Saying 'No' to Screen Time
For a weary parent, the sight of a child quietly watching TV, playing a video game, or working on a computer can seem heavenly. But too much screen time is not good — especially for kids who tend to hyperfocus.
Once these kids have entered the video or computer “zone,” it’s hard to switch their focus to something important — homework, for example.
For these kids, placing limits on screen time is a must. But how do you do this without triggering a battle?
“My husband and I decided that the only way to control our son’s screen time was to have consistent rules,” says Lisa L., of San Francisco, mother of Corey, 12. “So we started a ticket system. At the beginning of each week, we give Corey 10 tickets. Each ticket is good for an hour of screen time, whether it’s used on TV, video games, or the computer. He knows that, once all 10 tickets are gone, that’s it. It has helped him learn to budget his time.”
Like Lisa, Kate W., of Los Angeles, mother of 10-year-old Alex, requires her son to ask before he turns on the TV or picks up his Game Boy. “If he has homework to do, or if we’re getting ready to go somewhere, he knows that I’m going to say ‘no,’” she says. “When he asks, I tell him to move on to something else.”
Number Four: Help with Homework