Just Say No to Fortnite


fortnite kids and video gamesDoes anyone else feel like we are in a strange place in history as parents?

There are so many things our kids are exposed to on a daily basis that didn’t exist when we were kids. Think about all of the technology, instant information at our fingertips, anytime we want it. We don’t really know how harmful all our “connectivity” is in the long-run. But many signs so far are saying it’s not good.

Kids and Technology

There are many things that attract kids to screens, but I want to talk a bit about Fortnite. Just say no.

I know I may not be taking the popular opinion here. I have read countless articles on both sides of the fence, but my kids are not allowed to play. In one of my son’s eyes, that makes me a “mean mom.” Well, look at me over here not caring.

My previous experience with gun violence ensures that any type of game that involves shooting humans is not happening under my roof.

I just don’t understand how that is acceptable and actually popular in our culture right now. It scares the heck out of me.

Even if the shooting weren’t a big deal (which I truly think it is) the amount of time kids spend in front of a screen playing this game is unnerving.

I have students who stay up until 1 or 2 am on a school night to play with friends, strangers, and most likely predators. They are coming to class only wanting to talk about the game, falling asleep in class, and doing those goofy, ridiculous dances (Okay the dances are definitely the least of my worries, but boy I wonder what they would think as adults if I showed them videos of what they looked like doing them!) They leave my classroom for the day, and I can hear them shouting to their friends to rush home and “meet up” online to play. Yikes! Anyone want to practice their math facts, play an instrument, or get lost in a book instead?

I recently had a conversation with a few of the boys in my class where I asked about their thoughts on Fortnite. They all admitted they were addicted and would like to play less. That admission scared me too. They know it’s not good for them. They recounted how some of them and their friends got “ragey” when they played and actually broke controllers and headsets and other objects because they lost. I even saw a Jimmy Kimmel clip recently where he asked parents to turn off their kids’ game of Fortnite unexpectedly, and the kids’ reactions were shameful. I was not laughing, I was shocked.

I see this playing out negatively in the classroom on a daily basis. I have a handful of kids who I can tell it’s constantly on their minds throughout the day. It’s all they talk about and definitely what they would rather be doing. It makes competing for their attention and focus extremely difficult.

So, if you are a parent of younger children, I strongly caution you about letting your children play Fortnite when they are older. I am not sure it will be a thing forever, but it certainly isn’t weakening in its popularity anytime soon. If your children are already caught up in the craze, I urge you to scale back or restrict this type of gaming all together. There are tons of video games that are more appropriate for kids.

Parenting these days are hard. It’s hard to keep up with all the things that weren’t around when we were young, and deciphering what is okay and what is not. From everything I have read and seen first-hand, I would urge you to just say no to Fortnite.

kids and fortnite

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Jennifer is a single mom of two boys. She does her best to get to places on time, despite being a chronically late person and the fact that neither she or her boys are morning people. She recently went back into the classroom after staying home for nine years to raise her kids, and she credits her sanity and success at this endeavor to the fact that she has incredibly supportive parents, family, and friends. She also has a network of single moms that truly “get it” and who encourage her on a daily basis. When she’s not hanging out with her kiddos, Jennifer enjoys writing at a coffee shop, trying new restaurants, or catching up with friends.


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