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.

Wordsmith Mon 03-Sep-12 10:32:12

That's another issue lljkk - he has an 8 yr old brother and the XBOX is in the living room. The 8 yr old can't avoid seeing him.playing MW3, and I can't be in the room every time DS1 plays it. I don't want him to have it up in his room because I don't want him to become isolated. I don't like TVs etc in kids' rooms.

It's so hard. He's a lovely, sensible boy and his friends are important to him. He's also at that stage of life when bullying etc starts if you don't 'fit in'. It's a hard line to take.

Technoviking Mon 03-Sep-12 10:55:10

You don't like TVs in kids rooms but you'll let them play violent adult video games? Yeah that works.

I play my xbox a lot, I NEVER play adult rated games if DD is around. I wait til she's in bed. It's not hard to say no, surely?

Wordsmith Mon 03-Sep-12 12:43:14

Yes I know. I don't like him playing it, and I realise I am going to have to get rid of it if my principles are going to prevail.

The TV in bedroom thing is more of an isolation issue and wanting to be aware of what he is doing/watching/playing, but then he takes his blackberry up there and watches stuff on YouTube.

It's all becoming much harder to police.

Chubfuddler Mon 03-Sep-12 13:22:33

It is hard to police if you let a 12 year old have a blackberry yes.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 03-Sep-12 13:30:17

Nothing wrong with house rules requiring ALL Internet enabled devises to be restricted to family areas of the home - and you can password wifi networks, too smile

Wordsmith Mon 03-Sep-12 13:44:38

Oh FGS. Most 12 year old boys have phones. He doesn't watch 18 rated videos on it. This is about purposely buying 18 rated videos. And of course we password the wifi. I don't want to withdraw the internet from him. We'd need to move to Mars for that to be a viable option.

Chubfuddler Mon 03-Sep-12 13:56:33

Most 12 year olds do not have mobile phones. Most 12 years you know might have, but then they play age inappropriate violent video games too.

Wordsmith Mon 03-Sep-12 14:09:32

Goldplatedninedoors - the agreeing with DH thing is a good point. To be honest it threw me when he disagreed yesterday. He didn't disagree in front of DS though, just kept silent. I was p****d off.

And Chubfuddler - yes, most 12 year old boys I know do have phones. Most of them get them when they go to high school. Do a survey - I bet you'll find that your 12 year old DS's friends have them. And If you don't have a 12 year old or similar aged DS, then I'm sorry but you don't know what you're talking about.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 03-Sep-12 14:13:51

I'm not suggesting that you remove the internet from him - just restrict access and prevent him accessing it in his room so that you can monitor his activity - nothing more than is recommended by all the experts wink

If he's demanding 18-rated video games because "all his friends play them" I can guarantee that he is also looking at the 18-rated videos that his friends are all talking about, too, regardless of what you might think, or what he tells you.

Wordsmith Mon 03-Sep-12 14:22:58

Yep I am going to have to put a few more restrictions in place, Notadisneymum. I do monitor what he's watching via his internet history. It's normally Minecraft videos.
The phone is useful as it gives him the freedom I had at 12 (going out and about on his own, unsupervised play etc) with the peace of mind that he can contact me/I can reel him in at mealtimes.
It's a blackberry because it was a really good deal (Virgin mobile) and he likes to bbm his friends. I monitor his bbm messages, it's normal teenage rubbish.

SoupDragon Mon 03-Sep-12 14:27:56

DSs (11 and 13) want some 18 games. Somehow though, I have managed to get them to understand that I'm not letting them have any. I do let them have 15 ones and make it clear that this is as far as I am prepared to go.

I think I just went with "It's an 18, you're not having it. I don't care if your friends have it, they aren't my child."

Wordsmith Mon 03-Sep-12 14:29:15

Yep I let him have 15 games.

SoupDragon Mon 03-Sep-12 14:34:43

I was musing on this the other day - they still try it on in a "I want this but it's an 18 and I'm not allowed it am I?" way but they accept that I won't let them. Strange as they aren't usually compliant!

Maybe I made a big deal about breaking the rules so they could have 15s and they can see that I could be more restrictive.

ChopstheDuck Mon 03-Sep-12 14:36:19

If you do restrict it, what happens when they hang out with friends? Do you expect them not to play it then too? DS1 has disappeared to his mate's house for the afternoon, and I know full well they will be on the xbox for a couple of hours likely playing COD or similar.

valiumredhead Mon 03-Sep-12 14:37:37

No and that is not up for discussion. You do not have to provide evidence that it is bad for such young kids to play on such violent games as it'll go in one ear and out the other!

Yes, lots of his friends will play on it, but there will be lots that don't either.

I am horrified at the number of parents that let their 9 year olds play on this game at ds's school - just shocking.

bonhomiee Mon 03-Sep-12 14:40:14

chops.. everyone allows different things.If you are happy with it that's up to you but a lot of parents of primary school age children are not happy about them playing 18 games at home or with friends and it shouldn't just be a free for all.. you are allowed to have some control.

SoupDragon Mon 03-Sep-12 14:44:01

That's easy Chops. I don't let them out of my sight, ever. It's how I ensure they only every use appropriate language and behave how I expect them to. hmm

Just because they can play it round the house of someone who has a lax parent doesn't mean they can play it at home.

SoupDragon Mon 03-Sep-12 14:46:12

It has to be said that if my younger DS went to someone's house and played an 18 game it would be the last time they went there.

valiumredhead Mon 03-Sep-12 14:48:36

soup yep, I'm with you there and ds know it too.

PropositionJoe Mon 03-Sep-12 14:58:20

My sons are 13 and 11 and I don't allow 18 certs. Our current problem is the possibility that the new Assassins Creed will be an 18, the elder boy loves the previous ones (which are 15s) and really wants this new one. I've given him a blanket "no" but will look at it on YouTube when it comes out to see why it got the higher cert (if that's what it gets).

Wordsmith Mon 03-Sep-12 15:39:35

The thing with DH.... We HAD agreed, he's had long conversations with DS about why 18 classifications are so. But he is going through bad phase of depression at the moment and simply can't handle conflict in the home. That's why he's folding. Hence I am effectively fighting this battle on my own. I know the only solution is to stand firm, i guess I'm just searching for a route thar involves less conflict.

bonhomiee Mon 03-Sep-12 15:39:58

Absolutely, if other people are stupid and lax with their rules that's up to them but I wouldn't let my dc go there again

If its an 18, its an18... shouldn't be playing it, just like shouldn't be smoking and drinking... shouldn't be watching unsuitable videos and having sex...thems the law and I'm sure if there were behavioural problems and SS were involved they would be pretty unimpressed.
sorry

mathanxiety Mon 03-Sep-12 19:31:26

You need to stop being so vulnerable to the 'bullying' issue and the 'he will be left out' thing. They are not arguments in favour of doing anything. They are successful attempts to push your buttons. Don't allow yourself to be manipulated.

Your DH needs to stop playing -- is it possible he is a bit more invested in the game than he wants to admit? Games can become all consuming and if he is depressed then he could be using it as a form of self medication, escape, or whatever.

The DCs here have had the most basic phones imaginable until they got to 16/17. Not the same as everyone else's? OK, then give it back and you can buy some carrier pigeons darling.

mathanxiety Mon 03-Sep-12 19:35:15

Discussion and reasoning is the only way to guarantee more conflict.

The way to have less conflict is to say no and make it plain that that is all you have to say on the subject, with various penalties assigned for bringing up the subject again.

After you say no, then you respond with, 'Stop asking me. I have already told you the answer is no,' to the next whine. After that, you respond with, 'Since you disregarded my instruction to stop asking me, I will now impose X sanction'. You have to make it about what you want him to do and not what he wants you to do.

Games with an 18 certificate are not the same as those with a 15 certificate. If they were the same, they would get a 15 certificate. It's not the games makers that certificate the games. A 15 certificate has a wider market and sells more units.

Some things are not appropriate for 12 year old CHILDREN. Your son is a child, and it is your responsibility to protect him. As someone who worked for many years in games retail, I can tell you that gaming is sort of a stackable thing. You play a game, you get used to it, you get good at it, you move up to the next thing. I don't mean to make it sound like a gateway drug, because it's not like that grin. But generally, children should be progressing at games at the same rough rate as the certificates are increasing, IYSWIM? The problem comes when you start letting them play 15 rated games at 10...well, where do they go from there?

I think that the explanation has to be suitability and certificates. However, you are struggling with this argument if you are letting him play 15 rated games. PEGI ratings are advisory, and really, at 12, you should be looking at the game - maybe go to a shop and ask advice - and seeing if it's suitable. A BBFC certificate is legal and you should not be buying it for him.

The main issue I find, is that children like games, and conversely, it provides a lot of parents with an easy life. If I had a pound for every parent I overheard talking about their 6/7/8 year old child playing 18 rated games because it keeps them quiet for a bit...

Just say no. You are the grown up and he is the child. If you continue to treat him like an adult by letting him experience adult games (and why not films, in that case?) then he will start to expect to be treated like one. I would put my foot down and say no. If he cannot accept it gracefully, then I would remove the console.

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