My Kids’ Digital World

This week, I witnessed an interesting conversation between my daughters, aged 6 and 9.  They were playing with plastic phones: one resembling an iPhone and the other a Mickey Mouse flip phone.  My youngest pretended to snap a picture of her older sister and said: “I’m going to post this on Twitter !”.  My eldest reacted by saying no (loudly) and that everyone can see it there.  So my youngest replied: “Fine, I’ll post it on Facebook instead.” and her sister consented.

What would you gleam from this?

I do ask my oldest for permission before posting anything on Facebook.  She’s just at that age.

She has a friend with an iPod that texts my phone. But we have not made this a habit. I’ve discouraged it.

Sometines I feel like I’m modelling for them and guiding. Other times, I have to admit that they are leading me…

They each have a Kindle Fire.  They were given it at Christmas from a relative. I spent a whole night figuring out how to lock it down and make it safe.  They can’t buy apps or books, go on the Internet or use Social Media.

I started by loading on educational apps.  I’ll admit, I’ve allowed a few free mindless but entertaining games for them too.

Minecraft has been their obsession.  The whole family is addicted to it.

imageThey laughed at my clumsy attempts at moving around and building at first. My first build was a house that looked like it would fit in our neighbourhood. My husband not-so-gently made fun of my 1970’s Byron home.  “You have an endless supply of blocks and can create anything… and that’s what you made?”.  My second attempt was better and looks like something out of “Grand Designs”. And now, I can move around in Minecraft like a boss!

What’s crazy is that there is this imaginary world where we all play.  My husband just built secret passage ways for my kids to discover in his “house”. It’s been fascinating for me to see what his “dream home” looks like!  We have worked together to fix “our world” when my youngest went a bit chicken overboard. There were at least a thousand or more. There was a cull. We’re all reading Minecraft books and getting inspired by what we find.

My kids fight and get along in this world too.  They throw birthday parties for each other, play in the tree house as different characters, build on each other’s ideas, teach each other how to tame animals and make monsters, wreck each other’s stuff, ban each other from  “their world”, etc.

How amazing to have this alternate space where they interact and are only limited by the limits of imagination.

It’s facinating.

I can’t wait to see what we will discover next.

Where will I lead them and where will they lead me?

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