I know there are a lot of parents who keep their kids from video games. They allow very limited access, and they are all well within their rights to do so.
Maybe it's because we're gamers. Maybe it's because we only have one child and he's a techy with a techy Daddy. Maybe it's because we don't feel the same about mindless television watching as we do about our child learning how to code through Project Spark, program, design, build and create through virtual worlds. To Greg and I, Minecraft is a glorified version of Legos we wish we would have been born into. Why would we take that from our son?
We don't feel that computers are going away, and we believe it is our job to instill good sense and the important skills needed to maintain balance. People are naturally addicted to computers for one reason or another. It caters to everyone. With Zeek, we use the gaming aspect as our pallet for recognition, proactivity and self-control.
Having prefaced with that:
We let Zeek and Kaila play a lot of Minecraft together. They are apart all year long and it is their favorite bonding tool. The first week Kaila was here, I believe they clocked about 36 hours total. No lie. And we don't regret it one bit. We told them they would first have a week of scheduled days with Minecraft interwoven throughout. We told them the second week they would have a break for a couple of days and then they could play for 2-3 hours a day depending on how they were doing with reading, math, and enjoying other pastimes together.
The last two days began our second week. We didn't let Zeek and Kaila play any video games at all. They laughed and played, swung and spun, hopped and skipped, giggled and fell in the warm green grass under the perfect clouds in a beautiful summer sky. They sat in circles with their friends, FACING each other, talking and sharing, leading, planning and following. They made messes and cleaned them up. They played board games late into the nights. Got that giddy night laughter they couldn't stop, rolled their heads back, holding their sides in stitches. They learned better who likes what, who can be persuaded and who stands firm. They stopped once or twice to remember their Minecraft game - dreamed a little - longed a little - even whined and complained some. But we stuck to our grounds and they forgot all about it as they returned to their real-life creative imagination games, exercising their minds and bodies, bonding as family and friends, turning red in the faces with more smiles and laughter than any of us should be missing out on this summer… it was nice to see. We will surely miss our Kay-Kay.