Q: My child is in third grade, and he’s already diagnosed with ADHD. He has a high IQ, is in honors classes, and is physically active—he’s a Gold-medal wrestler. He still uses media for too many hours each day, though. Given that he’s in good shape and gets good grades, how can I tell him not to use so much media?
—Looking for Limits, in Hyannis, MA
A: Dear Looking,
Try approaching this issue a little bit differently. Instead of focusing on what isn’t working due to his media use, talk with him about how to make sure he can fit in all the important parts of his day.
For example, he needs to get enough sleep, go to school, go to wrestling practice, have at least one sit-down meal with family, play outside, and whatever else is important in your family. Media can be added to the time that’s left over. For ideas of how to make a daily calendar with your son, see this previous post.
For yourself, it might be helpful to think about what you think is affected by how much time he spends using media. Is it that he’s not getting enough sleep, or not spending time with his friends? Is he not getting enough outdoor time or enough time for free play? Thinking through these questions may help you feel more comfortable approaching this conversation with your son and give you a sense of what you would like to see included in his schedule.
Enjoy your media and use them wisely,