Screen Time

Here goes… my nearly 5 yo suspected adhd/add loves his screen time so much so I have disabled YouTube of his tablet. 4 weeks later he is still heart broken.

I disabled the app because not only the content was annoying kids unwrapping eggs, grown ups dressed as superheros and paw patrol in swimming pools and that awful finger family song (those with kids that will be your ear worm for the day) it is the length of time he would spend on you tube but also not having patience to watch anything he just swipes away the videos once watched for a couple of seconds Once his timer went off to indicate end of screen time… commence eruption…

I have put some games in his tablet all different types age appropriate and he just opens the up flicks between them. Doesn’t play with them
End of tablet time… He erupts.

Put the t.v. on totally different. He will watch any children’s programme even those aimed at babies for long periods without asking for programme to be changed to the point where he will be bursting for the toilet and nearly wee himself.

He is not really interested in toys even when his screen time has ended he mostly just complains that his screen time has ended whilst shuffling some toys around and he does not want either myself or my husband engaging him in play.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to balance the battle and try and draw out some play when screen time ends or does anyone have any similar experiences.

Parenting is hard.

Distinguishing “regular”. Kiddos from ADHD kiddos is hard.

Give yourself a hug and breathe.

Thanks. He has stopped asking for tv and is currently running around the house and garden with a kitchen roll shouting you are a bumpy head. Glad he is getting fresh air. I just worry a lot.

Not sure if I have any good/workable suggestions… But commendations on turning off the garbage that is YouTube Kids. I suppose just… be patient, and research developmentally appropriate play for his age? I remember loving repetition at this age and preferring to play with things like Hit Clips (played a 10 second pop song clip over and over…), art supplies, Legos, or a Playstation game Monster Rancher. I also loved the repetitive turn-based gameplay of Final Fantasy and Pokemon.

If YT continues to be demanded, perhaps you guys can watch YouTube only together, and only you pick the videos? For example, you guys could watch SciShow Kids or CrashCourse Kids videos together. Or you could curate a playlist of videos you’re comfortable with him watching, and he could choose videos only from that playlist under your supervision.

I don’t yet have kids, so these are just my best guesses. I’m not sure anyone yet knows how to navigate an experience like YT Kids… :cold_sweat:

Ah! What a fantasric idea a playlist. I really had not thought of that. The fact it has gone away is still a big issue and I will just see how it goes. I thought after a couple of weeks it would stop being an issue. How wrong was I. If I did set up a playlist he would still video flick albeit at least it would be videos I am ok with. I will have look at his toys. I put a selection out of different toys but nothing seems to engage him for very long 5 mins before he asks for tv on.

I really want him to enjoy his free time just don’t it in front of t.v. all day.

@katharine61 It may just be that none of the toys engage him for more than 5 or 10 minutes because that is a developmentally normal attention span for a 5-6 year old child. :woman_shrugging:

I mentioned the repetition thing because the repetition is usually what kids are after when they are watching YT Kids style videos. Here is a good TED talk that explains some of that…

You could even venture to wonder that, if your kiddo does possibly have ADHD, his attachment to the repetition of kinder egg opening videos or finger song videos represents a kind of self-medication. Even if it’s not some self-treatment of ADHD, it could just be… very addicting for him. So, it would be normal for him to be depressed for a while after losing that source of stimulation. OFC, that’s also an entirely uneducated guess, since I’m neither a childhood development expert or psychological professional.

Establishing routines is excellent for both children and people with ADHD, so establishing a play routine might help with his level of engagement and regulating his expectations on what kind of play (T.V., toys, outside, play with parents) happens when. Kids also love to “be a helper” when it comes to interacting socially, and you can use this psychological trick to get him to engage in chores/helping around the house.

Maybe it would be good to take him to a play therapist for a couple of visits, just to get a professional opinion on his development?

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What I keep hearing from administration as a teacher is that you have to be more engaging to the children. Try to get to know his interests.

Maybe he would enjoy more active play? Maybe instead of toys like dolls or action figures, he’d enjoy playing outside with a ball. Or maybe you could pretend to go on adventures with your imagination? I know that’s what I did with my sister all the time when we were young. We had multiple ‘series’ in which we would play as characters we created in whatever crazy situation we made up. Toys would be included as an addition, but not necessarily as big a part as making stuff up. (although toys could alter how our story would go). Maybe he would like to create stuff too! But that can get messy so beware (remembers how my little brother Drew all over my uncle’s room… And it was A LOT of drawing)

So many of those videos/channels for kids are absolutely awful. But the view counts are just staggering! Kids somehow like it.

Youtube has a lot to answer for. I swear that half of the guys I’ve worked with should be banned from it.

Not having kids limits my ability to give advice here.

But having ADHD, and vaguely remembering what I was like as a kid kind of helps.

We didn’t have Youtube or phones then. But I would typically shut myself away and just read. I’d have up to 8 books going at the same time.

Dad ended up buying a Betacord video (picked the wrong team there…). Me and my brother watched the first movie we hired 14 times.

After that, especially during school holidays or weekends, we’d just watch video after video. Movie marathons that could go on for weeks.

It was generally pretty hot outside, so we’d stay in the aircon, but we played with friends outside sometimes. Kick the football around, swim at the pool or beach (they were both really close). We messed around a lot.

I remember Dad being keen for me to join Scouts, so I did.

For a while, it was a huge effort to actually get out of the house and go. I’d fake illness, or pretend I had homework I was going to do. But I’d have fun when I got there. And Scouts taught me a bunch of skills I still use.

So even though my parents had to force me to go sometimes, it was worth it. I learnt to achieve some goals (got a bunch of badges and all the fruit), as well as learning more about social interaction. And some of the training was really useful. It felt good for my self esteem whenever we got to march in the ANZAC day parade (our national day of remembrance for Australian and New Zealander soldiers). I was lucky enough to have chatted with a lot of the old WW1 soldiers who have all gone now.

I don’t know what the answer is regarding Youtube and your son. But I think it was @Pizzatom52 who said earlier that interaction is a good start.

Take out what your son likes, and get him involved. Get him into a club associated with that activity, and push him a bit (always a fine balance there) if he is hesitant. Ideally, get him to suggest it himself.


Up here in Canada, scouting starts at 5 years old (called Beavers). My sons enjoyed it and I’d recommend something similar.

As a side note @Smoj, I always find the use of the hire/hiring amusing when used in regards to a thing. In Canada, you rent things and hire people (to do work).

You whacky Canadians… I guess it’s probably the right way to use rent/hire. I’ve never thought about it.

We call it Cubs for the younger kids. I only went for a short time in one town, before we moved. I thought it was a bit lame at the time, but it might just have been that group.

In Cubs, we weren’t allowed to do the fun stuff. We had to get the older kids to put up tents or do anything we were considered too young for. I did make a morse code machine out of a beer can though.

I think Scouts has lost some of its reputation these days. But it was good fun and taught me some pretty good life lessons.

Me and my mates specialised in making things go kaboom. Got quite good at it too, and never got found out. :slight_smile: Even better, none of us lost any fingers or toes.

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Beavers are ages 5-7, then cubs 8-10, scouts 11-13, then I’m not sure of the ages after (venturers and rovers).

I enjoyed parts of scouting as a kid and other parts not so much. It was very much a different time than today. Less safety, consideration (for kids with special needs), supervision, etc.

Yeah. It wasn’t all great, all the time. But we had some good Scout leaders, and living out in the bush, we had some pretty good places to camp. We weren’t so big on all the marching and parades and stuff, which was fine by me.

Camping was usually fun, we learnt some good survival skills. I still think I’d be able to survive in the desert if I had to.

Based on the documentaries I’ve seen on Australia, it seems like the goal of camping would be to survive the night from all of the dangerous creatures. :wink:

Documentaries on Aussie wildlife seem to focus on the deadly creatures, or the feral cats eating the friendly ones. Us North Americans became a bit fascinated by Australia in the 80s thanks a lot to Paul Hogan. He also incorrectly taught us about throwing shrimp on the barbie, when apparently it would be a prawn.

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That’s correct. Prawns are the real deal, shrimps are just really tiny prawns. Everybody else is wrong.

And nobody drinks Fosters here either.

All the greebly animals around, they generally don’t mess with you if you don’t mess with them. Unless you’re a tourist, then they jump out of the trees with death in their eyes and machettes in each claw.

I’ve just noticed… All the good people post here during the day, then the night shift comes on and hijacks all the threads while everyone else is asleep.

Let’s see, 1pm, great I’m part of the day shift.

Well, you should be trying to protect the forum from night shift thread hijackers.

It’s night shift for me, anyway.