What Should A Parent Do If The Only Gift Teen Wants Is A Shooting Game?


What should we parents do if THE only thing one of our teens wants is a shooting game, when we’ve said “no more shooting games in the home”??? He says he wants nothing else for X-mas–and I really don’t know what to do or how to handle the situation. Have bought him some other stuff, What would you all suggest? Know he’ll be very disappointed, and my gut feeling is so what? Christmas does not mean the rules of the house go to pot.

Any help on what to say here?


We have 3 of the finest sons any parents could want and we are hip deep in all manner of games. My sons are squared away and have no problems with any of it. I don’t believe that the games are guilty of all the stuff people allege. The two current games are both shooters, (Halo 2 and the newest Star Wars game), and we even play as a group sometimes.

I don’t know the age of your son and that is a good consideration.My guys are 18 & 20 (oldest is 34 and married…). :smiley:

By him a real .22 and let him make up his own games.

For one, he’d probably fill his pants. Then he’d have to go outdoors to play the game. Then he’d get excersize walking downrange to set up more targets. He’d also learn the reality that bullets are real, cost money, and will run out.

He would also have to learn gun safety, from his Dad. Dad should also have a keen sense of the potential hazards of such a weapon. Because of this, Dad will be more likely to go with son to shooting range (especially if son needs a ride). While Dad and son are there Dad will be watching son’s every move. After several hours pass by, Dad and son may realize that they are enjoying each other’s company immensely. A bond forms. That bond will keep son out of prison. That bond can only be made when handling a dangerous tool - you sit Dad and son at the kitchen table with Elmer’s glue and popsicle sticks and in 10 minutes Dad will be watching the game on TV and son will be off somewhere else.

And finally, you never know what the future holds for your son. His marksmanship skills may be what brings your son and many other people’s sons home alive someday.

Exactly what I was going to say!


Hi sparkle! :wave:

When your son was a toddler and you told him “no more cookies before dinner” did you end up giving him some when he pouted or because you knew he’d be very disappointed? Probably not. Nor should you give in because your son might pout about no shooting games. If you’ve already told him no more shooting games then leave it at that. Let him pout.

In fact, here’s how mean I am. I’d say something like “I know you want that game, but your father and I have made it clear that there are to be no more shooting games in this house. I can understand that you are disappointed which is fine, but you may not badger me further about it or otherwise make life unpleasant for us. Each time you do one of the games that you now own will be donated to to Good Will as a reminder to be satisfied with what you have rather than whining about what you don’t have.”

Discussion ends there and be prepared to follow through.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:

Make a donation to the NRA Eddie Eagle gun safety program (or another firearm saftey course) in his name. This program educates very young kids on what to do if they come across a firearm.

If you don’t approve of firearms at all, make a donation a local charity who’s mission it is to help those stricken with violence on some level… battered women, children etc.

It sounds like he needs a lesson in life beyond first person shooter games. Either he doesn’t quite realize this- or he is being stubborn and is testing your constitution and ability to stick by your guns- so to speak. :wink:

So his stubbornness will benefit another. :stuck_out_tongue: I agree, your home rules should trump all else.

(BTW- this is from someone who likes shooter games -Doom3, Counter Strike, Halo, Half-Life etc.)

Eddie Eagle Firearm Safety Course

just wanted to say…HEY, YOUR THE PARENT!..

you do what you think is best… don’t regret your decision, and don’t apologize for it… me and many in these forums support you. Peace :thumbsup:

i won’t give you the identity of the one who supports you the most, so we hid his identity with a sheet…


Dear Sparkle,
There are two issues here.

  1. If you’ve stated the rules of your house, then you have to follow through on them, so don’t get guilt tripped into pandering to your child who is obviously trying to get his/her way.

  2. That said, I personally think shooting games are OK. Boys especially have a natural inclination to want to shoot. Also, I think you have to pick your battles sometimes, and if you allow video games, why not shooting games? They are fun and challanging. I used to like them myself.

My first 4 children were boys, and I had the ideal that there would be no guns. But my boys would just pick up a stick and shoot anyways. So, I finally decided, forget it, let them have toy guns. None of them became violent people. My two girls never want to play with guns, so I think it’s a gender thing.

So, it’s OK for us parents to change our minds after rethinking something. :slight_smile:

Bless You Nancy for your wise advice!

Thank you!!!

What kind of shooting games? Does he want stuff where he gets to go on rampages and wipe out even cops if the programmng allows? Is this particular game filled with blood and guts and depict real people dying from gunshots?

Or is this like some sort of laser tag or outdoor paintball game…or is it where he points a light gun at the tv and shoots asteroids or ufos? or a shooting game that has laser sighted tin cans or duck hunting or clay pidegon shooting…all done with laser guns.

One I agree is unecessary for kids, the other type I feel is somethng every boy should have fun with and get if he asks…maybe you can compromise with my suggestions and not compromise yourself or dissapoint you son. Good Luck

Oh, alright, if you recoil (no pun intended) in horror from my original suggestion, you can buy him a basketball and hoop. Then he and Dad can go outside and “shoot” hoops to their hearts content.

Talking about WWII games here-----very realistic–depicting Nazis vs. Am. troops.-------Vietnam war games, Cold War games, etc., etc., maybe I should have clarified---------

For all my jesting, I can understand your problem. Put your foot down.

For one, it sounds like he’s already GOT plenty of shooting type video games. Teen needs to be happy with what he’s got. This can be an addiction always wanting something “new and exciting”. This keeps his interest in video games.

Even if there’s nothing “wrong” with the shooting games, there can be something wrong with the amount of time spent on them. Every hour spent on the video game is an hour lost that could have been spent doing something else.

Hey! That’s it! Get the .22 and have Dad haul the boob-tube out to the sand pit with and son can play one, last, totally realistic shooting game! Don’t forget to sweep up though, people don’t like it when you leave shot-up TVs and refridgerators around.

Maybe buy him “My Little Pony” or the Care Bears - all that stuff from the '80s is popular again.

Or how about an Atari 2600 (or emulator) and the shooting game “Outlaw”:

That will get him outside rolling hoops and building treehouses and snow forts in no time!

One thing I forgot to say earlier… aside from the “my house my rules” angle (which is a very valid angle), there’s also the whole “what a gift really is” angle. Gifts are, well, gifts… they’re not entitlements. When someone starts to complain about lousy Christams gifts, then someone has missed the message of the season. I know it’s not practical advice, but there it is.

“Myrrh? I didn’t want myrrh!?”

Howdy Sparkle,

What’s the hubby say? How about that .22 ?
Or even a shot gun to go shoot skeet at the local range.
That’s always fun. Realistic too. Gotta take a gun/hunters safety course too, that will open his eyes, and teach him to respect a gun.
Get’s him out in the fresh air.

I don’t see anything wrong with “shooting” games, so long as you’re not shooting cops and such.

I like the idea of getting him a .22.

Well, have you told him that he’s simply not going to get one? Sure, he’ll be disappointed if he HOPES he’ll get one and he doesn’t, but you can get that disappointment over with right now by making sure he understands it’s just not going to happen.

Then, maybe, he’ll be able to grudgingly concede that there are, indeed, a couple of other things worth having.

I agree with this for sure, but I have had to eat my words at times when I have reviewed something.

I have three girls and then my last was a boy. He is 14 now. He is very respectful and has always had good grades. He is not any trouble anywhere. He loves shooting games. I watch to make sure they are not the purely evil ones- like killing for the sake of doing so, or brutal and evil circumstances, etc. I do think it is a boy thing like has been said here by others. When I had the boy I left many decisions like this up to my husband because I didn’t want to baby him. I am an otherwise peaceful person, but I let the shooting games in.

The gender thing is right I believe. However, my daughter did join the military after college and she is very good at shooting. She is a pilot and she is precise. Her guy friends in the military play a lot of computer simulator games for fun.

I don’t think you want to change your mind, but if you do, there are those of us out there that think you would be OK to allow it too. It is not a black/white issue.