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How Can I Help My Child Be HappyMore and more parents are asking themselves how can I help my child be happy as the diagnosis of depression, anxiety and other arming diseases continue to rise.

What can you as a parent do to protect your children?

One of the most important things you can do for your children is to limit screen time.

Screen time is time spent in front of television, computers, or any other electronic device. Studies show that too much screen time is dangerous to brain development. (There are so many studies, that I will not cite them here, but please do some research if you would like empirical evidence.) It is now common and widely acceptable practice for parents to hand their toddlers electronic games to calm them down. No parent would think of soothing their baby with opium, but most are giving their children something just as if not more damaging. Children should not be allowed to have any screen time before the age of two. Older children should only be allowed to have one hour of screen time a day. That would really require some major changes in most households, as 8-10 year olds average 8 hours of screen time a day, and older children and teenagers average 11 hours a day.

The benefits of restricted exposure to electronic screens are increased social and emotional intelligence, increased curiosity, healthier brain development, improved physical health, the ability to self-soothe, the ability to focus and prioritize, and the list goes on and on. Your children’s development and future happiness and success depend on your commitment to severely limit the time they spend in front of any electronic screen. No, it will not be easy, but you are the parent, and it is up to you to protect your child from this real and present danger.