Children video games
Video games can make children smarter. In picture: A Filipina mother closely watches her son playing a video game in a mall at Makati, Manila's financial district.Reuters

Video games have often been considered to be an activity that promotes violent behaviour among children, but studies have shown that playing violent video games has as much an effect on a child's behaviour as a game that is considered relatively harmless, according to the Telegraph.

In a recent study involving 3,000 children between the ages of six and 11, published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, it was stated that children who played video games showed higher overall school competence and had good relations with their peers, IANS reported.

"Video game playing is often a collaborative leisure time activity for school-aged children. These results indicate that children who frequently play video games may be socially cohesive with peers and integrated into the school community," said researcher Katherine Keyes, assistant professor at Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, the U.S.

The study involved participation of parents as well as teachers who assessed the children's mental health in a questionnaire. Children were asked to answer questions through an interactive tool. It was discovered that children that spent more time playing games than their peers were associated with 1.75 times the odds of high intellectual functioning and 1.88 times that of high overall school competence.

Keyes also pointed out that rather than giving children free reign on how much time they chose to spend playing video games, it's the duty of the parents to set limits on the time spent in front of the screen, calling it an "important component of parental responsibility as an overall strategy for student success."

In a 2015 consumer research report by Iowa State University, researchers identified three parental styles — restrictive, warm and anxious-emotional — and discovered anxious-emotional parents were less successful in limiting the time their children spent playing video games than warm and restrictive parents.

"If parents want to reduce the amount of violent video games that their kids play, be warm when dealing with them, but somewhat restrictive at the same time, and set rules and those rules will work," said Russell Laczniak, a professor of marketing and the John and Connie Stafford Professor in Business, who was also part of the research. "For parents, who are more anxious, the rules become less effective and those kids are going to play more."

According to Laczniak, parents must learn to remain more calm and detached while setting limits for their children.