Screen Time


New Member
Hi, I have a 8 year old who has been diagnosed with ADHD although there's probably more to it than that. He is very defiant and gets violent sometimes. The violence comes up a lot when it's time for him to get off the computer or my phone when he's playing a game. He flips out when I take it away and tries to hit me and get it back. He might be addicted to them. So I'm wondering if I should try to put more limits on the electronics (like 2 half hour sessions on a weekend day) or just take them away altogether. I think he gets overstimulated by them. I wanted to see if others have had similar experiences.


Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hi Seeker,

Welcome to our corner of the world!

Can you give us a little more background? Has he ever been evaluated by a child psychiatrist or a therapist? It helps us to know to give better ideas.

Not knowing any other background I would not be letting him use the video games if you think that is what is causing it. My first advice though (due to the violence) would be to have him evaluated.


Well-Known Member
Be prepared form some very diverse answers!

Our kids are all different and so are their responses to gaming. For my son, it was time limits. He needed the "down time" from holding things together in school. In his early elementary school years (through 5th grade), the violent games were either disallowed or curtailed depending on what form the violence took. As he got older and went into middle school, military strategy games were added because it was a great interest of his but there were still limits. Additionally, if he "crossed the line" at school and invaded someone's personal space (i.e., getting in their face, hitting, etc.) everything with an "off/on" switch was removed and the timing depending on the offense.

He knew going in that these were the consequences as they were repeated often!

My son happens to have, and did have when he was younger, a firm grasp on reality. Some kids don't and those are the children that you really have to keep an eye on.

At 19, my son has a friends online in Scotland, the Philippines, the midwest, the west coast, New Zealand. They don't just game. They meet up and (with their headphones and mics) talk about current events, what's happening in their lives, girlfriends, they watch YouTube together....

For my son, there was a positive social aspect as he got older.

Only you can make the choice that is best for your son. I would suggest limiting his gaming times during the week and the types of games he plays, especially if he is becoming violent with you. Violence should remove all gaming privileges, period.


Well-Known Member
Being a Special Education teacher that works primarily with kids with autism, the iPad has been a wonderful "way in" on so many levels. As a grandma with a grandson with ADHD and other as-yet-figured-out stuff, we love the iPad. We use it as a reward (getting a new app on Wednesdays if he's had a decent week at school, for example), letting him plug in after school before he has to do some homework, etc. He loves Minecraft and funny animal videos. He gets it and can leave the iPad fairly easily these days. It take awhile to "train" that. We all made an agreement to lessen our device usage and he's bought into that, for the most part.


Well-Known Member
Seeker78, welcome.
That sounds like my son!
Yes, it is overstimulating. But at the same time, it's calming. Very strange ... it stimulates the frontal lobes with input that is totally useless.
How long does your son game? Hours? My son did. And still can.
I just heard a report on NPR today about someone in the UN, I think, who was at a meeting and he was playing Candy Crush. Aaarrggh!

I cannot tell you how many arguments my son and I had over gaming.

Somehow, we made it through and he is self-policing. More-or-less. :) I think the medications he's on help a lot. And the routine is soooo important. If bedtime is at 10 for example, you have to stand over him and make sure it's 10:00. A friend of mine cut the gaming cord in half, and spliced an appliance plug onto the end of it so it couldn't be plugged into a normal wall socket. Then he created a separate cord that plugged into the other end of the appliance plug, and the other end into the wall. (I hope that makes sense.)
When my son refused to quit the game, I just pulled the plug and hid it. (Be sure you know where you hide it. I had to have a new one made! lol)
Yes, he raged. The rages got shorter and after awhile, just the sound of my footsteps was enough to get my son to quit.

We had to do the cord idea because no matter what I took away--the cds, the controller, the DVD player--my son would find a way to play anyway. He'd either use another controller or borrow something from a friend. I had no idea you could mix and match video game components with-regular TV components.
(Side note: when he was little, he got a remote control truck as a gift. We turned on the TV with-the regular remote and the truck took off. Ahhhh! Funny and scary at the same time.)

It will be a useful life task for your son to learn to self-soothe instead of relying on video games. You don't want him to end up working at the UN and then embarrassed on international news! :)


Well-Known Member
My daughter is very addicted if you will to her electronics, and books. But also loves her Minecraft,Funny You Tube videos, movies etc. As long as she does her work I will let her play for a while. Shes not really into anything violent, so far its basic games. I wish you luck and you will know how much times is needed for homework, activities, chores if any, and hopefully some times with family. I m trying to get mine to spend more time with us.

Now my son with ADHD/ODD etc, is violent and Im taking away his Zombie movies and even any violent cartoons for a while to see if it helps any. He really never plays long on them anyways because he has so much energy he would rather be outside. Il let you know keep us updated to :) Hugs


New Member
I'm finding that I'm having an easier time controlling screen time with the Kindle Fire Kids Editions that I got the twins for Christmas. They have controls that I set up that allow for a maximum of one hour of video and one hour of apps per weekday (two hours each on weekends) but unlimited reading time. They are also set to shut off at bedtime and not come back on until 7 am. After just a couple of days, even difficult child has stopped asking for me to override the system and give her more screen time. It seems as though the "rules" coming from the device and not from me somehow make it easier for her to accept them. I also like that the Amazon Free Time service has already pre-screened content to be suitable for 4-10 year olds. I've set them up so they can't access anything else.
Can you set up some sort of controls like these on his devices?