Making a Case for Fortnite


It took about a year of begging, but it seems it’s only been a fortnite since we caved. 

fortnight __ Video Games __ Minecraft __ Corpus Christi Moms BlogWe had done some checking and were just really uncomfortable with so much about the popular game, Fortnite. 

Every chance he got, CJ made sure we knew that he was like the only kid who wasn’t allowed to play the game.

One day, I picked him up after school and he barely made it through the door before he was bawling his eyes out.  We immediately asked him what was wrong and attempted to console him but he was so upset and refused to talk.  Finally, he held out his little hand which contained a postcard. 

He said, “I got invited to a birthday party but I can’t go.” 

We immediately asked him why he couldn’t go. 

“Because it’s a Fortnite party,” he continued in between sobs. 

At that moment, we realized that this game was really making him feel left out far more than we ever realized.  We started to do a little more digging into the details of what this game entailed.  This time, I came across an article about predators using the game to get to kids. 

That once again sealed the deal on Fortnite.  

Fast forward to the summer after 2nd grade. 

We had been working on teaching CJ to use his words to persuade us instead of fussing and arguing when he wasn’t getting what he wanted or disagreed with a rule or punishment. 

He approached us again about Fortnite…

but this time he was prepared with his list. 

He presented his points calmly and in a big kid way.  He reminded us that he has always respected our rule about it, even when we aren’t around (which we confirmed with friends’ parents).  He discussed his good behavior and straight A’s.  Leave it to CJ to learn what we were trying to teach him at the most opportune moment for him. 

Now we were faced with a dilemma. 

He presented his well thought out reasons and clearly stated his case.  He really deserved to win this one but we had to stick to our original decision on this one for his protection.  He was crushed and really didn’t understand.  We were, however, seeing the social distance this was creating for him.  The kids in school would do the latest “Fortnite dances” and he knew nothing about them.  Kids would come to school talking about playing online with each other and he was the outcast.  

Chris and I were so torn. 

We had many discussions about this topic and now we were adding to that conversation.  Realizing that this decision was making him feel left out when after years of moving and losing friends, he was finally in a position to make friends but he once again felt different. 

I know, I know. 

As a parent, we’re supposed to say “If your friends jump off of a bridge…” 

But maybe there is a way that we can let them walk up to the bridge without jumping, while we hold their hands so they don’t fall?  Part of parenting is recognizing that with the temptation bombarding them from every angle, they may walk up to that bridge and slip when we aren’t there to hold their hand. 

We decided that since our Xbox is in the living room (put there partially so that both kids could have access, but also so that we could always be aware of what CJ was watching or playing) we could allow a trial :: with the understanding that there would be no chatting, adding friends, etc, unless they were friends that he actually knew in person from school or Tae Kwon Do. 

I can still see the smile on his face as he screeched with delight over his victorious negotiation only a couple of nights earlier.  Such a small gesture of trust from us gave him the ability to no longer say “I’m not allowed” and instead, gave him a feeling of being part of his peer group.  He felt that he was being given this big privilege but in reality, we knew that we would be watching closely.  

It’s only been a Fortnite, but we have already noticed that he almost never plays it.  He doesn’t care about Fortnite and rarely plays for more than a few minutes before switching back to Minecraft.  I finally decided to ask him about the game and his lack of playing.  “Well, it’s not that I don’t like it…because I do.  I really do like that game a lot,” he stumbled,  “it’s more that I don’t like it as much as I thought I would and I really like Minecraft much better.” 

I’m sure for him, just the prospect of being able to say “I don’t want to play” vs “I can’t play” is a huge victory in itself. 

Game Over.

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