Limit time spent on screens

Limit time spent on screens


Star author of the Toolbox collection from Éditions de Mortagne, psychologist Ariane Hébert recommends that parents put in place strategies for young people to limit the time spent on screens. In his new book, The Effects of Video Games Told to Children, it clearly explains to children (and parents) what happens when they play on these screens. And why they need to make choices that will have a positive effect on the health and quality of life of the whole family. 

Limit time spent on screens

Game effects video told to children
Ariane Hébert
Éditions de Mortagne
56 pages

Through an amusing story, Ariane Hébert tells what happens when Mahée, Nicolas and Olivier spend a lot of time on their video games. Their parents have tried to set rules, but conflicts often arise on this subject.

The meeting with a psychoeducator and a scientist specializing in the brain makes them aware of the issues. And they are big.

“ I wrote this book because I am doing research on screens in general, not just the effects of video games, she explains in an interview. For video games, the problem is that they have a direct impact on our reward system.

“There are behaviors that we reproduce because that allows us to stay alive, such as eating, moving, reproducing. It creates dopamine, she says. And that has very deleterious effects: it creates dependencies, negative moods, irritability. The whole patent.

“Once I documented all the negative effects of video games and other screens, I said to myself, next, what do we do? That's the question everyone is asking. People say: I don't mind, but that creates conflicts for us. 


Psychopedagogy is one of the strategies that is put forward and which often achieves good results, she says.

“It's about explaining to people what's going on in their brains, why not to consume too much, etc. I told myself that there are things that children are able to understand, able to integrate. Why not try this approach? 

Ariane Hébert believes that the book may also help parents put strategies in place for their children. 

She gives several in the book, such as setting rules, using an app to limit screen time and parental control software.

“A lot of parents are ambivalent. They tell me: we know it's not super good, but I think it's good, because it can increase visuospatial abilities, reflexes. The children are with their friends, they are playing… I often hear this in parents' speeches, but I have tried to clarify this. ”

His verdict? “Yes, video games are good. But once you spend an hour a week on video games, after all the excess time, there are no more benefits. Essentially, it's just negative effects that you reap. An hour is not long: the majority of young people play much more than an hour a week. »

Essential tags

His advice is clear. “Parents have to intervene: it's really not good. We have to mark out and monitor it closely and give some strategies. Psychopedagogy is to be put forward. Number one. »

Next, parental controls. “Don't think your kid is capable of self-limitation: it just won't happen. His frontal lobe is not yet developed enough for this self-control which is super difficult, even in adults. » 


« In the brain, the hippocampus is the part that notably allows orientation. When you play video games, it stays idle because your brain doesn't need to judge distances, like when you jump from one puddle to another. It doesn't have to help you keep your balance, like when you walk on a beam. And it doesn't try to figure out where heaven and earth are, like when you do somersaults or rolls. All these skills are rather acquired when you move in the real world. » 

Ariane Hébert

  • Ariane Hébert is a psychologist.
  • She is the founder of La Boîte à Psy (
  • She lives in L'Assomption.
  • She has also written Adult AD/HD and Stress and Anxiety.