How to talk to your kids about Minecraft

One concern with Minecraft is that parents often find it hard to ask kids good questions about it. The good news is that good questions don’t require specific jargon knowledge. Good  questions help kids who are poor at managing their time playing it. It’s something that they (and you) can learn and work on.

I make no bones about it, games like Minecraft are exciting and rewarding to kids, often in exact proportion to how boring school and TV is. If you want your kid to be creative-curious-adventurous, Minecraft is hands down better than watching hours TV or copying a set of facts the board in a classroom. But parents – all of us – find managing game time a challenge, as most of us have no experience of it until it manifests in the home.

So, how do parents get better at managing Minecraft? Well its a two part solution.

First, think about the location and second, use questions that relate directly to potential behavioural changes (in you and them). It’s not so hard … but you do have to think rather than react to your own emotions. Yelling doesn’t make it better, which is not to suggest that it’s an easy thing to avoid when she freaks-out as you yank the modem out the wall. We’ve all been there. The first step it to try and better manage the situation.

This is best to do this in two ways. First is about location. Sitting with them as they play (their zone) or in a neural zone (the park). Don’t summon them to the kitchen for a lecture – kitchens are for noms. The second is about using questions that have been shown to promote behavioral change away from regressing back to conflict.

So here are 10 questions that I’ve found work.

1. What are some of the skills that have contributed to your success? (insight)
2. What get’s in your way of success? here (insight)
3. What do you find most rewarding things to do? (motivation)
4. What additional skills or things could I (the parent) do to help them you feel even more successful? (abilities)
5. What do other people say about your Minecraft builds? (real world)
6. What have you said about other people’s builds? (accountability)
7. How much time do you think you play a week? (accountability)
8. Have you ever griefed someones Minecraft build? Why/why not? (accountability)
9. What makes a great Minecraft server ?(insight)
10. If a new person came to you to learn how to play this – is that something you’d like to teach them? (motivation)

Not an exhaustive list – but these are ten ways to talk about Minecraft in a positive way and avoid yelling at each other. I’d appreciate it if you added some more that you find useful too. :xd

One thought on “How to talk to your kids about Minecraft

  1. From my own experience, players that stay in singleplayer build super hude structures, play all day until they stop it totaly at once.

    On the other side, players in multiplayer (servers with other people) tend to build as a team within their buildings.

    Example, we have a server where players work with others from calculating ressources, sharing work, to solve problems in group, instead of “just building”.
    http://www.beejee.info/minecraft

    They still end up with big construction, but made by 10 instead of 1, which is faster to complete for everyone, and let the time to do something else and not get bored to fast of the game.

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