0:00:03 – Speaker 1
Hey, this is Mandy and Kim with nextTalk, where we are passionate about keeping kids safe in the digital world.
0:00:09 – Speaker 2
Did you know? we have tens of thousands of listeners in 60 countries. It’s truly amazing, crazy. only God And, as a non-profit, everything we do at nextTalk is supported by people just like you.
0:00:21 – Speaker 1
Be a part of changing the culture of conversation in your home and around the globe by making a donation today.
0:00:28 – Speaker 2
Go to nextTalk.org and click on Give and check out our resources while you’re there.
0:00:32 – Speaker 1
More than cyber parenting conversations to connect Screen addiction. It’s a totally new thing. It’s a new thing. I mean, our parents had to worry about drug and alcohol addiction and of course, we still have to worry about those things today as well. But we have a new thing added to the whole mess right in this addiction category, And that is screen addiction. People call this different things, So we kind of use the phrase screen addiction around here at nextTalk. I’ve seen some neurologists call it screen dependency disorder. It’s been referred to as gaming disorder. The World Health Organization has referred to it as a gaming disorder, And so there’s all sorts of different definitions or names given to it. But I think we all kind of know what it is. We just have an unhealthy balance with screens and technology.
0:01:27 – Speaker 2
Yeah, and it could be. you know, gaming, social media, that compulsion of needing to look, play, scroll any of those things on some type of screen.
0:01:38 – Speaker 1
Absolutely, And you know, I think this is going to continue to evolve as technology evolves And as we learn new things in research. I think they’ll start to call it different things. But we wanted to address it here because right now we’re dealing with it in the here and now And a lot of us find ourselves especially, I think, after COVID, when we were on screens way more trying to get back to a healthier balance with them. I know my family struggles with that. You know we’ve created some unhealthy habits during the pandemic.
0:02:07 – Speaker 2
Yeah, I mean, a lot of it was born out of necessity, with schooling and work having to be in front of a screen more than ever. But finding that balance it’s hard. And it’s hard to have these tough conversations because sometimes we feel called out or uncomfortable or it’s just not an easy topic. But it’s one we need to pay attention to because I’ve heard many scientists and people just kind of say off the cuff like our kids and our generation are like the guinea pigs of the screens, because we don’t have a lot of long term data and we don’t know the long term effects like we do with some other things like smoking and alcohol. So it’s important that we take notice and talk about it with our families.
0:02:48 – Speaker 1
Well, and I think for parents, you know, we’re on the front lines, we see our kids and we see what it does to our kids being on social media and gaming a lot. We see their changes in attitude and behavior, and so all of us are kind of aware that it’s doing something to our kids And so we need to take note of that. You know. The first thing I want to say, kim, is this we call it screen addiction, but I want to be very careful about using that word. Addiction. That’s a really big word and it’s a label and we certainly don’t want to say to our kids you know, when they’re four and five, you got a screen addiction, you know, and put that label on them. Yes, we’re calling it screen addiction, but please don’t put that label on your kids.
0:03:32 – Speaker 2
We have to kind of be clear about what we mean in the sense that do you struggle, do your screens have a stronghold, and then do you have an addiction, like it’s progressive, and I think that’s really important to see it in that way.
0:03:45 – Speaker 1
Well, and this is something that I’ve just kind of developed in my mommy mind as I’ve watched my kids and their history with screens. You know I’ve been in this eight years now and so I’ve kind of seen the ups and downs of it. One of the things that I tell my kids is that, first tier, the struggle, we all have that, like I have, that All of us. This is a whole new life for us to carry around a computer in our back pocket that we literally do everything on right. I mean we it’s. I don’t know how people survive in life without a phone because we do everything on it right. So I think we all have a little bit of a struggle of finding that healthy balance. I know for me work never shuts down. I have to be very intentional about saying I’m not going to respond to work stuff right now.
0:04:30 – Speaker 2
Yeah Well, and then there’s like social media, the ding and the pull of what’s happening. what’s next? you know who’s done what. that can really be a struggle for people, and if it’s accessible in your back pocket and you’re always hearing it or seeing it, it’s hard to step away.
0:04:46 – Speaker 1
Yeah, so that first tier of struggle and I talked to my kids about like we all kind of are in that tier because we’re all as the world trying to figure it out together. But then when I see them spiraling, or myself spiraling, or being on screens more than normal, or attitude being affected or anger outburst because of screen use, then that’s when we start having conversations about what I call like the mid level. And it’s so funny because when I say mid now, that’s like a slang that my kids are using. Like if we go out to a restaurant and they don’t love it but they don’t hate it, hate it, my daughter will be like that’s kind of me. So anytime I say mid now, i think about that. Anyway, that’s just a little tidbit, that’s just a little extra.
0:05:28 – Speaker 2
No, well, thank you for that. I’ll put that in my back pocket next to my cell phone for some slang, teenage slang that’s going around right now.
0:05:35 – Speaker 1
Anyway, this mid category, i think that makes sense.
0:05:38 – Speaker 2
I just want to say that, like some of the slang, you’re like what But that?
0:05:42 – Speaker 1
0:05:43 – Speaker 2
It’s so funny.
0:05:44 – Speaker 1
My husband tries to be cool, you know, and I do see we do this just to kind of annoy our kids, but when they’re starting to use a new sling word or whatever like the other night we were eating these cookies and I was like, oh, these are so good. And my husband’s like mid And my kids just like crack up at him, you know, because he’s just trying to be cool. We’re just trying to fit in and be cool. Anyway, we’re way off. Okay, so this mid category is do your screens have a stronghold? and that’s kind of when I see one of us spiraling and getting an unhealthy balance, i’ll say, oh my gosh, we’ve moved to a different tier and we need to go back to where. Yeah, we may struggle a little and we’re figuring it out, but we’re not. Our attitudes not changing, our relationships aren’t changing. You know, something’s not majorly off here And honestly, i think most of the world moved into this mid category during the pandemic.
0:06:37 – Speaker 2
I agree, and I think most of us are still there.
0:06:41 – Speaker 1
Amen, amen, sister, amen. Okay, but you know what The daylight savings time is helping with that, i think. for my family, you know, since we’ve switched over, it’s lighter more, So we’ve been getting out after dinner and doing things outside, and to me that has made a world of difference. It’s helping over here.
So, anyway, that mid the stronghold, i think that’s where most kids are who are struggling, but they’ve had no direction on how to handle screens, and so what I like to say to my kids is we need to get a handle on this before it would turn into an addiction. So that way I save that addiction word for crisis mode for something that is totally okay. We have a full blown issue here, and I think that’s really helped my kids, not just throwing a label on them like you’re so addicted to your screens. I think that’s actually helped them realize okay, i’m struggling a bit, but I can get a handle on it, and I’ve seen it throughout this past eight years. I’ve seen them go into the different phases of one and two and what I, how I envision it in my mind and these levels.
0:07:50 – Speaker 2
Well, and that helps them to to, like you said, when the word addiction is used, like it’s an alert for them in their mind like, oh, this is really serious, because if we throw those words around just like other times we’ve talked about on shows, words that we overuse, like bullying and and things like that then they lose their their strength and they lose their impact And they just become kind of social norms that don’t urge us into some action. And so I think it’s real important that we recognize that this is one of those words we need to use carefully, absolutely.
0:08:24 – Speaker 1
But you know, one of the things that I do talk to my kids about, like when they’re in a stronghold situation so they’re in that middle level category and I can tell they’re kind of struggling Or me we’ll talk about we have to be so careful because in an addiction I’ll give them examples of what that may look like.
So I’ll say and this is research I did for for my first book, but also, you know, some college kids are going away to college and mom and dad aren’t there to tell them to shut the screens off and they’re flunking out of college. They can’t self regulate on their own, And so that’s an addiction that has a stronghold that went unchecked. Or or maybe it’s a 40 year old dad who comes home from work every day and ignores his family and games all night, Like that’s a. That’s a full fledged addiction and it started probably with a struggle And then it moved into a stronghold and nobody saw the red flags to help get that under control. And now we have an adult who struggles, And so I’m not trying to pick on you, but I’m trying to see the red flags so we can get this under control, because I don’t want you to struggle with an addiction in the future. And so again, I’m explaining my why.
This is why I’m up all in your business and why this matters to me, kind of thing, you know Yeah no, absolutely.
0:09:47 – Speaker 2
It’s important for them to understand that it’s not just about now, but it’s in the long run. This is building healthy habits, so that you can be healthy and know how to manage yourself when you’re no longer under our roof And that applies to so many things that we talk about. But it’s such an important step, especially with screens, because it will always be a part of their life.
0:10:07 – Speaker 1
Absolutely. The other thing is, kim, that I think we need to talk about in this conversation is how are you defining screen time? And in our family It has changed a little bit over the years. I’ll just be honest. When my kids were first starting on screens, anytime they would play a game or whatever it was counted as screen time. Now, as they’ve gotten older, it looks so different as to what they’re doing online.
So what I mean by that is when my son is on Fortnite playing and my son’s a big gamer. I talk about this in talk and this was several years ago when I wrote it. He’s 14 now. He’s still a big gamer. He will get on Fortnite and he will be with all his friends from school playing on Fortnite And I can hear them and in between the games they’re talking about science or they’re talking about their homework or they’re talking about whatever. So even though he’s on a screen at that moment, right, i don’t get overly concerned about that type of screen time versus the type of screen time that really just sends me like I’m like I have to keep an eye on this is when they are all by themselves.
So my son is all by himself playing. Maybe it’s Madden, maybe it’s Fortnite, and he’s not talking to anybody, he’s just focused on that game. Focused on that game. Or when my daughter is on social media and she’s just scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, she’s curled up in a ball on the couch, scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. It’s not that I don’t let them do that I do, but if I see them doing it too long and not self-regulating it on their own, i kind of have to jump in on that and be like, hey, we need to get moving. Or if you wanna FaceTime your friends, you can, but we need to stop scrolling on social media, kind of thing.
0:11:55 – Speaker 2
Yeah, it is definitely important to look at the different types of screen involvement. So, like in our family, of course, if you have little ones it starts with TV, and even the pediatrician will tell you you need to limit their screen time, even just on a TV or tablet watching cartoons. But that adjusts over time and so under our roof we have all different types of screens at this point because of the ages of our kids. So screen time with family if we’re watching a movie together or we’re doing something altogether, is different than solo screen time, and that’s how we differentiate it in our house. We have solo screen time, then family or friend time, kind of like what you’re saying, and that doesn’t count. Like if we’re gonna watch a movie, we’re talking, we’re laughing, we’re snuggling, we’re spending time together. I don’t count that towards their screen time. Kind of like what you’re saying with the gaming Same over here.
If my kids are gaming all together, which they like to do, or they have friends over or they’re online, that’s a little different because that’s their version of a play date. It’s like a social time that happens to involve a screen, and so those I definitely look at differently than, like you’re saying, when they’re by themselves, and so I try to give them a little bit of grace and more flexibility on the group things. But just that gentle urge of like, hey, why don’t we try something else? Or maybe it’s time to go read a book or go outside, and usually they either recognize it themselves or they’re like, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Sometimes they just need that extra little push to be reminded that they’ve been stuck in that solo screen time a little too long.
0:13:28 – Speaker 1
As you were talking there, kim, you said something. You said this doesn’t count toward their screen time, and I kind of wanna talk about that a little bit too, because when my kids were little I tried to keep them under a certain number of hours or whatever and limit that. Of course, that was pre-COVID and that was a while back Now I feel like so much stuff is done on screens. I sound ancient on this show. I sound so old back in the day And the olden times. I mean I don’t even think about counting family movie time as screen typing more, because it’s like my kids do so many other things on screens as teenagers other than just watch movies. But when they were little that was a big deal to differentiate between them.
0:14:10 – Speaker 2
Well, and I have the stretch, i have the seven-year-old that you know the family screen time is still a thing with movies and things like that. And then I have the tween who has a phone and also does his business on there. So it’s all these different layers that I need to differentiate, and that’s important, because every kid is different and every family is different.
0:14:30 – Speaker 1
Well, in every situation is different. I mean, you mentioned your oldest having a business, and so he does stuff online for his actual Lego business that he has, and so he has maybe more being able to communicate with strangers that you wouldn’t normally let a tween, and so again all those extenuating circumstances, but you’re managing that to make sure it’s a safe environment for him, and I think that’s these are all good points, because there isn’t a black and white. This is a lot of gray that you have to sift through to make sure your kids are safe online.
0:15:03 – Speaker 2
And this goes to the point. It’s important to listen to that Holy Spirit, or that gut feeling that you know your kids and you know your family and you know something’s off, you know, or their behavior has changed, and that’s just so important because there is no script that we can give you. We can give you these guidelines and things to look for, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to be paying attention and being intentional about looking at what they’re doing and what their attitude looks like and pairing that all up and deciding do I need to step in here?
0:15:33 – Speaker 1
Well, and I think you know, in this conversation we’re saying how much screen time do you give each person? And we’re using all of these gray kind of examples because it’s gonna look different for everyone. You know, if you homeschool your kid, maybe on screens more because they’ve got projects to do online or whatever, and so it’s gonna look different for everybody. But you know your kid, you know when it’s spiraling into that mid category where you’re like, whoa, we got something we got to figure out here. You know, and I think we’ve all kind of felt that as parents You know when, as your kids get older, it really is very important to teach them to self-regulate. I discussed this in my book Talk. You’ve got to have conversations with your kids and help them see how screens are affecting them.
So what I mean by that is you know, if you’ve got a son who’s a gamer and you know he gets angry because I see that a lot, you know, in boys in particular don’t mean to be sexist, but it’s true And you know they’re getting angry while they’re playing Instead of screaming, you have a screen. At that time, turn that off, which is what all many would have done. New mandy has learned to be like once they’ve come down, once they’ve walked away from the screen, it may be a couple hours later. Once there, you know all the emotions, that anger is gone. It’s so much easier to say, hey, you know, i know you love fortnight, i know you love to game, but when you feel that anger rising up in you, i need you to have self control with that. So you’re, you have to learn in your brain to self regulate that. So what that means is maybe you just need to step away, maybe you need to go out play basketball, maybe you just need to get on the couch and watch a youtube video. Just veg for a minute, you know, until sometimes it’s going from a different screen to a different screen.
Sometimes i know we did that a lot right, but at the same time, it’s it’s them being able to see. My emotions are out of whack right now and it’s because of this game. I need to do something different. Helping them recognize that has just been instrumental in me not having to lecture them, but having more conversation about it. And oftentimes, when i start these conversations, i will start something like my struggle is social media. It has a complete stronghold on me and i struggle. We’re all figuring this out, but here’s what i’m seeing in you. Do you think i’m right or do you think i’m wrong? like just putting it out there for them to kind of see. And when you plant that seed that all this is happening, then they start to see it on their own.
0:18:12 – Speaker 2
All great tips and great ideas and it’s so important in this conversation and i want to encourage you if you have younger kids, start the conversations before you see the struggle. This has helped us so much.
0:18:25 – Speaker 1
Kim, that is so good, say it again start the conversation before you see the struggle.
0:18:30 – Speaker 2
Yeah and i’ll.
0:18:35 – Speaker 1
We need to put that on social media on a t-shirt on the wall. Well, because this is for so much more than screen. Right here, it’s life, basically parenting, preventive, preventive.
0:18:47 – Speaker 2
nextTalk Yes yes, because i know, i’ll tell you, under my own roof i have seen the benefit of that. I have always had the youngest. Well, obviously, always once once the youngest kids, always the kids. But so we’ve started these conversations from the time my kids were itty bitty and just so thankful for the fruit of that. And before i give you an example of why that’s important, let me just say if you’re listening To this podcast and you have older kids, it’s okay. Like it doesn’t mean that this still is not an important conversation that you can’t have it.
We talked so many times on different topics about the importance of coming to your kids and saying, hey, i just didn’t know, i’m sorry, can we have this conversation now and figure out something that works? like? there’s always that opportunity. We want to equip our kids at any age as long as we can. But if you do have younger kids, before they even have a phone or they have a tablet or gaming is on the table for them, start these conversations, help them to know what to look for and explain what these struggles are in age appropriate terms.
I have never been so more thankful than during covid, when one of my kiddos i just saw some changes in him that were on characteristics, extremes That were not like what we were used to.
He’s definitely more, more emotional kid, but this was a little bit different and what it boiled down to was me approaching him, saying, hey, i’m noticing this, and he broke down And he was able to say i’ve been noticing it too.
I feel like gaming is stealing everything else i enjoy in my life. And we were able to dig into that and get some help with one of our nextTalk counselors who had some wonderful, wonderful tips and support, and he was able to voice that and able to look back and say you know, when i said this or when i did this, those were things you had talked to me about and Before we got into the addiction phase, we were able to catch it in the struggle and i’m so thankful because now this kid is really good at moderating himself and noticing like okay, i’m going back to that place again. And this is why it’s so important to talk to your kids, it’s so important to check in with your kids, it’s so important to address it when you see changes. You want to be their person, you want to be their safe place with gaming addictions or struggles or anything, and and this is the way to do it by starting the conversation.
0:21:17 – Speaker 1
Well, and I love that you shared that, because you know, one of the things I say all the time at events are our kids aren’t perfect over here at nextTalk. I don’t want anybody ever to think oh, the nextTalk, kids, they just got it all figured out. I mean, we are struggling Absolutely.
0:21:34 – Speaker 2
We’re real, just like everybody else.
0:21:37 – Speaker 1
Crying with each other, trying to figure out what works, what doesn’t. You know, we’re learning something new every night, every day, and we’re just committed to being in nextTalk families learning stuff and then passing it on what we’re seeing with our own kids, you know. I mean, that’s what we’re committed to And there is absolutely no shame in ever getting a counselor involved. Do that, do that, do that. I think the other thing we need to talk about too in this whole screen addiction thing is and I love how you said you know, when we see something in our kids, it’s okay to point it out Just make sure you’re not overly shaming, make sure you’re not lecturing or yelling or screaming. This is a I want to help you. We need to get this, we need to nip this in the bud before it becomes a bigger problem, you know, and so that’s what I’m here for, kind of thing. But we also need to talk about preventative things we can do in the way of guidelines that we can set up in our home to try and help with this screen addiction or creating healthy life habits around screens, way back when.
I mean, we haven’t done this for years, but I remember a long time ago when my kid would get up in the morning and he would game before school And I just noticed we were having more hectic mornings. And you know, it was just the attitude wasn’t right. And so we had a conversation about it And I said again, i went to him and said you know, when we started gaming I didn’t realize I needed to put boundaries around when we game, as far as in the mornings and stuff. And I’m learning as I go. So I’m sorry about that, but how would you feel about this?
Because we’ve been late a couple of times, you know, sometimes on the way to school, i feel like our attitude isn’t right. We’re not ready to start the day And we decided right there kind of together, it really wasn’t healthy to do any kind of gaming before school. So you know, now it’s he. You know he’ll get up and he’ll watch Sports Center before school while he eats breakfast or whatever. He still has a screen on. It’s his way of vegging, but we’re not running late as often, you know all that kind of stuff. So, again, little tweaks matter And including your kid and solution.
0:23:46 – Speaker 2
You know that always helps, because then they have buy-in and they feel like they’ve been a part of it and it’s not just a mandate. So I love how you do that.
0:23:54 – Speaker 1
Well, and then also, then you can go back to them and say, you know, a couple of weeks later and be like man, i’m so proud of you. You know, i notice a difference. Like that was on a really adult decision that you made And you know, and, yes, you kind of help them see it, because they’re kids and sometimes they don’t recognize it and they need your help seeing the picture, the bigger picture. But they made the decision And so you can come back and I’m so proud of you. You are really becoming a young man making a responsible decision And you know I can see the benefit of that kind of thing.
The other thing are just some random guidelines that you kind of need in your home. You know we we’ve always had no phones in bedrooms or bathrooms. We did several shows on this. One is aging out how it changes over time. You know, my 18 year old it’s a little different with her now because she’s going to move out and we want to prepare her for what it’s going to be like to have a phone in her dorm room. So that’s changed a little bit. My 14 year old still, you know, no phones in bedrooms or bathrooms.
The other thing is phones at bedtime. You know the American Academy of Pediatrics says you need to shut down screens 30 minutes before bedtime because it allows your brain to kind of slow down from all the stuff you’re taking in. I want them to take that to college. I want my kid to be in her dorm room thinking you know, i have an early morning test and I need to shut this off because I need to let my brain calm down and get some good sleep for this test tomorrow or whatever Like. I want her to be able to do that. So again we talk about the why of the rule instead of just saying shut down the screens.
We want to do that, You know talking about the why behind the guidelines gives them the buy-in of okay, i’ll follow that because it matters. You know there’s a reason behind it. There’s a reason behind the rule.
0:25:45 – Speaker 2
And this goes, you know, along with what we said earlier every family is different, every circumstance is different, and you need to talk through those and come up with a plan and communicate it. Like a lot of times, we’re thinking about things and then we are just like, well, why are you doing that? And you think, well, of course they know not to have a screen in their bathroom, or of course they know they don’t. And it’s important to not only think about it but communicate it. Have a conversation about it, come up with a plan. If you need to write it down, write it down Whatever works for your family.
Like we said, my kiddo his situation is different with his business, and so he’s able to have his laptop with his desk in his room, but we have very clear guidelines about that. He asks first, we have it set up a certain way. When he’s done, he closes it and puts it back on the charging station. So there are just different things that you have to look at with each kid and with each situation, and then for yourself too, and this is really hard, really really hard, when we’re telling our kids this is what’s good for you and this is you know what we need to do and let’s talk about it. We have to lead by example And, yes, we are the adults and we are parents, and so our situation can and should be different.
But again, that’s a conversation with your kids. But if we’re doing all these things that we say are bad, it’s a confusing message for our kids. So I think we need to check ourselves, do a little standing in the mirror time and say, all right, am I setting a good example? Are there some things that I could adjust or change to really show my kids that not only am I saying this is good for them, but this is good for us?
0:27:21 – Speaker 1
Yeah, you know, practically speaking, coming off of COVID, one thing that I noticed that we were in that mid category, we had moved is, you know, we were watching a lot more Netflix and movies and stuff And a lot. What would happen was my husband and I would camp out in the living room and watch a movie And one kid would go game in the game room, you know, with the door open, and he would have his friends online or whatever and we could hear him talking. But then, you know, my daughter would go to her room again the aging out thing that we allowed for her. She got older and turned 17 and 18.
I felt like God was saying you’re each going to your own little rooms and you’re on your screens and you’re not being intentional about family time. So I felt like that’s what God was saying to me, and so I mentioned it to my family one day at dinner. We were at lunch or dinner or something And I mentioned it and I said I feel like we’ve gotten into this habit through the pandemic of going into our own four corners and getting on our screens, you know, and how do y’all feel about that? And they all saw it. And so what we decided was we were going to be real intentional with our time.
And so you know I’ve got a senior in high school. She’s not home a lot. We are lucky if we get two nights a week of family dinners. So one of the things we’ll do on our group chat if it’s a family dinner night, i will text them during the day and say, hey, tonight, six to eight or six to nine, screen-free, just family time. Let’s be intentional. You guys up for it. So we’re all on the same page. We all know that what the expectations are for that evening, we’re all kind of buying in. So on an older level, that’s kind of our new thing that we’ve done and it’s been great. And then The next morning we would have conversations about how our attitude was better because we weren’t all just in our Four corners of the house on screens like we were being intentional about our family time and investing in one another, because these relationships matter in our in our family. They matter to us.
0:29:21 – Speaker 2
This doesn’t just apply to Screens, but I think it’s important here to mention. Coming off of what you just said, i want to tell this quick story. I was recently on a trip and there were some young adults on the trip, brothers and sisters From a couple of different families. You know they’re 20, 30s, 40s. Some of them had gotten married and moved out, some of them were still young and living at home, but different ages and stages, brothers and sisters, but all on this mission trip together, different families, and so I just had this moment to get to know some of them and I asked each of them Tell me what you think is one of the best thing your parents did, because these were some incredible young adults, like doing some amazing things for the kingdom and do you know?
100% of them and I asked them all separately said they made family time intentional, like they made us spend time together, even when we didn’t want to and value those relationships, and they constantly said We are your people, these are your people. We are always going to be there for each other and we need to develop that relationship. Now. I was amazed because I thought of all these different things that they could have said and they had other You know comments too, but every single one said That is one of the things that formed them the most, and so I have kept that in my back pocket. It’s hard to do sometimes, but we’ve got to be intentional.
0:30:43 – Speaker 1
Well, in many times I mean I’ve got two teenagers, so 1814 guys. I know sometimes they’re like mom, we’re not babies anymore, i don’t want to spend time together. You know I get that. And then I’m like guys, it’s two hours, we’re gonna do this. You know we’re gonna dive in and do this because I love you and you’re not always gonna be here with me and a hundred percent of the time they’ve never not enjoyed it. In fact they’ve even come back to me and said I’m glad you made us do that. They’ve never after a fun family time. And the key is I always tell my husband if we’re gonna be real intentional about family time, like it’s gotta be off. So pull out the dance moves, make them laugh, do whatever you gotta do, but you know it’s gotta be fun. It’s gotta be fun, right? You know why we’re telling stories here, kim.
I had a mom recently ask me. She said you know, when we crawl in bed at night, my husband and I we put the kids to bed. Their kids are really little. We crawl in bed. He’s on his phone a lot. Then I just get on my phone I don’t know how to approach it with him And you could tell she was really being prayerful about it. You know she didn’t wanna come at him with a lecture or yell or whatever. She wanted to have a calm conversation. And I could so relate, because this was Matt and I years ago, you know, when we were first starting out on all this, and I said here is what I’ve learned When you have a family member that is struggling, find a time and pray for the right time when you guys are both ready in a good space to talk, right And bring it up in the sense of.
I know I struggle with this too. Here’s what I struggle with, you know, minus social media. So that’s what I’ll say. But I’m also noticing, you know, we get maybe 30 minutes a night when the kids are put in bed before we’re too tired And I would like to talk. I mean, maybe you wanna have sex, whatever you wanna do, you gotta connect with your spouse, right, and can we kind of create a new guideline or something so that we’re being real intentional about our marriage, cause I’m worried about us. Like it’s okay for here and there, but what about 10 years down the road? What if we lose connection? What you know, we need to be thinking in the future, like I always wanna be connected to you.
I gave her that advice and it was so cool because she came back to me and said that they had the most beautiful conversation and it was received so well and they came up with a plan together. And he didn’t feel offended because she said I was so glad you told me, because I am bad at it. I do struggle as well. It’s just I don’t struggle at bedtime because I’m too exhausted, like I just wanna be with him, but for him he’s been going all day And so it’s maybe the only time he’s had to check his phone or messages or whatever, And so we just needed to kind of work through that what that looked like. Again, you know we’re telling you, approach these conversations with your kid. It may be with your spouse that you’re really struggling with, and so, going at it in a way it’s not condemning or shameful or pointing fingers at, but in a can we work together to solve this problem.
0:33:57 – Speaker 2
Again, it’s all about the conversation and working together and finding something that makes sense for whoever’s involved. I love that. When it comes to screens, it is really important to recognize if there’s a struggle or a stronghold or an addiction. It’s important to dig into these conversations and make your kids or your spouse a part of the solution. All of these things are very important, you know, and another day we will tackle all the content they’re exposed to with being on screen. So much, all, so important.
We are the first generation parenting this type of screen usage and we need to pay attention to it. So we hope that we’ve given you some things to look out for, some conversation starters, some ideas about ways that you can tackle this topic, but, most importantly, as with everything, pray about it. Pray that God will give you special wisdom and insight into your family, that he will create the space and the time where these conversations will be received well, and that he will help you to keep your ears and eyes open and to be aware of what’s going on in your family so that you can be their safe place when tackling these difficult, difficult topics.
0:35:05 – Speaker 1
And get off your screen, get your phone down.
Transcribed by https://podium.page