My 12-year-old nephew "Bob" took my 9-year-old son aside and showed him a video of ISIS beheading a victim. I am just flabbergasted that Bob would do that. Interestingly Bob did not show the video to my older child who is Bob's age. I suspect this is because my older son would stop him and inform the adults immediately.
My 9-year-old made me promise not to tell Bob off or to complain to his mother before he told me about the incident. I am not close to this nephew but understand from his mother that conventionally "scary" stuff does not bother him. Ghosts, blood, gore etc.
However I am very disturbed that he showed it to my little kid, and only to my little kid. Shouldn't he know better? It makes me feel like I should not leave him alone with my younger child. I shared my concerns with the grandfather, however grandpa is more concerned about Bob's wellbeing (he is losing weight) than my son's! Grandpa feels that it was just thoughtlessness on Bob's part.
Am I overreacting? If my older son had done that, he would have received a real shelling from me with phone privileges removed and the sender of the video blacklisted.
I realised what bothered me most was how manipulative Bob was. Bob basically sat my son down, said it was something that may be scary and he had the choice of whether or not he wanted to watch it without telling him it was a graphic video. When my son came to me, he emphasized that it was his own fault for deciding to watch it, and Bob was totally blameless.
After reading through the various responses and mulling for a few days, I finally sat my son down and told him
- nephew did not really give him a choice and he should smell a rat in future if anyone present him with incomplete information
- there is no shame in walking away from such videos at any point in time
- it was most definitely not his fault for watching it and to never pass such videos on.
I decided not to inform the parents as they are unlikely to do anything beyond mild chiding and I suspect Bob's dad treats him similarly, which is another can of worms. In other words, informing the parents will either make me angrier as a parent or reinforce an unhealthy environment for Bob.