177

You say that you don't want him to play it -- that's your answer, you should not buy it for him. Parents set the rules. Explaining why you aren't buying it can help him accept this decision more gracefully. It's an adult-rated game and he isn't (nearly!) old enough, you disagree with the content and lifestyle that it's portraying, you're concerned he will ...


166

When I was around your son's age, my mother was worried I was playing too many video games. Her strategy was to get me involved in other after-school activities, like theater, which I ended up loving. As long as this is your child's only peer group, and that is their only activity, the game will be irresistible. He'll need something else to fill the gap -...


112

I lived in a family which was fairly restrictive. They were quite religious, we always ate healthy, never any junk food, all our activities were vetted and scrutinized. It was also emotionally repressive; my father had a very bad temper and would strike us whenever he was angry. When I got out, went to college, got a job (like you, in the IT industry), I ...


110

He's a 10 year old boy. He's going to display addicting behavior. I and my friends at that age had a shoebox full of baseball cards, and all we talked about was the big league baseball team for our city. Banning us from buying more cards, or forbidding us to play with them, or listening to the games on the radio wasn't the answer then, and it isn't now. ...


58

In addition to the pretty good answers already provided, I'd like to point out that GTA 5 is not in any way suitable for a 10 year old. There is one specific mission that gives a very good example why this game might not even be appropriate for some younger adults: Of course, ultimately it comes down to your judgment as a parent.


49

Jeez... Well, 10 years old may be old enough to explain the monster of capitalism and the design of everything around as a scam to nickel and dime you into a life of scraping by just to make someone else rich. You may need to abstract it a bit to make it comprehensible, but personally I think this is not a lesson in reasons to stop playing Clash of Clans, ...


37

Although my previous answer is highly rated, the recent edits to the question have changed it dramatically, so this new answer is targeted to the edited question. Given the smallness of your community, and the tight-knit nature of your son's peer group, this is not a problem you will be able to solve on your own. You need to reach out to the parents of the ...


26

I guess it boils down to whether you think your son can cope with the content, i.e. can distinguish between the fiction and reality and process the displayed emotions and actions, or not. In my experience 10 year olds usually can't do this well enough on their own yet for content presented in the GTA series. As a rule of thumb, our son, now also ten years ...


26

Up front, I'm not a parent, so take my parenting advice with a good handful of salt. I'm a software developer, I've worked on games very much like Clash of Clans for a number of years and can safely say I'm an authority on the psychology and mechanics of them. As a child of around your sons age I also had to deal with my parents making efforts to minimise ...


24

As an avid gamer and software developer, I have never heard of a game called "Sauerbraten." I looked it up and apparently it is a first person shooter named after a German pot roast. It isn't a widely popular game created by a major video game company. It is an open-source community-made game. It also doesn't appear to be a very "good" game. Something else ...


22

Wrong expectations lead to disappointment. Let him know in advance that GTA is not what he's getting for his birthday and ask him what he wants instead. You and others who raise the kid (partner, grandparents, etc) should also start discussing some more questions that will come up soon: What's your take on age appropriate content in other media (games, ...


20

It's just like anything else. You set limits and you enforce them. Being a video game enthusiast myself, I wanted to point out a few things you might want to consider in setting those limits. Some games are very easy to set down at any time, and some aren't. Some games can only be saved at fixed checkpoints. Some have cut scenes that can't be paused or ...


19

The American Association of Pediatrics suggests 1-2 hours of all screen time--regardless of content. The following link sites some of the effects it can have: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/children-and-tv/MY00522 Also, beginning more than 1-2 hours of screen time at age 3 makes it more difficult to limit it when they are older-as it becomes something ...


19

Yes, you absolutely should Your boys are trying to share something valuable and important with you. I doubt you'd be this worried about it if it wasn't digital - what would you do if they wanted to build lego with you? Or draw, or paint? This is the same thing. They want you involved in their activities. I view screen time as more of a necessary evil ...


19

There's so much going on here, I don't know where to start. How is an 10 year old able to spend money online at all? This is one problem. There's no way he should be able to do this without you providing authorization. Your child has unlimited access to the internet. This is a Bad Idea®. Again, there's no way a 10 year old child should just be able to ...


17

I have teenagers. If you want to de-emphasize gaming, you have to provide a compelling alternative that your child will be satisfied participating in. The bad news is, you are going to have to participate actively as well, which means you have to make time away from work or other commitments to devote to your child. At least until your child is old enough ...


17

YES! Not only is it reasonable, it is IMHO parental malpractice not to limit video games, the internet, and telephone usage. Clearly, the video games have tremendous value to him. Among other things, that gives you powerful leverage! Use it well. My practice with video games, movies, texting, and any other similar amusement was: A daily limit is imposed....


17

I am a game developer, and probably guilty of over-exposing my two daughters to video games. I make an attempt to limit the amount of time they get with digital devices, but introduced them both to touch devices at a young age. (At least we don't have a TV in the house! I'm more against exposure to mass media advertising than screens per-se.) My older ...


17

I am going to comment and answer each paragraph. (Keeping it civil and not fighting in front of your son is absolutely the way to handle it. You aren't 'fooling' your son, but you are modelling how to handle a difference of opinion without being rude or coming to blows.) Your son knows you care and you show him by taking him to sporting events and on ...


16

From my perspective as a mother, the only thing I cringed at was the unlimited junk food part, largely because I have family that sees my (6 year old son) fairly frequently, and their "we're supposed to spoil him!" mentality has caused actual interference with teaching him good food choices. However, your cousin is at the point where he should know enough to ...


16

I completely agree with you about it being the challenge for this generation. In my classroom I used to have to teach low-functioning children how to do tasks and to increase their attention span. I am not saying your child has a intellectual problem, but that the way to increase attention span might work for this as well. We used a three token system. ...


15

I think the key here is to understand what you're trying to accomplish, in the short term and in the long term. In the short term, you're trying to avoid harm to your son. You'd like to ensure his grades don't suffer, his sleep is sufficient, etc., if I understand correctly. You'd also like to ensure he is able to interact normally with his peer group and ...


14

We addressed the "addiction" part of your question previously, but I wanted to talk about the behavior part. First, you shouldn't expect it to be as easy for your five year-old as it is for your nine year-old. Nine year-olds live a lot less "in the moment" compared to five year-olds, have developed more interests, and have learned more coping strategies ...


14

The primary reason "screen time" is considered bad for children is that, even when somewhat interactive as games are, it does not stimulate their brain as much as other things do. Kids need all sorts of different activities - physical ones to help develop coordination and strength, social ones to help develop social awareness and social skills, they need to ...


14

I am a gamer. A rather heavy gamer. So is my husband. Our goal for our future children is to avoid any and all screen time for as long as possible. There are absolutely some negatives to small children gaming but AFAIK these are the same for TV and possibly/probably even more emphasized with TV. "constrained" entertainment does not allow for creativity. ...


13

I'm going to play the devil's advocate here as most of the answers are very similar. By age 10, barring a severe development disability, a child knows what is and isn't real (https://news.utexas.edu/2006/11/27/psychology). I played games that weren't always what was considered age appropriate (Doom, Wolfenstein, etc - probably at age 10 or younger; I also ...


12

Your son is 19, and about to leave for University. It's time to stop "enforcing" things for the most part, and start letting him figure out things for himself. You're not going to have any meaningful control over him three months from now; when he's off at University you won't be able to make sure he sleeps on a certain schedule or, well, anything, in most ...


12

You are too involved. She is not your child, the mother is not your sister, you aren’t an experienced parent yourself - you have no authority or bearing here. It’s excruciating to watch someone parent in a way you do not like, by all means discuss with your girlfriend to see if y’all are in the same page as far as your parenting style, but you cannot change ...


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