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Observe children’s use of electronics to understand their minds: psychiatrists
觀察孩子玩3C 了解內心世界

A mother plays a video game with her two sons at an expo for parents and children in Greater Kaohsiung on Aug. 8, 2012.
一位母親與其兩個兒子二0一二年八月八日在高雄舉辦的親子博覽會上玩電玩。

Photo: Chang Chung-yi, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者張忠義

Regarding whether parents can truly comprehend what their children are thinking, psychiatrists say that with kids nowadays so enthralled with IT products, there is very little interaction and communication going on between parents and children, causing many things to remain bottled up and left unsaid. Can parents actually gain any insight by observing what video games their kids like to play? Which TV shows they enjoy watching? Which characters they like? If you want to understand a child’s inner world, there is no harm in talking and playing with them while they play with the IT products.

Lam Pok, an attending physician at Miaoli Wei Gong Memorial Hospital’s psychiatry department, says that back before 3C (computer, communications and consumer electronics) products existed, children and parents had more opportunities to talk with each other. Children used to vent their emotions by playing outdoor sports and also talked to their parents more about their feelings. With the proliferation of electronic products, video games have become the main way that children express their feelings. Characters in television dramas have also become objects for children to obtain emotional sustenance, making them less fond of talking to their parents about personal matters.

Lam says the theory of psychological projection explains why adolescents and young people often enjoy playing video games — the opponent that they are fighting is not actually the enemy in the game, but rather more likely to be someone in real life who makes them feel incredible pressure. It could be a classmate, a teacher or possibly parents. The same principle applies to watching the plots on TV or in films. Children who lack true love from their parents will easily be moved to tears when they see an alien savior come on the screen, Lam says.

When parents see their child playing video games or watching TV, it is best to get closer to them to make observations and show more concern for the child. Lam suggests that parents find an appropriate time to ask the following three questions. The first should be about which character they like the most. Liking a particular character is usually because that character has similar personality traits or has suffered in similar ways as the child. The second question should be about which character they wish they could be. This will be the person that possesses something that the child is lacking but aspires to be. The third question asks the child which character they loathe the most, which can represent someone who has probably hurt the child or gives them stress, Lam says.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

家長是否真的了解孩子在想什麼,精神科醫師表示,現在的孩子喜歡3C產品,與父母互動溝通少,以致很多事都放在心裡不說,其實家長可以透過觀察孩子喜歡玩什麼電玩遊戲?看什麼類型的電視節目?又喜歡哪個角色?想要了解孩子的內心世界,不妨利用孩子玩3C產品時,跟孩子多談談與多溝通。

苗栗為恭醫院精神科主治醫師林博說,在以前沒有3C產品的年代,孩子與父母說話的機會較多,孩子除運動宣洩情緒外,也比較會告訴父母,但在3C產品普及之後,電玩往往成為孩子發洩情緒的方法,電視劇中的角色也成為了情感寄託的對象,讓孩子較不愛告訴父母關於自己的事情。

林博指出,從學理上的「投射理論」,可以看到青少年喜愛打電玩,往往是在對打速度感中發洩內在的不滿及痛苦,對打的對象其實不是遊戲中的敵人,而可能是生活中壓得他喘不過氣的人;這個人可能是同學、老師也可能是父母;看電視或是電影劇情也是相同的道理,缺乏父母真愛的小孩看到外星來的拯救者,會激動地流下眼淚來。

當父母看到孩子在打電玩或是看電視時,最好能走近觀察與關心一下孩子。林博建議,父母可以適時問三個問題,第一個是「你最喜歡裡面的誰?」因為會喜歡一個角色,是因為角色個性、遭遇和自己相似;第二個問題則是「你想當裡面的誰?」因為這正是孩子自己缺乏但卻十分嚮往的人;第三個問題則是「你討厭裡面的誰?」因為這個人可能曾經傷害過他或是造成壓力的人。

(自由時報記者魏怡嘉)

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