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How much computer time should I let my 8-year-old son have?
Recreational screen time (television/iPad/PS4) for my 9-year-old son with ADHD is restricted to 60 minutes a day, divided into 6 vouchers of 10 minutes each. If he runs out of vouchers, he can earn more vouchers doing chores like cleaning the toilet. And he can lose vouchers for transgressions.
We started to use this system because our son has a problem with internal/external motivation and executive functions (planning, work prep, following long instructions) due to his ADHD, and he’s ‘addicted’ to gaming, constantly asking for the iPad or his mother’s telephone to keep up with his games.
The 10-minute vouchers help him plan his screen time, and limit the screen time to normal proportions. And he can keep track of how much screen time he has left, so he can just give up a voucher of 10 minutes of undisturbed screen time.
And the vouchers are also a good disciplinary method, because he doesn’t want to lose vouchers for not cleaning up his room, not putting dirty clothes in the hamper, or not taking off his shoes by the door.
When he has a busy day and is unable to use up all his vouchers, he can take one voucher to the next day. And if he needs more vouchers, he can earn an extra 2 vouchers per day doing chores like cleaning the toilet or cleaning the kitty litter or sorting and folding laundry.
Martyn V. Halm is a fiction writer and professional confabulator. You can read more from Quora below:
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