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Connection With Kids About Their Phones

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
January 23, 2022 9:00 pm

Connection With Kids About Their Phones

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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January 23, 2022 9:00 pm

Kids with phones are a big deal! On FamilyLife Today, Jonathan McKee, author of over 25 books, helps parents understand the value of connection with their kids, concerns about their phones and some tips on how to talk about it all.

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So we raised three boys in a digital world talk about that guy when your janitor tried to get them off the couch they been playing video games all day. It felt like to me as a mom I think it will help waste of time I come in the room and I'm like hey guys, it's time to shut down. The game was at hey guys, what I started to yell. I could hear from the basement is probably when I was a waste of time.

That's probably what what I had some things that I wanted them to do so as I'm going off on them. I noticed that they all had their phones out and they're all looking at them and they're not looking at me at all and then they'll start to lock so funny and one of them says Oman were just texting back and forth how crazy you are welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and Wilson Dave Wilson and you can find or on our family life Family life today. There is a time when we had a college student come home and two boys were in high school and one of them says Oman were just texting back and forth how crazy you are, but is what a lot of parents are facing.

That's the world we live in, and we been limited for quite a while, so meeting for parents, you know, we need to understand how do we parent a generation that literally lives with their 300 in front of him like that you said how do we tame the beast like the phone or the screens in some ways can become this piece that we need to understand is parents. How do we help navigate this world so we got in the studio in Orlando, Jonathan McKee, who spent your life devoted really to helping parents and kids understand how to navigate the screen the beast right many of you know Joe quickies written over 25 books there ago I heard 28 books, 2007 got a couple of what this today and we'll talk about parenting generation screen which is a book really that you've written for parents rights understand how to navigate this and then just last year, you wrote the team's guide to face-to-face connections in the screen to screen world and this was written more to the children right more teenagers.

The face-to-face connections but was actually written by you with your daughter is pretty unique, fun project with Alyssa and I and she was right in the middle that world. So it will be tackled on the gutters funds first book. My last.

It was a great experience for you. Got three kids so you know exactly what were talking about when we open something so I'd never heard the term generation screen of her generation X and Z.

What's generation screen. What is this good summary, because really when you look at the lines now you people talk about your millennial's in this not but you got Jen why you got Jim see and it's interesting that this is one of the fun things about bringing my daughter Alyssa into this project with me as she was born 1995.

Not doesn't sound very unique, but anybody who had a kid born around the time what they do realize is that putter in high school, smack dab in the middle of when everything changed because 2012 was right in the middle of her high school experience in 2012 is a very unique year in technology are very important here because 2012 is not only the of the snapshot came out some of the year that Instagram became a thing. It was the year that America crossed the 50% mark for smartphone ownership so what she noticed was for her junior year. She said there was this kind of this shift were sure we texted but also now social media which used to be the thing that was at home, plugged into the wall and was now in our pockets and so all of a sudden now people are snapping everything there check in DM's instead of text and everything screen time started to bump a little bit. People became a little more absorbed and she says conversation as she knew it changed so fascinating for her to see that it is my Godiva another daughter two years younger and for her. Her whole high school experience was, you know social media for my son who was older than Alyssa.

It was all texting Melissa right in the middle she saw the switch happened so fascinating to see as social media got into our back pocket. How that can change communication as we know it ask you, why did she decide to ask her to write this or did she have any experience at this that she thought this is important I want to have a voice I should world the 23 other people asked to write it couldn't Alyssa.

I don't know know she know I was so excited because she is always been very conscious of face time versus screen time. She knows the difference.

We deftly had some fun experiences. I would just call them fund up the good label for rent out over the years were maybe we as family members were to absorb and I say we because me being too absorbed in the screen.

She been to observe the screen and so we thought this would be really fun to dialogue because we both had the same opinion that screens are bad. They're not evil but sometimes screens just start to interfere with connection yell cures this invention it's will help us connect better, and instead it's interfering with connection so we thought let's talk about this.

Let's talk about the importance of these face-to-face connections in this thing where you know it's okay to be looking your screen, but it was Mills comes a room when it be cool if we just maybe put that thing in our pocket and we both felt that way. We had some the say about it. So this is the book will reset it together get attention and show me last week a little cartoon of a guy who dies and goes to heaven.

There's an angel there meeting him and the angel says that you had an amazing life but you missed it because you always looking at your phone but it is just what you're saying.

I've been there. I mean, I have missed things right in front of me and my family room or in a meeting you, you name it. Where I am.

I don't want to say, addicted, but I'm like I'm checking my phone.

I'm responding to a text. I'm looking at a YouTube video in life and people are right there in front of me and you were old enough to know life before that in life. With that in our kids, you know, they've never known anything different so talk about this to me how many kids really do have a phone or screen in their hand. This is generation screen.

It seems like everybody gets to teenagers. The last numbers were actually over-year-old right now me through covert. It's funny how things are change that could be interesting to see how these numbers switch. But, as of just pre-cove. It was 89% of teenagers have a smart phone in her pocket 97% of them were on social media. In one way or another.

And of course screen time went up during covert summit screen time man. We start look at the numbers of entertainment media time you were soaking the averages almost 10 hours a day of entertainment media that young people soak in a per day that I not a lot of time to be just listen the Muzak watching funny videos on YouTube scrolling through social media to see how you measure up with everybody else and there's a lot of filters in the heat about this because when I think I know there's some great things about social media. We can use it for good things, but there's a part of me thinks we are giving our kids 10 hours a day where they're being discipled by the culture and how I can look at it and I love that you're here Jonathan because you can help us as parents not to freak out and I like what you talk about you talk about this in comparison to you. Don't just give your kids a cell phone you talk about that in comparison to like you just went hand, your teenager, the khakis and that's exactly how I start the book printing generation screen I just I get that analogy of if your 10-year-old came up to you and said hey dad, I had to go take the SUV on the go right around town. I went to meet some people I've never met before. Love in the car with me and go around in organ you don't have the keys know what you crazy as it will that's exactly what we do with the phone we had them this devices very powerful device with no training for this is all we do say here you go so you can go out and you could play whatever you want, you can talk with whoever you want, you can be whoever you want and is just one of those things where when it comes to training our kids to operate a vehicle.

We sit with them in a seat next to him by law.

I know in California. I had to sit next to my kids for 50 hours at the sign of paper that I set so we be like okay will go to school that you we started clock those hours you know and were like okay be careful as you merge okay.

Watch out for that lady.

This is California.

She is a gun, as it were Israel hears out of years to write a freeway.

Here's so much coaching going on with the phone words like curio don't break it. Don't be stupid, and even why do we give it to him. I've heard so many parents that I couldn't take the pressure anymore. There during the night and today I meet your parents constantly will hear they can relate the here all my friends have a phone thing is crazy and we need to be compassionate to this. I was on a middle school campus just before covert and was hang out with these 11 to 14-year-olds in the sixth through eighth graders.

I was in this classroom and there's only like maybe 13 or 14 of them and I thought I'd try something so went up and I wrote my phone number up on a whiteboard.

I said okay every without your phones and immediately if there's 14 kids in a room 14 kids whipped out a smart phone working out statistically for that age.

It's about like 60 high 60s almost 70%. That should own bows and age of the average age is a wonderful smart phone in America right now is about 10 years old, you know. By the time they get to high school. You're looking towards 90% of middle school 60 to 70% on smart phones. I don't care what the numbers say 100% of these kids whipped out a phone and so I started using the phone to get an early schism like okay will play game called speed, texture, golf my numbers on the board get in your phone like done. We already have it already was like okay ready. I'm in a name something and I want you to send it to me first one to send it to me gets a point person on a 10 point gets a Starbucks card book and immediately animal like a selfie in your first and last name and immediately get a hold of the father.

Both my phones blowing up with pictures of kids who just took the selfies in the first and last name, and by the way anybody it works with young people going Jonathan this is great you're getting information on these kids so I started thinking okay what can I learn select what your favorite fast food deal boom immediately.

I go take a screenshot of the most recent song he played there said to me, take a screenshot of the most recent app you been on boom I'm getting you know name it Fort Knight, Instagram tick-tock, you know.

So when it was done hears these kids doesn't be hanging out with for the year also and I now have these text of these kids are that the first last name, face, and I'm looking at. Oh, and they were on tick-tock under 11 years old. That means they lied about their age just to get on tick-tock because you've to be 13 to be on tick-tock you owe and look at their song, never listen to was a song by post-Malone learning all the stuff about. It's funny in the youth ministry were we safe you want to get to know a kid going to the room.

Now if you want to get to know a kid is just look on their phone. That is their world. So talk about this if it's going to be 50 hours of driver's ed classes, training, and 50 hours with your prayers before you can get a license which appears to before, given their kids a cell phone was funny. That's why I've written so many of these teens, guidebooks, and guys got books I want to give parents the tool they could use in this book that my daughter and I wrote the teens got the face-to-face connections in the screen screen world is just an example. This is a book that talks about the amount of time you spend on your phone, and some of the important things like hey this is a great device to connect with people outside the room when it doesn't interfere with our relationships with the people inside the room.

It talks about predators. It talks about screen time talks about social media time and how good for us.

Just as parents to engage her kids in conversations about the stuff and get them to start thinking about some of the stuff before they start navigating that world. We need to start having conversations or kids about this walk us through how old star kids be before we give in to the cell phone or maybe what you said Davis. What are the steps that we should have already taken before. Sure enough and we've equipped them enough to know how to handle a cell phone was interesting because in my parenting generation screen book. I'd say the question I'm asked more than anything else, is what age I okay I could devote a chapter to this because that is constantly will say okay my 12-year-old every day she comes over and says all my friend how smart phone and it doesn't work we go well actually only 72% of 12. It doesn't work so so you have got account as it turned out really and I talked about you listening to that and and beatable dialogue.

But it's interesting when you start to see what experts are saying. For example me like Jim starves the CEO of common sense media. This the guy who his whole world is studying the amount of time, young people spend on screens and he's asked all the time what age it is the question what age should I get my kids a smart phone, you know, and he always does this answer. Like well it depends on the kid and how responsible they are need all this different stuff in there, like okay, Jim, Jim, Jim, they lose their light and torches know my kid is killing me here you know. And finally, like Jim, when did you let your kids is use a pair of teenagers and he's like 14 when they're in high school. He waited till there were 14 funny Bill Gates same question guy who knows tech is it just a little bit you don't like Staten who thinks it's a good thing for teen when his kids are nice but if you asked me guy studies as writes about this all time. I always say the summer before their freshman year of high school and if there ready and if there shown responsibility, then that should be a summer just bathed in conversation that should be the summer that you're taking a get out the breakfast every name it Tuesday morning. Whatever. And going through. You know the team's guide to social media, whatever you want to come through and talking about this stuff sit in the passenger seat next to them and saying hey, let's prepare for yield these decisions, you're gonna make about screen time and some of the big questions are you have in your bedroom at night time. Are you spend on social media.

This whole influencer thing. If you're going influence on all things that people just heard that I might ask Danny thinking what those conversations because you like it you talk about that because you might already know the answer of you will not have your phone in your bedroom that you still dialogue about it well and that's funny because give you kind of a behind the scenes. P. Cattaneo in my parenting generation screen up whenever I write a book now one things I do is I have a good practice to get it out to as many my readers before it's published as a market up feedback on here so about 70 people got the book before it was printed and I said feedback on here and the one thing that they kept saying is okay you are sneakier because here's a book that were obviously picking up that most parents are picking up to say okay what rule should I have kids, you know blocks can I put on this device and I deftly go into hate shooters should not your kid have the phone in the bedroom. How much time is too much time is social media harmful for my kids.

Should I allow it.

If so, when what age, all those questions are answered in the book and I can tell you any of the things it was so surprising as Jonathan, you don't just say here's how to set the phone is the theme of this book was so overwhelmingly here's how to engage your kids in conversations about this and the reason why is simply this arc is going to turn 18 someday and are to be in a college dorm to be an army barracks are to be somewhere away from the house to call you at me like dad, can I download the new HBO show, know that I can ask you a question there to make that decisions for themselves and the only question we should ask ourselves is, did we equip them for that day for that moment making that decision.

That's usually not the rule. It's usually through the conversations we've had and that's why the relationship is so important and if we have rules about a relationship that's a guaranteed lead to rebellion. So when you talk it you talk about your book connection before correction.

How does a parent do that.

Can I communicate with my son through texting. I am not a phone hater.

I actually like my phone. My phone got me to the studio today. Now you know it told me which direction to turn in all that does this nice female voice said, turn left or not.

And most of us men are used to female voice tones were turns as I thought it was but the whole point of the connection before correction is our tendency when it comes to a subject like this is when our kids are on the couch texting each other. We want to show just a random example here start barking like we want to do. I've done Don's merges. I can't overreact and I corrected there in a moment, and the whole principle of connection before correction is saying this is one of these important subjects we need to talk about and so what I did is early in the book parenting generation screen I talked about this principle of connection before correction and in every single one of the points throughout the book.

Whether were talking about should I have my phone in the bedroom what age should I give my kid a phone should they be on social media, and if so how long per day every one of those issues I talked about how do we connect with our kids on this, how we talk with them about it. How do we listen to their opinion on it and hear their point of view and then how do we, most importantly, delay our response not make a decision right there but hit that pause button can go spread about this, but think about this and then let's go back and make a decision about what reward habit when I can just meet legal, here's the rules sign here but working to talk about it.

Listen to them and that's that principle.

I wish I would've done more with my own kids. That's really good me till I'm thinking of Deuteronomy 667 these words that I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise. That's exactly what you're talking about ongoing conversation with our kids.

And in that funny that that passage doesn't talk about simply, here's the rules that you're supposed to leave with your kids and those rules will raise your kids yeah know they really paint this picture of this getting up in the morning walking along the road, going to bed at night. These ongoing conversations assist discipleship. It's this talking through his that's when you do, and again I'm not anti-rule.

We live in a world right now were 79% of young people bring their phone in their bedroom at night is a pet peeve of mine, the American Academy of pediatrics has been for literally decades been saying no screens in the bedroom for decades and now that phones are an kids pockets.

There is no exception, or saying hey, no smart phones in our kids back pockets. But the thing that we have to consider here is that Barrett's art monitoring that does not parents outside kids doors with a bucket seemed pleased about the phone in the bucket. This is not happening so kids are bringing these device in her bedroom and tell you something.

So many of my back table discussions were parents after parent workshop come up to me and ask me questions, it's okay so here's my kid was doing all night on social media, here's my kid was doing all night gaming. Here's what my kid was doing all night, and that word all night is always coming out that you what, here's almost simple rules of simple guidelines that would help so much.

And instead of just throwing this on your kid no phone, the better because I said so it's connecting with them and getting to the Y because ill forcing her to is why I get to the Y gets in a conversation talking about it. We need to have that connection before the correction.

I think there are maybe two extremes that we can run to his parents. As we face something like the digital revolution in how we parent our kids in the midst of this one extreme is to say, well, my kids are to have a device until there 35 years old you don't mind, and that the work the other extreme is to say, well, I guess there's nothing I can do so here you go, and then just pray and that doesn't work either.

What Jonathan McKee has been sharing with us is a practical way for us to maintain engagement and involvement around a real-life tool that can be a great asset to our children but can also be a portal for evil.

Jonathan's written about this in a book called parenting generation screen guiding your kids to be wise in the digital world that's a book, or recommending to you. In fact, we want to make this book available to any of you who would like a copy if you can help with the donation for the ministry of family life to the were happy to send you the book is our way of saying thank you for your support of our mission. Our goal here at family life is to effectively develop godly marriages and families to deal with these kinds of real-life practical issues that all of us are facing and say what is the Bible have to say about this.

How would God want us to function as parents in this area you help make this mission possible. Every time you donate. In fact, you help us reach more people more often with your donations and we are grateful for your partnership with us.

So when you make a donation today when you call to donate one 800 F. L. Today is the number 1-800-358-6329 ask for your copy of Jonathan McKee's book parenting generation screen again were happy to send it to you as a way of saying thank you for your partnership with us here in the ministry of family life to not tomorrow. Dave and Ann Wilson to talk more with Jonathan McKee about some of the very real dangers that exist in the online world. What is it that your kids are being exposed to that could be actually harmful, not just emotionally harmful or spiritually harmful but physically harmful will hear more about that tomorrow.

Hope you can join us on behalf of our hosts Dave and Ann Wilson on Bob Lapine will see you back next time for another edition of family life today. Family life to day is a production of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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