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The excessive use of video games in children in times of COVID

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Parents have recently experienced difficulty with excessive use of video games at home. In the current context, the limitations to carry out social and school leisure activities face-to-face, it has made everyone stay indoors and stay connected in a way remote.

In the psychology consultation, the cases of parents increase requesting help for their children who spend a lot of hours playing video games, presenting unsuccessful attempts to moderate this behavior.

  • Related article: "Child therapy: what is it and what are its benefits"

The psychological implications of video games

Research conducted by Tejeiro R. showed that the use of video games is essential to promote imagination, independence and security in children and adolescents who practice it.

In this type of studies, the importance of the work of parents is reflected, in getting involved in these new interests that their children want, to guide and regulate the type of video game used, focusing on themes that promote their formation in values ​​and personality, trying to avoid those with violent content and aggressive.

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However, the excessive use of this entertainment tool can reverse the benefits that it can initially provide. One of the common concerns of video games is the addiction it can cause in your children.

Video game addiction in children
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Excessive use of video games in childhood and adolescence

It has been observed that children and adolescents who do not have physical activity in their day-to-day routines, or whose parents spend very little time living with them, are at greater risk of excessive video game use.

Finding different interests, such as doing a sports activity, cooking creatively, commenting on readings, watching shows or movies together, board games, creating art pieces, or crafts (such as painting, plasticine, playing an instrument ...), or going out to parks or natural spaces, can be an alternative to modulate the behavior of children in front of video game.

Uncontrolled use of the video game can contribute to the appearance of attention and concentration disorders, physical or emotional discomfort, as well as induce lifestyles associated with obesity, difficulty in developing discipline, and increased frequency of underperformance school,

Other factors that influence the uncontrolled use of video games are family problems, interaction styles.

  • Related article: "10 habits to improve your child's self-esteem"

To do?

Given these cases of children and adolescents who "have become too hooked" on video games, part of the strategy used in therapy is to provide parents with tools to modify harmful behaviors from a climate of trust, communication, affection and discovery of new tastes and interests that can awaken in children.

To mention some of the tactics:

  • Daily monitoring or supervision of video game use.
  • Agree with them clear rules and allow negotiation that does not affect any development of their activities and of their person.
  • Increase affective communication by validating and recognizing their achievements in everything they do properly and favorably for their development.
  • Demonstration of interest and confidence in each expression they make on any subject.
  • Clearly mark the recommended usage of hours of the video game is balanced and compatible with your free time and with the experiences that contribute to their optimal development.
  • Molding of model behaviors in parents, as a reference for behavior and discipline.
  • Encourage them to have an interest in new hobbies that can balance their attention, effort, and time invested.

It is important for the applied strategy that there is congruence between the parents' behaviors, and that they promote the model of behavior that they want to modify in their children, to achieve a genuine change.

In addition, it is essential adapt parenting and homeschooling strategies to society's circumstances, as evidenced by the coronavirus pandemic crisis. Showing flexibility in this regard is crucial to favor a good development of children.

  • You may be interested in: "Eight important psychological aspects in video games"

Support for children, adolescents and families

In our psychology consultation we offer psychotherapy services for people of all ages, in person and also by video call.

For more information, please contact us.

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