Ask the Experts

Watch Your TV Watching

Curb negative behaviors by limiting your child’s television time.

One of the simplest things you can do to help your child with ADHD is to take a firm stand on the amount of television he’s allowed to watch. It’s disturbing that most American children spend more time glued to the TV than they spend in school!

Excessive television viewing can have a particularly detrimental effect on the child with ADHD, who may be more prone to hyperactivity and impulsively copying some of the negative behaviors he sees on TV.

Some suggestions on taking control of television include:

Limit television viewing to one hour per day
Explain to your child that television is a low priority in your home, behind family time, homework, exercise, and daily chores.
Try as much as possible to watch TV with your child.
No “channel surfing” just to see what’s on.
Make use of the VCR to control the content of what comes into your home.
Don’t put a TV set near your kitchen or dining table.
As tempting as it may be (and we all do it) resist the urge to use television as a baby-sitter.
Read to your child whenever possible.
Don’t be a couch potato yourself.