I am sure I am about to receive the "Worst Mama of the Year Award" any time now.
For Christmas, our son had these items, and only these items, on his wish list: Playstation or Xbox, airsoft gun. That's it. I think he knows that Santa always tries to get at least one item from the wish list. Well played Bubba, well played. So, after much deliberation, we decided to get a (used) Playstation. We are the best parents. Ever. We even got them 3 games. A Sonic game, Star Wars and Batman Arkam City. The last one was rated "Teen". The sales-kid was really nice and must have sensed my reluctance. His words, "This is a great game. There's no blood and it's not violent." I know how much Bubba loves Batman (he is 11) and I decided that maybe I was being too strict. After all, the nice boy at Gamestop told me it was a good game. Gamer.
Fast forward to Christmas morning. The kids were so excited and of course wanted to play. Bubba picked Batman. Thirty seconds in..."I'm gonna make you my bitch." His head whipped around to see my reaction. He knew. I tried to remain cool and calm (with our 7 year-old nearby) and let it play out. I made it 30 seconds more. Enough. Bubba took it like a champ. "It's fine. It's fine. I can play something else." I think he was uncomfortable too. We since have turned off the dialog and I am still uncomfortable with the violence.
Look, I know that my children are absolutely going to hear and witness some of life's less-finer moments. But it doesn't mean it has to happen under our roof. And don't get me wrong, some of those less finer moments, occasionally come out of my mouth. It happens. But...I am sorry for it and the kids know it's wrong and they hold me accountable. Lol! What worries me is it being witnessed over and over again. It is no different than moving to another part of the country and adapting the local accent. It is just what happens. And until they are old enough to understand that certain things are not to be said or done or whatever either ever or in certain company, they aren't allowed to be exposed to it over and over again. Period.
I don't blame the kid at Gamestop. I know that, in general, I am less tolerant than whoever rates those games. And it was rated "T", to be fair. And I am sure there is someone reading this thinking, "What does she think should happen? That they should shoot flowers at each other?!" The answer is...yes. No. I don't think that. I know that reality sells (have you seen what is on TV lately?) and is fun, to some. Including my son.
I am not ashamed to say that I do my best to keep my kids...kids. For as long as I can. Because it is the shortest stage in life, and the most impressionable. Yes, they are allowed to watch some "edgy" stuff. But we, the parents, determine what that is. On the other hand, we are a classic tv family. And the kids absolutely love it. Imagine that, they love it. Simple, clean, classic, slapstick television that entertains them and makes them laugh and think. More "mature" movies or tv is earned and they know that. Rarely do I get any protest. PG-13 kills me. Everything is PG-13. But, we look into it and decide. WE decide. Because WE are the parents.
Our kids are not entirely sheltered either. There are things that we allow that would surprise some. I don't coddle my children, at least, I try not to. We try very hard to teach them that being responsible earns them greater responsibilities that they desire as well. There is no advancing to the next level until the previous level is completed. Whatever happened to that? Instant gratification will not be taught here.
So, Bubba. I am sorry. But the game has to go back. And you can choose another. For now, your mama needs to let you be a boy. This isn't to say that you will never be able to play these games. I know you will, because you already showed great understanding for my discomfort with it. Which tells me that you are growing and becoming the boy you should be. Someday, if you read this, I want you to know how much I appreciate the respect you have shown me with this. Even though I know how badly you want to play. You are an awesome kid and we love you!
Now I am off to check out Skyfall. Here's hoping I can approve this movie. It's what Bubba really wants to watch. He is into spy stuff lately. This mama of a growing boy stuff is tough!
So, do you think he will turn Batman in for Bob the Builder? No? Ok....