Playing video games 'can bring families together'

Playing video games can help to bring families closer together, a child psychologist has claimed.

Dr Pat Spungin noted many mothers feel like they are not a part of their child's interaction with technology - but suggested many titles are designed to be enjoyed by the entire household.

The expert described family games as one of the biggest areas of development for manufacturers at the moment.

She explained: "What you see is families having a good time together, grandmothers and toddlers - everybody in the family can pitch in and enjoy."

The key is for parents not to be afraid of technology and not to think of it as something only of use for children, Dr Spungin observed, adding mums and dads should interact with their kids on the matter and ask them if they can get involved with the activity.

Her comments came after the Energizer Positive Movement report found that 85 per cent of mothers agree that technology plays a role in the amount of quality time they spend with their offspring.

Chartered Psychologist Kairen Cullen said: "Parents are key figures in helping their children to develop, learn and generally function in the world into which they are born."

"It therefore follows that in today's social context, as information and communication technology plays such an important part, parents can do a lot to help their children use what is available in a safe, positive and selective manner."

"Social learning theory has helped us to understand that children are influenced profoundly by the adult role models available to them."

"If parents can make careful choices and demonstrate the most constructive and psychologically healthy ways of using computer games and also use these as opportunities to have enjoyable social interactions with their children, then it may well be the case that family dynamics benefit."