"I spent 7,000 yuan to sign him up for a six-day, five-night ski camp in Chongli. This saved him from being bored with his old mother at home, and at the same time, he could control his use of electronic products." Starting from January 20, Beijing's voluntary Students in the education stage have started the "winter vacation mode". Ms. Li, who lives in Xicheng District, Beijing, has already planned her children's winter vacation.

  Send them to childcare classes, apply for postgraduate study camps, attend training classes; confiscate electronic equipment, disconnect from the Internet, exercise, travel... With the holidays approaching, how to prevent "addiction" to electronic products is one of the headaches for parents, and they have also come up with various tricks. , hoping to draw children's attention away from the temptation of electronic products. How to help children learn to scientifically manage the use of electronic products? Why are children unable to extricate themselves from short videos and online games? What are some ways to help children manage their time better during the holidays?

Game platform launches winter holiday restricted play calendar for minors

  With the official implementation of the "Regulations on the Internet Protection of Minors" on January 1, 2024, the obligations of "network platform service providers with a large number of minor users or a significant impact on minor groups", that is, "big platforms" have been Further clarification also fully reflects the country’s determination to build a strong platform barrier for minors’ online protection and strengthens platform responsibility.

  Recently, the topic #Minors can only play games for 9 hours during the Spring Festival# became a hot search topic and attracted social attention. Tencent Games released the "2024 Winter Holiday and Spring Festival Holidays Restricted Game Play Calendar for Minors". According to the regulations, during the period from January 22 to February 24, minors can only play games from January 26 to 28 and 2 Log in to experience the game from 8pm to 9pm from February 2nd to 3rd, February 9th to 17th, and February 23rd to 24th, with a total game time of 16 hours. Coincidentally, NetEase Games also issued a "Winter Holiday Play Restriction Notice" on January 24. Minors can only play games for 9 hours during the Spring Festival holiday.

  The state has long had regulations on preventing minors from being addicted to online games. In 2021, the "Notice on Further Strict Management to Effectively Prevent Minors from Being Addicted to Online Games" was issued, requiring strict restrictions on the time when providing online game services to minors. All online game companies can only provide online games to minors on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. One-hour service is provided to minors from 20:00 to 21:00 every day on Sundays and statutory holidays. The notice is also called "the most stringent new rules to prevent addiction in history."

  At the same time, reporters discovered during interviews that some minors were trying to create accounts by borrowing their parents’ information, or even “renting accounts” to bypass platform supervision and continue playing games. Parent Ms. Li revealed that "renting an account" is no longer a secret among gamers. There are many "account rental studios" on online shopping platforms. Gamers can rent accounts of different ranks and servers to play games. If the minor's ID number You can only play during the specified time, and you can play as long as you rent an adult number. Ms. Xu’s daughter has been using her father’s ID number to play games. In her circle of friends, it is common for children to use their parents’ information to play games. This also means that when the "limited play" of games has become the norm, the degree of cooperation of parents is also related to whether the children can really not be addicted to the game.

  In fact, many parents believe that what is more worrying than being addicted to games is the negative impact that content on major video and short video platforms may have on children. The reporter noticed that since 2019, major short video apps have successively launched “youth mode”, which imposes strict restrictions on the usage duration, usage period and usage functions of teenagers. Some short video apps will also carry out special management for the protection of minors during special periods such as winter and summer vacations, focusing on cracking down on illegal content related to minors that induces bad behavior, spreads bad culture, and spreads bad values. This has played a certain role in preventing teenagers from being addicted to short videos, and has also alleviated parents’ anxiety to a certain extent.

  In the "youth mode" of a well-known short video platform, the reporter found that the videos pushed for children were all about children, such as handicrafts, small experiments, cartoons, picture book reading, small animals, funny games, small games, etc. Online videos, one after another, are dizzying to watch. "Short videos are meant to provide sensory entertainment for viewers and to attract children's attention in a way that keeps children watching. Many adults can't help themselves, let alone children who have no restraint," said parent Ms. Li. Parent Mr. Huang believes that once children fall in love with games and short videos, it will be difficult for them to have the energy and mind to do other things.

  However, some parents said that the "youth anti-addiction system" launched on major video platforms is not mandatory, but needs to be turned on by oneself. One reality that has to be acknowledged is that the proportion of minors and their guardians who actively activate "minor mode" is not high. Some parents even do not know that some platforms have "minor mode".

"Lack of psychological nutrition" and other reasons make children addicted to electronic products

  "The brain is born to be lazy. To reverse the brain's lazy nature, we need to get the brain moving. The content design of electronic products and short videos is completely based on the characteristics of the brain, activating the brain and making it unable to stop." Talking about why short videos, When games and other electronic products tend to make people addicted, Yang Juan, professor at the School of Economics and Business Administration at Beijing Normal University, director of the Academic Planning Research Center, and chairman of the Family Education Professional Committee of the China Private Education Association, explained the rationale behind it.

  Yang Juan gave an example. For example, when eating sweets such as chocolate and cake, the brain will produce a sense of pleasure and guide people to continue eating. In the same way, short videos will make the brain more active, and the brain will instruct the hand to continue swiping the short video; the sound of the game and constant rewards will give the brain a sense of accomplishment, and instruct the person to continuously solve problems, win game equipment and upgrades. , earning points makes it hard to stop playing the game.

  In the information age, children's daily life and study cannot be completely separated from electronic products. For example, they need to check study materials, submit homework, etc. In Yang Juan's view, compared with adults, it is more difficult for children to overcome the temptation of electronic products. The first is that teenagers have relatively weak self-control. She mentioned that the amygdala in the human brain matures around the age of 14, which is the physiological structure responsible for emotional experience, but the prefrontal layer of the brain responsible for reason and control has not yet matured. "Full-grown adults When they want to take risks, they will use their reason to tell themselves that they cannot do it. Teenagers cannot control themselves and are more likely to become addicted to electronic products." At the same time, in order to retain more users, game companies often work with psychologists and brain experts to develop Games, studying how to keep users in the game longer. Therefore, parents need to help their children view electronic games rationally and learn to control their usage time.

  Secondly, Yang Juan believes that "lack of psychological nutrition" can also easily make children unable to extricate themselves in the virtual world provided by electronic products. "Letting children grow up healthily and happily can provide them with psychological supplies from five aspects." Yang Juan introduced that these five points are a sense of achievement, a sense of belonging, a sense of value, a sense of experience and a sense of control.

  Research has found that children with average or lower grades are more likely to be addicted to mobile phones because they can gain a sense of accomplishment through mobile games; children without family members, such as left-behind children, are more likely to be addicted to mobile phones because they lack family affection or even friendship. Therefore, parents should help their children establish the meaning of learning and use outdoor sports, travel, and companionship to give their children a richer experience in the real world. "Especially for junior high school students in adolescence, they long for recognition and control over themselves. Under the strict control of their parents, some video games can give them a sense of control, and they will turn to the virtual world for help."

Experts suggest turning games into a starting point for children’s growth

  Shi Linlin, a professor at the School of Animation and Dean of the School of Design Thinking at Communication University of China, is a "game master" and a mother of two children. During the epidemic, she led her graduate students to design a parent-child board game - "The Time Demon's Feeding Manual" to help teenagers who are isolated at home during the epidemic manage their time well, deepen the mutual understanding between parents and children in the parent-child game, and improve The quality of parent-child companionship also turns games into a starting point for children’s growth.

  In her opinion, "gamification" in the relationship between parents and children may be the solution to many parent-child problems. It can not only enhance the parent-child relationship, but also help children effectively get rid of the shackles of electronic products.

  "'Gamification' means using game mechanisms to help children grow." Shu Linlin introduced that "game mechanisms" can be summarized into four points: goals, rules, timely feedback and voluntary participation. Parents can Set small goals. For example, many people have played the well-known game "Mario". When crossing a valley, a small bridge or climbing a mushroom, the essence of the design is to make Mario jump. If we let our children run 800 meters, we can also design some diverse tasks to get them running, then running 800 meters will become interesting.

  Yang Juan gave three types of suggestions for parent-child games, namely games for intellectual development, games for emotional regulation and games for habit development. First of all, parents can make up stories with their children, imagine the ending and scenes of the stories, and develop their language expression and thinking skills; they can observe phenomena in life together to improve their observation skills and build spatial thinking. Secondly, you can create social interactions with elders and peers to improve children's emotional regulation ability. "Let children play with different people and feel the differences between people. Even quarrels and conflicts with friends will also exercise children's problem-solving ability." .” The third category is habit-forming games. Parents can set small tasks with rewards and use the competitive environment between parents and children to help their children develop good study habits.

  "Psychologists are studying the mechanism behind game addiction, so that learning can be as addictive as games." Yang Juan said that first of all, for younger children, setting up learning reward coins can solve the problem of boring and tiring learning; secondly, Just like a game, start the learning task step by step. "Why do children as young as 5 years old and people as old as 80 years old like video games? Because the games are easy to get started and they are constantly upgraded in the process." Yang Juan said that from this point onward, in terms of learning, we can first make it easier for children to complete learning tasks, so that children can gain a sense of accomplishment and have the motivation to learn further, and then further adjust the difficulty so that children can achieve continuous improvement from "bronze" to "king". "During this period, parents should also continue to encourage their children and let them Produce a sense of pleasure.”

Expert advice

Q: How to help children better cope with the temptation of electronic products?

  Yang Juan: Parents can manage mobile phones and electronic products step by step. First of all, we cannot demonize or angelize electronic products. We must clearly explain the benefits of mobile phones and Pads and rationalize the use of electronic products. Secondly, in the information age, smart technology can provide many learning resources, and parents can objectively analyze with their children how to make good use of electronic products. Finally, help the child explore his interests and hobbies and let him plan his own vacation life, so that the child has more decision-making power and autonomy.

Q: How to let children take care of their electronic products?

  Yang Juan: In terms of mobile phone management, "three determinations" should be achieved, namely qualitative, quantitative and positioning. Parents should first determine with their children whether electronic products are used for information checking, leisure and entertainment, or communication with classmates. Secondly, the daily usage time is fixed. It is reasonable for junior high school students to use two hours a day and high school students to use three hours a day. Additional time must be calculated for listening to online classes. It is also necessary to let children know where their mobile phones can be used, such as when they are not using them during the day during holidays and when they are with their parents at night, so as to set aside time for playing with mobile phones. Some children do not want their parents to hide their mobile phones, and are also worried that their parents will invade their privacy by using their mobile phones. They might as well set up a locked box in the public area of ​​the home to store their children's mobile phones specifically to reassure them. Parents can manage themselves in a way that is acceptable to their children.

Q: It is difficult for children to follow the rules that are finally formulated. How should parents deal with them?

  Shui Linlin: The rules parents set or negotiate for their children are very low-cost and easy to be broken. However, children who have spent time thinking about the plans they have made have a binding force on themselves, which makes them more resistant to breaking the rules and their ability to proactively execute them is stronger. Parents should learn to let go, let their children learn to manage themselves, and learn to review and reflect on their own plans.

Q: If parents find that their children are addicted to electronic products, how can they communicate effectively with their children?

  Shui Linlin: Children are often addicted to games because they encounter problems in real life and cannot solve them, so they turn to games to find solutions. In fact, children’s talents can also be seen from the games they like to play. Parents should learn to empathize, observe their children’s behavior in games, discover their children’s talents, and provide support in reality instead of looking at them from a distance with their hands on their hips. Stand.

  Yang Juan: In parent-child communication, parents must speak in a low voice and not yell at high decibels. Parents must first control their emotions. When they see their children playing with electronic products, they must first understand the reasons why their children are playing through communication.

  One child mentioned to me that one day his parents came in and saw him holding a mobile phone, and started criticizing him. In fact, he was helping his grandpa repair his mobile phone and delete some useless programs. He felt very aggrieved by being criticized by his parents, so don’t criticize him right away. Just blame the kids. Parents may wish to first explore the reasons why their children play electronic products and games, and try to understand their children. (Beijing News reporter Liu Yang)