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Black Tie International:
Child Mind Institute 2017 Spring Luncheon
Actress Debra Messing attended the Child Mind Institute’s Spring Luncheon, a conversation with experts about parenting in the digital age moderated by Ali Wentworth, at 583 Park Avenue in Manhattan on May 16, 2017. Photo by:  Ann Billingsley/Child Mind Institute

Actress Debra Messing attended the Child Mind Institute’s Spring Luncheon, a conversation with experts about parenting in the digital age moderated by Ali Wentworth, at 583 Park Avenue in Manhattan on May 16, 2017.

Photo by: Ann Billingsley/Child Mind Institute

Photo by: Ann Billingsley/Child Mind Institute
 

Child Mind Institute Director of Programs David Anderson, PhD

 

Panel discussion spotlights the ways technology is changing family communication

 

 

New York, NY, May 18, 2016 – The Child Mind Institute hosted its 2017 Spring Luncheon on Tuesday, featuring a panel discussion about the changing role technology is playing in families and specifically how it alters communication.  The event was moderated by Ali Wentworth and featured Catherine Steiner-Adair, EdD, author of The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age and clinical psychologist and research associate at Harvard Medical School; and David Anderson, PhD, clinical psychologist and Senior Director, ADHD and Disruptive Behavior Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute

 

In introducing the program, Child Mind Institute President Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz said, “Our research program is expanding our knowledge of child and adolescent mental health disorders and breaking down barriers so we can have better treatments now, not ten years from now. Our clinicians are at the cutting-edge of their fields. Anyone who has brought a child to the Child Mind Institute knows that this is their calling. Since opening, we’ve seen 6,800 patients from 38 nations, 45 states and the District of Columbia, and we don’t turn anyone away for their family’s inability to pay.”

 

Technology is transforming the way we communicate with friends, colleagues and even with our own families. Screens now affect everything from the way our toddlers learn and develop to the way our teenagers connect with their peers, parents and the world.

 

“I think we are psychologically dependent on our phones at this point…we have a condition that resembles an addictive relationship to technology,” said Dr. Steiner-Adair. She noted that “we lose empathy” when we are texting, and that kids take risks and trust people who they should not trust on social media. “We are different when we are on these devices.” Dr. Steiner-Adair advised parents that “it’s important to learn to self-regulate” their own use of devices at home. “The way we behave sets the norms for them.” And, perhaps most importantly, they should avoid allowing their kids play on devices at the dinner table. “Kids learn empathy at dinner,” added Dr. Steiner-Adair. 

 

Panelists discussed how to reap the benefits of technology while reducing the risks it poses to children at each stage of development. Dr. Anderson suggested several parenting strategies and talked about the impact of technology on children with emotional and behavioral challenges.

 

It’s critical for parents to have discussions with their kids about the influx of information they are consuming, according to Dr. Anderson. “Talk to kids about what they’re seeing on Instagram, what they’re seeing on YouTube, watch their shows with them, play their video games with them, and really talk about the themes that are coming up,” said Dr. Anderson. “Ask questions that get to good discussions.”

 

The luncheon was co-chaired by members of the Child Mind Institute Board of Directors, Christine Mack, Valerie Mnuchin, Debra Perelman and Zibby Schwarzman and the host committee included Roxanne Bok, Ellen Cohen, Desiree Gruber, Tania Higgins, Eve and Ross Jaffe, Tammy Levine, Julie Minskoff, Eileen Riano and Sara Weiner.

 

The event was a part of the Child Mind Institute’s Speak Up for Kids campaign held each May to promote children’s mental health.   The campaign this year also expanded with the launch of the organization’s first ever #MyYoungerSelf social media initiative which has brought together over three dozen actors, professional athletes, fashion designers, authors, politicians, advocates and other influencers to share personal videos about the advice they would give their younger selves on how to persevere over a mental health or learning disorder.   These empowering messages help to eradicate stigma and show children struggling that there is a brighter future ahead.

 

About the Child Mind Institute

The Child Mind Institute is an independent national nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. Our teams work every day to deliver the highest standards of care, advance the science of the developing brain, and empower parents, professionals and policymakers with resources to support children when and where they need it most. Together with our supporters, we’re helping children reach their full potential in school and in life. We share all of our resources freely and do not accept any funding from the pharmaceutical industry. Learn more at childmind.org.

 

Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/Blacktiemagazine.com

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