Limit children’s time with television and video games

Limit children’s time with television and video games

Today’s parents are usually good at monitoring the content of TV and video games, ensuring that children are not exposed to violence, sexuality, and other adult themes. However, in many households, children may spend hours each day watching TV and playing video games. There is solid evidence that too much TV and video games increase the likelihood of a child developing problems with attention. A good rule of thumb for TV/video game usage is less than 2 hours daily, the less the better.

Limiting time spent with TV and video games is especially important for very young children. According to Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH, Director of the Child Health Institute and author of The Elephant in the Living Room: Make Television Work For Your Kids, children as young as a few months old are watching too much TV, and may be developing permanent attention problems. In an article on education.com, author Rose Garrett writes, “For every hour of television toddlers watch a day, they are ten percent more likely to develop attention problems at school,” according to Dr. Christakis.

What’s more, according to a recent study about children who watched who watched more than 2 hours of TV per week 40% more likely to have symptoms of ADHD in adolescence than children who watched less TV. The problem is the speed of the frames. Fast-paced electronic media seem to train children’s brains to attend only to faced-paced stimulation (e.g., the opposite of a teacher at a whiteboard). Click for video game and TV time recommendations.

I like this MSN Health article by Rich Maloof: It nicely summarizes medical research and recommendations about TV & ADHD.

 

 

Coping Skills Activities

ADHD Resources

As ADHD becomes better understood, many resources have become available. The most succinct, accurate, and effective resources that Dr. Weller has used include:

  • www.kolbe.com. This website has evaluations that folks with ADHD (children and adults) have found very helpful. Evaluations clarify each person’s unique modus operandi in dealing with the world. It is a strength-based model that can help families better understand how to make the most of ADHD.
  • “Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood,” by Dr. Edward Hallowell. Dr. Hallowell is a national expert in ADHD (he calls it ADD) and his books are easy-to-read, strength-based, and practical. They suggest cutting edge and real world strategies to manage ADHD.
  • “Overcoming ADHD: Helping your child become calm, engaged, and focused—without a pill,” by Stanley Greenspan. This book is a must-have for parents of children with ADHD. Even if children are on medications, it offers lifestyle and relationship suggestions to optimize the ADHD family experience.

More recommendations and ADHD resources can be found here.

Best Parts of ADHD

Best Parts of ADHD

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) includes styles of thinking, feeling, and behavior that can interfere with a child’s ability to do well at home, with friends, and at school. Children with ADHD usually have a poor sense of time, are hyperactive, disorganized, impulsive, forgetful, and do not like to do things that require sustained mental effort (such as homework). For these and other ADHD problems, there are evidence-based assessments, treatments, and strategies that can help improve functioning dramatically. These are good things about having ADHD—the available aids.

But the best parts of ADHD are these:

  • Great sense of humor
  • Creative, out-of-the box thinking
  • Innovative
  • Intuitive
  • Rarely bored
  • Periods of hyperfocus—really paying close attention to the task at hand
  • Empathic
  • Fast thinker
  • A whiz at starting projects
  • Desire to be and do better

For ADHD diagnostic criteria see: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/diagnosis.html