I recently attended a parenting presentation with guest speaker, Dr. Alex Russell, a clinical psychologist whose book, Drop the Worry Ball, tries to teach parents how to parent in an age of entitlement. He talked about how parenting books and columns have eroded parenting confidence and our “ability to trust our own intuition.” Moreover, with parents feeling the pressure to be involved in every aspect of their children’s lives, lest said parent become the shame of the community, we’re also not letting our kids take responsibility for themselves and their own actions, leading to a vicious cycle of anxiety.

What does this have to do with Fortnite, you ask? Well, as many parents, including celebrities have experienced of late, it turns out that my kids were the only kids not playing Fornite. Despite recently purchasing The Sims 4, Human: Fall Flat, and Gang Beasts, I was still failing as a parent because I had not allowed them to jump on this bandwagon yet.

I am thankful to my fellow Sidequesters for their input when I asked if it was an appropriate game for them to play. I’m wary of online games, like the good parent I am, but, assuming I monitor gameplay, this should be safe.

On her first night in Venus (as hypothesized on Game Theory, which she diligently watches), my eldest boarded the party bus and launched herself into the sky. We watched the numbers of other players fall as people failed to stick the landing, but, my daughter did me proud right from the get-go with a superb landing off in the distance.

And in the distance is where she stayed. Keeping abreast of the looming storm and ignoring my recommendations that she move inward and try to actually kill people, she avoided her way to a healthy 11th place in her very first showing.

Soon enough, she was playing as part of a group, where her strategy seemed to confuse her three teammates, who all died (probably) horrible deaths. We don’t know, because she was nowhere near them at the time.

In her next squad session, someone, we’ll call him Bro98987, had a mic going and started the round giving orders that none of his otherwise silent teammates followed. His growing exasperation was evident and I was on edge, certain that Bro98987’s initial politeness wasn’t going to last, especially when the other two teammates died, leaving him alone with my disobedient 12-year-old. I was ready to pull the plug, but holding firm to her strategy, she ventured further off into the distance, and Bro98987 grudgingly followed, muttering complaints along the way until he found himself in trouble. Maybe you should help him, I suggested, as he begged for support. My daughter shrugged. Bro98987 died, probably in a hail of bullets, and my daughter contented herself with 17th place.

For the rest of the evening, she played solo, dutifully ignoring all my advice except that one time when she followed my command and was promptly killed and vowed never to take my gaming advice again.

Because really, what do I know? I’m just a mom who needs to stop worrying so much and recognize that her kid’s got this.


Read the rest of the Gamer Mom series.