The Big Disconnect: A Day with Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair

by added on 25 March 2016, No Comments on The Big Disconnect: A Day with Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair , posted in Blog
By Dr. Cecile Culp Mielenz, Director of Woodinville Family Preschool and Licensed Mental Health Counselor


Woodinville Family Preschool and the Attic Learning Community recently hosted Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair for a day of learning how to protect childhood and family relationships in the digital age. Teachers, parents, school officials, and psychologists gathered at Brightwater Education and Community Center for an insightful and meaningful experience. Following are some of the resources shared that are relevant for parents who are trying to navigate the electronic world of their children.

Screentime is Making Kids Moody, Crazy, and Lazy: 6 ways electronic screen time makes kids angry, depressed, and unmotivated. This article from Psychology Today alerts parents to symptoms that may indicate children are experiencing too much everyday screentime. Also contains links to research explaining why we need to be concerned about children’s use of screentime.

The Zone’in Fact Sheet reviews research regarding the impact of technology on child development, behavior, and academic performance. “Brain development research shows technology overuse by children results in…adversely affecting executive functioning and impulse control.” Possible health risk to children from EMF radiation discussed. Page 3 of this article includes a chart of Technology Use Guidelines for Children and Youth, which emphasizes absolutely no screens, including cell phones, for children birth through two years of age. An interesting recommendation is no handheld devices until children are 13; important to understand the research behind these recommendations in order to protect children’s brain development.

This site is a video of a presentation by Dr. Joann Deak on the latest research on brain development in the first five years of life, with implications for brain development in later years. Included is a pdf of slides from the presentation. Dr. Deak emphasizes the critical development of the sensorium in the early years; the young child’s brain grows through experiences that are visual, auditory, tactile, motor, and kinesthetic. Electronic devices do not provide these experiences in real-life, thus compromising brain development in young children.

Cyber-bullying is becoming more common at younger and younger ages. In this article from the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Steiner-Adair offers practical advice to parents of children accused of bullying.

Common sense media offers review and recommendations for current movies, games, television, books, apps, and websites for ages 2 through 17. The website contains a tab on Parent Concerns, which includes advice on cell phone parenting.

For more information on supporting your child’s healthy development, read Dr. Steiner-Adair’s book, The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age.