Prepared by: Chrissy Sunberg, M.Ed., AAC
Trying to manage your child's electronics is a big concern for parents in the 21st century. If you are feeling defeated by the Smart Phone, I pad or the X-Box hopefully this article will help.
First and Foremost, technology is here to stay, if we like it or not. Our children will need the skills in the future. So, let's get SMART about it. While we know very little about the future of technology and how it will look, we do have many studies on the effects of excessive technology within time. While excessive use of electronics does not cause ADHD or learning disabilities, it can further compromise the ability of a person with ADHD or other learning difficulties to focus.
Can the answer to your child's technology use be moderation? I think so! You heard it before, "anything in moderation" is ok. Electronic use, in moderation, can be a fun activity and is not harmful. But when balance becomes inordinate, maybe it's time for some New SMART Rules for technology considering The New Year is here. Below are a few ideas to incorporate technology into your home that is non-intrusive.
First, show your child how to use technology properly and to their benefit. Monkey See Monkey Do. If they see that you are on your phone updating facebook or texting often, they will want to do the same.
Second, try planning a non-traditional competitive Family Game Night using the x-box or Wii. It's a night the entire family will be excited for. You can try Wipe Out for the Wii or Family Game Night 4 for the X-Box 360.
Third, make electronics a reward incentive. After your child finishes his homework or other responsibilities, he can earn 30-45 minutes daily or whatever you feel is appropriate. For screen time to be a motivating incentive – it needs to be offered and restricted, wisely. You can keep technology use just for the weekends as well.
If your daughter is into updating her status on Facebook every hour or your son just can't get enough of DanTDM, remember you can come back to this article anytime as a reference.
Another excellent resource for all things technology and family are called common sense media. https://www.commonsensemedia.org/
Please reach out and let us know how your New Years Rules for SMART Electronics are going in your home.
Dr. Liz Matheis
Dr Liz Matheis and her team specialize in assisting children and their families with Anxiety, Autism, AD/HD, Learning Disabilities and Behavioral Struggles