy - posted on 04/06/2012

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I have 2 boys one of which is very into the military and guns etc, I do let him play modern warfare under my supervision, He has never being violent or aggresive towards anyone...In fact I found out two days ago he has being getting bullied for weeks in school I only found this our because he came home with a huge bruise on his face were he had been headbutted by another child! I dont think its the games they play I think its about limiting them on the video games and teaching them right from wrong! My so would not harm a fly and has other interests other then video games because i have control over how much time he spends on them! I personally think you know your child and what there limits are.

Jackie - posted on 04/04/2012

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I have a 9 year old girl and she loves to get on my ps3 and play battlefield and other games. She knows that want happens in the games is wrong. To me it all comes down to teaching your child what is right and what is wrong. With my daughter if she is feeling stressed she can get on and play a game and relax then she don't want to hit someone ( that is not wearing spar gear ). I would say if you find your son acting violent try some Martial Arts teach them to hit a bag it works wonders then the games become just that games.

Melissa - posted on 04/04/2012

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I have a 6 year old son and I am 28. I remember playing all kinds of video games when I was a child they never made me want to kill cats or hurt other people. I do allow my son to play M video game.he has to play with the volume down and after his homework and chores are done. When he makes bad choices he gets grounded from the video games. I don't see the difference between batman, superman,Mario etc and these realistic games? They are violent in their own way. It is up to use as parents to monitor and make sure our children are aware it's JUST A VIDEO GAME.

Shelly - posted on 04/03/2012

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This is one of those things I wouldn't budge an inch on. Just because other parents are irresponsible about what they let their children do, you don't need to do the same. Violent games are not suitable for children. Period. (Not that I think they're suitable for adults, either, but we can't exactly tell them what to do...) If you know the parents of these other children, you may also want to talk to them. It is quite possible that they don't really know what their kids are so involved in.T

Try getting your son involved in more real activities, such as sports or whatever he is interested in. That would have the added advantage of helping him make new friends with more active interests. In addition, set limits to how much time he can spend on games. Limiting screen time will make other activities more interesting.

Zandra - posted on 04/01/2012

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My son is 9 and will not be allowed to play those viloent games either, There is absolulty no need for it. Also the language in those games is horrific and unecessary! Stay strong and keep putting your foot down. You are the parent, not him! Keep up the good job :)

Michelle - posted on 03/29/2012

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I have four boys ages 8-4 years old. They mostly play E games and sometimes E 10+. They have a few friends that have more mature video games &/or more games. They know not to ask for more mature games. Their friends talk about some of the games and my boys just do their own thing, listen, or just change the subject. Even when they are at their friends house they know not to play certain games and I let the parents know what kind of games they are allowed to play.



You have to figure out what you want your kids exposed to and when. Either stick with it or not. Remember you are the parent. Also, you know your child no one else does.

Charity - posted on 03/22/2012

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My kids are raised in a home with a military member and a prior military member. The military type of video games don't bug me, because they were created with the help from the military. It's the games like grand theft auto and others out there that show things like rape, theft, etc. I don't like. I don't get into the game hype, mainly because the price of the games. I let both my girls play the modern warfare games, their ages are 15 and 10. My youngest isn't into the video game hype thank goodness. After she beat Modern Warfare3 that was it, she put the controller down and walked away. Not even wanting to try the others, just bragging rights to her sister. My oldest beats the games as well, but she also wants to the join the military, and is in the JROTC at her school.



My kids don't play video games all the time, My youngest has a Wii and a ds, in her room that hardly gets used. They don't get stressed out over a game, except one time my youngest was playing some puppy game and she couldn't get to the next level. I told her walk away from it, because it was just a game.

Brittney - posted on 03/20/2012

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My husband plays Modern Warfare, it is very violent (not as violent as some games). Since he understands why he isn't allowed to play, the other kids may not. I'm not telling you to go and explain it to everyone he hangs out with, but let him know that he doesn't have to play any kind of game to still have them as friends.

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