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Are you one of the parents who are worried about the amount of time your children spend in front of a screen? You are not alone. Many parents of adolescent children tell me that they are constantly fighting with their sons/daughters: "To put the damn electronic device away and do something productive". Mom/dad you have every reason to be concerned.

A study recently led by Dr Walsh and his colleagues at the Childrenís Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Ottawa has some information for you to peruse.

The Canadian team examined the cognitive abilities including language, attention and memory retention of over 4,500 participants between the ages of 8-11.

They found that: "Children who had limited their screen time to two hours or less per day achieved the adequate physical and sleep requirements leading to better cognitive abilities then those who did not."

Folks the recommendations are quite simple to follow to have a healthy child. "A minium of 60 minutes of physical activity per day; two hours or less of recreational screen time per day; 9-11 hours of sleep per night".

I have argued with my niece for years that her young children are spending way too much time in front of a screen. I have tried talking to her girls when they are too often mesmerized by the images and they never ever respond to my questions. The electronic devises can be very addicted. Too many of our children are attached to their phones/tablets following their parentís example.

Perhaps the smart phone is blindly leading your children to a comatose mental state-of-mind? Many hours staring at a digital screen I wager is not intellectually stimulating to your children.

Please do not transfer the blame to your children or the phone that you have purchased. Parents you are the role models to your children helping them to make life long decisions.

I haves spoken to some wise parents who do not have TV cable access for their busy, bright children. No tablets or phones to get in the way of their kidís creativity. The families are hooked on reading books, drawing/painting and playing musical instruments. No time for electronic devises when they are playing sports at the Exec Center in Dorchester. Sure, the children may debate issues ( okay-argue) within the family circle but for the most part there is meaningful communication.

Are our smart phones/tablets making our children illiterate, antisocial and unhealthy? If they are; Why canít we just limit the amount of time our children are spending staring at a screen? Making wise decisions for the family can be difficult. But, that is what good parenting is all about.

Len Lesser is an educational/career counselor in Dorchester, Ont.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com