Don't Delete Your Kid's Minecraft World: A SuperParent Perspective With Tips
A Reddit user deleted a year of their child's work -- learn from their decision.
A parent recently posted on the “Am I the A**hole” subreddit, asking if they were in the wrong (or, more literally, if they were an "ahole") for deleting a Minecraft world their child had worked on for a year.
I can say, categorically, yes. You are an ahole. As a bonus, you’ve just taught your kid not to trust you with what they love doing. Allow me to explain why.
Before I unpack some Op Ed-level observations, here’s the post that’s been making the rounds:
“I have 2 children, a 9 year old son and a 6 year old daughter. My son had a Minecraft world where he built quite an impressive castle on an island, which he was very proud to show to me.
Since school was canceled, he has had issues with waking up on time. He is supposed to wake up at 7 each morning, but for the past month he has been sleeping in until about 9 or 10. I always set an alarm for him, but he sleeps right through it. I don't wake him up because waking himself up is a skill that he needs to learn. I told him about 2 weeks ago that there are going to be consequences for him if he continues to sleep in every morning. At first, he understood and was waking up on time every morning. But for the past week or so, he has fallen back into old habits. I told him yesterday that this is his final warning. Today, he slept in until 11.
So I followed through with my warning, and went on the computer and deleted his favorite Minecraft world. I also took away computer privileges for the next month. When I told him, he started screaming and crying. He told me that he spent a whole year working on that world, and he's very distraught that he's never going to see it again. He has been crying and sobbing throughout the day, and has refused to eat any of his meals.”
As a parent of a child in this age range, allow me to confirm - once again - that this parent is the ahole.
Now, everyone else that’s reading: take a pause. I'm gonna have a quick one-to-one with this parent.
Look, I get it. These are incredibly trying times. We are all trying to balance our work and family lives. We do triple duty as tutors, teachers, and cooks, while still trying to conduct meetings for the actual day job (when possible).
This child was clearly heavily invested in creating within the world of Minecraft. Maybe to an unhealthy amount if he’s staying up to all hours and waking up late every day.
Or maybe there’s something else going on with your kid. You know how exhausted you are as you try to absorb what’s happening around you? Imagine him, with his few coping mechanisms he hasn’t developed yet. This was a golden opportunity to have a real talk with your kid.
You did the right first steps -- talking to your kid and giving warnings -- but then you stumbled. Hard.
May I suggest setting limits for your kid? The easiest course is to set timers that shut off devices and game consoles after a certain amount of time. Or if you’re router-savvy, just cut off the internet to specific devices at certain hours. This is all easily do-able and enforceable, and it teaches kids better habits while also respecting what they do. If the kid improves and earns some trust, cool. Recognize that.
If the kid screws up further, punishment time. You want to cut off internet for a month? Solid plan. But going ahead and wiping away a year’s worth of work? You just launched a nuke to kill an ant.
Imagine if someone came along and didn’t like that you were spending so much time building Lego models...or painting figurines….or….OK, maybe I’m projecting a little. Point is -- what if someone smashed the things you built during your downtime to prove some point?
Would you say, “lesson learned?" Or would you be angry? Survey sayyyyys….ANGRY!
The lesson you just taught your kid is that you don’t value what they value. That the game they spent playing for a year, constructing some awesome virtual space, isn’t a worthy pursuit...or, worse, that “what you like doesn’t matter to me at all.” It shows a disregard for the person your kid will become with or without you.
Quick, final aside: Maybe I’m nuts, but I follow along with my kid’s interests and I try using those as part of my child’s curriculum to teach him reading comprehension and math. And if my kid wanted to build worlds in Minecraft, I’d be doing it with him.
...and when it’s time to stop, I'd make sure it’s turned off for the night.
Do you agree with the parent in this case, or do you think they went too far? Share your thoughts with us in the comments, or tweet us at @superparenthq.