TV and my ds (diagnosed with ADHD) - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-13-2008, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
flowmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,339
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
to MDC for hosting this forum. I am really grateful to have a place to discuss my concerns.

My background is that I was raised anti-TV and was allowed to watch about 1 hour per week (my stepfather loved TV so we had it in the home). My dh was raised similarly. I find TV quite addictive for myself so we don't have cable and only occasionally rent dvds to watch when our children are asleep.

My ds has a pretty extreme temperament. He has been diagnosed with ADHD. Like many I believe that ADHD is a multi-causal umbrella diagnosis, not a single disorder...and I also believe that many ADHD traits are "within the range of normal" - but I am just putting that out there as info. He also falls within the "active alert" personality type. He's extremely physically active and very extraverted - he wants constant interaction and spends about 5 minutes a day doing things by himself without seeking interaction from others. He talks constantly and even when he is involved in an activity, he wants intense focus from his parent. Needless to say, he has been a challenging child to raise, especially now that he has a younger sister who is in her toddler years. Dh and I have been struggling to cope as our dc haven't been OK with babysitting, even from people who they know and see regularly. We have no family help and just getting through the day if often a challenge. We put a lot of energy into organizing ds' day so that he has outdoor exercise, regular meals, social time, etc., etc.

Until he was 4 yo, ds didn't have any TV. The problem was that I was never able to institute quiet time for ds once he stopped napping. He would just rev himself up all day and I could see that he couldn't get a break from himself and reduce his own stimulation-seeking. We tried advice that I've read about starting quiet time, but it never worked - it always basically ended up with him wanting all of our attention the entire time. There was an additional challenge that he would actively sabotage my putting my dd to sleep for her nap and I was getting quite desperate.

Opposite to perhaps most people in this forum, I deliberately started plunking ds in front of a video each day - for about an hour every day . I feel terrible just writing that. I expected all these bad things to happen (based on my reading and my background), but honestly it seemed to allow him a break - a chance to zone out and have a break from himself and his tendency to have his body and mouth in constant motion that didn't involve interacting with us the entire time. The only other thing that I've found along those lines is books on CD - we have just started these and ds likes them but not sure yet whether they can fulfill the same role as TV for ds.

Everything that I've read about ADHD says that TV is especially bad for these children, but I'm having trouble reconciling that with my experience. I guess I want to understand the impact of TV on a child with my ds' temperament. Thoughts on that? Is TV ever good or helpful or is it always a suboptimal way to spend time in that age group?

Any thoughts on how to help my ds "chill out" without needing my constant attention (at a time when I need to put dd to sleep for her nap)? I'm not looking for activities because that always involves *me* having to do the activities. I'm looking for a way to help ds tune into his own need to slow down his rhythms.

for reading this far. I really welcome input from those who are TV-free or questioning the role of TV in their children's lives.

sharing life with | 10 yo ds | 8 yo dd | dh (since 2012)
"I am not what happened to me...I am what I choose to become." ~ Carl Jung
flowmom is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-13-2008, 06:17 PM
 
LookMommy!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Jerusalem
Posts: 813
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I hear you. I am not especially pro-TV (did my master's thesis on the controversy over educational tv) and didn't have one when dd1 was young. (Although contrary to your experience, I grew up with lots and lots of TV and have fond nostalgic memories of my favorite shows and characters. I was a quiet easy going child, thin, straight As, lots of friends, etc. so I can't think of any negative effects it might have had on me other than I wasn't using my time more productively).

Anyway, I find these days that when I've got a cranky kid (and they are 14, 12, and 7 now), or one who is overstimulated, or off schedule, sometimes a video (or two or three) can be a lot kinder than more stimulation, more boredom or more action, or more discomfort. I mean, when I've got PMS and am making DH miserable with my negativity, what is more wonderful than to zone out with a Friends DVD?

Today, my little one watched a video with some African tales (Reading Rainbow), a Pooh video (regressing maybe, since it was her first day of vacation camp in a new environment) and Donald in Mathemagic land (educational). This was after a morning of horse riding, pita baking, painting, goat-milking, singing, and other fun activities with her peers. She probably won't watch TV tomorrow, and I will probably remind her that too much screen time often gives her a headache.

I think that your child's reaction is more important than your "philosophy" in this case. It seems to be helpful for him, and incredibly necessary for you.

Maybe other activities could include sensory activities (water play, rice and beans and scoopers, etc.) which are process oriented and don't usually need a playmate or an audience. Or maybe quiet time could be draw a picture and show it to mom when you are done. Or it can be a quality DVD, and if that's what works for you, great.

Good luck, Lisa
LookMommy! is offline  
Old 04-14-2008, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
flowmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,339
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
LookMommy, for your thoughts. I find them reassuring .

Any other input? :

sharing life with | 10 yo ds | 8 yo dd | dh (since 2012)
"I am not what happened to me...I am what I choose to become." ~ Carl Jung
flowmom is offline  
Old 04-14-2008, 09:09 PM
 
naupakamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 624
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow, I have been thinking about this too. It has been how I assuage my guilt about letting 2.5 year old DD "watch" so much tv . I put "watch" in quotes because sometimes she just needs noise in the background while she plays (the multitasking need).

I personally can't turn my brain off. TV is the only way to get a break from thinking.

But I hate watching tv because of the time waste, etc. I want to learn to break the cycle but I am not sure how. TV does seem like meditation to me, my DH, and my DD. We are all extremely smart, ADD minded people.

Just saying I definitely feel your pain...

, , , , , to DD1 (4.5 years old) and DD2 (7 months) and 2
naupakamama is offline  
Old 04-15-2008, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
flowmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,339
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
naupakamama, would books on CD might work for you dd? Our library has tonnes. We are trying to shift ds towards them.

sharing life with | 10 yo ds | 8 yo dd | dh (since 2012)
"I am not what happened to me...I am what I choose to become." ~ Carl Jung
flowmom is offline  
Old 04-15-2008, 02:05 PM
 
meowee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 5,773
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My DD has PDD-NOS and TV is also often the only thing that will calm her down. I feel stuck. I hate TV so much but I don't want to see her upset all day long. With my "normal" kids it is different-- just distract them or leave it off long enough, and they are soon occupied. That doesn't work with her.
meowee is offline  
Old 04-15-2008, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
flowmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,339
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I see I'm not alone .

Just thinking out loud here...You know how Ritalin supposedly works by stimulating a specific part of the brain that is thought to be sluggish in ADD/ADHD? The stimulation is supposed to help with focus. Maybe TV operates similarly by stimulating that part of the brain, allowing focus on the tv?

sharing life with | 10 yo ds | 8 yo dd | dh (since 2012)
"I am not what happened to me...I am what I choose to become." ~ Carl Jung
flowmom is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off