Elementary School Kids

I found out why my son isn't being invited to any birthday parties this winter
February 1, 2013 at 6:00 PM

My son is in third grade. He's nine.

In the last month there have been three kids from his very small school, all friends of his not only from school but his soccer team, who have had Xbox slumber parties for their birthdays to which he has not been invited.  I was confused and a little hurt for him. Until today when I found out why.

Apparently all the other kids play Xbox online together every evening.  Their favorite games are Black Ops and Call of Duty. My son has an Xbox but doesn't play online and is only allowed rated E games.  Therefore he's not invited to the parties.

I'm stunned. I guess I'm glad he wasn't invited because if I knew he wouldn't be allowed to go and if I didn't know I would be upset if I found out he had played those games.  But mostly I'm shocked that so many 9 year olds are playing those games online.  There are 19 boys in the third grade at his school and 14 of them are at the party happening tonight.  So my son is one of only five boys in the third grade not allowed to do this? It never occurred to me those games were the norm for third graders.

Wow. Am I that far behind the times?



  • agrisham13mom
    February 4, 2013 at 10:18 AM
    There is research on both sides each stating how it is beneficial. I think you as a parent have the right to determine if your kids are mature and responsible enough for video games of any nature. As well as if you as a parent is mature and responsible enough to have open dialogue and communication about all aspects or if it is better for your family not to have them at all.

    Quoting Bwebb:

    Nine year olds should NOT be playing call of duty!! I don't care what anyone says! That games is way to realistic and violent!! I know violent video games don't cause violent behaviors, but I do believe they cange the way kids think and how thier brains develop.  There's research on this if you sepnd some time lookin git up.  Parents are nuts for letting their kids do things intended for much older kids! 

  • PensFan99
    February 4, 2013 at 10:19 AM
    Ds is just now ten. All his friends play those games, so we started to allow him to. I would much rather him play with me here so i can teach him as he sees things. He hears the language at school, and if he walks out the front door, or in line at the store, again i teach him what i expect from him, i can't control others. I also never wanthim being the odd man out. He has friends that aren't allowed those games at home but have played at friends houses. They seen to mostly be into the ones you kill zombies or aliens. I also teach him about online safety, and what things he is never to tell people. He knows if he disobeys he will lose his xbox.
  • Luv.My.Kidz
    February 4, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    I would say you are, but most parents honestly don't give a rats ass about what their kids play video game wise anymore. We were allowing both of our boys to play whatever for the longest.... but my 7 yr old is now showing some super aggressive behavior, not knowing the difference between right and wrong, etc so we took everything away even spiderman video games. He can't play any video game that shows the slightest bit of violence, combat, shooting, etc. 

  • agrisham13mom
    February 4, 2013 at 10:24 AM
    Fake shooting someone IRL is violent as well. They play dead, shoot at each other, and imagine they are after bad guys right? Prior to my DS being allowed these games he had an understanding of this. I just keep open conversation and the understanding that video games are FAKE. Most of the kids in Ds's 2nd grade class play call of duty and even his student teacher plays. It gets discussed a lot at school and I would rather me be informed and discuss it with him then act like it doesn't exist.

    Quoting GwenMB:

    My boys play cops & robbers, army etc, too.  To me, the difference is that you see the violence on the screen while when you're playing, you don't actually see violence.  Any violence is in your imagination & if you don't know what it looks like, it can't be there.

    Quoting agrisham13mom:

    I guess I am in the out on this... My DS is 7 and we allow him to play those games with our supervision of course. I don't see it any different than them playing army or cops and robbers IRL other than now it's on a tv screen. My DS knows the difference between make believe and real life and he understands the importance of safety and values people! IMHO I don't see it as a big deal as long as there is good solid upbringing and open discussion with your kids...

  • mjande4
    by mjande4
    February 4, 2013 at 10:31 AM
    Quoting GwenMB:

    You are comparing apples and oranges. A cake is only ONE part of the party. If the theme is video games, then the non player wouldn't be invited.
  • SueMNanaMama
    February 4, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    We had to take away violent video games from my 10-year-old boy after he became more aggressive, more defiant, and just generally ruder and angrier.  He has autism, ADHD, and possibly ODD.  He's not happy about losing the games, but he is a much easier person to be around without them.  We had let him have them on a trial basis, with the caveat that if his behavior escalated, he'd lose them. Now he's back to happily driving cars in Forza4 and playing with his Legos.  Sorry I ever let him even try the teen and mature games at all.  But I caved to that "other kids are playing them" mantra!

  • MsRkg
    by MsRkg
    February 4, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    I personally don't see a problem with the games in the child in question can separate fact from fiction, and realize at the end of the day its just a game. It depends on the maturity level of the kid in question. My son is 8 1/2, and his Dad and him play call of duty together all the time, but at the same time my son is reading on the fifth grade level, so he grasps concepts a lot better and he is way more mature than other kids his age. We also have him enrolled in martial arts which teaches about self defense and violent acts, so he is able to compartmentalize what is acceptable and not acceptable in the world of violence and real-life scenarios, and he is not a violent child in the slightest.  Each child is different when it comes to things like this.

  • stykir
    by stykir
    February 4, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    those games SHOULDN'T be the norm for kids that young, they're made for a more mature audience, but parent's absolutely do not care what their kids play as long as they leave the parents alone, right?

    My husband works for a video game store so obviously we have games. my son is monitored on how long he plays and i have no problem banning him from certain games and having my husband play the more mature stuff after the kids are in bed.

    My husband pulled something up on youtube one night (after kids were in bed!) and said "would you let your 9 year old play this game? watch..." and he played a scene from the most disturbing game. First of all it was just mind boggling to watch and try to figure out what they were saying, and at the end of the scene was a very graphic sex scene which ended with the woman killing the man. I couldn't stand watching it. my husband said he and his coworkers looked at it at work when they weren't busy and the coworkers are college guys and THEY thought it was too much. Anyway, he said a woman came in to buy it for her 9 year old. He politely said to her "Are you aware that there is a lot of violence and very graphic sex in this game?"

    she yelled at him. "who do you think you are telling me what my kid can play? sell me my d*** game!" 
    um yeah...that's messed up. kids that young don't have any reason to see that stuff. poor kid. and parents do this sort of thing to him ALL the time. 

    Anyway, Your kid is better off with the E rated games. Those other games are for adults. it's sad that he's missing time with his friends, but really, in the long run he'll be better off. 

  • Lorelai_Nicole
    February 4, 2013 at 1:11 PM
    They make sugar-free cake...but I'm not sure if they're gluten-free as well.

    Quoting GwenMB:

    At his own birthday party, my soon to be 6 year old isn't going to have cake because one of his friends can't eat gluten, sugar, food dyes, preservatives & other things due to her migraines.  I could do gluten free no problem, but there is no cake without sugar.  My son wants his friend to be able to eat (do) everything at his birthday party so he is choosing to have a cake made entirely of fruit.

    Each parent & child's choice, but I love that my son is making a choice that includes his friend.

    Quoting mjande4:

    Here's the thing though, IF that's the theme of the party then it's natural that he wouldn't be invited.  The x-box games are a social avenue for kids, and although I understand and respect parents who don't want their kids playing, why on Earth would you think that a kid should not play at his or her own birthday party!?

    Quoting bookdragon:

     My sons don't get to play those games either, they're 11 & almost 14. If you don't want him to play those games then he shouldn't. It's unfortunate that his friends don't want him at the parties, they should find a game he can play or skip the XBox for one night.

  • jsbuck
    by jsbuck
    February 4, 2013 at 1:18 PM

     My ds is 8 and in 3rd grade - he is not allowed to play those games.  He does have a friend who plays Call of Duty and I don't agree with it, but it is not my decision.  I know my son won't see it though because his friends' parents are divorced and it is his dad that allows it......his mom is my friend and she does not allow it at her house.

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