Affluence Distraction Disorder (ADD)

Affluence Distraction Disorder (ADD)

Too Much Stuff Leads to Too Little Motivation and Too Little Relationship

Prior to the 1950s, most children grew up without many of the things they wanted. Because of this, they 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 six decades, the amount of unneeded stuff possessed by many children has dramatically squelched this dreaming process. There’s no need for kids to dream or work toward things they already have or can get immediately simply by asking.

In my book, From Bad Grades to a Great Life!, I share the most important things we can do to prevent Affluence Distraction Disorder. Here are some of the ideas from the book:

  • 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 can make is:

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

We suggest that families agree to set aside days periodically when everyone in the family will be extra intentional about putting away electronic devices and committing to more face-to-face interaction.

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


Thanks for reading!

Dr. Charles Fay

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