How do you feel about your 4-year-old playing video games? Not just any video game, a not suitable for kids game! When it comes to things like these, all parents should know when to say NO.
For a few months, my 4-year-old has moved from car toys and coloring to helicopter, ships and guns. Yes! Guns. It all started a night that I walked into his room where he was playing Xbox with hubby. I see they look very entertained and focused. When I sat for about 2 minutes I immediately raised a concern. A very graphic game of men with guns and bombs (of all types) shooting and blood everywhere. A man stabbing another while one is in a box burning up screaming for help. To add more, the language they used was not what a 4-year-old should be hearing either.
I said what are you guys playing!? to what Matt (my 4 yr old) responded it’s a game called “local” (original game called Call of Duty ….) to which I reacted. I was so upset, I started tearing while I spoke (after baby #1, I tear up when upset)
What are you teaching him? Why would you let him watch such a graphic game? He is ONLY 4! That game is obviously for adults! You don’t think that’s too violent for him?
To what he responded “It’s just a game.”
That got me even more upset. I went on, “So it’s okay for him to learn to use knifes and who knows, even try it in real life, you know he is full of imagination and you never know what he can be learning from this.” I grabbed the remote and deleted the game purchased. Hubby said there goes $29.99 wasted, which I really didn’t give a hoot.
That night, while laying in bed hubby and I were talking. He agreed, it’s probably too violent.
The next day, Matt asked to play Xbox. I told him, I’m fine with you playing just know you are not allowed to play the graphic one. He seemed okay where he didn’t nag or beg to get it again. (which is his usual thing to do when he likes something)
As days go by, I notice he would ask to download “local” back on the Xbox as he looks through the games to play.
I said you know why you can’t play that game. He knew and said that’s the graphic game that i can’t play because it’s for big people and you don’t like it. (He noticed how upset I got that night) I sat with him for two minutes to try to explain why. He listened patiently and he said okay mom.
I honestly felt he understood what I was trying to tell him and why I was concerned. (and even if he doesn’t know the entire why behind my decision, I’m just glad he isn’t nagging for it)
Bombs, machine guns, and stabbings is not what he should be excited about, even if it’s in a game.
In addition, I’m not putting my husband down for the poor choice of game that night. We all do things that we may say, it’s no big deal at one point, sometimes we just need to step back and think while it’s no big deal for us, it may be for the kids. What is my child learning from this? What language is okay? What behavior is condoning?
Even though this game may be a phase, as with everything he’s liked turns into a phase. Car toys, coloring, soccer, flying super heroes and so on, it’s one I don’t condone.
And you might think I’m over reacting, but I just want him to be what he is. A child, full of energy, who loves adventures and learning new things without the influence of any kind of violence.
There will be time for him to play adult games, and make his own decisions. In the meantime, as parents, we need to be more involved in what our little ones are doing, watching and playing.
Is there a game you don’t like your children playing? Have you gone thru something similar? If so, feel free to share below.
Also, you might like this article on the “Top 5 Things Every Child Should Hear”. Check it out! 🙂
Thanks for coming by!