Should I Let My Child Play FortNite?

FortNite has been a pop-culture phenomenon for the last couple months, in my household specifically, it’s been since February 2018. A frequent question I see so often in mommy groups is whether they should allow their child to play FortNite. Usually the question is followed by a lot of misinformation. Before I continue, I want parents reading this to know that each child is different and it’s up to you to use your judgement. Personally, my 8-year-old son plays,  and my husband and I even as a squad and try to get a victory royale together. So as both a mother and actual FortNite player I want to share this information.

1. The genre of game is not First-Person Shooter, it is Battle Royale, which is a style of game where 100 players get dropped on an island to be the last one standing (or ones if you’re playing squads/duos).  In FortNite, you are also outrunning a storm. There is shooting and weaponry involved. The difference is literal viewing/perspective. In a First-Person Shooter you are seeing it as if you are the shooter. In battle royale you are controlling a character and viewing your character.

2. Theres NO GORE. Not a single drop of blood, no graphic injury, no gasping for life. There’s far more gore in a Marvel or Star Wars movie. While again, every parent is entitled to make their decisions for the kids I personally, find it hypocritical to allow blood and gore in films and shows but criticize a game with none.

3. But what about all the kids who are getting addicted? Yes, I heard the story about the mom who turned the wi-fi off because her kid got up at 4am in the morning to play FortNite. First and foremost, people need to recognize addiction as a mental illness. Addiction doesn’t just happen. Someone with an addictive personality is going to become addicted to SOMETHING, if you choose to not have it be FortNite it can/will be something else.  Boundaries and children not respecting those boundaries is not necessarily the same as an addiction. Can this game create addiction? No, again that’s something already there. Can it trigger it? YES. If your child has exhibited behaviors of an addictive personality, it’s probably best to not let them play this game.

4. The violence. The biggest turn off for most parents is the violent content of the game. Common Sense Media critics cite 13+, parents cite 11+, kids say 10+. Yes, your child will learn the names of different types of guns and grenades, if that’s an issue then don’t let them play.  As stated before there is no gore, injury, etc. When you are eliminated a hover thing comes above and teleports you back into the lobby. As violent as the game is, it’s also silly. One of the harvesting tools for materials is a pink and green balloon that squeaks when you hack away at a tree or stack of wood pallets.

5. The game offers a lot of discussion topics. If your child is not ready to handle certain discussions, it’s probably best to stay away.  Topics include: Gun Violence (why they are wrong in the real world), Gun safety (differences between handling a gun in a game and in real life — should they ever come across one) EMOTIONAL CONTROL, camaraderie and team work, etc.

Another note, chatting in the game is optional. You can turn it off so your kids aren’t talking to people and they are not talking back. On Xbox you can create parties that are for kids only, no swearing, etc. My husband and I play FortNite with our 8-year-old. It has offered us an additional activity for family bonding. We’ve personally discussed gun violence and why it’s wrong, and to our surprise last school year he wrote a poem about how gun ownership is bad in the real world. One thing we’re able to openly discuss is emotional control, often times when he is playing alone he can become frustrated to where we ask him to put the controller down/turn the game off and breathe.


Choosing to Homeschool our kid(s)

image1 2What comes to mind when you think of a homeschooling family? A religious cult-like family that wants to teach creationism and argues against evolution? Maybe it’s some hippie non-vaccinating family that’s going to dance around trees and sing about mother Earth while burning sage, perhaps it’s something else. Our family is nowhere near that. We are for one, not at all religious (though we respect everyone’s own decisions to follow a religion –as long as it does not harm or hurt people or the planet) and  yes, we vaccinate our children. We are world schoolers.

We never thought we’d be homeschoolers. But we’ve talked about it for years, and finally settled on going through with it this school year. My husband and I are fortunate enough to own and operate a business that gives us a lot of flexibility. I also work a part-time job that allows me to be flexible and put a lot of money towards our savings to see the world together (should I blog about this?). So for someone working a 9-5, homeschooling probably wouldn’t be as of much interest nor as manageable (not saying it’s impossible, just less likely).
worldschoolingWe found traditional schooling to be problematic for our family. For one, our son was bullied a lot. We teach socio-emotional understanding in our home so we allow him to cry, we dissect emotions, and discuss feelings. We don’t want to breed toxic masculinity, but that’s another topic for another day. Even in the most progressive, project based, public charter in Los Angeles, we found that bullying was something other parents weren’t bothering to prevent in their own homes. There were kids using slurs and saying things like “you’re gay” towards our child (who hasn’t even specified his attraction preference) which we also weren’t fans of hearing. I know what some people are saying while reading this— “why didn’t you just toughen him up?” We definitely teach him to stand up for himself and if someone hits him first (never initiate) you fight back! But we still didn’t care for the environment traditional schooling offered. Another thing we experienced is even with two teachers in the class room, our son still performed better with 1-on-1 teaching, actually…most students do. The most frustrating part about traditional schooling (public schools) is that students were treated more as a barter item for money than they were actual people. It was more about attendance for LAUSD to get money than it was about how my child is taking information in. There are complaints from parents across the country, and while that is a more complex topic I’m glad we no longer have to worry about it.

untitled (1 of 1)-18One of the biggest reasons we’ve decided to homeschool our son is because of the way things are taught. Here we have this beautiful, multi-racial boy, who’s learning about white American history. As a woman of color and first generation immigrant to the U.S. I know next to nothing about my own history. I wish I had gotten more of a global understanding of the world too. Also, as many parents can attest to common core is the most frustrating and idiotic thing on the planet as a base curriculum for students.  So why not private school? Private school still mandates a 9-5 style structure. While the education is said to be better, the 20k/year could be going towards experiences that can better educate a child. Not to mention the lack of socio-economic diversity. While it’s great to aspire having children who go to the school with the rich kids, thus proving you too are rich, we’d rather have our kid(s) be conscious of the different socio-economic backgrounds of others and not just one class of people (which also usually tends to be race dominant)

Okay, so what about college and the SAT and ACT. College/University isn’t mandatory for our kids but it is something we highly encourage. We talk about the different universities he could go to, what he could learn, etc. Statistically homeschooled students perform better on Standardized Tests  than students who go to traditional schools. Also, many universities favor and embrace homeschooling because of it’s benefits which you can read about here — Business Insider: Homeschooling to Havard

I will go into the logistics of homeschooling later but I am so excited to share our family’s newest adventure with you all and can’t wait to share more!

Kid-Friendly Steakhouse Experience: Fleming’s Children’s menu.



image1I have to admit for an 8-year-old, Bri has been to some really awesome restaurants, partly in thanks to the visits with his awesome grandparents/ my in-laws with great taste, but also because he has young parents and lives in an awesome city. So he was actually super excited to hear that Fleming’s had invited us for dinner and had a Children’s Menu available. We went in to the Downtown LA location for dinner last night, on a mommy and Bri date. Some alone time with my oldest child was long overdue. Upon arrival were greeted by such an accommodating staff. The manager, Michelle, was incredibly helpful throughout the experience. The hosts sat us quickly at a large booth, it didn’t look like there were any particularly “bad tables” either. Everything seemed fair game, nothing too close to the kitchen or bathrooms.


(Bread basket)



We got settled in and were offered a basket of bread rolls and water. I am truly grateful there were no straws too! Not only would they have looked kind of tacky, they are incredibly horrible for the environment— taking about 500+ years just to breakdown into micro plastics, but that’s a different discussion for another time. Bri got a hold of the Children’s menu and his eyes immediately closed in on the Colossal Shrimp Tempura. DSC_0709-2He had a choice of a starter salad or apple slices. I wish I could say he picked the salad, but he opted for the apple slices with caramel dipping sauce. He sure did love that caramel dipping sauce too. He started dipping the bread in it shortly after he devoured the delicious apple slices. Bri’s Colossal Shrimp Tempura was served with some veggie tempura too and a choice of either fries or a potato waffle. The potato waffle was a fun spin on a starch side. Bri’s only complaint was that there was no syrup for his potato waffle. Real refined palette there. haha.

image2(cooked to perfection)

I ordered an 8 oz. Filet Mingon with a side of Yukon Mashed Potatoes and Creamed Spinach. The steak was cooked to perfection, a perfect medium-rare to a beautiful cut of meat. The sides were warm and so filling. I paired my meal with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, it was all delicious. Our server Stevie, and the manager, Michelle, were so kind and accommodating. No one acted like Bri was a nuisance, like most places do at the sight of children. The staff was the icing on the cake for the experience, speaking of sweets, we didn’t have room for any because we were so stuffed! We’ll have to visit again and try that lava cake!