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.

Snorbs Sun 02-Sep-12 11:57:34

It's not a matter of providing cogent arguments that will convince him that your point of view I'd the right one.

It's a matter of saying "no" and them not changing your mind just because he throws a strop.

DowagersHump Sun 02-Sep-12 12:00:46

It's the standard teenage argument - 'all my friends are allowed to do it/have it/drink it etc'

I agree with Snorbs - this is your house, your rules. It's irrelevant (and probably untrue) about how his friends are parented

savoycabbage Sun 02-Sep-12 12:00:51

Just don't get it. In fact, I would take the other one away too (nails) and get some legogrin.

I bet it's not true that all the others have it. Kids exaggerate/lie to each other to be not left out.

Wordsmith Sun 02-Sep-12 12:01:02

I am saying no, and I'm not changing my mind. I thought I'd made that clear. But I would like to explain to him why I am saying no. He is an intelligent boy and I want him to understand why I am taking this line, when none of his friends' parents are (and believe me, they're not; it's not just what he's saying. They all seem to just buy whatever the kids want.)

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Sep-12 12:02:09

He is 12, you are an adult. You don't need to give him any arguments other than 'No, and that's final'

DowagersHump Sun 02-Sep-12 12:02:48

Well, why don't you want him to play it? Isn't that a good enough reason?

Wordsmith Sun 02-Sep-12 12:04:31

OK, does anyone know of where I can find evidence of the danger of such games in teen friendly language? I know all about sticking to my guns, but I am also aware of his feelings and emotions and have always tried to ensure he understands why we do or don't do certain things. Why we don't let him have a TV/video game console in his room, for example, and why he doesn't have a laptop of his own yet. This is not about me sticking to my guns, believe me!

BlackberryIce Sun 02-Sep-12 12:07:10

Oh it will be true. Yes, the other kids probably do have it

My teen ds plays it. There are year 7/8/9 kids on it all the time.... Kind of like 9 year olds all have Facebook early. It's their culture now and how they all socialise

It's sad isn't it. My dc can't even climb a tree! ( something I will remedy)

DowagersHump Sun 02-Sep-12 12:08:57

The jury is still out on the effect of games on developing brains but to me, it's the same argument as I would use when it comes to 18 films - it's extremely violent with adult language. I don't want that kind of stuff in my home.

He wouldn't be allowed in to see an 18 film at the cinema, you won't allow him to at home either.

savoycabbage Sun 02-Sep-12 12:09:13

There must be some research somewhere about the harmful effects if this sort of game, normalising violence and all that, which you could read up on and then talk to him about.

I parent my dc quite differently from most of their friends because we are immigrants. They are often hmm at me but they just have to accept that they can't do certain things just because other people are.

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Sep-12 12:09:41

It's an 18. People whose job it is to decide such things have decided it's not suitable for a 15 year old let alone a 12 year old.

I'm a teacher and get fed up of kids trying to argue the score on every little detail, as if their opinion carries as much weight as mine. As I point out to them, it's a classroom not a democracy and I'm in charge.

Wordsmith Sun 02-Sep-12 12:14:35

Ha ha Noblegiraffe... I use the 'it's not a democracy' line at home too!
I just wondered if anybody anywhere had tried to describe to children such as my son WHY it's a bad idea. Something I could show him to back up my denial. It's not a dealbreaker, but everything I've found on the web is written for adults in impenetrable language.

Chubfuddler Sun 02-Sep-12 12:17:26

You don't need to back up your denial, that's the point. He's twelve not eighteen and you're in charge. When he is 18 he can play what he likes, it's a privilege of adulthood.

Wordsmith Sun 02-Sep-12 12:29:57

I know I don't need to, but I would like to. Perhaps I didn't make that clear enough.

lljkk Sun 02-Sep-12 12:35:14

That's nice. <<Pat on boy's head>> Why don't you go play on the motorway if that's where your friends decide to hang out next?

Just because other parents make stupid decisions doesn't mean I have to.

& (a personal fave):

If other families are so great, go see if they'd like to adopt you?

Sorry, I'm beyond having the energy to try to pursue rational agreement with preteens-teens. How about "I don't like it and that's good enough for me."?

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Sep-12 12:36:04

'because it contains violence and bad language and that's not nice and I don't want you exposed to it unnecessarily, and besides, sitting on your backside playing computer games all day isn't doing your health any good'

Should be clear enough.

BertieBotts Sun 02-Sep-12 12:41:54

TBH even if you can find something to show him he is very unlikely to listen or take it in. Preteens' brains just aren't wired that way, they're still very much in "But my friends play it and nothing's happened to them so it's fine" mode. Or "That won't happen to me" or "I wouldn't care if that happened to me" depending on how severe an "effect" you can find. Too mild and he won't care, too severe and he'll take from it that you're exaggerating because you're an adult and by definition out of touch. (I don't think this, but I can remember thinking as a teenager that adults were all hopelessly naive and didn't have a clue about what happened in the world these days blush I can see how stupid that is now - we've all got through it and lived it! - but as a teenager you have this whole complex that you're the first person to ever experience anything and nobody can possibly understand, etc.

I doubt that ALL his friends will have it. And surely he can still chat to people on facebook/msn/BBM or whatever they use nowadays. And play Fifa or something.

CakeBump Sun 02-Sep-12 12:44:49

So what if he wants to? Say no.

And your reason is "you're too young"

and if he argues, your further reason is "because I say so".....

DoingItForMyself Sun 02-Sep-12 12:45:37

Its not an exaggeration that all his friends have it. They will have. Sadly we had a similar thing with DS (also 12). His argument was that they make these games an 18 rating to make them more appealing and that actually they are no different to many similar 15 rated games (which we had allowed him - I know, he's only 12!)

We had all the conversations about how it impacts on kids' behaviour (I watched the Robert Winston prog about it) and how it desensitises them to violence etc. He pointed out that he read books where people are shot and that they studied WW1/2 at school, that he understands the difference between a computer generated person being shot, with lots of red pixels on the screen and a real person being shot, who doesn't get up and carry on. All very rational debate.

When we put our foot down and said categorically that he wasn't having it, he said "well I'll just go to X's house and play it then" and I realised that actually, I was never going to be able to stop him playing it, I could only stop him playing it at home and gave in. He then played it a few times online with his mates/cousins (more sociable than he'd been for months!) and then discovered skateboarding and the x-box now gathers dust in the corner of his room.

My advice would be that banning it makes it more appealing. I would never allow any games that include criminal activity/sex etc but shooting/war games are pretty much all the same, so if he has one, another one won't make any difference.

(Sorry to the PC brigade btw, I know I am slack and it is lazy parenting, but we can't all be perfect!)

Wordsmith Sun 02-Sep-12 12:54:23

Have tried all those likkj!

Wordsmith Sun 02-Sep-12 12:54:57

Sorry, lljkk

mercibucket Sun 02-Sep-12 13:01:43

What are your reasons for not letting him have it? Just stick with those. Is it research based or more a moral decision on the lines of non-violence in the house? What about the old version he has? Is that now confiscated cos if it isn't he's going to rip your arguments to shreds. Quite possibly it just has to come down to 'my house, my rules' and he'll just have to get on with it
I let my 10 year old play it, but he's not allowed to watch x factor as I disagree on moral grounds smile

lljkk Sun 02-Sep-12 16:16:07

Oh I expect you have tried them all, but you'll just have to keep them coming. The more creative you can be the better. Consider it a form of sport, how witty you can be in variations of saying "NO".

You could print out what NobleGiraffe wrote, laminate & put it on a placard on a stick, hold placard up every time he starts in about it, again. Embellish with marker colour pens.

DS gave up on acquiring those games a while ago, but we get periodic whining & threatened explosive strops about wanting a BB gun. I have taken him to shooting lessons (would do so again). Looked into him joining local rifle club (they are too small to cater). Other shooting clubs too far away. So I'm willing to compromise a bit, but over my dead body will I buy him an Airgun to just use around the area as he sees fit.

ps: get him into Minecraft? This is what I did to get DS off of Shoot-Em-UP games and thank goodness it's worked. The other 2 DC are addicted, too, but M/Craft is a whole anoraky world of passionate fans, a club of its own.

Wordsmith Mon 03-Sep-12 03:05:47

He's into Minecraft, has been for a while. I don't mind that.

Reasons for not letting him have it: it's an 18 certificate, it's realistic mindless violence; it glorifies war (mainly the first 2).

His main reason for wanting it: all his friends are getting it and he'll be left out.

I do realise my moral high ground is shaky given that I let him have MW3. I did think it was a 16 at the time.

Since my first post my DH has made it clear he thinks the 'being left out' argument trumps the legal and moral ones. I don't think he is going to back me up strongly on this, despite giving DS a lecture a few weeks ago on why 18 films and games are so classified. So I'm pretty much screwed.

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.

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.

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.

DowagersHump Mon 03-Sep-12 21:08:35

chop - it was that kind of parenting you're advocating that meant I was smoking spliff very regularly at the age of 13. There is no way on earth my parents would have allowed it but I had enough friends whose parents were laid back to mean that it was always available.

'Their friends all do it so we may as well just go along' is just bloody lazy tbh. If all parents said 'no, it's an 18, you're not having it', imagine how much easier our lives as parents would be.

Wordsmith Mon 03-Sep-12 23:43:08

I wish! But virtually every other parent of his friends to whom I speak about it seems not to have a problem with the fact that their pre-teens spend hours at a time virtually killing people in very realistic ways.

mathanxiety Tue 04-Sep-12 00:26:55

You are still able to influence your child by taking a stand and actually, part of what a 12 year old is doing by pushing and pressuring is trying to establish boundaries just as a 2 year old does.

There is a part of every 12 year old, no matter how persistent, that needs and wants to have a parent who presents an immovable object to them against which to butt their head. If your DH won't or can't do it then it has to be you. You are going to be Mrs Unpopular and you can expect plenty of flak. Take it as a sort of underhand compliment.

You are also going to have to find alternatives for the DS to do instead of playing the games. You should look into the Duke of Edinburgh programme or some other real life activities or challenges for your DS. Altruism does not come naturally to tween boys, but maybe you could find some charity he could volunteer in or some cause he could adopt, or some sport he could play?

Wordsmith Tue 04-Sep-12 08:30:15

He does do sport; he's not a complete screen nerd! Plus he goes to scouts. He plans to do D of E, but they don't do that at his school until Y9 - he's just starting Y8. He is quite a well rounded kid, but likemost 12 yr old boys, being part of the gang and fitting in with his friends is very important to him. Not having this bloody game will definitely impact on his social life. It's mad, isn't it.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 04-Sep-12 08:52:00

It's often around this age that DCs change social groups and find where they fit in - up until now, all kids mix more or less equally, but things begin to change as they enter their teenage years.

I'm sure there are other social groups that your DC could become a part of whose families share your values - try not to place too much emphasis on him maintaining those friendships with people who may be a negative influence.

PropositionJoe Tue 04-Sep-12 08:53:11

Well if you stand firm he might find some other friends, you never know

Startailoforangeandgold Tue 04-Sep-12 10:39:52

Fortunately being girls my DDs have no desire to play assassins creed etc, however my 14 yo says most of the boys in her class have finished this and similarly violent games. I get the feeling that the age limits are totally ignored.

Personally I feel that things that they bother to rate 18+ are only suitable for "Adults", Know given you can have sex and get married at 16 I'm not certain that 18 can realistic mean 18, but it certainly doesn't mean 11!

School keeps game of thrones, the video of which is an 18 on the 6form only shelf, this seems reasonable.

DD1 has of course read it (she's a librarian and has read most of those shelves). I don't mind, I read adult thrillers from 12, there were no teen books.

Of course she wants the DVD. I have said she will have to wait.

Irritatingly it looks like its 18 for nudity as much as violence and I don't give a fuck about nudity and the odd sex scene. Graphic violence and gore I hate. I don't want to set the precedence that 18 can be ignored and I don't want her younger sister seeing it yet.

SoupDragon Tue 04-Sep-12 10:42:08

Not having an 18 game has not impacted on my DSs "social life"

Wordsmith Tue 04-Sep-12 11:02:22

I'm glad for that SD,however it would impact on my son's.

CakeBump Tue 04-Sep-12 11:21:04

OP with every post on this thread you seem to be coming up with reasons NOT to impose your rules on your DS.

If you want to take the easy route, and I accept that without your DH backing you up it is a lot harder to say no to your DS, then just do it.

A lot of posters have given you a lot of tips on how to say No to your DS, but you seem to have found a reason why you can't do any of it.

And your DS's social life being impacted at 12 - so what? Maybe he needs new friends....

There's a lot of info in the Byron Report, Wordsmith.

I have found a pdf of it, but don't kniw how to link that, so if you >>try here<< you can get through to the pdf that way.

Good luck with it all.

SoupDragon Tue 04-Sep-12 11:40:29

You think it will impact on your son's.

You are just buying onto the whole "everyone has it" thing.

TBH, if my sons' social lives were impacted on by not having an overly violent 18 certificate game then that would a good thing. That's not the sort of social life a 13 & 11 year old should be having.

SoupDragon Tue 04-Sep-12 11:43:42

Any advice gratefully received.

Well, not "any advice", clearly.

SoupDragon Tue 04-Sep-12 11:44:30

CLicking "hide" know because this is a pointless waste of time. You've let him have one 18 game, mistakenly IMO, and you will find it difficult to say no in future.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 04-Sep-12 11:55:35

Is this the first time you have said "no" to your DS, OP? Have you usually be able to reason with him and convert him to your pov, so that he makes the decision you believe is best for him?

This won't be the last thing that he wants to do that he won't agree with you on - he is only 12, and there will be many, many issues that you and he will not agree on, despite any reasoning or justifying you may try and use.

If you concede on this one, then so be it, but there will be other issues that you will face - during his teens, you will frequently be in a position that will require you to say "no" to him, despite his opinion, in order to uphold your parenting principles/values.

You could of course allow him to lead his own parenting, setting your own principles to one side, and make his own life decisions from now on with your full support. Good luck with that.

sheeplikessleep Tue 04-Sep-12 12:00:57

<Also hiding thread, as with two DSs who are 4 and 2, I'm dreading these arguments in the future and so will stay in blissful ignorance>

Needingthework Tue 04-Sep-12 12:13:29

Am with Soupy and Seeker on this.

DS1 (11) always asking for 18 rated games, but I don't allow them. Have allowed a 15 game (Halo) as the soldiers kill aliens which seems less realistic than other war games (delusional ?). However, this was after much deliberation, checking out the game myself and months after his friends had it.

Cannot police what he plays at others' home, but his friends' parents know how I feel about game ratings.

We have a family Xbox, so when he does play Halo, his younger brothers are occupied with me, or in the garden. He has a time limit of upto 45minutes and only plays it about twice a week, with the door closed.

He much prefers Minecraft at the moment anyway, which is 7 rated, I think.

Wordsmith Tue 04-Sep-12 12:57:16

Sorry, but I am very grateful for advice, and thanks to everyone who has provided this. What I was actually looking for was evidence of the harm that 18 rated videos can do to kids of his age, that I could show him; and tips on how other parents may have handled this issue with their boys. I don't need to be told that he doesn't need a phone (that has nothing to do with it) and I just need to say 'No' (I am saying no, I thought I had made that clear).

Thanks to everyone who has helped with links and tips. This is the first 12 year old boy I have had. I will have another one coming up in 4 years time! It's a tricky time when you're a mum to a boy, a bit like parenting an alien species.

Needingthework Tue 04-Sep-12 13:03:06

Have you looked at the game yourself? Played it?
Then you could tell him exactly why you do not want him to have it, as you would have witnessed it first hand, iyswim.

Can you borrow it from another parent? That's what I did with Halo, just so that I could know what I was talking about.

Needingthework Tue 04-Sep-12 13:03:45

Oops, sorry, it's a new game.

What about one of the older ones?

Wordsmith Tue 04-Sep-12 13:04:25

Needingthework: he has Halo, which he got after I had checked it out. I don't like it but, as you say, it's aliens, not realistic warfare. Minecraft is brilliant - both DSs play it. Our Xbox is in a family room too.

Notadisneymum: I seem to be saying 'No' all the time! I'm certainly not a laissez-faire parent! DS1 is an intelligent boy and we have always tried to make him understand why we are saying no to things rather than just 'because I said so' (although often it does come down to that.) Most times he knows why he can't do/have things, even though he doesn't like it.

Wordsmith Tue 04-Sep-12 13:08:47

Needingthework: Yes pit's a new game, not out yet. I've read up all I can on it on the web, it sounds horrible. But game reviews mainly go on about the playability, realistic graphics and the amazing effects. The only parental review site I have found is one in the US, and looking through past reviews it seems to be a bit right wing and 'god-fearing' (no offence, but hopefully you know what I mean.)

As for previous versions - yes they're vile, have seen it on YouTube.

Needingthework Tue 04-Sep-12 13:10:01

Mine is Minecraft obsessed - has even converted his dad and uncle hmm.

I meant have you checked out the other Black Ops game, so you can 'justify' why you don not want him to play the new one?

Needingthework Tue 04-Sep-12 13:11:37

X post. Maybe all you can say, then, is because I have researched it and I don't like it, so no.

Needingthework Tue 04-Sep-12 13:12:47

No offence taken - I am neither right wing nor god-fearing grin

ChuffMuffin Tue 04-Sep-12 13:17:58

If your DS has xbox live I can absolutely guarantee he will be abused by most other players, like this

valiumredhead Tue 04-Sep-12 13:28:19

You can have family settings on x box live and we have ours in the front room where I can monitor what's going on.

bonhomiee Tue 04-Sep-12 14:53:13

Explaining why he can't have it is fine.. but don't expect him to agree with you

I presume he is your eldest otherwise you would be a seasoned"No" er from previous experience...you need to be a lot firmer I think it all seems so drawn out.

Wordsmith Tue 04-Sep-12 15:28:59

Hi Bonhomiee yes he is the eldest - how can you tell grin? It's not drawn out from my side, I just keep saying no! He'll give in one day then I'll get it again in November, when the game is released.

I'll have to check the family settings on XBox, thanks Valiumred.

ChuffMuffin, that's vile. Yes he is on XBox Live. He mainly links up with his friends on there.

He makes videos of his Minecraft builds and puts them up on YouTube - at the moment he's interested in getting into that sort of business when he leaves school (he'll probably change his mind by then) so I don't mind him doing that.

It is true that most of his friends will have it. And you are right, most parents seem not to care about age ratings on games. Certainly most of the ones that ever came into my shop didn't. It's worrying. A lot of parents don't seem to think that games warrant the same concern as films. A worrying amount seem to think that age ratings are difficulty ratings.

At 12, I would not be allowing Xbox live, to be honest. That's just me. And you should be vetting games carefully. The staff in your local games shop can help you with this. They probably wish more parents would ask such questions.

I think you just have to accept that it may impact their social lives, just like until he is an adult, some decisions that you make will do so. Teenagers are united in what their parents will not allow. It's just one of those things.

If I was dealing with this issue, I wouldn't be going down the road of research and damage to children. You have your evidence. It's ratings. a board has decided that some games are not suitable for under 18s. The reasons are x,y and z (and you can find PEGI and BBFC criteria on their websites). Tell him at what point you will reevaluate your decision, and that you will be vetting all future games.

mathanxiety Tue 04-Sep-12 15:54:42

'...and I just need to say 'No' (I am saying no, I thought I had made that clear).'

If you had made it clear then your DS wouldn't have any hope of having the game and would not be keeping on asking you. You wouldn't be looking for arguments to use with him. Nor would you be dithering about his social life.

He has found your achilles heel -- you are worried he will be left out. That is going to trump every other consideration. He is going to work on that. He doesn't care about the impact of 18 rated games. It is always going to come back to the social life, the fear of him being bullied or excluded.

mathanxiety Tue 04-Sep-12 15:59:37

It's not that tricky parenting boys. They respect authority much more than girls do I have found. You have to harness your inner authority. He will understand no if you say it with conviction.

Wordsmith Tue 04-Sep-12 16:07:06

That's probably very true Mathanxiety. I think he's still trying because he thinks my DH will talk me into it. And because he plans to pay for it with his own money (which we tell him is 'to spend on stuff he wants including video games'). I don't seem to be able to get it through to him that it's not about money. he really thinks playing an 18 rated game won't affect him.

And it's true Pfft... he used to think the age ratings reflected the difficulty levels of the games, until we put him right. It's scary that many parents still think that. Comments from his friends' parents on age-inappropriate games have included: "Well you've got to let them have what their friends have, don't you," "There's no harm is there," and "I can't see why you're worried about it". And most of these kids play the game alone, in their bedrooms behind closed doors. I do have to bite my tongue sometimes.

PropositionJoe Tue 04-Sep-12 17:01:30

Well my two seem to understand pretty well that they won't be getting any 18 games and that even when they are 18 they won't be bringing anything I regard as offensive into our house (Grand Theft Auto springs to mind).

I have also allowed Halo which is 15. It is a first person game but shooting aliens. Assassins creed is third person. It is the realistic first person shooters I don't like because I firmly believe they mess with your head and teenage brains are far from fully formed. Interestingly when they first got Halo they found it made them quite stressed and tense so they only play it when they have friends round.

ladybird4 Thu 08-Nov-12 19:22:44

give up cos you won't win this war - you're deluded if you think that he's not going to play it at friends houses so I wouldnt waste my energy fighting this one. Just put him on a timer and that way you're stopping him from becoming addicted and you are showing him who's boss. I wasted too much time deliberating over whether to allow my 10 year old COD for Christmas cos all of his friends really did have it and it was their sole topic of conversation for that month anyway! Listen, the only worry you should have concerning the xbox is if he becomes addicted - to ANY game (Minefield included) - then your problems are real. In other words don't sweat the small stuff.

LynetteScavo Thu 08-Nov-12 19:32:23

As a mother of a 13yo who has presented their intelligent DS with every argument against playing 18 games, I can tell you the easiest is; "I don't want you witnessing violence, (insert your personal argument against violence if you wish...but really just save your breath) so I'm not letting you have it. Even if that makes me think I'm a mean, miserable old cow." Repeat endlessly for several months, and they might get the message. There maybe times when you need to say "BECAUSE I'M YOUR MOTHER AND I'VE SAID NO!" By the age of 12 he will have already figured violence = bad, so no need to elaborate too much.

winkle2 Thu 08-Nov-12 20:41:33

I know someone who let their two year old play these games!!

LynetteScavo Thu 08-Nov-12 20:52:28

Well, that someone is very stupid.

Does she give them beer and a cigarette too?

winkle2 Thu 08-Nov-12 21:00:21

No cause she doesn't smoke or drink. The same kid said wanker in front if me the other day! He's 5 now. She announced once that she allows swearing in front of her kids. I was like shock

slipslider Mon 12-Nov-12 23:27:21

For those who wonder if any 18 game is appropriate or not for their underage child just consider how a whole class of 9/10 year olds in my school know what 'tea bagging' is now because of COD! You can teabag your enemies in this game and our class this is it something hilarious to copy during playtimes. It is not just the violence but I think adult behaviours such as this are not appropriate for children!

Theas18 Mon 12-Nov-12 23:37:33

Umm nope, not in this house!

But Then again we don't have an x box or ps3 anyway lol. We have wii that's not been used for ages ( since ds finished skyward sword in his pst GCSE games feet) and a ps2 that he bought with his savings and at 16 still plays some football on! I think when he was 12/13 he was too busy to worry too much about gaming really.

Hell cope with " being left out". It won't be the first or last time hell be different o his mates.

Childsveiwsmatter Thu 15-Nov-12 21:38:41

I'm sorry I'm going to have to disagree. I think you should Jugde on how mature they are because everyone reacts differently to games. I can understand that it can be hard to judge but if you are there mum or dad you will probably be able to make a fair decision. And be confident in you decision! Also I would like to add that it makes you look very small and weak if you bullshit about kids on a mums website(kids lie) what shit is that!!!! I hope this has helped you see clearly through your parents are always right crap

bakedbeanqueen Sun 09-Dec-12 19:11:12

My son is 9, nearly 10 and is desperate for Call of Duty. He looks longingly at it every time he sees it in the shop. My technique is simple. I just say NO!! He won't be having 18 rated games for many years yet.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 09-Dec-12 19:34:26

Why answer a zombie thread?
Unless you are buying him Resident Evil for Christmas.

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