Bridging the gap … between tween girl and boy

When you have little ones, play dates are a must and quite often are more for the mummies than the little ones – although I’m sure in their own little ways they love them too.

During these play dates it really doesn’t matter whether you have a girl or a boy; as long as you the mummies have a bond that’s really all that matters.

A rare bit of sanity in a sometimes turmoil of toddlerisms, housework, possibly juggling work and being a good wife.  A time to sit down with a cuppa and quite often a piece of cake and share stories, advice and feel huge relief that it isn’t just your toddler that does that thing and it isn’t just you who feels that way.

However, as time goes on and they grow up a little, the divide between girls and boys widens.  They no longer want to play with each other.  The differences are too wide.  Too diverse.  And dare I say it, girls are more mature than boys much earlier.  So those mummy get togethers, impersonating a play date for the little ones, no longer happen where members of the opposite sex are involved.  A sad time.  A shame too that boys and girls suddenly aren’t such good friends as they were when it really didn’t matter if you were a girl or a boy and play was just play.

Fast forward to the tween years and I give you MINECRAFT!

For those not in the know, Minecraft is an on-line game that literally millions of children are addicted to (MasterB being one of them).  It’s an independent game with the most basic of graphics and I mean basic (an easy explanation is that it looks a bit like lego blocks), there’s no storyline and you won’t see it advertised. Children play it on the pc, Mac, Xbox 360 and mobile phones.

It’s literally a virtual landscape where people dig holes to collect blocks.  But it’s what you do with your blocks that counts (apparently).  Actually to be fair this is where their imagination comes in to play – they can create anything from huge city landscapes to theme parks and mechanical working objects – the Minecraft world is their oyster.  All very clever really.

Admittedly when asked by MasterB to take a look around his world, it leaves me a little bemused by it all and wondering to myself why the addiction?  Nonetheless as MrD and I have said before, at least he’s not asking to play one of those shoot um up type games where shouting and violence occurs in abundance.  So from that point of view I guess that’s a good thing.

This is also where the gap between tween girls and boys is bridged.  The girls seem to love this game as much as the boys and so once again, we have girls invited back to our home for play dates … well at least Minecraft fests!  It’s actually quite nice to see MasterB interact with girls and boys in the same way during their Minecraft sessions.  There’s certainly no prejudice in this department – boys and girls are treated equally.

I wonder how long this Minecraft obsession goes on for?  Another year; two at the most?

Then what will they be wanting to play and will the girls be as involved in it as the boys?

Is your tween obsessed by this Minecraft storm and how do you manage it?  In fact that’s a topic for discussion next … how much gaming time should be allowed?

I blog over at where you can read more about life with a tween as well as other parenting and lifestyle posts.

Sammy Devlin