Young children watching adults play games

(63 Posts)
Lara2 Sun 03-Feb-13 11:49:50

I'm prepared to be flamed but this is something that really gets to me. I teach Reception and on a regular basis over the last few years, most noticeably 3 times this week with 3 different children, I have found myself saying "If you're too little to play the game, you're too little to watch". These are 4 year olds who watch their parents play things like Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto etc. What the hell goes through parents' heads? These games have ratings for a reason - would they let them watch an 18 rated movie ( no, don't answer that!)? It does frustrate and upset me that I often have to pick up the pieces at work in the form of inappropriate play/behaviour or distressed children. I do mention it to parents but usually get brushed off with a casual comment and a look that clearly says that I should be minding my own business! But if I don't say anything, who will? I am very careful how I approach the subject, and certainly do it professionally and non-judgementally. AIBU?

Sirzy Sun 03-Feb-13 11:52:39

Yanbu, those games aren't suitable viewing for young children

thebody Sun 03-Feb-13 11:53:25

It's sad and the parents need to grow up. Yrnbu..

GrowSomeCress Sun 03-Feb-13 11:54:55


mademred Sun 03-Feb-13 12:00:45

No yanbu, my dh plays these games only when ds,7, is in bed or at school.they are not suitable for kids or the fainthearted for that matter, lol like me.but its a sad world we live in because some parents don't care wat their kids see or infact play on the computer.

AThingInYourLife Sun 03-Feb-13 12:06:46

OMG I was thinking this would be about children having to watch their parents play Scrabble instead of everyone playing ludo together grin

It never occurred to me that anyone would play adult video games with children around.

YorkshireDeb Sun 03-Feb-13 12:08:10

YANBU. I once heard a child mental health professional tell a parent that if she would not let her son watch a porn film (which I think the vast majority if parents would agree is wrong and/or damaging) then why would she think it's ok for him to watch other things that are deemed only appropriate for adults. They have no idea what damage they are doing to their dcs developing minds. X

McNewPants2013 Sun 03-Feb-13 12:11:24

Power rangers, Ben 10, transformers and alot if the tv programmes my DC watches has violence in them. Even though I don't play black ops 2 when DC are awake ( that is ME time) I really don't know what the difference is

diddl Sun 03-Feb-13 12:11:25

I agree they shouldn´t be watching.

But it sounds as if you are giving the children the fault!

I´d be very pissed off with you speaking to my child like that.

It´s hardly as if it´s within their control, is it?

catgirl1976 Sun 03-Feb-13 12:30:02

Does Ben 10 shag and then beat up prostitutes?

Because that might be one difference.......

flattyre Sun 03-Feb-13 12:37:27

Seeing no difference in the 'violence' in cartoons like Ben 10 to Black Ops is extraordinarily naive!

fuzzpig Sun 03-Feb-13 12:41:08

YANBU, my neighbour plays those sorts of games (incredibly fucking LOUDLY until 3am angry) and I know his DS has been allowed to play them for a few years (he's 9). He's a sweet enough boy but I don't let my 5yo to go to their house anymore because he just plays COD/AC etc while DD sits there watching hmm - they can play out or he can come here and play age appropriate wii games but I am not having my DD watch those games.

Diddl is right though, you can't expect the DCs to actually refuse to watch them if their parents allow it sad

Smudging Sun 03-Feb-13 12:46:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JCDenton Sun 03-Feb-13 12:48:05

As someone who has played multiple Grand Theft Auto and Assassins Creed games, YADNBU! As you rightly point out, would they let their kids watch films and TV shows in the same vein like Scarface or Game of Thrones?

Thinking that video games are for children and letting them play because of that is stupid enough but to actually know the content of them and still let kids watch boggles my mind.

McNewPants2013 Sun 03-Feb-13 12:48:25

I have stopped my son from watching these cartoons, as it was encouraging violence when he was playing power rangers and Ben 10 in the play ground.

YANBU. I complained in a bowling alley because they had a video game (don't remember what it was called but it had lifelike cartoons of people having their heads blown off with guns hmm) placed so you could easily see the screen from the front desk area. While waiting to be served, with a 6yo DD next to me, I was sort of mindlessly watching the 'action' on the screen until it suddenly occurred to me that DD could see it too. She was actually more interested in the 'claw-grab' machine next to it, but it worried me enough to speak to the manager. The machine was turned sideways the next day. smile

Lara2 Sun 03-Feb-13 15:45:51

diddl, I certainly wasn't stroppy or cross when I spoke to the children, it was in a chatty sort of way. We were doing some drawing together, all very relaxed. Part of my point is that if the parents don't guide the children in this area, then someone should put that little nugget of what's ok or not in their heads. After all we talk about healthy eating etc.

Erimentha Sun 03-Feb-13 15:49:10

YANBU like you said. Age ratings are there for a reason.

manicbmc Sun 03-Feb-13 15:58:24

The worst incidence I came across of this kind of thing was the kid of a very 'right-on', organic mung bean sort of parent who let her 4 year old (and his 10 year old brother) watch The Exorcist.

The poor kid came to nursery quite distressed about it.

Some people are just idiots.

diddl Sun 03-Feb-13 16:08:46

But it´s the phrase itself "if you´re too young..."

That´s what you would usually say to someone who has asked to do something & it´s a way of telling them no.

It just doesn´t really make sense to me in this context-unless they have asked your opinion on it?

MysteriousHamster Sun 03-Feb-13 16:10:33

There's a massive difference in violence between kids TV and a realistic video game that is rated 18...

A game that's rated 18 is no different to a film that's rated 18 - in fact it's worse as they're interactive. I don't know why some parents don't understand that.

I say that as someone who plays many games myself and would certainly not do so infront of my son.

Interesting 'parenting' choice to ignore your child and play video games instead of engaging with them anyway.

fuzzpig Sun 03-Feb-13 16:18:24

The Exorcist?!? Holy crap.

I wasn't really censored as a child, allowed to stay up late with whatever my parents were watching etc. Certainly remember some less than savoury images sad but I'd like to think even they would draw the line at something like that (I watched it age 12 - me and my friends were all allowed horror movie sleepovers and watched loads of stuff which I certainly wouldn't let mine watch at that age)

I saw it the other day for the first time in years, had totally forgotten the scene with the word 'cocksucker' in it confused

WhichIsBest Sun 03-Feb-13 16:21:59

I have been surprised a couple of times when visiting friends of my 4 year old and the other parent switched on MTV for the children to have a dance to. I think music videos are awful! Sexist, too sexual, blah blah blah.
But other people just don't see things that way I suppose. Everyone has a different idea about what is acceptable.

I don't have the TV on for me if DD is in the room at all actually. Is that weird?

Erimentha Sun 03-Feb-13 16:26:38

fuzzpig you just back loads of wonderful memories of my friends and mine horror movie sleepovers at the same age [smie]

fuzzpig Sun 03-Feb-13 16:30:41

Eri, we just bought a load of horror DVDs actually (thanks to HMV clearance) grin exorcist, omen, shining, Halloween etc.

It's crazy to think we all used to laugh at the horror movies - I am much more scareable now as an adult!

IDrankAllTheGravy Sun 03-Feb-13 16:31:45

Yanbu. DP sees no problem in letting DS (2.6) sit on his knee and watch him play COD, I hate it and cringe every time.
I know a lot of people think I'm the weird one for disliking it, I don't even like sitting in the room with him myself, all the banging and shouting and killing stresses me out.

Perhaps I'm old fashioned, I just don't think it's appropriate for young children.

fuzzpig Sun 03-Feb-13 16:32:49

And WIB I agree about MTV, a lot of videos are gross (even though I like the music). My DCs dance to classic fm <polishes halo> grin

fuzzpig Sun 03-Feb-13 16:34:17

IDrank, tell him not to do it. You are the parent too, don't put up with it.

IDrankAllTheGravy Sun 03-Feb-13 16:44:36

Oh I do but he thinks I'm making a fuss over nothing. Most of the time he plays after ds's bedtime so it's not always a problem.

pollypandemonium Sun 03-Feb-13 16:58:21

YANBU. The ratings are a LEGAL guideline - the parents are committing the offence of neglect if they allow their children to watch them, as they would be with porn or horror.

Try checking out with someone in school that understands about child protection. Here is the definition of neglect -

The government guidance for England, Working together to safeguard children (HM Government, 2010), defines neglect as:

"…the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child's basic emotional needs."

The PEGI 18 rating :
^PEGI 18
The adult classification is applied when the level of violence reaches a stage where it becomes a depiction of gross violence and/or includes elements of specific types of violence. Gross violence is the most difficult to define since it can be very subjective in many cases, but in general terms it can be classed as the depictions of violence that would make the viewer feel a sense of revulsion.
Descriptors shown on the back of the packaging indicate the main reasons why a game has received a particular age rating. There are eight such descriptors: violence, bad language, fear, drugs, sexual, discrimination, gambling and online gameplay with other people.^

Putting it in black and white might help.

pigletmania Sun 03-Feb-13 17:11:45

I thought t wuld be about kids watching ter parents play cherads or give us a clue grin. yanbu

ILoveTIFFANY Sun 03-Feb-13 17:14:49

It's not just parents either... teens playing them can pose a problem too

Do remember that when you send your kids on playdates etc as it's beyond your control

And also, small handheld gadgets have the same games. Pap, nintendo etc

EugenesAxe Sun 03-Feb-13 17:20:44

YANBU... don't know who would flame you; nutters perhaps.

I had a go at DH today who had on WWE Raw when the DCs (3 and 1) were in the room.

Mother2many Sun 03-Feb-13 17:36:16

Totally agree with you!! There is a Rating on the games for a reason...that also includes watching it!!! My Xh plays very very inappropriate games with my 9 yr old son, and my 7 yr old daughter is around... Games that are rated for M... or 17+.... (pretty sad she can't talk to daddy because he is busy gaming with people on line and he encourages his boys to play too!)

My 9yr knows I don't like violent games around, and he brought home games that he thought I wouldn't mind... (EIIK) if those are the "good games" I hate to see what the other games are!!!

I don't agree with military, hunting down people and shooting them. PERIOD.

I did attempt to speak with my XP, but, his house, his rules...

I walked in and said to my son, how come you don't have the volume on your game? "because it has bad words" GEEE.... GOOD one dad!! I can't imagine the mute button is used when he is at dad's house!!!

Okay, VENT... Sorry, didn't mean to take over...

My son and his g/f play aggressive games, but as soon as my grandson get a bit older, you better bet I will be saying something about it!

atacareercrossroads Sun 03-Feb-13 17:44:39

Well my Ds lies, he tells his nursery that he plays Halo hmm

4 year olds aren't that reliable, clearly grin

Backtobedlam Sun 03-Feb-13 17:57:44

Dh often plays these games and I have to take the kids out and shut the door, he sees nothing wrong with it at all. I could imagine if I wasn't around and they were playing he'd think nothing of having it on in the background. I just think some people aren't child orientated and find it really hard to see things from someone else's, especially a child's, pov. Some of these games are actually more realistic than films, so far worse in my opinion.

WhichIsBest Sun 03-Feb-13 18:05:37

I even feel a bit worried about watching horror films when DD is asleep, because DH is half deaf and we have to have it really loud, and what if the sounds get into her subconscious? blush

SolidSnake Sun 03-Feb-13 18:16:26

fuzzpig Me neither, my parents weren't really interested in what I was watching (great parenting, I know). I remember watching Crash (the one with James Spader) when I was 13 and I am still scarred!

But yes OP YANBU, coming from someone who plays a lot of video games

seeker Sun 03-Feb-13 18:18:05

I can't get past the idea of an adult playing computer games anyway- I thought this was going to be about children being bored watching their dad play football or cricket........

pollypandemonium Sun 03-Feb-13 18:20:35

That's sweet whichisbest smile. I do wish schools would send out some fact sheets to parents about what their responsibility is to their offsprings mental well-being, preferably in large writing that they can stick on the telly and in nice male-friendly macho fonts (as opposed to comic sans which they usually do and no man takes seriously).

pollypandemonium Sun 03-Feb-13 18:22:16

My dcs run in shame when I get the wii dance out.

loofet Sun 03-Feb-13 19:50:12

Yanbu. Those games are scary..

JeffFaFa Sun 03-Feb-13 20:00:59

YANBU my 6 year old came home from school really distressed as a girl told him she was going to get into his house at night stab him through the head and cut of the rest of the families heads when he was asleep.

Ds also frequently pretends to be a zombie and its certainly nothing he has picked up at home so much be school, can only imagine what some of these children must be viewing.

NotEnoughTime Sun 03-Feb-13 20:02:31

I second WhatAThingInYourLifeSaid.

MmeLindor Sun 03-Feb-13 20:13:08

Ben 10 and Black Ops 2 are similar? <boggles>

'Parents need to know that Call of Duty: Black Ops II is a gritty, extremely violent military first-person shooter set mostly in the near future. Players engage in graphic combat that involves constant killing using realistic weapons, with blood and gore pouring across the screen during more intense scenes. Cinematic sequences can be even more dramatic and graphic, with both soldiers and civilians dying in horrible ways. Players are cast in the role of good guys during most of the campaign, but they also take on the role of the game's villain in a couple of pivotal scenes, giving them opportunity to do evil. This M-rated game has frequent profanity and some sexual themes and drug use. Parents should also be aware that this game facilitates open voice communication.'

From this website (It is a US website, but good for looking up games and film reviews)

DS doesn't have a Ben 10 game but I doubt it contains 'gritty, extremely violent' scenes with 'blood and gore'.

YANBU. Why would anyone have a game like this on when a child is in the room?

pigletpower Sun 03-Feb-13 20:24:48

Diddl-You sound like every teachers nightmare! How dare the teacher possibly have your childrens care at heart?! You seem to be one of those pain in the arse 'armchair teachers'.Parents always know best huh?hmm

diddl Sun 03-Feb-13 20:30:29

Well I would like to think that I know better than a teacher about what´s best for my child, that´s for sure!

Unfortunately for OP, parents who let their children see/watch these games aren´t likely to be interested in her opinion of their parenting, are they?

But I hold with what I say-that I wouldn´t like my child to be spoken to like that over something that perhaps they are not even choosing to do.

orangeandlemons Sun 03-Feb-13 20:37:33

I'm a teacher. This is a child protection issue IMO. They aren't allowed to view porn. Why are they allowed to view violence?

pollypandemonium Mon 04-Feb-13 00:17:47

Agree with you orangeandlemons - it's neglect.

Startail Mon 04-Feb-13 00:46:19

*oopslateagain" our bowling ally had a vile game running it's blood killing someone intro right next to the party food tables"

Do people really think 6-8 year olds need to watch that with their tea.

annie11 Mon 04-Feb-13 01:02:28

Agreed, just don't understand how some people think it's ok...

A friend and her bf have been playing violent computer games and watching anime WITH their baby daughter pretty much from birth. Actually posing pictures of her on Facebook " aww dd watching wrestling with daddy, how cute! "

Oh and our sort of nephew ( husband's step bother's son) is allowed to play CoD. He's 10

Turns my stomach

Lara2 Mon 04-Feb-13 17:13:20

diddl, it is my business - I teach these children and if a parent won't protect them then it's up to me to do it. If that means saying "No, you really shouldn't do that" to a child then so be it.
I did refer to our CP person at school,so it's not just me being an unreasonable teacher.

Hobbitation Mon 04-Feb-13 17:14:18


WorriedMummy73 Mon 04-Feb-13 17:28:06

We're a bit of a computer game family! Myself and two eldest (11 and 8) love our Nintendo DS's and we also have a Wii. DP prefers more 'adult' games so we got him a PS3 for Christmas (2011), but it's now upstairs in our bedroom as I wasn't happy about the kids watching him playing CoD. Having said that, ds (8) recently casually mentioned the games he's been playing with his cousin (12) up the road - including Mortal Kombat, the most violent, 18-rated, fighting game I've ever seen. He is now NOT allowed to go in his cousin's house, but what are his cousin's Mum and SD (who, admittedly, is an absolute arse) thinking, letting a 12 year old play this type of game?

Also, it's Internet Awareness Week so school's are meant to be promoting this type of stupid behaviour, although a girl in DDs class was overheard saying to her friend in Assembly today 'they'd better not think they're getting me off Facebook' - she's 11...

diddl Mon 04-Feb-13 17:41:01

I don´t think anyone thinks that YABU for thinking that such young children shouldn´t be "exposed" to these things.

It´s the assumption that it is within their control or they are choosing to do it.

Maybe they do?

But it´s a big ask for a 4yr old to police themselves!

pigletpower Mon 04-Feb-13 20:50:19

diddl- I have seen your posts before and you don't strike me as naive or stupid. Of course a teacher is not expecting a young child to police themselves! But by not mentioning that it is not ok for young people to view violence then they are failing in their duty of care. I am a teacher and if I found myself in the same position as the OP, I would have reacted in the same way and also informed my CP collegue.To cover my own back if something more serious happened with the child and to protect the child themselves.

GogoGobo Mon 04-Feb-13 20:59:00

Diddl, I just don't see your point! Do you want teachers to just stick to maths and English or actually play a decent role in a child's life? The OP isn't telling the child off, she is introducing an alternative viewpoint and there is a chance the child could say "MrsLara2 says we aren't allowed to watch this is we can't play it " and make the parents think!

Lara2 Mon 04-Feb-13 21:04:45

I'm not daft enough to expect a 4 year old to police themselves! But a responsible adult clearly has to say something in those circumstances - how else is a child going to learn what's ok or not?

diddl Tue 05-Feb-13 07:28:17

I suppose I´m just thinking that parents who let their children see this sort of thing won´t take any notice if the child says "I don´t want to see this" and I have visions of them getting into trouble!

Obviously I don´t know them or the parents so am more than likely projecting.

Of course OP is better to say something rather than nothing in the hope that it will stop-and hopefully if necessary, then others are also being informed.

It´s a shame that anything has to be said to the children though-it should be enough to tell the adults.

diddl Tue 05-Feb-13 07:33:02

I think that´s it-it comes across as children being blamed for something that is the parents fault.

I´m sure that that is just my reading of the wording of the OP.

Ilovexmastime Tue 05-Feb-13 09:04:42

YANBU. Why on earth would anyone think that it's ok for their kids to watch something so violent? I really don't get it.

pollypandemonium Wed 06-Feb-13 13:23:09

It's neglect which is a form of child abuse.

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