Futures at Risk: The Adults We're Raising Now

Strong bonds with parents/guardians form the bedrock of a child’s optimal development. Bonds with adults who are engaged, nurturing, fair, encourage the best in their child, and understand how to create an environment that supports their optimal development.  The positive and negative outcomes associated with the presence or lack of this pivotal relationship are addressed on the Impact Page entitled “On Individuals.”  In addition to those basics –

The impact of the “third parent” (overuse of screen devices without adult involvement) has a perilous effect on the well-being of our children and their futures.

Wide-ranging research on the unsupervised overuse of screens demonstrates:

  • Dramatic increases in anxiety and depression, and decreases in overall mental health.

  • Increased emotionality and decreased ability to reason.

  • Reduced cognitive function and the type of focus and self-regulation required for learning.

As the below samples of current research and thinking demonstrate, these outcomes, when unaddressed, carry into adulthood.  They impact our children’s future health, happiness, and ability to contribute to the world around them. 

Then we all lose

Landmark 20-year Longitudinal Study
of 1,420 Youth Ages 10 – 24 Confirms That:

“… depression in childhood or adolescence is associated with:

*  higher levels of adult anxiety and substance use disorders

*  worse health and social functioning

*  less financial and educational achievement

*  increased criminality.”

  • Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
    Science Daily, June 2021

“There will be a bifurcation among children who grow up to be adults who have their attention and time manipulated and controlled by others, and people who stand up and say: “No, I control my attention and my life.”  The world our children will inhabit will be filled with more and more distractions as the trend of increasingly pervasive and persuasive technology continues.  So, it is absolutely imperative that we teach our children how to be indistractible. This is truly the skill of the century".

  • Nir Eyal,  Best Selling Author of Indistractable:  How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life.

"In a world where distractions abound … learning how to become less distractible is an essential and timeless skill for success in education, as well as many other facets of life."

  • Professor Shelly J. Schmidt, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign., Fellow in U. of I.'s Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning