Through my blog, I help parents who have children with ADHD and teachers who work with these children. I discuss social skills as well as executive function skills, such as organizational skills.
Through my private practice, I teach children with ADHD to obtain positive social skills as well as to learn more effective executive function skills, such as how to plan their academic work by developing efficient organizational skills.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
What is the effect of permitting your child to use social media? Is it possible that when your child uses social media it interferes with their learning of social skills and/or doing their homework in an efficacious way?
Social media has changed communication in positive
ways. However, as positive as the benefits are, there are some negative
components, as well. How many of you walk the streets of the city in which you
live? Have you noticed that instead of walking looking forward so that you are
able to nod or to say hello to passers-by, almost everyone has their head down
looking at some device? Why is that bad? Communication between individuals is
based on eye contact. If people do not maintain eye contact, they therefore,
cannot communicate. I am always amazed that people who walk with their heads
down do not trip and fall more often!
Why are people arguably unable to put their cell
phones down for a few minutes to walk looking ahead of them, nodding their head
to approaching individuals or saying hello? There appears to be a sense of immediacy
and almost desperation about finding out what someone has written to them on
Twitter, Facebook, email or text. Unfortunately, due to the lure of social
media, and the gravitational pull that it has on people, they are unlikely to want
to delay gratification. In fact, that is why people text message as they are
driving, which has caused many, many accidents across the United States.
How does being so dependent and arguably addicted to
social media negatively affect your child? One mother told me that it takes her
son twice the time to do his math homework, while making many errors. Why does
that happen?He checks YouTube while he
is doing his homework!
I went to a restaurant recently and a family sat
next to us who had a four year old child with them. The child watched a movie
on their I Pad the entire meal, barely eating and certainly not interacting
with anyone at their table. I have no argument with parents wanting a little
peace and quiet while they eat. However, couldn’t they have made a judgment on
their child’s misbehavior as it was happening, instead of avoiding any social
interaction with their child?
So, in answer to my own question, “What is the
effect of permitting your child to use social media in public?”, I would say
that if you have a child who is young and needs to learn social skills by
interacting with you and/or if you have an older child who’s use of social
media is interfering with his homework and/or interacting with you, it is
essential to change when you permit your child to use social media and for how