Most Saturday mornings I exercise in our basement, while my boys play around me. This image reminded me of a conversation I had last week with a family member. We were discussing an article I sent her about the addictive nature of video games. To support her decision of being pro-video games, she gave me the example of her 3 kids playing Minecraft from 3 different floors of her house: the basement, the living room and a bedroom. She relayed that she could hear the kids yelling towards each other betwen floors. For her, this was an example of how interactive video games could be. Our conversation made me reflect on why we choose to hold off on putting tablets and these type of games in our kid's hands. Video games, tablets and the internet have a lot of positive features. In moderation. The main reason we hold off on putting tablets in our 7, 5 and 3 year-old hands is because what they replace. Our kids sit and built with blocks. Oftentimes, there are multiple erruptions of them yelling at each other and banishing each other from playing. This used to bother me. When they used hurtful language towards each other, it frustrated me. Now, it reassures me. When they are yelling at each other, grabbing toys from each others grasps, and ultimately resolving their conflicts, they are learning negotiating skills. These are actual prosocial conversations happening, where they are learning how to work with others. Now, I am reassured when I hear them yelling at each other. It lets me know that they are practicing how to be effective communicators. It allows me an opportunity to coach, encourage and help them shape their interactive skills. So, if you, like me, hear aruging, yelling and sad words being thrown between your children, take heart. Hear these conversations as assurance that your kids too, are learning how to work in groups, and be positive members of a community. So summing up my original thought. Video games aren't negative in moderation. For our family, what is negative is what video games replace. The face-to-face creative, negotiated play that is the platform for young children to learn how to work with others.