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12 year old wanting to play 18 rated XBox game

(143 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.

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....

ChaosTrulyReigns Tue 04-Sep-12 11:21:09

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

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