I don't know about you but, my kids are totally obsessed with Minecraft. I admit, it's a clever game and I love how they seem to be learning survival skills, life skills and how to escape this Hero Brian or Herobrine or Endermen or whatever in the world they are called. Either way, I am shocked at some of the things my children seemed to have learned from this game and I think this generation of Minecraft kids will end up showing us how they are able to get through anything. Well, almost anything.
As I am sitting here right now, typing this post, I am on the edge of my seat, just waiting, wondering when the next shriek will come out of one of their mouths. It gives me shivers just thinking about it! Yes, I allow my kids to play video games. No, they aren't on 24/7. Yes, we limit their time. I admit, there are times when I need a break. Just 30 minutes or so. Just to grab a quick shower or prepare dinner, even hide in the bathroom. Yes, I sometimes let the play even when they didn't necessarily earn game time. Why? Because I'm a mom who needs peace and quiet and I know it's nice to think of all of the perfect houses, with the perfect moms who do nothing but entertain their children and play with them for 12 hours straight and make sure to cook everything from scratch and take them with them, everywhere they go.
But, we aren't like this in the real world.
I bake and cook from scratch most every evening. (Or night. It depends on how busy we were with soccer or hockey or band or just regular everyday stuff.) I don't go overboard for lunches and the warmest breakfast I will ever cook is a Pop Tart. Ok, maybe some oatmeal. I just am not a morning person. Not only because of my RSD or any other health issue, but because I hate, absolutely hate to wake up early. (and then comes the need to refill my veins with coffee.)
"MOM! MOM! I just fought the Ender Dragon!" HUH?
We do fun things with our kids, we have craft nights, baking nights, sleepovers, play outside but, guess what? I will tell my kids, "Ok kiddos! Why don't you go play a game for a bit so mommy can get a few things done" This is often followed by, "HOORAY!" and other yelps and screeches and giggles. Plus, a huge sigh of relief from me. Knowing I will now have time to do whatever it is I need to do. Relaxation!
"STOP DESTROYING MY VILLAGE!"
OMG! I can't take it anymore! All I hear is constant bickering and something about Endermen (sp?) and Herobrine and one kid is freaking out over the youngest one because he keeps making to many signs and eats raw pork chops and OH MY GOD! As if it isn't enough for the bickering outside of the game, but now, I have to break up fights inside of a video game??
My children learn a lot from this game and I promise you, if they are ever thrown into a land that is made up of dots and just given a pickaxe and a few animals, they will get through. They will proceed to build a new village and a new house and figure out how to adjust to their new lives. So will your children. Is it silly of me to say such things all because of a video game? Maybe. But, I watched my 5 year old, (then 4), figure out which animals to save, how many of each, count 36 sticks, build a house for himself, a safe place for the animals he found and collected, and figure out how things work on a computer, a game console and in Minecraft land.
But what about when his brother and sister are in school and he decides to destroy their houses, steal their belongings, mainly their food and diamonds, and when they get home from school, everything they worked so hard for is gone? I don't know but, they all do it to each other at times and at other times, they work very hard together to build a giant village with houses all around the perimeter and they take care of each other's animals and work as a team. (I have no idea what happens between there and the time they decide to throw each other's diamonds in the lava!)
Every time they start yelling and arguing, it's time to turn it off and guess what they do next? They go outside and play "real life Minecraft". It's fascinating to watch yet somewhat creepy. But, their vocabulary has grown and their survival skills are far more brilliant than what I might do if I was dropped off in the middle of a bunch of dots and just thrown a few things every so often.
So, for now, I think I will deal with all of the craziness. I really wouldn't mind playing Minecraft myself but, there is no time. Plus, if I start, it will be to addicting so, I better steer clear! As long as time is limited, children are supervised, you are there to answer questions, help with debates, be the judge and jury, and get them out the door on a daily basis, I think it's just fine.
What do you think about Minecraft? Do your kids play? Please tell me I'm not the only mom who has to break up these screaming battles inside an actual video game?