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If you're a parent, read this before your kids play Minecraft

Here's what you need to know about Minecraft before your kids play it.

For all of you parents out there struggling to figure out how best to get your child started on Minecraft, here are some wonderful tips. Children who play, talk about it obsessively. Do yourself the favor and get your Google degree in Minecraft whether you will be playing or not.

Children love to watch Minecraft YouTube videos... lots of them. YouTube is like Pandora's Box when it comes to Minecraft. Once they start watching them, you will need to familiarize yourself with seeds, mod and texture/resource pack installations, 'how-to's,' or just pretend those words confuse you.

They will fail and they will get frustrated sometimes, it's just how it is.

Creative mode is like handing your child the keys to your car and telling them, "Just go nuts." The joy ride is fun, but it usually results in a crash. TNT...everywhere!

The Minecraft Wiki is a great starting point for both you and your child. It will teach you both how to utilize the game before playing. Otherwise, you'll end up hearing "Mom, Dad; how do I craft..." every 5 minutes.

Children love to spend an insane amount of time watching other people playing Minecraft too. Bear in mind that some may contain bad language in their videos. YouTubers stampylongnose, iBallisticSquid, and Amy Lee are clean (language), fun, and even educational.

Watching the Minecraft YouTube videos will have them wanting to migrate toward modded Xboxes and then that is all you will hear about. If they do play on consoles, having them play the tutorial is a must. This is very helpful when it comes to learning the basics.

“They are going to want the toys too and those things are expensive. I've made my kids a few because there was no way I was paying that much for them,” says Christine Marie.

Become Online Savvy

It's best to keep in mind that your child will want you to play too; either on a realm (hosted online server with a monthly fee) or via local Wi-Fi. It can be fun, but your child will usually want to play a lot more than you do.

Single-player is be fun but only for so long. Most kids (and grown-ups too) will eventually want to play with others. It's just a lot more fun that way. You will want to learn about servers before they reach that point, so you can find one that is both age appropriate and safe. This will also be a great time to have the "Internet safety talk."

"Creative mode was a world for him that he could create and destroy. I couldn't understand how a video game could be so consuming for him. When he wasn't playing, oh gracious he would talk endlessly about what he was going to do," said Connie Yeager. "I then started limiting his time on it, but I really didn't understand any of it until I played the game myself. I saw that there was so much he could do, that I finally understood the reason behind his obsession. Now I am having to start setting an example by limiting how long I play as well; they need that example."

That will be all they will want to do and will go to their friends to play and they end up playing Minecraft there too. They will suddenly speak an entirely different language and occasionally you won't know if they are talking about something that happened in Minecraft, with an imaginary friend.

Minecraft is a great creative game. It's also helped my son to increase his vocabulary and learn new words. He's only 4 and can read everything on Minecraft. Though if your child gets motion sickness, be prepared lol. It's good for creativity without the mess in the house,” said Kris Callaghan. “I’m all about gaming. We have tons of learning games too, Leap Pad, [and] ABC Mouse. Since I’m a gamer, he's a gamer; and I’d say right now at 4, he's definitely at kindergarten level for everything; and constantly getting better,” Mrs. Callaghan added.

Christina Deel says, “In my opinion Minecraft, is not bad because of these things. My kids play it because I see something good and beneficial in it. Minecraft is a tool that can be overused and underused for good or evil like any other tool! It's all in how and why you use it; and for how long.”

Books, books, and more books

They will want the companion books and the fiction books that have been published. They are helpful books about Minecraft as well for both you and your child. Everything from building furniture to traps, Redstone to enchanting, and much more.

“I think that was the biggest surprise for me, how all-encompassing the game can be. They "Play" Minecraft outside with all the other kids who live near us because they all play Minecraft of one system or another,” says Joanna Bell. “My boys are 14 and 12 years old, the neighbor's children are aged 13 and 4. They all will play in the field by our courtyard, nicely for hours.”

“It does actually help with reading, she no longer asks me to spell anything for her while searching for items in creative mode. And she has built some really cool things,” said Mrs. Sheri Evans. “She is six now and red stone can be tricky but she's learned to build some red stone stuff at least as good as I do, it's like a very basic level of programming as how you use levers and torches and tracks creates different effects.”

Join a family friendly community

The most important thing is to play with them. Enjoy the game together and find an awesome community online. Gaming Mommies is fantastic place to get lots of information, plus find safe servers to play on with or without your children. They also have a Minecraft group on Facebook for mommies (and daddies) to get together.

Happy gaming.

Published Jul. 25th 2015

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