The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age

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Computers, smartphones, digital tablets, e-readers and the Internet have taken over in our homes and altered how families communicate with each other. According to a 2010 Kaiser Family Report, kids between 8 and 18 spend more time on their electronic devices than on any other activity besides (maybe) sleeping — an average of seven and a half hours a day. Their love affair with tech is often mirrored by their parents, who are missing in action while carrying on cellphone conversations, texting or sorting through emails.

Catherine Steiner-Adair, an internationally recognized clinical psychologist, consultant and educator, is convinced that “the digitalized life we now take for granted is taking a far greater toll on family cohesion and childhood itself than we imagine.” Her book, written with Teresa H. Barker, is highly recommended for plugged-in parents who want to find creative ways of handling family life when everybody is immersed in the digital world (HarperCollins).


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