12 year old wanting to play 18 rated XBox game

(119 Posts)
Wordsmith Sun 02-Sep-12 11:52:56

My 12 year old son is obsessed with getting the new Black Ops 2 video game out soon. It's an 18 rated game and I'm determined he's not having it. He nagged for ages to get Modern Warfare 3 and we eventually caved in, much to my regret, and I've told him he's not having another 18 rated game until he's much older. His argument is that literally ALL of his friends will be getting it and playing online with each other, and he'll be left out. I've explained all the reasons why he shouldn't have 18 rated games. I know we shouldn't have let him have MW3 and am determined not to start a trend. I do understand how he feels re his friends, but would really appreciate some cogent arguments we could offer him which might help him understand that we're not just horrible parents who are being too strict. I've tried everything I can think of.

He's a typical pre-teenager, glued to a screen most of the time, and I'm trying to get him to have a bit more of a life - and I know that if he did get this game, it would make it even harder for me to do so.

Any advice gratefully received.

nooka Mon 03-Sep-12 03:31:19

My ds is 13 and has at times asked for 18 games (although we live in Canada so they are called 'mature' here). We don't have a blanket ban but go on a game by game basis. My view is that as all console play is in our living room and will be staying there for the foreseeable future I have every right not to have to watch something I find objectionable. My main view is that I don't want to see actual people (or depictions of people to be completely accurate) being killed, games that are mysogenistic or games that indulge in cruelty.

I've had a few conversations with ds, and although he's not always very happy about it he does understand and actually I think he has come to agree with me. It probably helps that his dad is a big gamer so there is no shortage of games in the house and we also watch lots of reviews so we have a good idea about game play and content. ds generally goes to Youtube to look for run throughs so that we can see what the game looks like in practice. He is quite philosophical when I say no.

Yes he does play some of the games at friends houses, but that isn't in my mind a reason to have them in my house. Re the all my friends will be playing the game, we've found in practice that this generally isn't the case. Some of them will have the new game, some won't, and many games seem to have a very short life in any case. ds still spends most of his time on line playing Halo.

nooka Mon 03-Sep-12 03:34:43

Oh, and I let ds persuade me that Gears of War was OK. It wasn't. We had a discussion about what I found offensive (gratuitous violence) he did agree it was OTT, and actually he got bored with it pretty fast as did his friends.

I use it as a reminder wen he wants something iffy. I don't feel I lost any high ground, I just made a mistake.

IDontKnowWhereMyMedalsAre Mon 03-Sep-12 03:47:31

wordsmith, ask dh what he's going to do with the argument on missing out, when ds wants underage sex, drinking drugs etc. Will he agree to that because ds is missing out?

DS is 17 this week and no he wont be getting Black Ops 2. He can have it if he wants it but Im not paying. We have been strict about what games he could play, its only over the last year we have allowed anything 18 rated.

mathanxiety Mon 03-Sep-12 03:51:12

'Just Say NO'

Then say it again.

Then don't cave again as you did before. He will play it at his friends but you will have made your point.

You don't need to give him reasons. He is 12. You are 30something? 40something? NO works.

Wordsmith Mon 03-Sep-12 03:53:33

Nooka, DS will just deny the violence is a problem, insist he knows it isn't real and that it doesn't affect him. It's the typical teen invincibility thing.
I think now my main problem is going to be the lack of support from my dh, which I had thought I could rely on.
I may be naive, but when I talk to his friends' parents about violent video games, none of them seem to have a problem with them, or think the 18 rating is an issue with 12yr olds. I sometimes feel I am a lone voice in the wilderness!

Wordsmith Mon 03-Sep-12 04:01:06

IDKWMMA: I have pointed that out to DH. Am a bit fed up of him caving in at the slightest pressure, TBH. He's always telling DS he's grounded, but not following through and applying the 'no xbox gor 24hrs' or whatever punishment. DS probaby thinks he can get his own way by continually nagging us, because in the past that has worked.
It would be DS's own money, btw. He's saviing up for it.

bonhomiee Mon 03-Sep-12 04:02:20

I had a childminder for ds, 10 last year and her son, 10 had Black Ops!! Since I didn't want him to play it, her ds "Had to wait until my ds left to play his games"
It's true about saying no.
Just explain to him you are responsible for bringing him up to be a happy well adjusted young person and this game is not going to contribute to that in any way.

Wordsmith Mon 03-Sep-12 04:04:52

Mathanxiety: I wish I was 30something! I am 50. Most of his friends' parents are late 30s. Maybe I am just a different generation who hasn't grown up with this distraction. Many of his friends' dads spend hours playing war games online so it's probably more normalised for them.

bonhomiee Mon 03-Sep-12 04:21:42

Lots of children have it and I'm sure they are fine with it at the time, but who knows what effects it may have on their psyche longer term?

Don't draw it out into a big drama, just explain why you are not happy about it and tell him he can make his own choices when he is the legal age to buy it.

mathanxiety Mon 03-Sep-12 05:21:15

I am nearly 50something. smile

My one thing that I have always done is if I say no I never change my mind even if I realise I am completely wrong. So far, they haven't figured out how wrong I was until the moment has well and truly passed. At that point I have shrugged.

How old is your DH?

nooka Mon 03-Sep-12 05:57:33

Wordsmith my reasoning to ds is not whether he has a problem with the violence. It is that I do. It's my house and my front room and I'm not putting up with having to watch images of people getting brutally killed at close range. And I'm certainly not going to pay for it!

He seems to accept that it's not unreasonable that I should feel that way. It probably helps that he's not really into realistic type games.

Wordsmith Mon 03-Sep-12 07:42:41

Mathanxiety: he's 53.

WhyohWhyCantIThinkofaFabName Mon 03-Sep-12 07:51:39

I explained to my 12 year old that he couldn't have it because if kids do everything before they are supposed to then what is there left to experience when they get older??? We talked about the need to then find bigger buzz's and how that often leads people into trouble. He's a sensible lad...he was happy with that response....and we don't get asked for it anymore.

Tortoise Mon 03-Sep-12 07:52:20

I has this from my son with the first black ops. I stayed firm and didn't buy it but I found out he played it at friends houses.
Then his dad (my xp) bought it for him for Christmas and mw3 too. I was so angry and did tell xp he shouldnt let him play these games but it falls on deaf ears.

DS wants to sell his xbox at home now because there's nothing to play with his friends because they all play on black ops or other games I won't let a 12 yr old play.

seeker Mon 03-Sep-12 07:59:47

I'm with nooka. There are things I won't have in my house. I can't control what my children do or say outside my house- I know, for example that they both swear, use other language and behaviours that i would rath they didn't, and have played games/watched films that I consider too old for them.

But in our house we are kind to each other, we don't swear (much) we ware polite and considerate, and we stick (more or less) to age ratings when it comes to violent things. I'm less strict about sexual content and language, but I am the final judge of what comes into our home. I try ( god this sounds pompous) to make our home a place where we model how I would like them to be, in the hope that it will give them the tools to behave like that outside if/when they need or want to.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 03-Sep-12 08:01:22

Whatever you say, however you explain it - he's not going to agree.

There is no magic way of making him see that your reasoning and logic is right - on this issue, he will always consider you to be unreasonable, out of touch, old fashioned etc etc etc.

But, isn't that part of parenting teens?

Explain your reasoning but stop expecting it to work - he'll keep on about it because he's a teenager and that's what they do wink

lljkk Mon 03-Sep-12 09:43:22

DH has made it clear he thinks the 'being left out' argument trumps the legal and moral ones.

Oh that sucks, really sorry to read it.
Still elicits snorts of derision from me: so if your son says He's Left Out because he's not allowed to smoke pot or go joy-riding, would you allow those too? How does your DH propose when to draw the line against the Left Out argument?

I would still refuse to buy it (can't stop your DH or another adult buying it for him, I guess). And probably refuse to let him play it when I was in the house. Mine can't access the computer without the password they don't know.

Like FabName said: I often point out what is there to look forward to if you get everything early?

ChopstheDuck Mon 03-Sep-12 09:56:06

I agree with your dh tbh!

I personally think you are going the wrong way about it. You can refuse if that's what you want to do, and I think if that is what you are going to do a flat no is good enough. You aren't going to realistically be able to reason with him to see your point of view, so leave it at no.

Thing is though, all his friends will have it, and when he goes to their houses he will still be playing it, and he will feel left out. I let my ds1 play what he wants because I know he will do it outside anyway, so it is all a bit pointless. He is 10 and loves the games.

However he is NOT glued to a screen all day, because he isn't allowed to be! He can play what he wants, but only for limited periods. He has a wii, xbox, ds and psp, but he has to ask for permission before using any of them. He goes out to the park, bike rides, cinema, reads a lot too. He can't climb a tree because he has DCD and hypermobility, but he is active.

The other rule is that the 7 yos aren't allowed to watch or play them. They are too young and get a bit carried away! I don't want them playing games they don't really understand.

My dh had the Black Ops game and it completely changed him. He became completely obsessed with playing it, so much so he started to neglect his duties as a father, stopped bathing. If i tried talking to him or asking him something he would just grunt or shout at me and tell me he was playing Live & didn't want to be disturbed shock!!angry

This went on for a few months, our relationship & his relationship with the dcs suffers as his addiction to it took over him.
All he did was grunt, shout and i suggested a day out it was always "no im playing black ops"
In the end i gave him the ultimatum between the game or me- He walked out and didn't come back for six hoursangry, when he returned we went and sold the game.

Bottom line is some of these games can become very addictive and the content in them is very unsuitable for a 12 yr olds.
They can also cause physcological problems
Don't let him have it, take control

lljkk Mon 03-Sep-12 10:05:00

How do you keep younger DC from watching if the computer is in a communal room, like the lounge? Just police them away from that space for the duration? Never mind whether OP herself wants to be exposed to the sound & visuals of it. confused

Only practical solution is to have dedicated electronics in the child's own room, or big enough house to have an off-limits rooms, no? Which would make the off-limits game/space all the more attractive to Little Ones, I suppose.

CakeBump Mon 03-Sep-12 10:07:39

I just don't get this, I'm sorry.

As they say on MN, "No" is a complete sentence.

And I'd be telling my DH that if I see the game in the house, it will be going in the bin or to the charity shop.

At the end of the day, it's a No. A complete "no", for lots of very good reasons.

And I wouldn't be needing to justify myself to my DH and certainly not my 12 year old DS on that one.....

seeker Mon 03-Sep-12 10:09:59

As I said- it's not about stopping your son playing the game- you can't control what he does out of the house. You are controlling what comes into your home. Which you can.

bonhomiee Mon 03-Sep-12 10:12:47

chops... I really don't see why you think it's ok to let a 10 yr old watch an 18 game? So since its illegal for him to buy it you have to buy it for him?

People allowing these games into their houses need to read my post.
These games are addictive & contain gruesome scenes-they are 18 for a reason

You and your DH need to (in private) decide between the two of you whether he is allowed it or he isn't and BOTH need to toe the party line. Your DS will get his own way if he so much as sniffs a chink in your armour.

You've already reneged on a deal by giving in to the Modern Warfare game after saying no. In my opinion (feel free to disregard), irt is better, much better to allow something in the first place than to say No and then relent - this weakens your control and allows DCs to think that if they nag enough you will venetually relent. Hence you leave yourself open to so much nagging that you will, eventually, relent.

If you think there is a chance that your DC will get this game before he is 18, just give it now. Or, agree a reasonable age for him to be bought 18cert games (15/16?) and tell him "I will get you 18 cert games after you turn 15 and not before. If you ask me for an 18cert game again, before you turn 15, I will put the age up to 16. Your call"

But please please agree with your DH before hand. The last thing you need is one of you undermining the other. Teens see this, and use it to their advantage.

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