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By Cris Rowan

Meet Joe. Exhausted, Joe hauls himself out of bed after a night of gaming, following his Mom's third attempt to get him up. If she'd just quit ragging on him, and let him sleep in. It's not like school is this epic event that has to happen every day of the week. Missing a few days here and there is no big deal. She just doesn't get it...gaming is everything for Joe, his whole life revolves around it. Gaming is where Joe can shine, where he's cool, where he's the Master of the universe. School sucks for Joe; it's boring and stupid, and he really doesn't understand why he needs to go. Joe can't focus on anything at school, he'd so rather be gaming. Sometimes Joe games in his head in class, plans strategies for upping levels, designs his skins and weapons. School should really let him play video games, because gaming is where its at, not reading books and printing on paper. The future is gaming, and that's what Joe's going to be, a gamer who makes lots of money. Joe wishes his teacher could see how great he is when he's gaming. He's the King, and everyone else is merely his minions. He saves whole cities from destruction, kills the zombies and the bad guys; Joe rules the world when he's gaming. Joe's not good at anything at school, in fact Joe hates school.

Featured Research

By Zhou F, Montag C, Sariyska R, Lachmann B, et al October 23, 2017 doi: 10.1111/adb.12570.
Study started with cross-sectional and found less gray matter in video game addicts. Had a group of non-gamers take up video gaming. 6 weeks later they found less gray matter in the gaming addicts and the group that took up gaming.

Children and Screen Time: A Growing Health Crisis

As the iPhone turns 10, screen time-and lots of it-has changed reality for today's kids, and even babies. Teens (ages 13-18) spend an average of 9 hours each day on entertainment media use, excluding time spent at school or for homework, and tweens (ages 8-12) spend just under 6 hours per day. Even a majority of toddlers spend more than an hour each day in front of a digital screen. Yet despite its omnipresence, digital media's effects on childhood development, including cognitive, psychological, social, behavioral and physical developmental impacts, remain largely unknown. Parents today navigate unchartered waters on issues from cyberbullying to internet addiction, while experts are only beginning to ask, let alone answer, questions about the unintended consequences of our daily digital diet.

On Wednesday, November 1st, the organization Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, will host an interdisciplinary summit with pediatric media experts, researchers and policymakers on what we know, and what we still need to learn, about the relationship between kids and screens-while offering policy recommendations and practical guidelines for policymakers, clinicians, educators and parents. The discussion will be moderated by the editor of Washington Post's "On Parenting" section, Amy Joyce.

Panel discussion on children and screen time

Moderator: Amy Joyce, Editor, Washington Post's "On Parenting" 
Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, D.O., Founder and President, Children and Screens
Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH, Director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and  Development, Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute; Professor of  Pediatrics, University of Washington
Kathryn Montgomery, PhD, Founder, Center for Media Education; D
irector of Communications Studies, American University
Ellen Wartella, PhD, Professor of Communication, Northwestern University, Co-Principal Investigator, Children's Digital Media Center
Kaveri Subrahmanyam, PhD, Associate Director of the Children's Digital Media Center @ Los Angeles (UCLA/CSULA), Director of the Media and Language Lab at Cal State LA
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
9:30-10:30 AM (Refreshments at 9 AM, Networking and Q&A 10:30-11:30 AM)

National Press Club, 529 14th St., NW, 13th Floor  Washington, DC 20045  (Metro Center, 13th Street Exit)

For more information about the event Click Here or to connect with one of the speakers, contact
Dr. Pam Hurst-Della Pietra at 

Screens: Danger for the 0 to 4 year olds

Screens: danger for the 0 to 4 year olds
Screens: Danger for the 0 to 4 year olds

It is an epidemic: major disorders and new diseases appear in young children overexposed to screens: intellectual and motor developmental delays, agitation, aggression, Virtual Autism ...

Parents need to be given the correct advice, so that the child finds a normal development. This is a health emergency that the public authorities must seize now because the financial and human cost is incalculable.

The Common Sense Census 

Media Use by Kids Age Zero to Eight 2017

Babies and young children are accessing and viewing media in new ways now that the majority of American families have mobile and internet-connected devices at home. Smartphones, tablets, and other devices also present new challenges and opportunities for parents introducing media to their kids for the first time.

Combined with the data from the 2011 and 2013 reports, the 2017 Zero to Eight study gives us a clearer view of how young children's media use has evolved over time and provides a foundation for how we can use technology to support children's learning, play, and growth. Take a look at the infographic and read blog post for highlights.
Cris in the News

Raising Children in a virtual age.

Article in Winnipeg Free Press about Cris Rowan's upcoming workshops to be held in Winnipeg November 6th.  

Cris Rowan CTV Winnipeg Interview

September 21 CTV News interview with Cris Rowan.

Foundation Series Workshop Schedule
Nov. 6, 2017 Winnipeg, Manitoba
Full day workshop for professionals on impact of technology on child development sponsored by Alloway Therapy Services. 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Canad Inns Polo Park, Winnipeg, MB.
Contact person: Monique Gougeon MSW, 204-788-4100,

Nov. 6, 2017 Winnipeg, Manitoba
Evening workshop for parents on impact of technology on child development sponsored by Alloway Therapy Services. 6:30 to 8:30 pm Canad Inns Polo Park, Winnipeg, MB.
Contact person: Monique Gougeon MSW, 204-788-4100,

May 8, 2018 Winnipeg, Manitoba
Professional workshop on impact of technology on children sponsored by Healthy Baby Program, Healthy Child
Contact person:  Tamara Hes, 204-945-3610,

Other Workshops

Families Managing Media October 2017
The Screen Solution Workshops will leave you feeling equipped with the tools needed to help you reset your child's screen habits. From video games to smartphones, we'll show you how to make practical changes in your day-to-day life with proven strategies and replacement activities to establish a balanced screen use at different ages.

The Future of Happiness
5 Modern Strategies for Balancing Productivity and Well-Being in the Digital Era
By Amy Blankson

Technology, at least in theory, is improving our productivity, efficiency, and communication. The one thing it's not doing is making us happier. We are experiencing historically high levels of depression and dissatisfaction. 

But we can change that. 

Knowing that technology is here to stay and will continue to evolve in form and function, we need to know how to navigate the future to achieve a better balance between technology, productivity, and well-being. Technology can drive-not diminish-human happiness. 

Order the book at Amazon  here.   

Research and News Review
Childhood Development

By Kevin Jones for Tate Etc. issue 34: Summer 2015
Headteacher Kevin Jones has witnessed how art can change the lives of the children he teaches. Here, he argues why we need to listen to their views as well as give them a space for their imagination.  

Sitting around watching TV and not doing any physical activity as a young adult may be linked to lower brain functioning even earlier than scientists had thought, according to a 2015 study.

By Gretchen Reynolds, Globe & Mail October 17, 2017
A new study of mice finds that physical activity not only increases the number of new neurons in the brain, but it also subtly changes the shape and workings of these cells in way that might have implications for memory and even delay the onset of dementia.

CBC News October 9, 2017
Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may fidget, tap and swivel around in a chair much more than normally developing children because it helps them to learn complex material, psychologists have found.

By Lucas Ajanaku October 3, 2017
Experts say three critical factors for healthy physical and psychological child development are movement, touch and connection to other humans which the advent of technology has snapped.

Families Managing Media October 2017
Because transitions are the easiest times to give in to screen use, the key is to have a plan so the inevitable "screen conflict" won't ruin your evening.

By Marta M. Maslej, Benjamin M. Bolker, Marley J. Russell et al Published online September 14, 2017  DOI: 10.1159/000477940 

Social Media, Internet & Mobile Technology

By Alessia Santoro  October 13,  2017
No!! - this is so wrong on so many levels!

By Alessia Santoro October 13, 2017
Digital literacy is becoming natural to children before they can even speak, let alone read.

By Rachel Rabkin Peachman October 5, 2017
Mattel announced on Wednesday that it was cancelling plans to bring to market a smart device called Aristotle, which was aimed at children from infancy to adolescence and was set to hit stores in 2018. The decision came after child advocacy groups - including Cris Rowan and Zone'in, lawmakers and parents raised concerns about the impact the artificial intelligence device could have had on children's privacy, development and well-being.

By Richard E. Cytowic M.D. June 29, 2017
Too much exposure, especially in boys, may stunt social development.

Video Games & Pornography

By Zhou F, Montag C, Sariyska R, Lachmann B, et al October 23, 2017 doi: 10.1111/adb.12570.
Study started with cross-sectional and found less gray matter in video game addicts. Had a group of non-gamers take up video gaming. 6 weeks later they found less gray matter in the gaming addicts and the group that took up gaming.

By Steven Lee Myers and Amy Cheng Spetember 24, 2017 
Song Jie, a writer in central China, knows what she can and cannot write in the romance novels she publishes online.

By  Timothy J. Seppala October 18, 2017  
PlayStation's next step toward console-gaming domination is getting its gamepads in smaller hands.

Child & Youth Addictions
Palomar and Real Battle Ministries have partnered together, to give your teens the tools needed to survive the digital age and become the Christian leaders of tomorrow!

BBC News October 4, 2017 
Cam tells BBC Minute about the point he realised he needs to make a change, and how to spot the signs of video game addiction.

By Schneider Luke A, King Daniel L, Delfabbro Paul H. August 01, 2017 DOI: 10.1556/2006.6.2017.035
Familial influences are known to affect the likelihood of an adolescent becoming a problem gamer. This systematic review examined some of the key findings in empirical research on family factors related to adolescent problem gaming.

Education Technology
By Steven Sparkman and Sarah Schlieder October 19, 2017
Could the classic school field trip, with its buses and permission slips, ever give way to virtual reality headsets?

Families Managing Media October 2017
Neither one of them can remember much of what their teachers or classmates said in class, either. But they know everything that happened on Instagram during the school day. Something's missing here. Isn't all this technology supposed to enhance their learning?

Wireless Radiation

By Katie Singer October 22, 2017
Introductory-level resources for concerned citizens who want to get informed.
Zone'in Programs

Sedentary, neglected, isolated, and overstimulated, the new millennium child can no longer pay attention and learn. Zone'in Programs are designed by an occupational therapist to enhance child development and learning, ensuring successful futures.

Tech Talks for Therapists   - 5 hour training for educators and therapists; includes Tech Tool Kit.
Tech Talks for Families -  10 half hour sessions for families on tech management; includes Tech Tool Kit.
Zone'in - enhancing attention, learning and self-regulation.
Move'in - teaches children to print, the foundation for literacy.
Unplug'in  - builds skill and confidence in activities other than technology.
Live'in - media literacy guide for home, school and community.

Virtual Child - The terrifying truth about what technology is doing to children
Virtual Child
By Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist.
Virtual Child  documents the impact technology has had on the developing child, and proposes tools and techniques to manage balance between activities children need for growth and success with technology use.  

Need more info? Visit


About the Author
Cris Rowan is a pediatric occupational therapist committed to enhancing child health and academic performance. Well known activist, speaker, sensory specialist and author, Cris is the "Go To" expert on child learning, development and technology overuse. Cris has provided over 200 workshops for health and education professionals, and is currently developing the Creating Sustainable Futures Program for a First Nations Community.
Training & Consultation

Instructor training for Foundation Series Workshops places pediatric occupational therapists on the cutting edge as experts in the field of technology's impact on child development.

Zone'in Training

Innovative team-based approach to manage balance between activities children need to grow and succeed with technology use.

Cris Rowan is now offering private phone/Skype consultations. 

Care to Donate?
Zone'in Programs Inc. and Cris Rowan are seeking your support and assistance to ensure sustainable and productive futures for our children. Find out more about how you can help us!
Contact Us
6840 Seaview Rd. Sechelt BC V0N3A4 
Tel: 1-888-896-6346
Fax: 1-877-896-6346
© Zone'in Programs Inc. 2017