In the past week, your child was involved in a conversation with another gamer about possessing real weapons at home. We suggest that you speak with your child about this due to the dangerous consequences of using weapons. Here are some recommendations for how to have that conversation:
1. Explain to your child that you have been alerted that they were involved in a conversation about using or possessing a real gun or other weapon.
2. Ask them to share more about the conversation, the context, and who they were speaking with about weapons. Were they speaking to someone they know or a stranger online?
3. Find out your child’s reason for talking about the weapon. Were they feeling unsafe and wanting protection? Were they trying to sound tough? Were they bullying someone else? They may need your help with problem-solving a hard situation.
4. Explain the risks of using weapons and explain that they can be deadly. Tell your child that even threatening someone with a weapon can be considered a crime.
5. Discuss the implications of using weapons, including:
Unintentional Shootings: When children and teens are holding or playing with a gun, the gun can accidentally go off and hurt or kill someone.
If they bring a weapon like a gun or a knife to school or somewhere else, the risk of injury to themselves and other people goes up dramatically. Weapons don’t solve problems–they create problems.
Remind your child that if they ever come across a gun or another weapon, they must stay away from it and tell you immediately.
Use this opportunity to educate your child about gun safety. You can use this article for more information.