While this opinion has not been validated by research, here's what we do know:
- Children with ADHD tend to hyperfocus on video games to the exclusion of all else.
- As the number of hours spent playing video games increases, ADHD symptoms worsen in every child.
- Those with autism who spend many hours in front of a screen have a reduced motivation to interact with people.
- Video is a good instructional tool for these kids, but it must be strictly limited and followed by face-to-face interaction.
- Television shows and movies that demonstrate poor social skills, rude behavior, or dangerous actions have a stronger impact on these children than their typical peers.
What can you do?
- Limit videos and game time to 2 hours per day.
- Allow your children to earn their screen time by doing chores.
- Make sure your youngsters spend time playing outside or interacting with others.
- Follow any electronic entertainment with time spent together talking.
- Monitor television time, shut it off if the content is disturbing, and have a discussion reinforcing your family values.
- Spend time as a family taking walks, playing in the yard, or going on excursions.
How much screen time do you allow your children? How do you maintain control of their video input?