If you have boys in the ages of 8 to 14 years old, most likely you have heard of MineCraft. MineCraft is a computer game where you get dropped into a world where there are creepers and monsters, and you can build your own world, at the same time trying to survive with these kreepers around. You can play with multiple people together on your own server or on someone else’s server.
My kids who are 7, 9 and 10 years old started playing MineCraft in August, and have played ever since. They love it, they created their own worlds, from Mario Galaxy to Star Wars, but also recreated the city in which we live and Paris. It is pretty impressive.
They can build these worlds by finding resources, like wood, blocks, etc and they can craft glass when they have collected and mix together the right resources. (I would tell you what it is, but I’m still learning too!) It kinda looks like lego bricks but more like natural resources and obviously it’s in a virtual world.
My kids have been enjoying playing and exploring in the MineCraft world for months, and they are very passionate about it. I always had a listening ear to when they shared with me their stories, and always looked at their newest creations they were showing me.
But that isn’t enough.
It wouldn’t be enough in the real world either.
If I wanted to spend more time with my kids, I knew I should connect with them in the area that they are passionate about, to deeply connect with my kids. These were the thoughts going through my head for weeks. But at the same time I wasn’t interested in playing MineCraft for myself. At all! Then a few weeks ago my husband joined my kids and started an account to play with them, and see what they really were doing. And he revealed a shocking fact:
Sometimes my kids were mean to each other on MineCraft, if they were angry with each other, they were being mean in the game – and even though we are close to the kids, we might not even notice it. They sometimes killed each others character on purpose.
If they would hit each other in real life, I would not allow it, talk to them and work with them. But now they were online, I didn’t always see what was going on and if they were respecting each other.
If I want to be a good parent and lead by example, then – was my conclusion – I should be with them on MineCraft to see what’s really going on and lead by example and discuss when stuff comes up that might turn into a fight.
And that’s why I am now on MineCraft. To parent my kids.
And to spend time with my kids.
Instead of asking them to meet me where I am at, I am meeting them where they are at. The place they are most passionate about at the moment: MineCraft.
Oh, and believe me. Your first try on MineCraft is not gonna be fun, it’s a steep learning curve! My kids wanted to help me out many times, but I asked them to tell me what buttons to press so I could try it and learn to remember. The first time I played I was done after 20 minutes. But you can build it up from there. Walking around in those hilly areas is no fun. I felt I needed 3 hands to do everything I needed. And it looks like my kids do it so easily.
Practice makes perfect.
And I must say, I am very excited to see that my kids are so much collaborating. Helping each other find food, resources, etc. It builds trust for the future.
But I want to stay part of their world, we are a family, we are all in it together.
And now we are all into MineCraft too.