Fallout from Fallout

Playing video games
photo by kolessl – fotolia

My 10-year-old wanted a video game for Hanukkah. It’s called Fallout 4. It’s rated mature, and he’s 10. So of course I said no. The protest was epic. The defense of the game and the case presented for it’s purchase was law school worthy. So I did some investigating. I asked my gaming friends what they thought. Here’s how they described Fallout 4: It takes place in a post World War III apocalyptic era. It has robots, androids and mutated humans killing each other. But (yes there’s a but) because it’s not actual humans killing each other and it’s so unrealistic it would probably be okay for my son. One friend, to his credit, remained steadfast in his opposition of its purchase for a 10-year-old. Because we just moved to a new house, and because I was getting remarried, because it was Hanukkah, and because sometimes I make horrible parenting choices I said I would think about getting him the game. (Which he knows is a probable yes.)  I’m guilty of caving and I was wrong, but it all turned out well in the end. Read on.

It came time to shop for the game. Handsome husband accompanied me and my son to the store and when handsome husband learned about this purchase he said a stern “no”. That was it, he just said no. There was a minor protest from my son but handsome husband reasoned that even if we bought it for him, every time his friends came over we’d have to get permission from their parents for them to play.

Being a parent, single or otherwise is hard. We want to make our kids happy. We say “no” all the time and sometimes it’s nice to say “yes”. I am guilty of that and this time it was so nice to have backup.

After the firm and final “no” my son (who didn’t complain) picked out a baseball game, and handsome husband also bought him Minecraft for good measure. Everyone left the store very happy.

“No” isn’t fun to say or hear, but we were all better off for it. My son learned his boundaries, I didn’t have to be the bad guy, I didn’t have to buy an inappropriate game, and my new husband asserted his authority and was respected for it.  The fallout from Fallout was awesome.

This week I wish you the backup you need to make the best decisions for you and your family.

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