In our first years of marriage, my husband bought an X-box – one of the green, Halo edition. He was so excited and played it when he needed a break from college work or just some down time. Unfortunately that quickly got out of control and I found myself a Halo-widow. I sat most nights next to him on the couch reading a book or just watching him play. So we had a talk and compromised on his playing time, which really helped. And a few years later he had all but given it up.
The love of video games in our house began several years ago when we finally bought a Wii. Our children quickly got the hang of the games and thoroughly enjoyed trying to win each level as they played. I soon realized we again needed some boundaries. And so again, my husband and I discussed the boundaries we would set for the household.
So why, now, do I not mind him playing video games again? There are several reasons I don’t mind him playing (at least not most of the time).
5 Reasons Why my Husband Plays Minecraft
1. Our kids do – Several years ago our oldest became interested in Minecraft. We had heard quite a bit about the game, but didn’t really know enough. So before my son was able to download the game, my husband downloaded it and learned about it. Before any games are downloaded onto their tablets, my husband researches, reads reviews and often downloads them himself to check them out.
2. Internet predators – Many of the online games have access to the internet or online servers where gamers can play together. THIS is very dangerous for so many reasons. But, if you’re not clued-in to how the game works, you may never know your children are in danger. A good friend of mine wrote about such dangers recently that really opened my eyes to even more dangers.
3. So he can talk to our kids – Since he knows about the games – how they work, how to gain power, win levels, etc. – he is able to talk to our kids about their interests. Sure I can listen and I do pretty well most of the time, but when it comes to actually carrying on a conversation about the games…I’m lost. So I usually just smile and nod. My kids now look at me and halfway through their stories will say, “You have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about do you, Mom?” And I admit I don’t, but that I like hearing their excitement for the game and wins.
4. Encourage our kids – Our kids love to talk about their games and how they found a new mine or a new gemstone or ore in Minecraft and while I can genuinely celebrate with them on their findings, that’s about as far as it goes. So my husband has been able to really talk to them and encourage them in their games. He also takes the time to teach them about strategy and why they should do certain things, build certain buildings, mine for certain things and how that will benefit them in the long run. It has been a great learning tool not only for my kids, but also my husband as he learns to relate to each child.
5. He likes to (and I don’t) – He is the gamer in our house and enjoys playing them. Once upon a time, when I was much younger, I did play the original Mario Brothers on our Nintendo system, but I was far from skilled. In fact, I usually “helped” the characters along their way to jump and run faster. It was quite the workout (for me). I am more of the easy, no brainer gamer (like Frozen Free Fall or Candy Crush) and the kids and I do play those together sometimes. But as for the strategy, “video game-y” games, that’s his department.
So, do I mind that my husband plays video games? Truth? Sometimes. But, I would rather him play these games with our kids to watch out for them and protect than be in a situation later down the road that no parent wants to face.
We do try to keep the gaming to a minimum though. The kids all have passwords on their tablets that only my husband and I know. If the kids figure them out or watch us input the password, we change it. They are not allowed to touch their tablets until their schoolwork is completed – no matter how long that takes. All internet purchases require a code, which has saved us HUNDREDS of dollars from curious little fingers wanting to “see that new game!”
And while we have taken every precaution we can think of…there are always new predators coming up, so we have to be on top of it. For us, it came down to the safety of our children and family – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Which is why I believe EVERY parent should be on social media. Check out my post, 7 Reasons every Parent Should be on Social Media, over at Upside Down Homeschooling.
If your kids love Minecraft, be sure to check out SKrafty, a safe Minecraft server that includes classes for all subjects and interests!!