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Arousal Addictions - The final frontier for families


By Cris Rowan 


Working with families who overuse or are addicted to technology, has been an eye opener into a world of child deprivation, isolation, and neglect. Mom's obsessed with Facebook, and Pinterest, and Dad's immersed in video games and porn, are leaving children on their own to fend for themselves. Seemingly safe and happy hiding behind screens, today's tech families are actually sliding down a slippery slope toward addictions without a care in the world. Thinking they are preparing their young child for the future by handing them a device, today's parents appear oblivious to the damage their deprivation and neglect wreaks on their children.


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Cris In The News




Cris will be interviewed on WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, a daily call-in show from Connecticut Public Radio in Hartford on Tuesday August 5, 2014 from 1 - 2 p.m. EST.

The subject to de discussed is "How technology has influenced childhood brain development, particularly with regard to creativity and imagination?"




Look for Cris in future editions of GrowGreat Magazine which introduces effective parenting tools and techniques to help children develop into productive, happy people. 




Cris is featured in Green Mama: Giving Your Child a Healthy Start and a Greener Future by Manda Aufochs Gillespie (see book section below for more details).


Foundation Series Workshop Schedule
August 24, 2014 - Kelowna, BC
Workshop for professionals sponsored by Early Learning, Literacy CMOS & UBCO, SD No. 23 

Contact person: Donna Kozak 250-718-5332


September 13, 2014 - Dawson Creek BC

Workshop on the impact of technology on children sponsored by South Peace Child Care Resource and Referral.

Contact person: Katherin Charbonneau 1-866-782-1138 ext 221


September 19, 20, 2014 - Hong Kong, China

Workshops on impact of technology on corporate productivity and family life sponsored by the Young Presidents Organization.

Contact Person: Timothy Wong 


October 1, 2014 - Vancouver, BC

Workshop on the impact of technology on children sponsored by Gatehouse Montessori School

Contact Person: Gretchen van Nostrand 604-925-1437


October 8, 2014 - Vancouver, BC

Workshop for health professionals presented at CHA BC Annual Meeting and Training Session.

Contact Person: Joanne Tardiff 1-250-503-1123


October 16, 2014 - Roberts Creek, BC

Workshop on the impact of technology on children sponsored by Sun Haven Waldorf School

Contact Person: Sari Cormack 604-741-0949


November 16, 2014 - Squamish, BC

Workshop on the impact of technology on children sponsored by Quest University

Contact person: Luce Melancon 1-888-883-7808


February 5, 6, 2015 - Rivers Inlet, BC

Workshops on self-regulation, literacy, technology balance, and attachment, sponsored by Vancouver Coastal Health grant

Contact person: Kevin Gianakos 1-250-949-8881


March 6, 2015 - Vancouver, BC

Workshop on school design for success sponsored by Cross Currents Special Education Conference

Contact person: Mary Berg 


Research and News Review


Addiction & Rehab


A Day at the First Video Game Rehab Clinic in the US 

By Jagger Gravning June 18, 2014

Heavensfield, the name of the five acre, ranch-like estate home to Dr. Hilarie Cash's reSTART, the first in-patient treatment facility devoted exclusively to video game and internet addiction.

The young men who come here, often at the behest of their families, for video game addiction as a primary issue often wind up needing to be treated for porn addiction as a secondary issue. In fact, video game addicts are screened when they arrive at reSTART to determine whether porn addiction is actually the primary problem. The two maladies are linked, not only because you can access them both, video games and naked women, through your computer, but also in how they stimulate and sometimes entrap the brain.


Brain Structure and Functional Connectivity Associated With Pornography Consumption
The Brain on Porn
By Simone Kühn, PhD; Jürgen Gallinat, PhD JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(7):827-834. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.93.

Results: We found a significant negative association between reported pornography hours per week and gray matter volume in the right caudate as well as with functional activity during a sexual cue-reactivity paradigm in the left putamen. Functional connectivity of the right caudate to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was negatively associated with hours of pornography consumption. 


Detox & Unplugging


Social Media's Vampires: They Text by Night

Vamping Teenagers Are Up All Night Texting

By Laura M Holson July 3, 2014 New York Times 

Owen Lanahan's parents demand that his cellphone be stored in the kitchen by 10 p.m., but sometimes he sneaks it into his bedroom. That's because he considers late-night hours his "me" time. Does his mother get upset? "Yeah," he said. "She asks me to go to bed at 10 p.m. If the lights are on she comes in two or three times." 

Ms. Lanahan, Owen's mother, said she once got up in the middle of the night for a glass of water and noticed that her son's laptop was missing from the hallway bench. That was the first time she found her son in bed, the sheets pitched like a tent, with his laptop and some music equipment. She even bought Owen an old-style Timex clock so he wouldn't use his cellphone as an alarm.

"All parents are struggling with this," Ms. Lanahan said.


Zack Morris on Tech Etiquette

By David Ryan Polgar

"See, that's the problem. You're always on that stupid phone." -Zack Morris

We all know his brick-phone, but we may have forgotten Zack's guidance on Bayside to put down our phones and connect.


An iPhone app that keeps you off your iPhone 

July 14, 2014 on

Pop quiz: iPhones or hugs? 

The apps like a really firm bartender who will totally cut you off.
Need a little more convincing? Consider this factoid: The average American checks her phone 150 times a day. That's more than we've hugged our loved ones in the past month.


Disconnect to Connect

By Christine Gross-Loh July 4, 2014 for

Last month we returned to Japan, where we used to live, for the summer. After so many months being constantly online, I was in for a shock. Here, I can only use my phone with wi-fi service, and we only have wi-fi in one room of our home. Even there, the signal is spotty. Random email checks, text messages, checking Twitter or FB, looking up a recipe online, or making a Skype call can't ever be done instantly. They now take patience and effort and are sometimes even simply impossible.


Human Trafficking


Children Allegedly Sold By Parents To Buy In-Game Virtual Items 

By Daniel George July 15, 2014 for

It goes to show that extreme video game addiction to the point of child neglect is not strictly a North American concept; it's a terrible atrocity committed around the world. Sina Games has reported that a couple in China have been accused of selling two of their children to human traffickers, with the intent to use their money for gaming. 


Social Media & Mobile Technology


The Third Wheel: The Impact of Twitter Use on Relationship Infidelity and Divorce

Clayton Russell B. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. July 2014, 17(7): 425-430. doi:10.1089/cyber.2013.0570. Published in Volume: 17 Issue 7: July 3, 2014

The purpose of this study was to examine how social networking site (SNS) use, specifically Twitter use, influences negative interpersonal relationship outcomes. This study specifically examined the mediational effect of Twitter-related conflict on the relationship between active Twitter use and negative relationship outcomes, and how this mechanism may be contingent on the length of the romantic relationship.


B.C. kids under-reporting cyberbullying, survey says 

By Elaine O'Connor July 11, 2014 in The Province
90% of parents surveyed thought their kids would tell them if they were cyberbullied, yet only 8% of youth do so.


Think your teen is just sexting?
By Rob Goodier July 3, 2014 in The Globe and Mail
Youth who sent or received sexually explicit photos or text messages, were 3-7 times more likely to be sexually active, and 30% said the last time they had sex, it was unprotected. 

U.K. researchers to study whether cellphones affect brain development 
By Kate Kelland May 20, 2014

British researchers are launching the largest study in the world to investigate whether using mobile phones and other wireless gadgets might affect children's brain development. 


Educational Technology


Tech CEOs Request Billions For School Wi-Fi
Blake Neff July 8, 2014 for Daily Caller News Foundation.

A group of tech leaders is urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to spend billions expanding access to wireless Internet in the nation's schools and libraries.

The group of 41 leaders, which includes Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Star Wars director George Lucas sent a letter to the FCC on Monday encouraging them to ratify a proposed plan by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that would allocate $5 billion to expand the government's E-Rate program to put Wi-Fi in as many schools as possible.

Some groups say the entire endeavor is misguided, however.

"Expanding the E-Rate Program, spending more money on technology, will almost certainly have very little if any effect on educational outcomes," Neal McCluskey, an education analyst with the Cato Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.


Step Away From The Keyboard: How Our Hands Affect Our Brains 

Does it matter whether you type, print, or write in cursive?
By Nancy Darling July 4, 2014 for 

One of the advantages of moving away from the keyboard and doing something that requires greater flexibility in how we use our hands is that it also requires greater flexibility in how we use our brains.  This, in turn, requires our brains to develop in new ways. 


Texting helps, not hinders children's grammar and spelling, study says 

Compiled by Nicole Shepard June 28, 2014

Children and teenagers using "text speak" while texting score higher on spelling and grammar tests than those who don't, a study says.


Why you should take notes by hand - not on a laptop 

By Joseph Stromberg June 4, 2014

Walk into a college lecture these days and you'll see legions of students sitting behind glowing screens, pecking away at keyboards.

It's not just because internet-connected laptops are so distracting. It's because even if students aren't distracted, the act of taking notes on a computer actually seems to interfere with their ability to remember information.


Refuse to Use Movement

Refuse to Use is a world-wide Movement by responsible and futuristic thinking parents and teachers to ban all school-based technology for children under 12 years of age, and bring back tried and true methods of teaching.


Tools & Techniques


The Billy Goats Gruff in My Living Room

By Stephen Spitalny July 12, 2014 for Chamakanda Blogs

Stories can be powerful tools for teaching, healing and transformation. When there is a behavior in your young child that you would like to see changed, an effective tool can be a story that portrays the challenge and an outcome you'd like to see.


Increase strength and mood 

By Erik Peper June 22, 2014 for

Body posture is part of our nonverbal communication; it sometimes projects how we feel. We may collapse when we receive bad news or jump up with joy when we achieve our goal. More and more we sit collapsed for many hours with our spine in flexion. We crane our heads forward to read text messages, a tablet, a computer screen or watch TV. Our bodies collapse when we think hopeless, helpless, powerless thoughts, or when we are exhausted. We tend to slouch and feel "down" when depressed.  




This Is The Personality Trait That Most Often Predicts Success  

By Drake Baer April 30, 2014

The only major personality trait that consistently leads to success is conscientiousness.

"It's emerging as one of the primary dimensions of successful functioning across the lifespan," Paul Tough writes in "How Children Succeed" "It really goes cradle to grave in terms of how people do." 


The sleep diet - try it, it really works!
By Drs. Oz And Roizen July 11, 2014 in The Province
70% of school aged kids get eight or less hours of sleep a night, while they need several hours more. Guess what they are doing instead of sleeping?


Transit Police eye mental-health strategy
By Frank Luba July 15, 2014 in The Province
Over the past one year, B.C. Transit Police report a 20% increase in calls regarding problems related to persons with mental health issues. Problems cited were in the Disturbed Person or Attempted Suicide categories.




Chamakanda Blogs

Explore the world of the young child with writer, speaker and consultant Stephen Spitalny. Steve was a kindergarten teacher at the Santa Cruz Waldorf School for 24 years and is a former member of the Board of WECAN (Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America). His book "Connecting with Young Children: Educating the Will" was published in 2012. Steve now offers workshops, coaching and mentoring in the U.S. and around the world.


Fearless Parent

Fearless Parent is informed by the trends of our time: desire for scientific integrity, deep respect for nature, love and compassion, simplicity, vulnerability and authenticity, passionate activism, and a clear-eyed understanding about business, economics, and politics.


YouTube channel to help Moms balancing technology with childhood.

Great website and resources for parents of infants and toddlers, who want to learn more about the importance of physical and sensory experiences in the early years.

Check out The Children's Mental Health Learning Series, funded by The Government of Alberta, recently broadcasted its eighth session. The sessions posted are:
  • The Core Story of Child Development
  • From Youth at Risk to Kids at Hope
  • Healing the Traumatized Parent and Child
  • Resilience in ADHD: Promoting the Positives in Challenging Children
  • Vicarious Trauma for Front-Line Service Providers and Parents
  • Creating Healthy Relationships and Settings to Prevent Peer Bullying and Victimization
  • Ameliorating psycho-social risk among mothers with intellectual disabilities and their children
  • Baby Steps and Giant Leaps: Infant Preschool Mental Health


Green Mama: Giving Your Child a Healthy Start and a Greener Future
by Manda Aufochs Gillespie

What are the most pressing problems facing new parents today? As the world has become increasingly more complicated, so has parenting. We are concerned about pervasive toxins in the environment and anxious to raise our children in ways that will protect them as well as safeguard our already fragile world.


Manda Aufochs Gillespie, The Green Mama, shares what today's science and Grandma's traditional wisdom tell us about prenatal care for mothers-to-be, breastfeeding, detoxifying the nursery, diapering, caring for baby's skin, feeding a family, and healthy play - redefining the "basics" of parenting for today's world. With an upbeat tone, stories of parents who have "been there," real-world advice for when money matters more, and practical steps geared toward immediate success, Green Mama engages and guides even the busiest, most sleep-deprived parent.


The Green Mama helps parents become what they were always meant to be: experts on the care of their own children. 

Features Cris Rowan and Virtual Child - The terrifying truth about what technology is doing to children.




Creative Discipline Support Circle in Santa Cruz, CA

Facilitated by Steve Spitalny  


Weekly 2 hour sessions for 4 weeks


Wednesdays July 30, August 6, 13, 20 from 7:00 - 9:00pm


Location in Santa Cruz to be announced


Learn how to develop a communication style that makes for fewer conflicts and easier resolution in your interactions with young children. The basic theme is discovering how to truly connect with young children.


Zone'in Products

Sedentary, neglected, isolated, and overstimulated, the new millennium child can no longer pay attention and learn. Zone'in Products are designed by an occupational therapist to enhance child development and learning, ensuring successful futures.


Zone'in - enhancing attention, learning and self-regulation.

Move'in - teaches children to print, the foundation for literacy.

Unplug'in - builds skill and confidence in activities other than technology.

Live'in - media literacy guide for home, school and community.


Product Preview  


Virtual Child - The terrifying truth about what technology is doing to children

Virtual Child

By Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist.

Virtual Child documents the impact technology has had on the developing child, and proposes tools and techniques to manage balance between activities children need for growth and success with technology use. 

Need more info? Visit


About the Author
Cris Rowan is a pediatric occupational therapist committed to enhancing child health and academic performance. Well known activist, speaker, sensory specialist and author, Cris is the "Go To" expert on child learning, development and technology overuse. Cris has provided over 200 workshops for health and education professionals, and is currently developing the Creating Sustainable Futures Program for a First Nations Community.
Training & Consultation

Instructor training for Foundation Series Workshops places pediatric occupational therapists on the cutting edge as experts in the field of technology's impact on child development.

Zone'in Training

Innovative team-based approach to manage balance between activities children need to grow and succeed with technology use.

Cris Rowan is now offering private phone/Skype consultations. 

Care to Donate?
Zone'in Programs Inc. and Cris Rowan are seeking your support and assistance to ensure sustainable and productive futures for our children. Find out more about how you can help us!
Contact Us
6840 Seaview Rd. Sechelt BC V0N3A4 
Tel: 1-888-896-6346
Fax: 1-877-896-6346
© Zone'in Programs Inc. 2014