The question seems to comes up every time a kid inflicts violence upon another kid. Experts say children are becoming de-sensitized to violence and often don’t understand the consequences of their actions. I’m no expert so all I have to offer is my own experience.
My nine-year old grandson, Landon, is a gamer. Through and through. Call of Duty, Black Ops, Halo…you name it and he plays it. And he plays it well. Very well. So well in fact, adults don’t like playing against him. A while back, one of his dad’s friends said, “I can’t believe I got beat by a seven-year old.” Yeah, he’s that good.
His Uncle Garey doesn’t shy away from the competition, though. He’s been known to call Landon’s mom or dad and ask if Landon can play. Imagine!
But does grandma worry her oldest grandson is turning into a gaming geek? Not that there’s anything wrong with that but, sure, I worried. Note the past tense.
You see, Landon is a well rounded kid. He loves playing outside with his cousins, loves sleeping in a tent by a campfire, loves basketball and baseball. He’s been playing baseball since he was three. Yes, three. He used to arrive at his games in a car seat. He works hard in school and makes good grades and will kick it up a notch to bring a so-so grade up. His mother is his favorite person in the whole wide world; he adores his dad. He loves his siblings and feels a big brother responsibility toward them. I’ve seen the worry on his face when he can’t find Ava in the car-rider line at school. I’ve seen him take time to comfort Ivy or cousin Aiden when they’re upset. I’ve seen him tote Casey or Ireland upstairs or downstairs to help mom or me. Yes, I’ve even seen him change a diaper.
He’s gentle and kind and has a wicked sense of humor. He has some of the best one-liners you’ll ever hear. And yeah, he has a high kill rate.
He wants to be a Navy Seal when he grows up. Not because he would “get to kill things” but because of the honor of helping others.
Play on, Landon. Play on.