Can I stop ex from ENCOURAGING 9 year old to play violent video games? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 4 Old 01-15-2014, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
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My ex spends most of his time in front of his computer.  This doesn't change just because his son is visiting.  He actively encourages ds to watch movies and youtube videos, and to play video games.  Sometimes they do this together, other times ds goes for long, unsupervised stretches in front of his computer.  In fact, he's had his OWN computer for a while.  Ex's idea, and I was not consulted! 


I don't like the constant electronics, but I realize that how ex "parents" is not under my control, as long as ds is safe.  I was upset, months ago, to hear that ex was letting ds watch while he (ex) played Borderlands, which is a first-person-shooter game.  It's rated M for violence, gore, and language.  I was stewing about it, but I didn't say anything, because ex tries to undermine me with ds anyway, and I didn't want to give him more ammunition, or the satisfaction of knowing he'd made me upset.


But, for ds' birthday, ex gave him a new computer, with more video games on it-- including BORDERLANDS!  Of course, ds is thrilled, and that's all he wants to play now!  To add to the unreasonableness of ex's decision, ds has ADHD and anxiety, and while he loves video games, they often lead to bad moods and meltdowns!  Ex knows this. 


Ex will not listen to me on this issue, obviously.  Is there ANYTHING I can do to stop him from giving ds more stuff like this?

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#2 of 4 Old 01-15-2014, 09:46 AM
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Since the relationship with your ex is so bitter, I think encouraging good choices in your son might work better. You can ban rated M games from your own house and try to encourage other games. If he likes another game enough he'll play it to the exclusion of Borderlands when he's away. You could also discuss with your son exactly why you don't like him playing overly violent games and try to have him make him own choice about what to play when he is at dad's. You can offer rewards to push him in that direction perhaps. Non-screen play is even better but there might not be much else to do there, still if you can get him into a hobby outside of those games he'll spend some of his time that way. I had a gaming addiction as a kid and transitioned off by doing crafts related to it (from fantasy mmorpg into historical reenactment). He might even get dad involved in something more fun than games.

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#3 of 4 Old 01-15-2014, 12:24 PM
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Well did he buy this for him to be sent home with and play in your house? That's an easy fix. You tell your ex that you do not allow those in your own home so could he please keep it at his so son can play it there. Repeat that over and over. If you look like the bad guy so be it. That will end. Your son will get it one day. And let's face it when a child is grown they will more then likely going to say "I'm glad my mom tried to encourage more healthy activities" and not "I wish she would have let me play more violent video games"


Now I get that does not solve the over all issue but you do what you can without giving the other parent ammo. You don't have to do what he wants you to do in your own home either. But over there isn't anything you can do. It isn't life threatening, abuse, etc. Just annoying. I know what it feels like for someone to have completely different parenting styles then your own and it really sucks but best you can do is give your child the tools to deal.

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#4 of 4 Old 01-16-2014, 05:35 PM
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Agreed, sadly. You just can't control what happens at his dad's house. But you absolutely can control what happens and what comes in and out of your house. You absolutely have the right to tell your ds that you do not allow those games in your house and to tell him why (without dissing his dad). See this as a way to assert yourself and your values in a way that is very obvious to your ds. He's going to fuss and whine and get mad, but stand your ground and this will become just one of many experiences that shows your ds what a strong and principled person you are. He will grow to respect that, even if he doesn't right now.

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