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phone down friday

Affluence Distraction Disorder (ADD)

Dr. Charles Fay


Too Much Stuff Leads to Too Little Motivation. Too little Relationship

Prior to the 1950s most American children grew up without many of the things they wanted. Because of this, most imagined what it might be like to someday struggle above their meager circumstances and “arrive” at a more comfortable standard of living. Getting a good education was seen as the primary vehicle for attaining this dream. Over the last several decades, the amount of unneeded stuff possessed by many American children has dramatically squelched this dreaming process. There’s no need to dream or work toward things you already have.

In my book, From Bad Grades to a Great Life!, I share the most important things we can do to prevent Affluence Distraction Disorder:

  • Spend as much time as possible with our kids.
  • Play with them.
  • Listen to them.
  • Comfort them when they are hurting.
  • Rejoice with them when they are glad.
  • Enjoy them with all of our hearts.
  • Teach them to spend less than they make.
  • Show them how to base their happiness on relationships not retail goods.

And the most impactful suggestion we could make:

Spend less time looking at screens and more time looking at faces!

We are pleased to perpetuate an idea called Phone Down Friday – designating a day in which we are extra intentional about putting our devices away and committing to more face-to-face interaction.

When children have parents who give the greatest gifts… their love and their time… their focused attention, kids receive something much more valuable than lots of expensive stuff.    


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