Does my son have a dangerous obsession?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by PhilJ, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. PhilJ

    PhilJ New Member

    I took to this site as I have a question about my 7 year old son.

    Yesterday I saw my wife tied to a chair with my son holding some rope. He had a toy gun pointing at her with a cowboy outfit on. My wife had a indian outfit on and had cloth around her head inbetween her mouth so she was gagged. She was playing along with the game and was saying "help! help!" under her gag.

    I dismissed it as she was fine and it was a game.

    But the thing that worried me was that my wife needed help to be untied and ungagged.

    This also was not the first occasion he has tied someone up. The time he tied up my older daughter. She did not stop him as she found it cute and funny. She was tied wrists and ankles with scarves and had duct tape over her mouth.

    I have brought it up with him before and he just said that it was funny. Should I take this further, for example therapy?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't know, but I do know one thing for sure.

    I'd forbid this game in my house. Nothing good will come of it and it's kind of creepy, at least to me. Does your son have any other unusual behaviors? I'm really surprised that your wife is ok with it. How old is daughter? Why is rope in the house? I'd hide it. Or get rid of it.
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  3. PhilJ

    PhilJ New Member

    My daughter is 19 and is it really that creepy? It is a very popular childhood game cowboys and indians and I guess tying people up was a big part of it. But when I used to play it as a kid it was mostly just battles and if someone was kidnapped we would just pretend and sit them on the sofa.
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Phil:

    The thing is I believe you are concerned or you would not have asked or considered the possibility of therapy.

    I will tell you what I think. Cowboys and Indians is one thing (although many people have strong feelings about it). Tying up sisters and mothers with rope and gagging them, so effectively they cannot escape without help is quite another.

    I agree with SWOT. I would remove the rope from the house. I would very clearly say (to everybody): no more gags; no more tying anybody up.

    I would be quite concerned if anybody in the family indulged this kind of play. Not just the gags and the rope would concern me, the weapons would too.

    If anybody in the household has issues about continuing this practice, I would then consider family therapy. Not just for your son, for everybody.

    Continuing the practice of bondage in the name of play would concern me. Not just because of any potential physical danger that might be involved; but because it sanctions this practice.

    What I would not do is single out son for either therapy or negative attention. He did not get into this "bind" himself.
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  5. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly Active Member

    I think this game needs to be stopped. We played this as kids but never got to the point of tying up and gagging. It really is not appropriate for son to be playing this game with mom and sister. I wouldn't do therapy at this time unless there are other "concerns" of how he likes to play or if wife fights you and believes that this is a healthy game.

    Find another game that doesn't involve ropes, chairs, etc like maybe board games, red light green light, mother may I, simon says.
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Oh dear. I think - this is just my perspective, obviously - that your responses are all overkill. Family therapy??? The boy has doubtless seen something on TV that he is acting out. He sounds intelligent, so he is acting it out very thoroughly. Because it is bringing up in people's minds the idea of women being tied up and hurt, they act as if it is sinister. I think there is no reason to presume it is sinister. But why not explain to him the concern about people being hurt with rope and gags as that is potentially serious - duct tape on people's mouths is not a good idea. Does the boy have any other behaviour that is worrying? If he does not, I would not get in a state about it.
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I for one would not use a word like sinister to describe what is happening.

    I do believe it is unwise to permit a 7 year old to tie up and gag his mother and sister and to pretend to shoot them.

    I think it is more the error of judgment of the adults than anything wrong with the child.

    If an adult ties up and gags a child, it is child abuse. Why would it be harmless play to allow the child to do the same thing to an adult--to the extent that the adult cannot get free?

    What if the child decides to do this same thing to another child, when there are no adults present?

    There are predators on the internet that look for children to abuse. While in your home it is defined as play, to child predators this is ritualistic kind of sexual behavior practiced on children. More than one child has been killed by this method of torture.

    Again, nobody is making anything into the child's desire to play. The child is an innocent. It is what can come of it.
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  8. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Active Member

    Hi, Phil. Ferb used to "tie" Candy up with tape. Not duct tape, scotch tape. Both of them thought it was funny. I thought it was annoying and wasteful of the tape. I think this is fairly typical of children although your son seems to be rather clever at it. I think I would simply talk to everyone involved about why you think this is an unsafe "game" and let it go. I don't think that therapy is necessary at this point unless your son has other worrying behaviors.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I never thought about sexual bondage. I'm a true crime fan (I know...a bit crazy myself) and there are killers who do this. Plus the gun being shot at parent and sister (I know it's a toy gun but we have real ones here) it strikes me as not a good thing to allow. I sure wouldn't. And, yes, he could do it to another child and then he goes home and tells his parents and again nothing good comes from this game. Some people ban certain videogames. I think it's ok to ban any game at all if it doesn't set right with you.
  10. Praecepta

    Praecepta Member

    That would violate several of my family rules.

    -We will use our hands and bodies safely - not safe to tie someone up!

    -No weapons including toy weapons allowed in the house.

    -NEVER point a gun at a person EVER! This includes toy guns. Assume all guns are loaded.
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  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I was going to mention the never point anything that looks like a gun at another person too, but didn't want to sound fanatical. We had similar rules. Safe play only. We actually didn't buy toy guns.
  12. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    The game needs to stop. Playing with guns needs to stop. Watching violent shows and video games needs to stop. There are other ways to entertain a 7 year old that does not condone violence.
  13. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Children have played cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, for generations. I do feel there is over-reaction here. Fantasy, game violence is NOT real violence and the one does not lead to the other. Video game violence, on the other hand (not mentioned at all by the original poster) I agree is not a good thing to subject a child to. I also do agree that it would be better not to be tying up and definitely better not to be putting things over mouths. I have no problem with saying that those things are best left out of the game.

    Why is the boy playing with adults anyway? Are there no friends or siblings to play with?
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    THIS is an additional important point.
  15. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Most parents play games with their 7 year olds.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree. I played with my kids. They don't have to only play with kids. What parents don't sometimes play with their kids?

    This is not how cowboys and Indians are normally played, with adulls or kids. I'd ban this from my house, but this type of play never happened. It is a matter of opinion of course but this would not happen iny house. We are a country where there is legal gun ownersip. Also, sorry, a young kid could hurt or even kill with the rope and gag if tried on peer or younger or animal. There are plenty of safe pretend games to play.
  17. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Yes, I think the only problem is that the child doesn't comprehend how this could be potentially dangerous to the gagged/tied up person.

    Explaining why this isn't appropriate is probably all that is needed.
  18. Praecepta

    Praecepta Member

    As a kid, I was taught to never point a gun at a person...

    Later as a teenager, a friend handed me a gun which he did not know was loaded and cocked! I did not know either. I did what I was taught, pointed the gun away from him. Then I tried out the gun by pulling the trigger...


    I blasted a hole in the ceiling. (Oops!) I was initially pointing the gun at him, however pointed it away from him due to what I was taught as a kid. That lesson saved my friends life.

    This stuff is NOT PLAY! If you are going to let your kids play with toy guns, at least take them to a concealed carry class so they learn the proper handling of guns. It could save someone's life later on!
  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I agree with this. Who is it that said it? "Play is the work of children."

    Except play cannot not have boundaries. During childhood the child must be socialized into the norms and requirements of living in a culture. Attention must be paid by parents to encouraging appropriate behavior in the child and discouraging that which could get the child into trouble.
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  20. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    It was the psychologist Jean Piaget who said it, I believe :)

    Honestly, there's no argument here... I agree the cowboys and indians (aka Native Americans :) ) are best played without ropes and duct tape and this can be simply explained... On the other hand, while there's nothing "wrong" with adults playing this way with a child somehow it seems to me such games really belong to children and childhood. Just my viewpoint!!