Friday 14 October 2016

Tough Decision on Screentime

I've noticed a pattern lately.  If I give Nathan more screentime than about an hour a day, he is very agitated and easily upset for the next day or so.

Now he is "earning" unlimited screentime periodically for keeping his temper and otherwise doing good work.  But we're paying for it after.

This leaves me with a challenge.  It's a big motivator, so I'm reluctant to take it out of the rotation, but am I really doing Nathan any favours by setting him up for such spectacular failures?  Case in point: yesterday he earned unlimited screentime.  Today he threw a big tantrum about tidying his room and lost not only his screentime for today, but for the weekend.  And came close to having the contents of his room confiscated.

I remember that the first biography/case study I read of a child with autism had a similar problem.  The kid loved videos but they got him so agitated that the family decided to only allow him one video per year, at Christmas.  And they paid for that indulgence every year well into January.

Sometimes what our kids want is the equivalent of a brass ring.  And sometimes it's the equivalent of heroin.  And not even the most progressive person in the world has ever suggested that we ought to encourage drug users to do useful or helpful things in order to earn drugs.  Figuring out which is which is a challenge.

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