I am kind of sad that my teenage sons don't play WoW much anymore. I mean, they occasionally log on. They are kind of excited to play Mists and are logging on more as hype builds. Mostly, though, we no longer have the kind of "listen to the cool shiz I'm up to" dinner table discussions that used to drive my wife bonkers.
At our height, my 9 year old son was healing instance runs with his guildmates. And doing awesome. My 11 year old was assembling random groups in trade (back before LFG) and tanking runs. Tanking on his DK at least as well as I could back when I was DK & warrior tanking. We'd watch each other play and I'd give them advice:
"Your healing is going to pull aggro. If something runs at you, go stand on the tank."
"DKs are so lucky to have death grip. You never have to worry about casters pounding your healer."
I will agree that mostly they had great experiences with groups. Mostly. I still watched. There was that one time a group of asshats kicked my son from the group he had formed. That was tough to deal with. But it's true that kids don't mature in a bubble.
Man, this post on Big Bear Butt brings back the memories.
Now my four year old daughter is playing. Kind of. She uses it as an electronic doll. An electronic doll with a spear and the ability to pull lighting from the sky to kill spiders. Plus she's learning to type & spell. She's learned her way around a keyboard even with the letters worn totally off the w, s, a, d keys.
She loves the barber shop and has been able to get herself from the Night Elf starting zone to barber in Stormwind since before Cataclysm. She was so proud of herself for finding a clothing seller in Stormwind and buying a shirt she liked. For finding the toy vendor and buying some dolls.
She wanted a horse, so I got her Night Elf exalted with Stormwind. She wanted bird form, so I leveled her druid to get bird form. We bought the Celestial Steed because, well, what kind of Dad wouldn't buy his little girl a sparkly pony? And eventually . . . eventually . . . I will fish up a seahorse for her at darkmoon fair.
It is so awesome to have an activity to share with your kids that you all enjoy.