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Technology Apocalypse

When it comes to technology and the latest and greatest things, I am usually one of the last to know. I recently discovered a setting on my outdated iPhone that allows me to track my screen time and which apps I use the most. I am sure most of you have been aware of this for years. I was, however, needing to free up some space on my phone and was looking at which apps I do not need. When I saw some of the data, I began to think about my own use and screen exposure. When was the last time you tracked your own screen usage? Are these numbers that you would be proud to share? As a society, we have become dependent on our devices and we are modeling that dependence for the younger generation. I cannot remember a time that I have gone into a restaurant and seen a majority of the tables engaged in meaningful conversations. Instead, I see couples mindlessly scrolling through their phones while their children are playing games on their tablets and iPads. People are using screens as a technological pacifier for kids when they feel big emotions instead of demonstrating healthy ways of interaction and processing. My purpose is not to slam the use of these devices or to say that all technology is bad. However, like many things, technology usage needs to be done in moderation. I am simply here to deliver the facts to help you make informed decisions. I believe that technology has brought us many great things. We are able to accomplish more than ever before because of the efficiency. We have learned to communicate faster and stay connected because of the pure convenience. However, I cannot help but think that with every option we are given, the choice we make comes with a consequence. What is the consequence of our dependency on screens and technology? I recently attended a workshop for parents and clinicians that centered around raising mentally healthy children. One of the topics that was addressed is how girls are leading the statistics in anxiety. It was stated that one in every five girls struggle with anxiety. Anxiety is the primary mental health problem facing children and teens today and has been so for more than a decade.[1] Right now, it is estimated that 90% of kids ages 12-17 actively use social media, yet over 59% of those teens report harassment or bullying via social media. We are seeing a rising number in aggression and defiant behaviors in boys in our classrooms and school playgrounds. Boys are the leader of school statistics for discipline referrals and reported addictions. Today, 97% of all American children between the ages of 2 and 17 play video games. That is 64 million kids! While video game companies have made a significant profit off our children’s need for this fantasy world, there is a much greater cost. In Nicholas Kardaras’ book Glow Kids, he talks about the ways that technology affects our brains. He presents the evidence as follows, “Brain imaging research is showing that glowing screens-like those of iPads- are as stimulating to the brain’s pleasure center and as able to increase levels of dopamine (the primary feel-good neurotransmitter) as much as sex does. This brain-orgasm effect is what makes screens so addictive for adults, but even more so for children with still-developing brains that just aren’t equipped to handle that level of stimulation… Perhaps the most shocking of all, recent brain-imaging studies conclusively show that excessive screen exposure can neurologically damage a young person’s developing brain in the same way that cocaine addiction can.”[2] While some of these claims may be shocking, it is important to be able to see the truth. Studies have shown that video game communities and various social media platforms help bring people together and form relationships. As a person that uses relationships as a way to help people, I disagree. Instead, social media does a tremendous job of creating the comparison model for our young people. It leads them to believe that in order to matter they have to have the latest pair of shoes, go on exotic vacations, or even have a mental health diagnosis. Then when it comes to gaming, our young people are seeking satisfaction that is fed through the continuous addictive cycle of wanting more. People are allowed to live in this fantasy world where it feels good to pretend rather than having to face reality and the hard things that we must learn to overcome in life. Both outlets in technology create a false sense of connection and friendship that most children suffer from basic social skills and problem-solving skills as a result.[3] So, you may be asking, what about the creators of all this wonderful technology, how do they raise such healthy kids that understand how to limit themselves with screen time? Steve Jobs, known as the father of technology was asked about how much his children love the iPad. He simply replied that they do not have one. He then followed up how he and his wife limit how much technology they have in their home.[4] We can all control our homes, but what about our schools? Numerous school districts have given way to the new use of technology in the classroom and how it is better preparing students for the future. All that it is doing is giving our kids even more screen time. At my daughters’ elementary school, they have a block of time after lunch that they call “Tech Time”. Instead of going outside and playing for a short recess, kids get out their school distributed iPad and engage in a “learning app” of their choice. We have to do better! According to a 2011 New York Times article, the parents of Google, Apple, and Yahoo have enrolled their children in no-tech Waldorf schools in the Silicon Valley. Being experts on how to use technology, they are also aware of its dangers. So now that I have made you question every decision you have ever made as a parent, let’s talk about the solution. Will you be able to control and remove all screen exposure from the kids that you care about? No, that is simply not possible. What we do know about recovery from an addiction is that it has to be done progressively. So, for example if you have a child that spends 6-7 hours on a screen per day, work to reduce that by one hour a day. Understand that with most addictions, you might see some negative behaviors as a result. Your kids might yell, scream, cry, make threats of self-harm, or even become physical. Being prepared for this and making a plan for when your child feels overwhelmed with the disappointment ahead of cutting back technology time will give them the opportunity to build coping skills that they may not have been using. Some examples might be a physical activity: ripping up old cardboard boxes, using a punching bag, doing some guided deep breathing, or drawing. It is just important to be prepared that this process may not be all sunshine and rainbows. Next, you need to begin to consider some replacement activities. My mom always used to say to us that a bored child is a troubled child. Help your child explore some of the things that they are interested in outside of the tech world. Work together to find local resources in your community that feed what they care about. Your local library is a great place to start to look for free activities to get involved in. Most churches have youth groups that meet weekly and encourage healthy relationships. There are also traditional sports teams and dance classes that children enjoy. The community centers in Kansas City are a great place to start with beginner classes to see if your child enjoys a certain activity without having to invest or sign a long contract. It is a matter of just getting started somewhere, because now you know how to do better. While the task I lay in front of you is one that will take time and commitment as a family, it is one that I believe will make your life significantly better. There will be times where you think it would just give me 30 minutes of peace to get this done, but what if instead of thinking that way you thought of a way to be a better parent for the next 30 minutes. Could you involve the family in the task at hand? Could it be a chance to teach your child something? Could it be an opportunity to let your child be bored and find a way to use their creativity and brain power to fill that time. I wish what I was saying was a new discovery that would make me rich and famous, but I know that's not true. What I am saying is absolutely possible and could be just the piece that your family has been missing.


[1] Goff, S. (2019). Raising Worry-Free Girls (1st ed., p. 34). Bethany House. [2] Kardaras, N., Ph.D. (2016). Glow Kids (1st ed., pp. 3-4). St. Martin's Griffin. [3] Kardaras, N., Ph.D. (2016). Glow Kids (1st ed., pp. 94). St. Martin's Griffin. [4] Kardaras, N., Ph.D. (2016). Glow Kids (1st ed., pp.31). St. Martin's Griffin.



Last month we mailed a Spring Letter from Dr. Jon Thompson. Have you had a chance to read it?If not, here is a digital copy. Please take a few moments to hear from our Executive Director. Just click on the image to the right to view the whole letter. THANK YOU for partnering with us!


Christmas in July Raffle July 25, 2023 We are bringing the excitement and prizes of our annual Christmas Lottery to the summertime! Watch your inbox and our Facebook page for the details later this month. Each $100 raffle purchase will give you 15 chances to win amazing prizes! You won't want to miss it! If your business is interested in sponsoring our raffle (which includes hosting the live drawing at your business), please contact Naomi at 816.272.0653 or


Presented by Con Carpet Tile + Design Thursday, September 21, 2023 @ 7:30 AM Adams Pointe Golf Club, 1601 RD Mize Rd, Blue Springs, MO

Sponsorships and registrations are now open! Get your teams together, sign your company up for a sponsorship, and block the date on your calendar. All golf proceeds help provide affordable counseling to the families in our community. As a bonus, you know you’ll get an amazing lunch from Zarda and a killer swag bag!


  • Team Registration – 4 Person ($700)

  • Individual Team Registration ($175): Playing on a team but paying fees individually.

  • Individual Player Registration ($200): Individual golfer, not yet on a team. Will be placed on a team prior to event.


  • Presenting Sponsor ($15,000): Prominent logo placement on all event materials, welcome banner, and stand-alone sponsor banner; name included as presenter on all written materials; logo placed on gift bag; private speaking engagement with Dr. Jon Thompson; 2 foursomes included

  • Platinum Sponsor ($10,000): Prominent logo placement on all event materials & signage; exclusive logoed golfer gift item; 2 foursomes included

  • Gold Sponsor ($5,000): Exclusive logoed golfer gift item; prominent signage at event & logo on website; 1 foursome included

  • Silver Sponsor ($3,000): Logo placed on souvenir gift bag; logo on sponsor banner & website; 1 foursome included

  • Cart Sponsor ($1,000): Logo included on both beverage carts (2), cart corral area, and on sponsor banner

  • Premium Hole Sponsor ($250): Sign with logo at designated hole; option to handout giveaways at hole; ability to include promotional item in gift bag

To contact our Director of Development, Naomi Thompson, call: 816.272.0653 or email:


The months fly by so quickly, but we do not want want to miss the chance to acknowledge every one of you who have contributed to our mission to reach the individuals, children, and families in our community. We couldn’t do this important work without you. THANK YOU!

  • Thank you to each of you who contributed toward our 10th Anniversary Open House event! We are beyond grateful for your support – Mike & Amber Balbier, Jason & Val Schram, and Bruce & Carol Meador.

  • We are blessed by Dave & Rosie Bourland’s increase to their monthly donation. Thank you for your heart to help others. We are grateful for your partnership.

  • Thank you, Paul Crisafulli – Epic Insurance for your generosity. We are so honored by your belief in our work.

  • We launched our Independence In-School Program Match and have been so encouraged by the generosity of those who have invested in these students with us – Especially Jewelry, Tom & Debbie Reed, Butch & Karen Bellis, QuikTrip Corporation, Mitch & Jen Rappard, Teddy Koehler, and Linda Hartman. Thank you for joining with us to change lives!

  • We are happy to have John Neir, Central Bank of the Midwest, and Tom Reed join us for our 7th Annual Golf Classic. Thank you for your golf team registration.

To all of our faithful monthly and recurring supporters — THANK YOU from our Peace Partnership team! – Stone AMP SEO, Jeff & Lacey Cherry, Zane & Melissa Morerod, Mark McDonald, Jondy & Heather Britton, Matt & Kristy Newton, Clayton & Pam Wooldridge, Mark & Cathy McGaughey, Greg & Jennifer Spears, Roger & Jennifer Madsen, Brent & Amanda Miller, Mike & Jan McGraw, Willie & Adia Valdes, Linda Hartman, Dave & Rosie Bourland, Rudy & Stacy Blahnik, Mike & Tracy Pruitt, Sandra King, Diane Smith, Dan & Gigi Rippee, Andre & Rose Fantasma, Kevin Quinn, Scott & Lydia Hurley, Jon & Naomi Thompson, John & Keshia Otradovec, Tamara Stroud, Rick & Kathy Daulton, Church at Coffee Creek, John & Vicki Hefner, Cory & Leslie Young, Jenny Glasgow, Teddy Koehler, Brandon & Vanessa Blanchard, and Rick & Jan Britton. We appreciate each and every one of you!

Our Open House was a huge success! Thank you to each of you who took time out of your day to come and celebrate our 10th Anniversary. It was such a pleasure seeing, meeting, chatting, and eating with all of you. You have made our work possible.

A huge thank you to Kathleen Moore, Briana Collins, Don & Linda Pearce, John & Kimberly Shrader, Marci Crain, Jill Getman, Mitch & Jen Rappard, Phillip Tanner, Jacob Schweizer, Kevin Cohan, Devyn Horsley, Tom & Debbie Reed, Darrell & Judy Brammer, Dave & Rosie Bourland, Ron & Lynda Rogacki, Tom & Georgiann Manz, Charles & Arletta McCrary, Pam Wooldridge, Andre & Rose Fantasma, Sandra King, Roger Lantz, Rene Fracassa, Mike & Heather Morgan, Erin Dunn, Jeane Fracassa, Lee & Debbie Miller, Lorie Rookstool, Doris Sandefur, Stan & Deb Oglesby, Lance & Mandi Pollard, Nadira Shabazz, Hannah Copenhaver, Jay & Ronnee Schweizer, Demi Raveill, Jason & Val Schram, Grace & Kent Shader, Nathaniel Johnson, John & Kelly Whitwood, and Mike & Tracy Pruitt for your raffle purchases!

Are there ways that you see yourself partnering with us? Contact our Director of Development, Naomi Thompson, at: 816.272.0653 or to find out how you can join our team of Partners. To make a donation through our website, please click on the link below.


Independence Rotary 2024 Mardi Gras Gala Nomination

Peace Partnership has been nominated to be the recipient for the Independence Rotary Mardi Gras Gala in February 2024. If chosen, this fundraiser would be an amazing opportunity to boost our In-School Counseling partnership and grow the number of students we can help in the Independence School District. If you live, work, or do business in Independence, would you consider committing to sponsor this gala for us? Do you know someone in Independence you could introduce to us who would be interested in supporting us in this endeavor? Please contact Naomi for more information or to make an introduction: 816.272.0653 or


Have you or someone you know been helped by Peace Partnership or Genesis Counseling? If so, would you please consider paying it forward to help another find healing along their journey? We are asking anyone who is not currently partnering with us financially to consider donating $100/year for the next 3 years to help make a difference in someone else’s life. Collectively, we can help SO MANY PEOPLE! Please consider a gift today. Call the office for help getting your gift set up or choose a recurring donation on our website here. We are so grateful for your help changing lives!

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