Friday, October 08, 2010

He's On To Me

Little Brother has made some new friends. They are brothers who live down the street; one is a third-grader like Little Brother, and the younger one is in first grade.

I don't know these kids very well yet, so my M.O. is to allow everyone to play here, where I can keep an eye on things.

One recent day the whole neighborhood gang (5 third-graders and one first-grader) were in here fighting over a video game. I loudly declared a time limit on the game and let them know that they could play with other toys inside after that time, or go outside to play. They had fair warning, and then a five-minute warning, but when the game was over they were disappointed. So First-Grader wheedled, "You can come to my house...Resident Eeeevil!"

I'm not one to keep up on video games. So I checked in with Big Brother, who's proved to be a good judge of what games, movies and songs are appropriate for someone Little Brother's age. He told me that the game is so violent, TheDad wouldn't let him buy it at all. (Normally, the rule for our 18-year-old is: you can buy the game or movie, but you can't use it when Little Brother is awake.) So this one's got to be pretty bad.

I figured, at that point, that Little Brother won't be at that house playing games. If they're going to ride bikes and kick soccer balls outside, that's fine. So today, First-Grader came up the street looking for Little Brother (who was still in his school uniform.) While Little Brother changed his clothes, I asked First-Grader what they planned to do. "We're going to my house to play video games," he replied, and before I could say any more, he continued, "my violent games are all for PlayStation, and that's broken. But I have one game for my DS. It's rated M. We can play my DS. All my other games are rated T."

"Little Brother isn't allowed to play games that are rated T or M," I told him. "You guys are going to have to find something else to do."

How scary--this child knows that he has violent video games. And he tried to play me by telling me that those aren't available. Scarier still, he tried to get me to let Little Brother play at his house where the adults permit six-year-olds to play games rated M.

Like that'll happen.


Bean said...

be vigilant, people are so lost in our society, you are a beacon of hope :)

Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

Thanks, Bean. It's just frustrating--there are SO many little boys on my block who are basically "on their own" in so many ways.
I guess I have to pray more--and keep letting them play HERE.

for narnia said...

Great post, Barb! This subject really hits home (not that I have kids, but I do part time childcare weekday afternoons fo a family with 11 year old boy and girl twins and an older boy, age 14. Their parents work (they are both attorneys, so they are educated) yet they allow the 11 year old boy, especially, (not that the other two kids don't) to play a video game that is for age 17 and up. Needless to say, this kind of parental attitude creates challenges for me as their part time caretaker. Any ideas, Barb, on how to deal with this? Pax! ~tara t~