Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MyHrt31, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. MyHrt31

    MyHrt31 New Member

    I have a couple of questions for those of you with difficult child who have mood disorders/aggression issues. My son is 9 and I am very careful about the Wii games I let him play as well as his computer games. He likes a game called Wizard 101 that is online which doesn't seem to be violent. (I play this game too so I can see what its all about) There's no guns and blood/guts, etc. On his Wii games, he is only allowed to play games rated E. I am pretty careful about monitoring what he plays because I don't want him exposed to lots of violence at such a young age. I have friends who let their 5 year olds play Grand Theft Auto and watch movies like Saw but it doesn't seem to affect their children in any way. With my difficult child, I am trying to be more careful because of his "issues". He has been asking to play a game called "wanted" lately which he already knows I will not allow. Its a game about assassins/guns... lots of violence, etc. I refuse to let him have the game or even let him rent it so that's not the problem. Its just when the commercial comes on television every once in awhile, he stops everything he is doing to watch it. He is always asking about guns and weapons. I know he's scared of guns because he HATES loud noises. He freaks out if he even sees a real gun so I am not worried about him wanting to experiment with playing with them at this point. I just worry about when he's older, if it will lead to an obsession. Is this normal for boys to like that kind of stuff? Am I being too paranoid? His father committed suicide with a gun (he knows nothing about this) so it makes me nervous when he talks about how "cool" guns/weapons are. The funny thing is, he is scared of EVERYTHING! He won't even go to the bathroom by himself sometimes because he's too scared. He refuses to sleep by himself and any little noise makes him jumpy. I guess what I'm trying to ask is, does anyone else have these kinds of issues with their difficult child? My difficult child is scared of noises, refuses to sleep by himself, and seems like he's thinking something is going to jump out at him at any given minute. Is his obsession with guns because he wants to protect himself from his anxieties? Or is he just a typical 9 year old boy who thinks guns are cool because of the way televsion/games make them look? I know a lot of his sensory issues prevent him from going anywhere near a gun (we don't have them at home but my dad has a few locked up in his home). When we are at my dads and he is out shooting, my son runs into the house and holds his ears. These are all little things I've noticed and I was wondering if anyone else has seen this in their difficult child and if you guys want to share advice about how to deal with this? I know this is not urgent, but I just wanted to put it "out there" because its been at the back of my mind for awhile now. Sorry for the long post, I am trying to do two things at once, lol.
  2. compassion

    compassion Member

    My expereince would say stay away from them. Currrently difficult child is in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and I will not let her have PSP becasue I want her to develop other aspects. Gaiming is a huge escape for her. She is attracted to vampire novels etc. I think these are great, in my oeions for PCs, my sonis ADD and actually gaming helps him foucs . I can see with my daughter with bipolar, it is so incredibliy addicitve and after years of struggling with it, currently I am saying no. I am giving her books (mysteries/high action but not incredibly gory), art stuff, and she needs tons of support to develp very poor communication/social skills. Just my esperince, take what you like, leave the rest. Compassion
  3. ML

    ML Guest

    You could be describing manster. I think you're absolutely doing the right thing by restricting the games he plays. Good job mom! I think the gun obsession is pretty typical actually and yes, in part because of the media deptiction trying to sell their products. Plus our AS kids do tend towards obsessing about stuff. I can understand your concern considering his dad but please try not to worry too much. I spent soo much time worrying about all of mansters fears and anxieties that it made me sick. It has gotten a little better with maturity and for us a very low dose of zoloft has helped.

    Maybe as your son gets older his grandfather can teach him about guns and safety so that he gains a healthy respect for them and hopefully desensitizing the "obsession".

    Thinking of you,

    Lasted edited by : Feb 15, 2009
  4. MyHrt31

    MyHrt31 New Member

    Thanks for the advice Compassion and ML! I'm trying to get him to read but he says he HATES it. I read to him at night (especially the Judy Blume "Fudge" series) but he doesn't seem to have picked up my love of reading just yet. I will see if he wants to go to the library this week after school to pick out a few books. Maybe this will get him more interested because he'll have his choice of books and when its "quiet time" at night before bed, this will help him to relax.

    I will definitely see about getting my dad to have a talk with him about gun safety when he's older. I suppose its a good thing his sensory issues have him terrified of them but yet they fascinate him, lol. I hate that the media makes guns look so seductive to children/teens! If I had my way, every single one of those violent games would be burned. It is true that the way his father died makes me even more anxious about his fascination with weapons. I'll just continue to monitor what he plays and hopefully get him involved in reading. Thanks again you guys!! Hugs :)
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  5. ML

    ML Guest

    Try Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It's the first book manster has ever picked up to read without the pulling of teeth :)
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm not sure I caught every word of your post (my eyes are bad- it might help to separate paragraphs with spaces), but I think you are asking about the violent and inappropriate games and the fact that other kids are playing them and seem uneffected.

    I asked difficult child's psychiatrist the exact same thing when difficult child was 11yo. It came up because ALL difficult child's friends were playing M rated games and difficult child wasn't allowed to. psychiatrist said that difficult child absolutely should not be allowed to play them and I was right in making that choice. (Strike one against PO.)

    psychiatrist also said that kids who don;t have the same issues as difficult child are still effected by these games, even if they seem well-adjusted. He said if nothing else, it de-sensitizes these boys about violence, sex, etc. He said it might take years for the effects to shhow up, but there is a reason that the games are rated M, not E.

    Of course, this didn't help the situation when difficult child invites a firend over and wonders why he doesn't have the "coolest" games like they do. And, it doesn't stop difficult child from playing them when he visits someone else's house.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I bought that book for difficult child this weekend, ML!
  8. MyHrt31

    MyHrt31 New Member

    ML, I'll have to check that book out! He loves books about children like Fudge who are mischevious but still very loving (just like him, lol).

    klmno, thanks for the support and for the explanation of how the games can affect other children as well. My difficult child's only friend has Aspgerger's and his mom does not let him play any of the violent games either. My difficult child also doesn't go over to other people's homes (no one volunteers to take him) so I don't have to worry about him being exposed to the games. At least not at this point in his life. When he's older and has made friends, I'm sure it will be different. I'll just have to learn to trust him, I guess. All I know is that those games will never be allowed in my home because my difficult child does not need any negative influences like that in his life.
  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    O yes! Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a HUGE hit with the boys!

    Plus, check out the "Captain Underpants" series.

  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My son has Asperger's and now at 17 is oding very well. But we had HUGE issues with guns/violence and his obsession with them. From very very early he wanted those action figures. He would ditch the figure and play with the weapon that came with the figure. Every time.

    At one point we had to go and pull EVERY video with even a HINT of violence (includes most Disney videos) because he kept trying to act them out.

    Games in our home have to be not only E rated but prescreened by a parent to make sure they truly were nonviolent, not just less violent.

    Screen what you need to, don't apologize for keeping things from him, the "everyone else gets to" argument is no more true now than it was when we used it on our parents.

    You may want to consider looking to see if he has some aspect of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - my son obsessed on guns/weapons/violence for a sadly long time. Thank heaven it is past. My son is TERRIFIED of real guns, and will NOT have anything to do with one.

    But he could make ANYTHING a weapon.

    I wish you luck.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes, boys typically like guns.

    Does that translate into an obsession when they're older? Not usually.

    Does your son have an obsessive personality? That is more to the point.

    I don't like the game you describe, for the reason that I don't like guns and violence. Our difficult child has a James Bond PS2 which I hate and I make him turn it off and put on a sport game. (husband bought it in a moment of weakness.)

    I think for most of our g'sfg, they are over-the-top with-their behaviors so we have no choice but to limit their exposure to violence. The hard part is not limiting it so much that they then become obsessed with-it simply because it's off-limits, Know what I mean??

    So, I agree with-the others, that you put an age limit on it, and tell him that when he's older, his grandfather can teach him gun safety. That way, it's an age thing, like staying up late to watch a movie, "older kid privileges," etc.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  12. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I don't necessarily view this issue as only a difficult child issue.

    Men and boys are far more affected by visual stimuli than women. Studies have shown that men and boys actually experience a rise in their testosterone levels in response to merely seeing something.

    This means that if they watch a football game--they experience the same sort of rush as if they were playing the game themselves (hence the allure of televised sports). And this physiological response applies to anything they might observe...whether it be sports, movies, video games, nudie magazines, the lingerie department, etc etc Men are visually stimulated.

    So with that in mind--what do you feel you want your son to be stimulated by? If you don't want him to experience the rush of war or high-speed destruction...then DON'T let him play violent video games.

    And don't feel guilty about it....

  13. MyHrt31

    MyHrt31 New Member

    Thanks everyone! I had to leave for a little while to work on some homework and figure out what I'm making for dinner (no luck with that yet, lol).

    I am pretty lucky that my difficult child understands it as an age thing. He asks what age he has to be when he can play the games and I say an adult or a teenager and he's okay with that. Most kids would point out that their friends parents let them play it but he doesn't do that. It could be because he doesn't have any close friends besides the one or it could be apart of his concrete thinking. He seems to believe that there are certain rules for things when it comes to age and he doesn't give me any trouble about it. I just worried that his preoccupation with weapons was abnormal but it seems like its a "boy" thing. I'm still going to continue to monitor what he watches/plays and insists that he is still too young to play any of the violent games. I think the biggest thing on our list this week is to make a special trip to the library to get him more involved in books :) Thanks again Warrior Family! :D
  14. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Here's my take on guns. Toys or not. I feel like I have a worthwhile opinion because we have many guns in my home. My SO is a huge hunter, J wants to hunt (D never, ever will hold a gun), and it's a part of our life.

    Guns are serious. They may be "cool" but they are deadly. We allow the boys to play with toy guns here, but the rule is, if you're not responsible with it (i.e. pointing it at someone) we take it. It's gone, for good, end of story. And, although that may seem silly because it's a "toy", it's a respect thing. That's just us.

    We have NO video games hooked up to the TV. I HATE video games. But, my kids like em, so they have PSP's, and I take them, 8 PM sharp, and they don't get them until after school, after homework, after dinner, after shower. So, maybe 2 hrs a day, 4 or 5 weekend, total. And, they stay locked in my room. NO games with guns - racing games or cartoon type only (Spyro, Crash). in my humble opinion, games like Grand Theft Auto should be saved for the over 18 crowd, no discussion. Those games (I sound like my mother) are nothing but crude, rude, and degrading.
  15. I try to focus on games and movies that have a clear right vs. wrong so that there is never a question at least in this area. The violent games are viewed very differently by husband and me. If it were just me; they wouldn't see the light of day in my house - even for easy child.

    The one thing I do support for my difficult child is online role playing games, which he does by the hour when he's into it. At face value, they sound violent - but most of it is about going on treasure hunts and quests as well as the battles - and gaining new toys like better armour. Plus, he has to learn to work in groups and think quickly to respond to a team's quest; which has been good for him.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am probably in the minority here but we had guns and video games in our house for years. I dont know what video games we had...we only had the Nintendo systems. We mostly rented the games. When they were younger it was Mario. With the age gap I am sure we had violent games around. I dont play so I dont know. My oldest one is the biggest gamer. The younger two would only play when it was raining because they were so hyper we couldnt get them to stay inside long enough to sit and play. I mean...they played for the first couple of days after we got the games at Xmas but then it was ....I want outside!

    Now the guns....they were in the kids lives since they were born. They were taught from the time they could walk that you dont touch guns. We never had play guns because that teaches bad ideas. By the age of 6, both of my younger two were attending turkey shoots and winning. They went dove hunting every year by the age of 8. They got their Hunters Certification from the NRA.

    It may sound odd that we never had any problem with guns and difficult child's but we didnt. It was one thing that they knew. Shooting all his life actually helped Jamie, he entered the military and scored expert marksman in bootcamp.
  17. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    When I read your post, I had to check where you live...

    I notice a real disparity in attitudes about guns in the north vs the south. Yankees seem far more concerned about gun violence than southerners. I am on the Yankee side--no guns in the house and no gun violence in video games. on the other hand, we have a good friend from the south with a couple of kids the same ages as ours. He has no trouble with letting his kids play any kind of video game or watch movies with gun violence--but he draws the line at foul language.

    I remember the first time I saw him let the children play a game with violent gun fighting. What!?!?!? O don't worry...he told's rated Teen just for violence, not language...there aren't any bad words in this game at all.

    Now, I'm OK with bad language in movies....and I will let the children watch a movie rated for language....just as long as I don't hear those words repeated. Our friend? Absolutely shocked that we feel this way, and prefers that we not expose his kids to such movies. Graphic, gory violence, though...that's OK.

    So I guess you have to pick and choose your games and movies to coincide with your own set of family values.


    (Janet--I am not trying to imply that you are OK with graphic, gory violence...I was just intrigued by your response about having guns in the house and teaching the kids how to use them so young.)
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LOL....Daisy...thats fine. My kids are grown now. i dont pretend to be the authority on guns/no guns. I know that I wouldnt have worried about mine accidentally picking up a gun at a friends house and shooting someone because they were curious because they knew what a gun was. They knew the gun rules. I guess anything could have happened but it was less likely around here because here everyone hunts. Kids get guns very young. Not handguns...shotguns. Did you know they sell a little pink 22 rifle that is about 18 inches long? Little girls first gun!

    I was also quite ok with language and all that other stuff in movies. They heard worse at home.
  19. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    My son covered his ears for all noises. French fry buzzer, sporting event buzzers (and he played, up until the last ten seconds when he would stop and cover his ears). Lights flickering, fire alarms(at school). He loved guns.

    His ears were a seperate issue. ENT took out his tonsils due to ear issues.

    guns I think it is just a 9 year old. I don't think he sounds obsessed.

    gun saftey is good.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is my take on it--I've raised three kids to adulthood (two boys, one girl) and have a 15 year old boy on the spectrum and a twelve year old girl. With my experience, because of a lack of interest in our homes and lives in guns maybe, NONE of them were ever obsessed with or interested much in guns. My boys never even had any interest in playing cowboys. They did play Star Wars, but that was it. My Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son is even weird where he won't play violent games. But my oldest two (both 31 now) played all the bang-bang games and still do and have probably never been in a fight in their lives. If they had shown any indication of violence, they never would have even had a game system, but they were peaceful kids. I truly believe we have to be more careful with our violent-prone kids with mental illnesses. We can't just let them do what other kids do and expect them to shrug it off like other kids might. It's sort of like the person who comes from a long line of alcoholics, which gives them a genetic predisposition to alchohism. Their friends, as teens, may be able to drink a little without any lasting ramifications, but the ones with the bad genes can not. I don't think there is any one answer on this issue or any issue. It is very individual to the child and you know your child best. Do what you think it right and don't second-guess yourself ;)