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Helping Our Kids Manage Technology Well (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2021 6:00 am

Helping Our Kids Manage Technology Well (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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April 19, 2021 6:00 am

Dr. Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane reveal how technology is changing our kids—impacting the brain, relationships, and safety. (Part 1 of 2)

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Kinsman's a lot of time away from home working on the pipeline in Alaska, but our podcasting has become his wife, one on the family who help my marriage by leaps and bounds so much to think about people's ground. The ground I Jim Daly together we can bring real hope to marriages like kids gift families will have the same amount of time every day. This is how we go, invest, and I like the parents think in terms of what is the time to market a single screen. What is it teaching one of the come away with. And how is it impacting them because it is impacting Dr. Gary Chapman joins us today on Focus on the Family along with Arlene Peloquin. I'm John Fuller and your host is Focus on the Family president Jim Daly you John, but screen time is really battle I think most parents, if not all parents face problem, but personally and maybe as adults to help. Is it kind of has consumed our life. Having all the information in the world at our fingertips keeps us busy asking things Jean and I do that we're last night were going to bed.

We talked about where the game of chess was created and she starts getting out of bed and she's going to find what you doing check out were were chess came from either China or India. I don't know which. But you know it. Second thing you have all that information course kids that younger people use it for social media for gaming etc. it's a big issue in fact plugged in our great review team there with you know everything from movies to video games to music and everything else they put up a lot of information about screen time if you know about plugged and get in touch with us here Focus on the Family because it's a wonderful parenting tool to keep you informed about what you children may be viewing and participating in a today we are going to have. I think one of those monumental discussions about screen time by two great guests yet.

We've got is I sent Dr. Gary Chapman and Arlene Peloquin you know Dr. Chapman from his five love languages books down the are bestsellers in so many different variations and Arlene is an author and speaker, as well as mom to three kids they have a great book that they've written together called screen kids, life skills every child needs in a tech driven world, and I will encourage you pick up a copy.

Stop by the episode notes or call 800 a family Dr. Chapman and Arlene welcome back to focus. It's always good to have you here super fun to be here.

Yes, thank you.

Always glad to be back. Arlene, let's start with you. You speak and write about technology at Dr. Chapman you counsel parents are struggling with their kids.

What are you hearing when you're interacting with those parents about specifically about screen time. Yeah, I hear things like where did my child go you know, like when we started and we went okay. It's the pandemic and my child wants this thing here.

I need social media now to connect with my friends and of course the parents are thinking. While this is the way people are communicating online so they give their 1011 1213-year-old. The social media and then six months later they're saying what happened.

Like why are they believing these things.

Why are they in their room. So much why so a lot of that and I think you families if you're struggling before the pandemic with man were playing too many video games. I don't like like my kid is watching now after the pandemic and there's one statistic I read that May 2019 compared to May 2020 that screen time had jumped 50% for kids right and so you know if you're struggling then man and and it's because you have this mixture of online school, which is a that's legitimate interest was to be doing that, but then now you have online school plus all the entertainment and all the entertainment is happening right next to the child you want to do an online school all sorts of things tabs open a different thing. So this is really a huge challenge for families.

Arlene you speak about ABCD study and some of the early findings and that what is the ABC the study right if you think it's like Sesame Street or something but it's adolescent brain cognitive development, and that they are following over 10,000 kids over a 10 year period, and they're already finding that there is a link between screen time and a lot of different changes in the brain.

And it's interesting because sometimes we as parents we wait for the research you know we want to see the research and then okay will make our decision but truly that research happens in your own home of what you see in your child and how you see them changing so I just encourage you if you see things you're wondering about, don't you don't have to wait till scientists come out, but here's what they found in terms of things that they see a thinning of the cortex and it's this part of the brain that usually start stating when can you people in their 60s and so here they are seeing it already getting thin in children when they are on screens too much, but what they found was when kids met three markers. They were much healthier. So this is kind of I think a hopeful thing that we can shoot for. Instead of concentrating maybe on what were limiting, which is important but concentrate.

What do we need to put in each day first and they talk about 9 to 11 hours of sleep in on that seems easy enough. But if you have a child, teenager with the phone in the bedroom and it's like a electronic baby yells like a digital baby cyclonic on three clubs five clubs there any tags. Their tight yet they're not sleeping so 9 to 11 hours of sleep no more and even can you imagine drink over but two hours or less of a recreational screen time so that digital candy that's just for fun. That's were so difficult two hours or less and then 60 minutes of physical activity in their kids.

So if you kinda think yourself okay my kid needs to move. They can have a little bit of digital candy but not too much and then we need to get a good night sleep if you can even just get those three things in order and really focus on those three things you can see a difference and that's great. And those are good tips will process through you, that you share story about Michael and I don't want to set up what who was Michael and what was his story the young as a teenager I think.

Yeah, he was a senior and he's graduating from high schools is an exciting time party at his house and he only laughed at the party for a few minutes before he excuses himself and says hey I just I'm a goat in my room, play video games and then you versus mom hates a party. Come on down to the party for me. You I'd rather play video games is what is he comfortable with right he's comfortable gaming that's his comfort zone and so the party and those who want to celebrate someone is not there and I think it's so indicative of the problem is when were so comfortable and we only know social media, video gaming, and that's where we feel comfort we that's why you see so many kids who are depressed have anxiety because they are not ready to socially interact with people to have fun playing all the things that are so healthy for kids, you know, Gary so often were hearing about you know the entrapment of screen time and old parents have always been concerned about what their kids are doing. I think forever and you know whether was watching too many movies or whatever may have been before we had technology so what is the allure what water young people attracted to it comes to technology.

Why is it so addictive to think there's several things, but I think one of them is that you know like in the gaming thing you good feedback. You know you you get rewarded and you don't know when you go get it and it ended just keeps you going right. I think the other thing is that it's just streaming all the time and never stops know when our kids came along. This was many years ago we just a television or you can pretty easily so here are five programs to choose two of them, and 30 minutes of place each day, you can pretty well handle that. But with the screen is just constantly there doesn't have any like you just get caught up in and what we were just talking about the whole thing is they don't learn social skills and imagine what that's going to be like when they get to be an adult, and you know if the kids are all of the high school time at all is playing games own online he's going be doing that was 25 and married right and is not going to be well the marriage okay for marriages and we hear from people that are experiencing right now I'm in a lot of women young married couples are writing or calling us or emailing us saying I got a real problem in my marriage and my husband spends most free time after he gets home gaming and you were to continue today. The next time to talk about what can be done to help especially young people, teenagers in this area, but let's move for the parents was moved to the warning signs when doing no or when should we know that this is become an addiction what of those warning signs will what should we be looking for. If you see your child is really moody and irritable, like more than usual.

If you see while they're only happy, it seems like when there gaming or other in social media are there holding a device if you see like all my child used to love to play the piano are used to love to play soccer or used to hang out with the friends in the backyard and now the sun there like mad rather to stay in my room.

Yes, if you see this lack of interest in that the activities that they like you see that they are asking for more and more and more I and it's in their negative consequences. There's there's friction in the house around this so you might have. You know, think of it like your child could be a casual at risk or addicted gamer and here's how you teach how you know if your casual game really pick up the game for 20 minutes. Not a big deal. They leave they don't play for several days and then a pickup. It's really not a big deal in their life and you're like, awesome right that risk is okay there supposed to play over the weekend but every day there asking mom, dad, can I play you know just for half an hour.

Mom, dad, can I play for 15 minutes morning thinking I called her again, really interested in this. And then you're addicted child of course is like okay we serve dinner like four hours ago. And if you wanted it it's in the microwave. You know that you know checked out so you can kind of see where your child. This is because some kids can play and be okay than other kids, you know. Especially matters psychology something will you both of study. But in that regard. This was all promised to be a connection to enhance people's connections with other people. The irony is when you look at the research people are lonely are the more separated, even though they have more access to social media and those things that are supposed to connect people, but it hasn't really worked out has social leaders number social reality that I think it's because it's really none real world what people putting on luck teenagers are putting on and posting and or things and so the kid looks at the other kids only on the good to know he had a car already. You know what a car you are purchasing all this stuff and comparing themselves with each other, and consequently you know they feel like world are better than over there. You got more this or that of the other thing is not building original building relationship. Yeah, the lack of community like you to think of what it's called. You have a follower and my daughter Noel she's a freshman in high school sets of right age to want social media and do other things that she's not allowed to have it because I write this book. Screen get yes if she's not allowed that she has told me you know mom I would rather have a real friend in real life sit next to me look at me and say your loyal your good friend. I'd much rather have that mom than 100 followers that I barely know and so kids know the difference and they think they fall into that trap of oath. I have these followers. I'll be happy but it's this image management that is way too much for a girl like to think like I gotta manage my image and how should I respond to that so that I'm popular and how can I get more response in all about response following. It's not about true friendship and those friends you, my son Ethan. He also does have social media.

He's a junior but he is talking about, that there is this Facebook study where he had some guy invited all of his followers. Like 300 followers to a party and just one guy showed up and he was just saying like you have this false sense of people in my life. I'm really popular, but when it comes down to if you get sick.

Who's coming to visit you. Nobody is coming to visit you to help our kids understand the need real life friends, this is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly and our guest today are Arlene Peloquin and Dr. Gary Chapman were talking about their book, screen kids, five skills every child needs in a tech driven world, and you can get a copy of that book at our website or give us a call. The link is in the episode notes and or numbers 800 a family, let me ask both of you to share some ways that parents can model this. How do parents connect with their children in order to look like, feel like this is what a normal relationship is all about. What can we do. Jim will share this with me recently because I've encouraged one of my meetings.

Why don't you ask your teenager and think about how to be about her mother and I like to give me one could be a better mother and she said I was shocked when my daughter said to me, all mom I feel like I don't ever have your full attention when I'm talking to you. You're always doing something you got the phone you're looking at you get the computer in your own and I don't ever feel like I have your full attention to her mother's and O all I didn't realize that you know when we don't realize that your week.

So as adults we have to think in terms of our own use technology because we might be setting for them. An example and they're just following our example window turn in that direction, but the kid wants to have a meaningful personal relationship with her parents and that means undivided attention and you can't do that and be messing with your phone you know Gary I think you were the one that suggested this a long time ago in the marriage relationship. Take some time.

Like when you get home from work. Both of your one of your whatever the situations and spend a little time together and I'm I'm parlaying that into your relationship with your children. That's I think one of the you know I'm hopeful I don't have many mistakes in my parenting. I'm sure there's more than I see. But one things I regret I didn't do having two boys two years apart tended to do everything together with them, they lets go have breakfast together. Let's go do this together because they're both boys and it was easy to bundle and I and I hear about other dads, particularly who were able because they have daughters and sons, you know, they separated their time and if I could redo one thing that would be is to have that one-on-one time so we can look forward to it.

Spent time talking together asking questions of each other. I would think that very marriage advice that you provide also applies to your kids have a daily sit down and listen time until a couple of things will happen today and how would you respond to yeah anybody angry the draft. Apologize to the what what why don't you know But you have to be sitting down, you can really talk and walk together with you sharing those things. That's what builds relationships with you and also models what human interaction supposed to look like Triton, which is back to the very point something like that we get the idea of pivoting so if you are looking at your device and a human being.

You could get spouse a child a US stranger, but you as a human being comes your airspace.

That's common courtesy to look away from her device. Look at them in the eye and have some kind a like hey how are you doing and what were seeing is in families where not pivoting from our devices where Leno think about if you are having a conversation. The qualitative difference if you're looking at each other, that's a different feel.

And let's say your both staring at devices you're using the exact same words but it feels very different, so be aware of your eyes. Today like what are you looking at when your child is there.

Are you looking at the phone base and get your coat. It's called okay were going to leave in five minutes. Hey, go get your sister you know and you're not really looking at them. Your kids notice that now if you do that once in a while that's not a big deal, right, day after day moment after moment, every time your child refers to you.

They see that your attention is on a device they are going to get that message as Dr. cabinet said so well that device is more important than me and that's even there so many kids we think it's the kids that have the problem but there's so many kids were like if my mom or dad would just stop checking email and I would feel more loved. I think taking a certain assessment of that is really good because I've tried to do that and I know of times when I'm talking with one of my boys and I get a ping and they're still talking to me and I'm like I said from what person is it important, it does communicate what's in front and what's in my hand, is more important than the child in front of him and you can have this conversation with your kids and kind of blessed each other on kind of fun because Lucy my daughter.

She's 11 now it's harder with online school for us because there are hundred percent home, so I'm working. I'm not think you like every time you walk in the room after pivot. You don't look at you, but Lucy will say to me, mom to give it away for my dad, Haley, will you kind of can remind each other parents to children. Children and parents give yourself that freedom.

Let me let me poke the sensitive area for parents because you pointers study's said that 70% of children that are online have been exposed to pornography something Focus on the Family has fought for years and yet it doesn't feel like were gaining ground in fact feels like were losing especially with the pervasive nature of technology. Today, almost have to inoculate your children. Talk about when this pops up.

Here's what you do but speak to that. I mean it's almost like the analogy, the pups are ahead is like a fishing that used to be a fishing poles out there trying to get your kid, Nancy's big drag meds that are just scooping our kids up and introducing them to things that are wholly inappropriate and this is one of the top reasons why my 16-year-old son does not have a phone because it's kind of that idea of delaying that device as much as possible because you know that once I devices accessible to your child and once your child is introduced to all these things.

I mean it's natural to be curious and to want to do the things that then become so evil and so distorted and so shameful and it's such a trap for kids and for adults, and so one. I would say delay the device as much as possible because you think you're helping your child be safe because you give them a phone so they can contact you, but you're also giving them away to get a hold of a really let you know a lot of that stuff. It was so you know again what so difficult in the parenting role is to be different for your 1112 13-year-old comparator 1718-year-old and I'm an 18-year-old singer sold home so you're trying to equip them to think smartly.

Also, I think it's really important that if it comes up that you don't panic about it that you listen and that it's something okay to talk about and that sex is something that you're talking about with kids at a very young age now, and you know not long conversations when I talked to my son about you.

Hey, all those YouTube videos you can really get into trouble.

His life talk to me about that for 10 minutes, but you know a short conversation and make those conversations part of regular life because it is something that your kids are going to have to deal with and wrestle with Gary. What does a screen smart and screen safe home look like you think there are numbers of things for Jim one is there out to be times and spaces in the house where we don't have devices and one of those I think is a meal time. You know night, we don't have our phones with us and were not were not responding. If we hear them in the other room. The TV is not known that the mealtime is a time posted talk to each other and it can be one of the most meaningful things for kids affect our kids look back and tell us that's one of the best memories I have a childhood is talking around the table and then also the devices will not be in them in their bedrooms. They audibly collected somewhere about parents and they're not in the bedroom in the bedroom.

You can read a book if you like you go to sleep read as long as you want to before you go to sleep as we want them to learn to read because that's a very positive thing in terms of mental development and so forth.

So I think I having those spaces where we don't have screens and where we don't answer them. If we hear them in the distance is one thing I think another thing is that we communicate to them.

Some of the things that they're going to encounter perhaps on their luck the bullying thing. For example, you my things that are said to you that are going to be hurtful and I want you to come and tell me about them when you see this come and tell me about the much talk about them because they can be devastating to a child when I get those counter comments. If I don't share them with their parents and get some affirmation from the parent get sucked into it very much.

Just the other the other observation that we have is that I think the CDC released a report not long ago that 14 to 24-year-olds that 25% of those people have had suicidal ideation. Maybe they thought about killing themselves. That's, that's 25% of its several million people that represents how much have they been able to determine how influential screen time is in that sense of anxiety and depression.

I think it is a huge factor because if a child growing up feels the security and the closeness of their family if they are successful in school, you know that they feel like they can do it they're going to be okay to feel okay so something's missing something is not happening and I think what you're seeing is from birth to 10 instead of kids being attached to their parents. They get attached to that iPad. That's entertaining I'll use X convicted and they that and then as parents were busy so we think.

Well at least there safe and you know they're okay and they're just sitting right here so were physically present with our kids but we are emotionally distant and I think as you grow up and that becomes very comments you think will. This is just the way it is and then you have all these kids who don't have that right basis for judging how is my life meaningful in my safe and when I mean I I've had kids that looks so good on the outside, you know, say, I've been thinking about killing myself. I think this come from is almost epidemic. He actually and so we need to start pointing up those things that are at least you know contributing to these thoughts and ideas. Gary, how can we ensure the emotional health and well-being of her children. That's a bold question read and hear about one of those things we should be doing well obviously Jim you'd expect me to say I would say speak their love and hugs your child not about that 13 is yeah dead my love language is gaining so much that I don't see that in the five do think the child's deepest emotional is the need to feel loved by the parents and the child generally feels love of the parent there. First of all, the be more open to your instruction in there to be less rebellious because they feel secure in your love. So learning a child's primary love language giving heavy doses of that and then spanking and the other four languages because we want the child will learn how to receive and give love in all five languages.

This is the healthiest adult dose five so the parents know them yet one opens words of affirmation, you know that's not hard to do and then there's gifts and that can be difficult with teenagers because like and so that's my love language a little. I want everything but she said I love you too much to give you everything but gifts and then there's quality time talking about that earlier.

Give them your full attention and then there's acts of service, doing things for them, helping them fix a bicycle chain or mending a doll dress or anything cooking a meal and all of that and then physical touch affirming physical touch in each cell. One of those was more important than the others call it their primary language so you get heavy doses of the and the newspeak the others at the hotel feels love there will be more open to whatever guidelines and rules that you set up regarding work and explore more of that connection.

Next time, Gary. I think at the end here for that parent gets frustrated because you know they're there looking out for the best interest and safety of the child and so they could be pretty demanding and what that child can and cannot do in a course that child translates. That is, I don't think you love me to hear that right now right so let's get into that next time and talk about how parent does that balancing act that high wire act between I know what's right for you and I love you, but you can never do the suggestion. That's a very complicated parenting mess.

Can we do that discourse okay.

I love these kinds of programs Jim because there's so informative and so helpful for all of us is parent they are. And that's exactly why Focus on the Family is here that we want to give you the tools you need to be an effective and loving parent to raise the next generation so they can be strong flourishing adults who stand for Christ were here for you to do that and not just on the air with programs like this but with reliable practical help and resources you know real families in crisis. Reach out to Focus on the Family each and every day for help and were grateful. You can offer them tangible hope.

By partnering with us, whether it's couples on the verge of divorce parents who need biblical advised expectant mothers considering abortion or families who were simply struggling you can offer them practical solutions through your support of Focus on the Family your gift today will share the healing and hope of Jesus Christ as you support our broadcast podcasts counseling resources online and print articles.

Life-changing events like hope restored or lifesaving efforts like option ultrasound. In fact, when you donate today. A gift of any amount will send you a copy of the book by Arlene and Dr. Chapman that we mentioned today screen kids is our way of saying thank you for supporting the ministry of Focus on the Family donate your copy of screen kids five skills every child needs tech driven details are in the episode notes or call 800 K in the word on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here. Thanks for listening to Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back tomorrow for more this conversation with Dr. Gary Chapman and Arlene Peloquin as we once again help you and your family thrive. Allie's husband was an alcoholic and verbally she wanted to leave but a Focus on the Family broadcast convinced her to stay well. I think that you need help. Father, help Jim Daly thanks to the generosity of friends like you. Focus on the Family was there to strengthen and save Allie's family. We gave her hope for a better future and today her marriage is thriving.

Working together we can help more families like Allie's bringing God's truth in desperate situations gift today Focus on the family

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