In the vast majority of cases, the consumption of video games by teens and pre-teens is above all the problem of parents! Clinically, the real pathological addictions to video games are extremely rare, even if they are very real. How to channel the fascination exerted by these games on children? What behaviors should parents adopt? Tips to follow.
Video games: a controversial modern passion
Video games are the favorite games for 10-15 year olds, and are more about boys than girls. However, we observe that they are more and more popular with adults, young and old, more often concerned than children by addictive behaviors. For parents who find that their offspring spend too much time on video games, we must remember that these are above all games that have certain objective advantages: awakening, mental agility, resolution strategy, learning cooperation (for massively multiplayer games or which is played to several on the same console).
At the center of a real social debate, video games are controversial even in the community of psychologists. Some consider that video games present a real danger of addiction and rupture with reality; others think that, on the whole of the population of the practitioners, the balance of these games is rather positive, even if one does not have to deny the existence of very real pathological cases (there are today specialized consultations in hospitals).
Tips for using video games
First tip: forbid to ban! The prohibition is above all a powerful stimulator of transgression that children know perfectly well to use. Forbidden at home, the games will be consumed at friends, on the Internet or in cybercafés.
Second tip: learn to play games, because to better get the child out of the game, it is better to enter with him! By taking an interest in his world, parents will quickly have a less fantastic representation of video games. This initiation will enable them to lay the foundations of a critical and constructive dialogue.
This contact is essential to advance on the path of a reasoned use of the game console at home. We are always more credible when we know a little about what
Third tip: set realistic rules. In other words, allowing 30 minutes of play per week equals a declaration of war! However, set a time limit per day (from 45 to 60 minutes, depending on age), specify the places where games are allowed (living room or bedroom), define, depending also on the age of the child , what types of games are allowed, whether to add bonuses of playing time to school performance, how to adapt playing times, in more or less, depending on the amount of homework, etc., constitute so many “tricks” that give a framework structuring the use of video games.
Fourth tip: demystify to no longer demonize. From a little exaggerated practice to the risk of desocialization, there is a world! Do not hesitate to talk about video games with the child. What’s new ?Which games do the child prefer? Why? Making the child talk about the object of his fascination allows parents to better understand the springs of “bewitchment”, and therefore to act wisely.
Fifth tip: propose moments of sharing. Playing with your child is one of the best ways to get closer to him and, if necessary, prevent drifts.