Help drive my child away from electronics

Tw: abuse

Hey there, I’m a 26 year old parent. I’m trans and use he/him pronouns. I have anxiety, ptsd, insomnia, asd, and a few other health issues. I’m currently working on getting my ssi.

I’ve had to take care of my son since he was a newborn by myself. Luckily he always slept through the whole night ever since he was born. His other parent has never really been in the picture, as he went towards drugs for no reason other than he wanted to live that life and I’m not for it.

[name_m]Long[/name_m] story short I always gave my child his tablet every day because it was keeping him busy and getting his mind off everything happening to us while we were getting abused and moving over and over and being harassed daily. This harassment did not stop until we moved into our current apartment two or three months ago. He turned 7 years old [name_f]April[/name_f] 10th of this year. So basically he had to deal with this almost his whole life up until now.

I don’t want to talk about this extreme harassment due to it being extremely inappropriate and vulgar towards me and my child, but let’s just say we couldn’t do anything besides be trapped in a room together while I cry, talk to my ldr partner, and make sure my kid was safe and happy. [name_f]My[/name_f] abuser passed away a month after we got rescued, just so you guys don’t worry about him coming for me.

He’s used to being on his tablet. He never wants to do anything else at all unless he’s taking a shower and playing with the toys he has or if my mom is here, as he only likes playing with his toys with her.

He has the mind of a teenager. He watches teen/adult anime, shows, youtubers, etc. He just wants to lay around and go on his tablet every single day all day long. I hate seeing it.

I feel like a failure but I just wanted him to be calm and happy at the time instead of him crying in fear.

He currently has action figures, art supplies, dinosaur toys, car toys, etc, but maybe he’s too “grown up” for that to play with those things alot I guess.

I can’t afford anything, but maybe in the future a few things I can think of that I know he’ll like doing is big legos and a bouncy ball that we can both play with together maybe.

I hope someone can help me and give me tips or insight because I’m at a loss of what to do and I’m honestly getting emotional and trying not to cry from exhaustion.

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I’m so sorry you have had to deal with that. I’m not a parent, but I do have one suggestion - try not to scold him for being on his electriconics, but praise him for not being on it. I hope that helps!

I haven’t personally dealt with weaning a child off electronics, but advice I’ve seen that makes sense to me is to get him outside. Involve him in some fun, real activities to upstage the screen–biking, hiking, swimming, fishing, hammering something together in the backyard, drawing from life, flying kites, chopping logs, whatever catches his fancy and holds his attention for a while. Best of luck.


I am a parent but I have no experience with a child that spends too much time on electronics.

I think the most important thing is for him to discover something he likes more than being on the tablet. So it would be good if you could get him to try new things, so he’ll find something he’ll enjoy. This might take a while, but don’t give up. It doesn’t have to be expensive, there are plenty of options out there for boys his age. Maybe try and figure out what he likes to watch on youtube etc, so you get a sense of what his interests are.

I know it’s difficult, but try not to get at angry at him because of it. It’s frustrating, but the more you make this into a battle, the more difficult it will be to get him to enjoy something else.

It sounds like his tablet is a coping mechanism. It would be very difficult to keep him away from using it, because it’s possible he feels anxious and vulnerable without it (just assuming based on what you’ve described). I’m sorry to hear about the tough go you’ve had of it. I do think family therapy with you and your son would be a huge help, to heal and develop healthier coping mechanisms. If it’s not affordable for you right now, think about making it a goal to work toward. Many therapists charge on a sliding scale based on patient’s income.

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Wow. That’s rough… It’s a challenge enough to get a typical kid off of electronics, and your son sounds enmeshed with his tablet. Kudos to you for wanting to change it. It will take a lot of work, but hopefully it will reap wonderful dividends for both of you.

Here are some of my suggestions, as a mom and as an educator:
Therapy for both of you, I know it goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyway, I hope you don’t mind. It sounds like there’s a lot to process that may have been pushed to the side while the screen was distracting him.

Perhaps let the tablet guide him to some things he might want to try in real life: Watch a cooking show competition with him, and then do some baking/cooking together. Let him make a dessert, plan a dinner menu and make it, etc. Watch a painting show and then take the time to make a creation for your own home together. Watch a show about planting, and then start a small gardening project. Wach a show about how to do a certain physical sporting skill, like jump rope, roller blade etc, and then get out and try it? Maybe it could spark a hobby that will be more fun than watching it.

Does he have access to other children? If yes, try and get him out on a playground with other kids. If he can make a friend, or at least some acquaintances, he may enjoy running around with them in the park. Bring sidewalk chalk, a ball etc. and he can do it with another friend.

Another suggestion is reading to him. Does he read? Getting him into a great book could be great - reading him [name_u]Harry[/name_u] [name_m]Potter[/name_m] could spark his imagination, and also create great positive bonding time for the two of you. You can discuss the book, make inferences and predictions together…

Is he good with his hands? Maybe the two of you could learn to knit, or crochet, make friendship bracelet stitches, or even bead jewelry.

I hope some of these ideas were helpful… and I hope things look up for both of you soon!


Sounds like you’ve had a truely awful time. I’m sorry.

I would try to tailor or fashion his interests into practical, sensory or outdoor.
For instance if there is a particular show or character he likes maybe get him to try mould it with modeling clay or draw it? Drawing and anything creative are real calming activities too, which help regulate the brain.

[name_f]My[/name_f] eldest has sensory processing disorder and he could quite easily stay on his iPad all day if I let him.

I explain that iPad is only on set times in the day and he is fine with that but you could try that?
[name_m]Say[/name_m] like an hour in the morn and an hour in the eve.

I don’t think I’ve yet to meet any child who doesn’t like the outdoors.

Making dens
Foraging for bugs.
Muddy walks
The local park

[name_f]My[/name_f] 6 year old also enjoys sticker books and junk modeling. So just using recycling bits and making models or monsters/superheros/characters from them. Anything to stimulate the imagination.

Does he like Lego? I find Lego appeals to most boys of your son’s age.