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Hi everyone,
do you have a son or someone you know who has done this? What are your thoughts? This concerns my 12 y.o. stepson, and I have been looking at websites and we have been discussing it all afternoon. One idea I had was to maybe let him go, but also do something live-affirming and 'good' as a counteraction.
He does play some mildly violent videogames already etc. but he is an intelligent and smart boy and not at all violent. He just lookes at it as a fun game and his best friend (13) has permission. What would you do, or what more questions would you ask?
Thanks.
Mara
 

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As long as he sees it for what it is supposed to be - just a fun game - I don't really see a problem with letting him go. You say he's an intelligent boy and non-violent. He probably just wants to go and have a good time with his friends. I doubt that an afternoon of paintball will turn your son into a violent killer in real life. At his age, he knows the difference between a game and reality. Let him try it, but I'd observe his behavior afterward. If you notice his behavior becomes more aggressive or violent after playing, I wouldn't let him go again.
 

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My son now 16 played since he was 12. He has some expensive gear, the last pb gun was over 500. He had a good time, it provided lots of exercise and socialization. Just don't look at his back when he gets home! He recently got a licence and wanted to put his investment into a car--sold the gun he had worked for and gave up the paintball. His friends all gave it up too. Now he's addicted to the computer game tribes. Boys will be boys, let him play.
 

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We have some friends that have two boys ages 8 and 11 and both have been playing paintball for the last month or so . Their dad invited some other families over and they all play together in the woods by thier house. As long as your son plays by the rules and doesn't get too wild I am sure he will have alot of fun!I have been wanting to join them . I think it sounds like alot of fun!
 

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I just wanted to add that laser tag might be a good alternative for people who don't want their kids to get hurt. My brother plays it.
 

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Our municipal recreation department just had a paintball outing today for Middle School aged kids. We let DS go and he had fun.

I don't see this game as having to be non-life affirming. Some kids do grow up to be good police officers whose only goal in life is to protect the community. If the child has those talents and inclinations, those deserve nurturing just as much as music and art talents and inclinations.
Other times boys want to emulate those they see as heros. DS is very into learning about WWII. When he was younger much of his pretend play was as a firefighter. Acting out the work of such courageous heroes, even as he also learns about the horror that is war or fire, is part of growing up to be a Whole man IMO.

A wonderful poster I've seen in a couple of catalogs shows boys dressed for football gathered around another who is playing his violin. The caption "Nurture the Whole boy." just says it all for me.
 

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Paintball is actually postive in a number of ways. My son, 16 is more into cars,etc. now but it is interactive and lots of running and being outside. It is like a real live strategy game. The field taht he goes to enforces ceratin standards so it is less crazy tahn soem of the soccer teams he was on. He loves mechanical things. My daughter has played a few times too. The chaallenge is what he likes. He has done speedball,scenario games,etc. Sallie
 

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Absolutely! My sons and husband play paintball and it is well supervised. One of my daughters also plays. They need to wear goggles, long pants and shirts and usually hats. It does hurt if you get hit but the kids consider those to be their war wounds. In a well supervised game no one should be hit at close range or in the face. I think they are supposed to aim for legs and arms; they are tagging to get the other team out. Once you are hit you surrender. My younger sons have never been hit by a paintball at all cause they move too fast.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Maracita View Post
We did let him go, he had fun, but he did become sick afterwards, probably just a coincidence though.
thanks!
Maybe not, here it is a rite of passage to eat a paintball before the game. They are non-toxic but no way would I put one in my mouth.
 

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I played once in college and had a blast, even though I had welts on my legs from a couple of the hits. I'd let a 12-y-o go, sure, so long as there was goign to be adequate responsible parental supervision at the venue - just be sure he knows he might get some welts if some of the balls hit him a certain way (or maybe they're better made now than they were in the stone ages when I went.
).
 

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My daughter is 11 and while she does not play paintball, she does play laser tag in an arena-like setting occasionally. She has a lot of fun and the 'hunting your friends' thing that a pp mentioned...would you let your kids play Hide And Seek?
 

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I said hunting your friends with guns. Hide and seek is a completely different thing. I am all for group games like hide and seek, capture the flag, and scavenger hunts. I just don't think you need to have a gun in your hand to have fun. If paint-ball is for you, have fun. I don't allow it here.
 
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