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I really don't think I am, but must be the only one

(37 Posts)
Tournament Fri 10-May-13 18:08:57

It's about computer games and the like.

I have a 9 yo and an 11yo. They both love their games and I admit I don't. I am stricter than most parents about restricting the time they're allowed on them. I also admit, I don't understand the games much, DH is far more interested and they play together a lot.

Anyway, after some debate, I have reluctantly agreed that they can play some 15 rated games, when with DH and provided he has already reviewed the content. I don't like it, but I trust my DH as a parent.

However, when they go to friends houses, they seem to play games with any certificate. AIBU to think 9 & 11 yos shouldn't be playing 18 certificate games and even if you allow it for your own DCs, you shouldn't be allowing other people's children to play them in your house?

It must just be me, because these are parents who are entirely sensible and responsible in every other way. e.g I let mine "play out" long before many of these parents did, somewhat fanatical about healthy eating, extra homework set in the run up to SATs etc

FreyaSnow Sat 11-May-13 22:03:01

I have a 12 year old and a 15 year old. I would let them play a game or watch a film with any age rating if I had viewed it first and considered it appropriate.

TheDicktective Sat 11-May-13 22:00:51

YANBU. I check with the parents before the day on what their kids are allowed to watch/play. Ds's 11th birthday they watched Skyfall. It's a 12, so I checked with the other kids parents. Same as I checked with them that they were happy for them to go swimming without an adult in the water. It is about remembering all parents have boundaries, and rules. Why would you go against another parents wishes? I wouldn't.

I now allow 11yo to play 15/16 games, provided my DP says they are okay - he will have played them. I know nothing about games to be honest.

I won't let him watch a 15 film yet, unless I've seen it and said it to be okay - but to be honest I can't think of many 15 films I have felt to be okay.

Ex DP let DS watch paranormal activity at age 9. DS was utterly traumatised, and still to this day mentions it and how scary it was. He asks me to make sure he never sees anything like this again.

So I am pretty damn sure rated 18 games will give a similar affect!

I've just got him an xbox for his room, as I have a new baby, and I don't want the baby seeing any of these violent games. DP doesn't play them unless the baby is sleeping.

Lomaamina Sat 11-May-13 21:59:11

Be strong happybubblebrain grin. We didn't buy a games console for DS and the unexpected consequence was that he's much more computer literate than his friends as he's had to find other sources of (free) games playable on the internet. We've also saved a fortune by not having to buy the games that go with the consoles (always madly inflated as far as I'm aware).

happybubblebrain Sat 11-May-13 21:53:56

I won't let dd have any games consoles, she's only 6 but I decided a long time it was one rule I was going to stick to. I think they are a terrible waste of time and quite damaging. I think life is far better without them. I wouldn't let her watch inapproriate films either. She plays a few little games on cbeebies etc, but she's not really that interested.

When she's with friends she can play their games, but I have trustworthy friends who wouldn't let her see anything inapprorpriate. I'm usually there when she's socialising so there haven't been any issues yet. If I knew of a friend letting their kids play with violent games or films I wouldn't allow her to go there. Simple really, but she's young so we shall see.

Beamur Sat 11-May-13 21:45:00

My 18 yr old DD has commented on how unpleasant some of the content of 18 rated games are.
I think my DSS has access to them before he was 18, but certainly not as young as 9 or 11.
YANBU - it may be 'cartoon' violence, but frankly there are lots of other games out there which don't have such nasty bits in. DSS and DP used to play together a lot on fifa (football) and golf which they both enjoyed.

badguider Sat 11-May-13 21:42:33

I think they will be exposed to these games at other houses but I think that's very different from access at home and getting really "into" the games (at friends they'll be taking turns and chatting etc). I would limit the time he spends at friends houses to short blasts of say 2hrs at a time max and stick to your rules at home.

Lomaamina Sat 11-May-13 21:38:16

We too insist on no underage games for our DS14 and as far as I know his friends respect the fact that his parents are "very strict" and they simply switch to whatever flavour of the month game is at the time - currently it's Civilization People might say I'm being naive, but I believe DS quite enjoys being able to 'blame' the strictness of his parents when not wanting to do something that he himself feels uncomfortable with. (He also wasn't allowed Facebook until he turned 13, unlike the vast majority of his circle). I remain shocked that some of his friends are allowed 18 games and like others on this thread, I suspect that the parents aren't aware of how nasty they can be.

HollyBerryBush Sat 11-May-13 09:00:06

Well, I'm afraid I don't know any teenage boy that doesn't have a copy of COD -apart from mine coz he broke his xbox and I refuse to replace it!!!!

Life is so much better since it became console free grin

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 11-May-13 07:41:40

Sorry x-post.

I don't believe every family plays COD!

What do you want to do? It is all well and good me wittering on but it is your decision after all, my answers were right for me that's all.

kneedeepindaisies Sat 11-May-13 07:38:13

YANBU. I'm in exactly the same situation with DS1 who is 10.

Against my better judgement, I've allowed 15 games which, at the first sign of bad behaviour, are removed.

However all his friends are allowed 18 games and even though the parents know i don't let him play them at home they let him play them at their houses.

It's easy to say find like minded people but I can't!

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 11-May-13 07:37:02

Oh, and kids do quite a bit of 'socialising' at school, so if they don't do many play dates it won't kill them or ruin them or mean they will be social outcasts forever. Just be very busy with other things?

If you tell your kids they can't go to x's house because of the games, that causes a problem both in your home and potentially at school. If you say you can't go because you had planned a special family treat that day, it causes no problems, but solves the issue.

Sometimes it is just about avoiding what we don't like for a bit while a phase passes.

Tournament Sat 11-May-13 07:36:23

Yep, we do all those things and if dc go to those houses they will pay cod. I agree better to meet outside the house but that usually costs money and families like to be sociable and invite my dc over.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 11-May-13 07:27:32

What do you do as a family at weekends? Could you socialise more at family activities to meet other families rather than just play dates with school friends?

Or invite the families you know already to places other than your house? Places without electricity for example wink

Off the top of my head, we met people through wildlife events, music stuff, guiding/scouting, sports, local museum clubs, art activities. Could you find any of these?

Tournament Sat 11-May-13 07:15:26

Yes, I absolutely hear you, but where am I/they supposed to find those "others"? I know all the families at the school and many more locally (we are not in a "nice" area) and honestly, these are the nice families. There are many more I wouldn't let my DC anywhere near because of what they would see/hear in RL, let alone on a screen.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 11-May-13 07:06:45

Currently socialising with, sorry!

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 11-May-13 07:05:38

Socialising is important, but if the people your children are currently doing something you consider damaging, then you have to find others to socialise with.

Values come first, teaching children to follow the pack is a really bad lesson, sometimes we have to think for ourselves.

Tournament Sat 11-May-13 07:00:28

LOL Holly. I am shock at the idea of any kind of game, TV or internet, in their bedroom grin but you're right, if it's on in the living room, how can you keep younger ones away? Not really a factor in my case, as both of mine are too young IMO.

Tournament Sat 11-May-13 06:58:20

I'm sure I'm not Swish, but among my DS1's friendship group of around 8-9 boys at school and another 6 or so from out of school activities I am. Surely socialising is a development need?

HollyBerryBush Sat 11-May-13 06:57:47

It's difficult to police because, if you have an older child, who does play these games, to keep the younger one away, especially if they are in and out of each others bedrooms.

You may impose restrictions, but there is a certain amount of "can I have a go?", "Go on then, don't tell mum I let you". Then of course when they bring their friends round, they sneak a go too.

With DS3 he has a horrible little friend, who has older siblings. I stamped on that friendship when I found out the other child was showing him online porn, he'd been using an older brothers laptop. I put that down to natural curiosity hmm.

So, if your children are close in age, you can police it better, but if you have a wider spread of children, it is difficult.

joshandjamie Sat 11-May-13 06:55:33

You are definitely not being unreasonable. My son is 9 and his mates all play COD. They talk about it at school and my son feels really left out. He has sobbed about this begging me to let him have it. I have explained till I'm blue in the face about this and why I won't be changing my mind.

I have even had to write an email to my friends (the parents of his friends) requesting that they please ensure they don't play on these games while my son is there and to ask their kids to not go on about them in front of my son. Luckily they are good friends who I can ask this of, I couldn't with mums I don't know. But even doing that was awkward because it felt like I was judging them by asking them not to let him play on games which they are obviously fine with.

frankly I do judge them for it because I think it is insane that they let them play on 18 games.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 11-May-13 06:52:01

Tournament - you are not the only person who doesn't let their children play these games. It may feel like that at times.

I put my kids development needs ahead of 'socialising' with families who cba to set appropriate boundaries tbh, so at 11 I would simply not let my child round to a house where 18 games were played.

We made the choices we thought right and stuck to them. If other parents think violent games are just great for young children, that is their lookout, but I don't have to pretend to agree. I don't understand why so many parents just cave on this issue in particular.

If these children don't want to come round because they can't play computer games, they sound pretty dull friends. Maybe time to widen the social options a bit?

Tournament Sat 11-May-13 06:36:23

Charlie & Sianilaa, I agree in principle and that is my gut reaction, but if I was to employ that policy, my boys would never go anywhere. I know all the children in their classes and they have both done a good job of picking "nice" friends from "good" families, but they have never been to any house and not played these games at least once or twice.

It's getting to the stage that because my boys don't have them, no-one wants to come here sad

Quenelle Fri 10-May-13 23:17:29

I work for a games publisher and have recently taken over responsibility for age rating applications and don't know how I'm going to do the 18 titles tbh. I can't bear watching violence of any kind and certainly couldn't stand to describe it in graphic detail as required with some of the worldwide ratings agencies. Fortunately we don't do them often, and in fact only a very small percentage of games published in the UK are rated 18.

As parents we have to familiarize ourselves with the games our children play. Would you let your 11 year old watch 'video nasties' without a thought? Or do you think because they're called 'games' they won't contain sometimes very adult content?

When I read on here how casual parents are about the games they let their children play I realise that the pegi system has a hell of a lot of work to do in terms of educating parents about games.

Sianilaa Fri 10-May-13 22:49:09

YANBU. My two are only small but it's one area I will not budge on - I don't care if they end up being the only boys without 18 rated games. If they were allowed to play those kind of games at 11 at a friend's house, they'd never be allowed back there.

TidyDancer Fri 10-May-13 21:25:46

You can't control what happens in other houses, but you can control what happens in your own, and use it to set an example.

I'm afraid I do judge parents who allow their DCs access to violent games and films.

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