Tammy Jacobs, L.C.S.W., recalls the skills a child is improving while playing video games.
Tammy Jacobs, L.C.S.W.:
Videogames - that is the topic that many parents ask me about and, are they good for kids? In my opinion, yes, videogames can be very good for kids and I often try to teach them parenting techniques that help a parent kind of mimic what a videogame is for a child because you see kids that get addicted to videogames and they will stop doing homework, they will stop listening to a parent because all they want is the videogame and they want to score, score, score and they want to go to higher level and higher level and, “No, just another minute. I’m about to make this next level,” because when a child scores more points and they move to level, level, level, what they are downloading is “I’m successful. Look at me, I’m great. I am so powerful in this moment”
But what happens? Aren’t there consequences in a videogame? There sure are. So how come the kid doesn’t stomp their feet and scream at the videogame? That’s because the videogame delivers the consequence, here it is, and it moves on. It doesn’t lecture at the child. It doesn’t spank the child. It doesn’t come in and give the child a whole bunch of energy and relationships. It’s, “Oh, here’s the broken rule; here’s the consequence,” even if that means end of one of your lives in the videogame, here’s new life. You’re back on track to scoring points, moving to level, level, level. So I try to help parents understand that.
If we could mimic in that sense more in how we consequence our children and move on, our children would become addicted to us as parents and want to play, play, play.
About Tammy Jacobs, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.:
Tammy Jacobs is a licensed clinical social worker and child and family therapist in Mesa, Arizona. She specializes in parenting, specifically working with difficult children and teens. Tammy's number one approach is The Nutured Heart Approach developed by Howard Glasser.