I was going through the DVD cupboard the other day trying to find a disk the kids were after which once again had not made it back into its case. Whilst pairing and putting things away I was having to make stacks of games and boxes so I could create some semblance of order. One pile of disks were games for the Xbox and I heard a whoop behind me as E pointed to one of the games and said that she recognised it. I asked her which one it was and she announced “the horsey one”. I realised as she pointed that she was referring to a cowboy game that is not appropriate for kids and something she would certainly not be playing on our console due to its rating. Of course she immediately asked to go on it and I said that I could not let her as it was not for kids. She looked really confused and told me that she used to play it all the time.
I find moments like this not only odd but difficult to handle. Firstly, you are making a break of values from an old life into you new family and as I often find this involves some kind of loss (particularly if it was something they used to do) as you endeavour to keep them safe. This can obviously make you out to be an ogre as often it is really hard for the child or young person to see why it was not appropriate for them. Secondly, convincing someone that what you are doing is for their best interest is quite a difficult sale when they used to enjoy it.
In this instance I talked about how it was really important for me to keep all my children safe and that is the reason why there are ages on all games these days. E seemed to accept it and the other kids concurred as well. Phew! Later whilst at the dinner table E said that she liked being kept safe as it felt nice. This was lovely to hear as I was really worried that the interaction could have created a tension however it reminded me that ultimately we all want to be kept safe and even though we have done things in the past it does not mean it was the best for us. For E she grew a tiny bit closer to our family in that interaction as she was in the same boat as our other kids and more importantly recognised that we had her best interests at heart. Marvellous!