“Our 15-year-old son has just played two hours at Fortnite. He is asked for the tablet, he shouts: “I’m dead because of you! “The 17-year-old elders late night on Snapchat and Instagram. In the morning, she barks that she must send “flames” to her friends or she will “lose” them. The last 10 years? He found the cache of Xbox controllers and stings our smartphones to play Minecraft.It’s hell, “sums up their mother. The problem is not just about teens, as Marie, a crèche psychologist, can testify: “Even before putting on their cloaks, the little ones are asking for the tablet from their parents. And to avoid any anger, they give it to them. The 13-19 year olds spend nearly five hours a day in front of a screen. Two hours more than two years ago. They are caught, lose the notion of time. For the psychiatrist Serge Tisseron: “It would be counter-productive to cut the children of a tool of their generation which can be positive if it is well used. His message: learn how to use it, learn to do without it. For this, support for parents is essential.
Choose the right content …
That “everyone plays / looks at it” is not an acceptable argument for leaving a child, big or small, in front of violent or coarse images. It is better to make sure, by watching them first with him, that his favorite video games, series or networks are adapted to his age. And explain to him the interest of the PEGI classification (Pan European Game Information), which affixes on the boxes of games two series of logos: the minimum age and the type of content (violence, drug, discrimination). “Monitoring the content is also refraining from watching movies or games that are inappropriate for their age,” the psychiatrist insists.
… while setting limits …
The author of the rule “3-6-9-12” (no screen before 3 years, no video games before 6 years, no Internet unaccompanied before 9 years, and no social networks before 12 years ) recommends ritualizing the use of screens (always the same duration at the same time, ideally after the homework), so as to avoid conflicts. “Any screen confused (smartphone, tablet, television, console …), the ideal,” he suggests, would be to gradually go from half an hour to one hour per day between 3 and 6 years, then a hour to two hours from 6 to 12 years, and not to exceed this duration beyond. In order for the child to return his screen at the appointed time, each parent has his method: alert five minutes before, remove the extra minutes from the time allotted the next day, install parental control apps such as FamilyTime so that the child adheres to these measures, it is preferable that their utility is explained to him and that an agreement is passed with him, in particular in case of obstacle.
Again, one abstains himself from drawing his screen at all times to remain credible.
… and spend time together
It is up to us to introduce them to other activities (sports, cultural, artistic), and to spend more time playing and interacting with them. We can take advantage of these times without a screen to be interested in the games they like: what is the objective, what do they like? “By pushing the child to argue, we seek his narrative intelligence, says the psychiatrist. It is also a way, if he is in school trouble, to show him interest and value his virtual skills. The specialist keeps repeating: it is essential that parents learn to recognize the risks but also the positive aspects of these new practices. And to conclude: “If the child alternates virtual and real activities, if his academic results are stable, if his program is socializing and creative, everything is fine! “