Are screens your ADHD child’s biggest enemy? 2023


ADHD is misunderstood despite its ubiquity. ADHD affects 1 in 10 children worldwide, yet its symptoms are typically misdiagnosed as “attitude” issues and mistreated. “Lack of focus” or “laziness” are common complaints from ADHD parents.

Teachers may state “she is very bright but makes silly mistakes” or “he needs to concentrate better in class.” ADHD now faces increasing screen time. Understanding ADHD’s science helps us understand how excessive screen time affects children with ADHD.

Dopamine helps us get things done. Dopamine insufficiency in children cripples their capacity to start, organize, prioritize, and finish tasks. ADHD, basically. Chemical insufficiency inhibits self-regulation in children. ADHD brains want stimulus. Dopamine deficiency need stimulation. Mobile phones are ideal accessories.

Exercise, yoga, diet, and music stimulate and produce dopamine. Video games and cell phones give excessive stimulation, making them hazardous and addicting. Over-stimulation worsens ADHD kids’ self-regulation issues and creates a domino effect.

Developmental Delays

Parents with ADHD children under six have a unique challenge. Lack of dopamine causes the youngster to refuse to eat without a phone or electronic device. Parents give in to prevent tantrums or hyperactivity. Overstimulation worsens self-regulation, which raises phone and screen time demands. A vicious circle exists.

In such instances, kids stop doing developmental activities. preferring devices to toys or exploration. Delayed language, reading, social, and conversational abilities are typical. These impairments cause more frequent and powerful outbursts in early school years.

Parenting and occupational or developmental therapy are typical treatments for such delays.

Screen Addiction/Free Will Loss

Drug abuse causes “free will loss.” It indicates drug usage is unavoidable. Unregulated screen time is a drug that harms the academic, social, and emotional well-being of ADHD children aged 6–12.

“Screen addiction” results from poor self-regulation. This may start with a youngster refusing to do schoolwork and progress to staying in a room playing video games and not participating in things they formerly enjoyed. Losing free will.

Screen addiction can cause academic and non-academic problems for children. In moderate cases, academic performance, social involvement, friendships, and self-esteem may deteriorate sharply.

In severe situations, it can lead to school rejection, threatening family members for screen access, and full isolation where they refuse to communicate to peers.

Screen addiction needs expert treatment.

Depression and Self-Esteem

ADHD brains focus less. Thus, it frequently requires pauses while working. The break must be less engaging than the work or the brain will prefer it. Teens studying or working should take a quick stroll, drink, or eat a snack. These breaks help teens focus on work.

When the break is a fast excursion on the phone, the overstimulation makes it hard to go back to work. ADHD brains inherently prefer screen time because they need stimulation to make dopamine.

Cycles begin. As kids spend more time on screens, they lose academic abilities and become even more hooked to them. Parents and children think this is a restriction or a choice, not realizing that the problem is biological. Teens retreat.

They stop talking to friends, skip school, and lose self-esteem, leading to decreased executive function, panic attacks, and depression.

Psychiatric intervention with medication or therapy is usually needed.

Digital hygiene

  • 0–6 YEARS

No portable devices without parental supervision.

Discuss their viewing with them. This improves cognition.

  • AGES 6-12

Set screen-time rules.

Monitor their viewing, searching, and listening.

You must supervise app downloads.

Bark and Qustodio assist monitor.

  • AGES 13-18

Share screen time statistics with older adolescents.

Discuss how screen time affects productivity.

Encourage kids to leave their room door open but don’t enter too often.

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