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Episode 31 – Digital Well Being Kids

In this episode we are going to explore digital well being for your kids and teens.

women's mental health podcast
The Truth about women's mental health

This episode is part of our Self Care Series that we will be exploring  throughout 2023. 

In this episode we are going to explore digital well being for your kids and teens. 

So basically

We are going to provide tips and tricks that are going to help provide your kids and teens with better balance.  

Transcript – Digital Well Being for Kids

EP31 Digital Well Being Kids

[00:00:00] Randi: 1, 2, 3, 4. Hi friends. It's Randy and Jess, and we're gonna cut

[00:00:07] Jess: the bullshit and let's get into women's mental health.

[00:00:13] Randi: Welcome to the podcast unapologetically All over the place with Randy and Jess, two licensed therapists where we talk about women's mental health issues and how it's all normal. Visit us

[00:00:23] Jess: at Randy and jess podcast.com to get all of the information we're talking about and to see on the articles that Randy has written and all of the information we put up.

[00:00:33] Randi: This episode is part of our self-care series that we are exploring throughout 2023, and in this episode, we are going to explore digital wellbeing, but for your kids and teenagers,

[00:00:44] Jess: right? We're gonna show you some different. Ah, trips. I can't talk. We're gonna show you

[00:00:49] Randi: some different trips. There

[00:00:51] Jess: we go.

Tricks. Tricks and tips. Um, how to provide for your, uh, teens and kids, a better balance in their life.

[00:00:58] Randi: Yeah. Previously in episode 30, we talked about, um, digital wellbeing for ourselves and for adults. So you guys can go back and listen to that. And now we're moving on to our kids and teenagers, tweens, and young adults.

Okay. So

[00:01:11] Jess: have you ever

[00:01:12] Randi: thought. . If my kid asks for more time on the computer, one more time, I'm going to lose my

[00:01:19] Jess: shit. Oh my God. Totally going to lose my shit. . Um, how, how about this one? Have I even seen my kid today? Is she even here? Yeah. I mean, like, I haven't seen her, has

[00:01:27] Randi: my teenager come out of their room?

right? Okay. Um, is this game or app appropriate

[00:01:34] Jess: for my kid? Right? Um, am I harming them by letting them be online?

[00:01:39] Randi: Right? How is this impacting my child's person?

[00:01:43] Jess: Oh, does my friend, does my child have friends in real life? Right, right. Because that's a big one. Like, I'm like, who are you playing with? Are these real friends?

I mean, like, am I, or this one? Am I setting them up for some pervert out there to groom them?

[00:01:59] Randi: Oh yeah. That's scary. God, that is felt

[00:02:01] Jess: yucky.

[00:02:02] Randi: Okay. Okay. All right, so what is digital wellbeing for kids and teens? We talked about what it is for adults, but how does this work and how does this look for our children?

You

[00:02:15] Jess: know, it's hard to try to like tell them about a detox because this is all they've known. I mean, like, I'm gonna age myself here. Randy. I can look back at when we got a color tv. Yes, I remember that mo moment. Oh my god. I remember when the microwave showed up at our house. It was huge. Right, right. Um, I remember dial up.

Oh my god. You couldn't get through the phone line cuz somebody was online. It was busy. Right.

[00:02:41] Randi: Okay. So technology advancement moved much slower for us. Yes. And for our kids. It moves at neck breaking speed like I am in social media too, and I can't keep up with all the changes. But for our kids, it's normal because they've come out of the womb.

With a smartphone in their hand, basically. Right.

[00:03:00] Jess: I mean, we, we were monitoring them while they were in our belly with whatever app we had. Right? Right. A hundred percent. Check 'em out. We could listen to 'em for all these really cool things. So how do we teach them that this is bad when. I don't know about you guys, but I'm always buying her stuff for her birthday or Christmas, right?

It

[00:03:19] Randi: has to do with with El. Electronics. Electronics. So how do we kind of create like a break from this? Like much needed because let's be honest. It can cause a lot of issues within your home and family life and relationship issues with your keen, with your keen . I mean, keen a kid, tween, I mean, basically, um, it can cause power struggles.

[00:03:42] Jess: Oh, dear Lord. This morning before I even came over here, you know, we were having a fight about electronics. Mm-hmm. , it was the, you need to walk the dogs. Well, I just wanna get online and we're like, um, you have chores. Why can't I get online? And it was like I had

[00:03:58] Randi: to breathe. Oh, you should see my teenager act like she, it's like World War iii.

If I take away her cell phone, it's like, meltdown. The most mega melt. Why is this happening right now? Like that it, that's showing me that it's time for us to take a break and so we have to also learn how to do this so that we can show that example because it does, it causes increased aggression, it causes.

Sleep problems like, and I, I notice that on my seven year old too, like he will get so angry if he cannot get on the iPad or play a game or the Oculus, and I'm like, cbra, like a hundred percent .

[00:04:36] Jess: Or what I find is that mine will be like not. We talked last episode about, you know, we get. As adults, we don't pay attention to our bodily, like what our body needs.

Yeah. And what's happening and what's happening. And I'm like, did you eat today? And she's like, well, yeah, a waffle. I was like, um, it's like five, right? You haven't had

lunch

[00:04:54] Randi: yet? Yeah. My kids are gamers and so is my husband, and they will get so engrossed and gaming and same thing. I'll be like, when did you last?

Did you have a snack? Did you drink anything? I mean, I'm bad about that too, but I'm like working when I do that. Like they're just like, that's no excuse working.

[00:05:09] Jess: No, it's not. But I know, but you're also not having a meltdown tantrum. Right.

[00:05:14] Randi: Okay. So maybe she is. I mean, sometimes like it, it depends on the cycle of the, the day of the month.

But yeah. So, but in that, Creates like meltdowns at bedtime, like, and they're, they get so overstimulated and so overtired and so, or they see a lot of things that they probably shouldn't see. We have all sorts of blocks, things my seven-year-old can find a way around any freaking, he, we have all sorts of passwords and stuff.

He can get around any password, any block, any kid, app, any control thing, and I'm like, what?

[00:05:50] Jess: Do you ever follow, um, officer

[00:05:52] Randi: Gomez? Yes. Um, I have, he's a resource officer in, um, our state of Idaho and he gives a lot of tips and tricks to parents about, um, social media and how to handle it. So cool

[00:06:03] Jess: because like he's just here next to us.

Next, the next town over. Yeah.

[00:06:08] Randi: And he, he's

[00:06:09] Jess: no bullshit. He is no bullshit. And I have, I refered, you know, people in other states to like follow him. Mm-hmm. and look at it because you know, you think your kid is playing Roblox. I remember the first time she was like, how do you spell? And it was our, our Town name.

And I was like, wait, wait,

[00:06:23] Randi: you're giving that information out. What are you, well this

[00:06:25] Jess: person's in France. Okay, so we had to go back through way back when to make sure she was safe, right? Mm-hmm. , we have all of our things set up like you do, but you know, they're smart. Yeah. And we had her play a game on Google about safety.

Yeah. And I think we've talked about this once before in a different podcast, right. We talked, we had her do a safety thing. We learned what fakers are. Mm-hmm. , we had to learn about not giving out your personal info. Right.

[00:06:51] Randi: Well, there's a reason that there. Um, special digital crime units now. Yeah, because it's an easy way to target kids.

Even a close friend of my daughters, um, they were probably about, I don't know, I wanna say between 10 and 12 when this happened, and her dad is a police officer. They were very aware of this. My daughter and her love to play just this horse game. Uh, we thought this is the safest game that they can play.

It's just a bunch of little girls. Of course there I just said a bunch of little girls. Yes. Playing a horse game. Yes. So they were targeted and she thought that she was talking to another little, I don't know, 10 or 12 year old boy, and she was giving him information. I mean, luckily her parents had the resources, but they found out it was like a 50 year old man outta state.

Yeah. But then it caused issues with out-of-state jurisdictions and trying. Luckily it didn't. It was just nothing had happened. But like they were aware enough and. Like we were like, delete, delete, delete. But this stuff happens all the time. It happens to adults and it's like, I know there's like a fine line between being over-involved in some of your teenager stuff or your child's stuff and like letting them try to figure it out themselves.

But also there's a line where you need to know when to step in and like I give my daughter a lot of privacy with her cell phone to a point she's 16, she's made some bad decisions with it before. I have smashed her phone before. I will be honest. When I found some things and we had to have a hard talk about, listen, there are laws, there are things, social media lives forever now.

[00:08:28] Jess: Forever. Thank God it wasn't around

[00:08:30] Randi: when I was a kid. Yeah. Pictures of you lost forever. Like y. information. You have no idea who's on the other side of the phone. And you need to be safe. You need to protect yourself. Yeah. Now, you know, my husband and I sat down and we had to talk about this and we had to say like, listen, like this is though how the world is, and she needs to learn how to navigate it.

So taking away her phone isn't the answer because it's always gonna be there. So we have to learn how to manage.

[00:08:55] Jess: Exactly, and that's why people are like, why does your ADHD child have a phone? Mm-hmm. . I'm like, well, because she has to learn how to do this right. Because it's not going anywhere. In fact, if anything, it's getting worse.

Right. So one of the things we set up is that there's no electronics in the bedroom. Right, right. Okay. Fine. Alexa's in there, but like she, she just talks about books. Right, right. So no electronics in the bedroom. Yeah. She does have an area outside of her bedroom. That I set up that she can have her desk out mm-hmm.

and she has her computer there. Yeah. And guess what? I can hear everything. Yeah. Right. It bounces down the hall for a reason. Mm-hmm. and I can hear what, what she's playing and how she's doing it. Yeah. And I can tell if she's getting cranky and I'm like, Hey, let's take a step back. Or if things aren't going right.

Yeah. Um, I have the, the switch is in our mat in our living room. Mm-hmm. . And if her and her friend wanna come over and play switch there, I'm fine with that.

[00:09:46] Randi: Right. And I, I get. , this is a lot to manage. Yes. On top of managing all of our own shit. Yes. To manage our kids' stuff. And I get a lot of us get lazy with it.

I do too. Because it's like a babysitter. Right. And it, it is hopeful, you know, and ki it is part of their world, but it's like, if it, you get backlash, if you don't manage it, it will happen.

[00:10:08] Jess: Y it, it is managing it to a point, right? Right. They say the average child student, like elementary age child is online seven and a half hours a

[00:10:17] Randi: day, seven and a half hours a day.

And we don't realize that because we probably are looking at our phones or our computers. That much as well.

[00:10:26] Jess: Right. I mean, and so I also, it was so funny. One day my daughter was home. She was home sick. Think she had a cold that because her school can also be online. Mm-hmm. , we make her still work. Yeah. If you're, you're not so sick cause you're gonna wanna get online later, so you still have to do your schoolwork, right?

Yeah. You can just be snotty at home. Right. So she was online and she was doing some work from home and her teacher a called her out in class that she was not in. Mm. And sent her a message and said, you're not paying attention to the lecture and shut her. . Yeah. And my husband had to like call the school to say, Hey, um, she's homesick.

Can you give her access again? Because the teacher obviously doesn't know that she's not in class. Yeah, right. So it was just really funny. Funny. And we were like, um, she's actually doing the work. So

[00:11:08] Randi: Yeah. But it's hard because it's like now they're all either on an iPad or a laptop at school and then they're on their phone or computer.

Or gaming system at home. And so it's like a constant feedback feed that they're getting and there's no break. So that's why we do need to learn how to step in. Um, and create these, you know, breaks. Let's just call them breaks instead of like a detox. It sounds less aggressive for kids. I feel like, like maybe let's just take a break from this.

Like

[00:11:34] Jess: not a timeout. Cause I don't like a timeout. That's like punishment.

No.

[00:11:38] Randi: Like how about like, let's, let's pause, let's do a pause. Like let's do a pause, an electronics pause. Yeah. So I like that. Let's call that that. Okay. So like some things we can do to implement that. Screen free time dinner. Yep. We talked about how we do that.

Like in our household. No screen time before bedtime. Like maybe like hour. Oh, we have like an an hour or two before they can wind down. Yes. Maybe like a device free day. Just be like, Hey, let's have a device

[00:12:02] Jess: free day. Look at me. I'm already freaking out. She's like her. She's like clenching my, my chair, like, oh my God.

Oh my God. I don't know. But like we do an hour on and an hour off. Okay. Because my thing is like, fine, you want an hour on? Now go do an hour off of like, I don't know, Legos, coloring. I do

[00:12:18] Randi: that too with, do something with my seven year old. So I say like, you have to read or like do a home, do homework or you know, same thing.

Do a Lego, do a craft project or go outside and then you can have, and we put timers on. Yeah. So that he, and because he's ADHD too, so he can count down and see, he has a visual timer. Like, okay, he only has like this much time left to play this game or to get off the game. And he knows to anticipate it because if we just stop him in the middle of it, it can create a hole out like meltdown.

So I have to forewarn him, this is your time, this is your countdown, this is where you're at.

[00:12:52] Jess: Yeah, we have Alexa. Alexa. Time goes off in our house all the time. Yeah. Mm-hmm. the other day I was cracking up, speaking of electronics. It used to time us at, um, we've talked to different episodes about how it would like, remind us about medication.

Yeah. Well, we like that. It just, basically, it was an eight o'clock reminder. Mm-hmm. , so I recently changed it to say it's eight o'clock time to do the hokey pokey. Oh my gosh, that's so bad. And I'm waiting for them to actually listen to it and hear it and

[00:13:15] Randi: do it. They just tuned it out.

[00:13:17] Jess: They, they've tuned it out and my husband was like, wait, what?

I was like, let's see how long it takes the. Let's see how long she goes. Like, did she just tell us to do the

[00:13:23] Randi: hokey? He's like, wait. Another great thing is to let the kids choose the activity that they wanna do for the day with you guys as a family. So that like, it doesn't seem so much like this is a device free day, but like, let's do like be present and choose an activity.

Like

you

[00:13:39] Jess: just, she really wants you to do like a yes. Today? Like that movie? No. So Cole just asked

[00:13:43] Randi: me if he could have a yes day. He's like, can Ryan do one? And I do one. And you just have to say yes to what I what? Oh, hell no. I'm like, this is gonna go really sideways real quick with my seven year old, because I'm gonna end up.

This is gonna be not a digital

[00:13:57] Jess: d detox day , right? I mean, uh, yesterday you're gonna end up either riding a skateboard somewhere in the er. Uh, yeah.

[00:14:04] Randi: I mean, uh, I mean, yeah, I had to do that with my teenager cuz I had to go snowboarding with her. I had to yes to that. So, but I did not end up in the er. Very proud of myself.

But doing these things also helps kids get outside because let's be honest, they're not outside as much. As I used to be. I mean, I used to go outside and ride my bike all the time by myself. I mean,

[00:14:23] Jess: okay. How old do you sound right now? Did you come home when the lights turned on? Yeah. I mean, I'm just wondering when the street lights came on, was that the signal for you

[00:14:30] Randi: to come home?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I'm totally aging myself saying that, you know, that. And I think like we're like, oh, it used to be safer back then, but it wasn't, it wasn't safer back then. It's wasn't safe then. It's not safe now. I mean, we

[00:14:42] Jess: just actually, it's safer now than it was back then. Really? Yeah, because we have

[00:14:46] Randi: more ways to reach our kids.

[00:14:48] Jess: Well, I mean safer as far as like we used to worry about PE kids getting kidnapped, right? Yeah. We have. We have more knowledge of it now, and it's happening less because we are teaching our kids better. Right. You know, we just had an

[00:15:01] Randi: incident and everybody has a ring camera too, that can see, picks up stuff.

They find those kids a lot faster now, thank God. I mean, technology is good in these ways.

[00:15:09] Jess: Well, it's also bad because they, they recently in our town had, uh, stories started going through viral, uh, Thursday because there was a woman, they, the kids were at the bus stop. Did you hear about that one? Mm-hmm.

Okay, so the kids are at the bus stop and this woman in this dark, you, you know, s U v with tinted windows, no license plate, said, Hey, do you guys wanna ride to school? And they were like, no. And she's like, I'll let you pet my dog. Right? Oh my God. And all of it. And these kids took off running, which was great.

Fantastic. Oh yeah. So they knew. So they knew the bus came. And the, they got on and then told the bus driver. Right. Okay. Well, it actually happened, but it like went through social media so fast in our town that everybody was like, oh my God, now we can't ride the bus anymore. It was, you know, an isolated incident.

Mm-hmm. , the police are looking at it. Yeah. You know, they're having a hard time because obviously by the time they found out was in the afternoon. Right. And all of the SUVs were different colors and whatever from these kids. Mm-hmm. , because you know, it's hard to be an eye eye.

[00:16:09] Randi: They say like your memory after to recall that kind of information.

It's so vague, right? You know, like you can't really recall. We have horrible.

[00:16:18] Jess: Right. And so it's one of those things where, you know, it was different, but you know, that stuff still happened, but it happened more back then. Now we teach our kids,

[00:16:26] Randi: that was my whole tangent, so they all knew not to pet the dog because we talk about it more and we have been like stranger danger.

Right. So they took off running and they weren't afraid to tell somebody about it. Right? Yeah. And it, that's interesting because I was just, um, watching. It's a scary movie, but it's called, um, the Black Phone with Ethan Hawk, and it's the same thing. He, it's set like in the seventies though, but like, he lures kids in saying he's a magician and he like, gives them balloons, like, and then he, I mean, he's a serial killer, but.

Like nowadays, like, God, that sounds awful. I know it's like a psychological thriller though, but, um, I might have to watch it. It's, it's actually like very, it's kind of cool because like the, his previous victims end up the kid that he's kidnapped and is holding. They come to him through this black phone that, um, like.

And tell him like the things he needs to do to escape that they tried to do and failed at. So he has like all these chances to escape this serial killer. So, um, yeah, it's giving me like,

[00:17:28] Jess: sorry, I'm making sorry about her. I'm like, okay, we're just, ew. Yuck.

[00:17:31] Randi: Okay. But yeah, but so it's like they help him so he can get away from him.

So that's like kind of cool because they have this like collective information of how they. Scape. And then, but anyways, so it's kind of like weird. But, um, yeah, but it's like the kids now totally s scrolled on that . The kids now have that information. Like we talk to our kids about that stuff and so they are able to like differentiate like, this is dangerous, you know?

Right. And so, and call their parents, and so that's good. But Yeah. But on the digital side, it's very scary. That a lot of people can have access to your child.

[00:18:09] Jess: Exactly. Um, one of the things we also do is we really want some of the electronics. Like I, I did this when she was little too. Like, I can't stand SpongeBob or Peppa Pig or some of those shows.

I mean, I

[00:18:21] Randi: do love Bluey. I'm just gonna throw that out. There. My kids love Bluey. That's actually a cartoon that more parents should watch . Well,

[00:18:27] Jess: if it was educational Yeah, we are. I was. I'm all for it.

[00:18:31] Randi: Right, right. Yeah. They talk about real life situations and how to handle them like in that

[00:18:34] Jess: cartoon. Right.

And that's great. And so that's what they, you know, we also would teach, right? Mm-hmm. , like, you know, some of her electronics when she was younger would be a math game, right? It's still a game. Yeah. She was doing math, right. And so we are like, okay, she can play and there's math. And so sometimes it's letting 'em, you know, pick something a little bit more educational.

Mm-hmm. versus just TikTok. And by the way, TikTok and and Snapchat are not allowed on her phone. I've got that crap

[00:18:59] Randi: blocked. Okay. Yeah. I'm gonna talk about how I hate Snapchat. I'm just gonna go on a side thing. There is so much over. Sexuality, like blatant like grooming stuff on that app? Yes. That it is detrimental to children's emotional and mental and brain development.

And also adults. I'm just gonna say because there is so much click bait on there. . It's really, really like one of the worst apps, I would say. Yes, for social media and I, I, my daughter had it for a while, and there is also a way, if you don't know this, for them to hide things on there. I am very tech savvy, so I know about this stuff, but a lot of parents don't.

And so they, it's that calculator inside of Snapchat. Mm-hmm. , you can hide stuff, but there's also. That you can buy to hide stuff, to which I know how to find them all. So I tell my kids there ain't nothing that I won't be able to find. I am a detective when it comes to you .

[00:19:53] Jess: So what? Well, and then also if, if, you know, I didn't do it as a kid, my friends did.

Mm-hmm. , my mom said that all the time growing up. I know what you're doing. Cuz if I didn't do it, my friends already did it.

[00:20:02] Randi: Oh yeah. And like, um, my husband was a wild one and so I, I was the good one. He is the wild one. So I. Don't think your dad hasn't done five times worse than this. And so we know, you know, what could be happening like behind the scenes, but it's important to have this conversation with your kids and really get down to, do you, do they need to have kind of like a pause in like their social media or their electronic access.

So like, kind of like ask those same things that we asked you to ask yourself, um, in episode 30. Are they able to, you know, and this is like varying, like on their age, of course, you need to kind of like have these conversations based on their age. Like my seven year old is gonna be like, um, W tf, like I have no idea what you're talking about.

He actually probably would say wtf. Yeah. But um, yeah, he would be like, um, you're weird , but like, you know, like, do they have a good. , um, you wouldn't say work-life balance, but do you have like a good balance with like your friendship and like your schoolwork right now? Like Right. Are they happy?

[00:21:02] Jess: Yeah. I mean, how many, we want our kids to be happy.

Mm-hmm. , right? I mean, don't ask in the middle of a meltdown over electronics. Right. . But like, you know, I took my, my, my tween out for tea, uh, last week. She mm-hmm. , she wanted a date. We did a whole fancy tee date. Yeah. That was

[00:21:17] Randi: amazing by the way. So cute. I love seeing her dressed up. It was so cute.

[00:21:21] Jess: Oh, some people was like, she looks like she's 15.

I was like, shut up. Yeah. . Um, but we, we did this tea thing. We talked, I mean, we did pull out the phone for an app. Next time I'm gonna do something, I'm gonna bring some cards. Mm-hmm. , you know, like the get to know you cards. Yeah. Yeah. And we did an app and it was a quiz on how well do you know, you know your person?

Mm-hmm. . And she passed. I failed. Which I'm like, oh my God. A minute. Wait on, wait a minute. Yeah. I was like, okay. Apparently. Who learn more about who she is right now.

[00:21:47] Randi: Yeah, I mean, ask them too, like do they feel good about themselves because Yeah. Self-image and body image is so strong with girls and boys nowadays.

And that's when I started realizing too, that I needed to look and take a step back with my daughter's social media and stuff too, when she was really started to struggle with some of her self-image and stuff. And this was probably around, um, in like junior high school. Mm-hmm. . And we had, she had just, we held off until.

13 giving her a phone. And let me tell you, that was super freaking hard because her friends started getting phones in fourth grade. And so not until she was in seventh grade did she get a cell phone. And, but I noticed almost immediately, like she started, you know, kind of having issues with her body image and like eating and stuff like that.

And so it was like, okay, what do we need to pause on, take away talk. You know, and these things like, and you know, so you have these conversations, right? Are

[00:22:42] Jess: they stressed? Mm-hmm. , what are they stressed about? Right. What you know? And half the time they don't ha they don't know yet. Mm-hmm. . Right? And, and they're still learning.

Right? But you know, do they know how to calm themselves down? Are you teaching them or showing them? Mm-hmm. how. Soothe. Right. Um, we used the Tea Party to, you know, have these kind of conversations and at the end of it she was like, I would like to have a date with you, like once a month. That's

[00:23:07] Randi: awesome. And I was like, sweet.

That's so amazing that you opened that door for her and that she felt so heard Yes. And valued. Yes. That she wanted this. To be on a continual basis. And that is how you build a relationship. And then people always ask me like, how do you have the relationship you have like with your teenage daughter? And it's because of those things and because I poured into her and I ask for her opinion and I value her opinion and I hear her, and I'm always surprised to hear how much disconnect there is between um, Mothers and their teenagers

[00:23:42] Jess: like, like, or being, or dismissal, like sometimes.

Mm-hmm. , I, I did it this morning and I didn't even mean to, I was doing something and I didn't hear her. Yeah. And I had to actually go back and I apologize. Hey, I'm really sorry if I dismissed you

[00:23:53] Randi: earlier. Yeah. And I've done that too. Like, I will be like, I. I never wanted to push her off or my son either, and push them away and tell 'em I'm too busy.

I can't, I can't till they never came with me with anything. I was always very conscious about that because if you tell your kids later, next time, next time later, next time there's not gonna be a later and there's not gonna be a next time. Well, and they're

[00:24:15] Jess: gonna do that to you right next time

[00:24:17] Randi: and then at later, and then you're wondering, and it's like, where do you think they learned this

[00:24:21] Jess: behavior?

Yes. Well, because you were on your phone or you were trying to work mm-hmm. , or you didn't stop what you were doing. Right. Right. Or you made a face because you were like, oh, I was in the middle of a thought

[00:24:31] Randi: and they can read our body language. Let's be honest. Oh yeah. You know? Oh yeah. And so it's like sometimes it takes all the effort.

I have to listen to one more Minecraft story. From my son, but it's like, okay, deep breath, let it go. Here we go. I'm trying to be present. I'm trying to engage because same thing, I want him to be able to come to me when things get hard in high school and or when there are friendship issues or when there are relationship issues.

Like I have when something came up with my daughter once, I think she was maybe like a sophomore in high school and like one of the other moms said, how do you know about this already? And I said, she told me about. and they were like, oh. And I was like, . They were just like, what do you mean she's telling you about this?

Like, and I was like, how did you guys not know about this situation? Well, they never, cuz my kid doesn't tell me about it. Well cuz you don't ask. Right. Or they don't feel safe enough. Yeah. To, and I know a lot of my daughter's. Friends hide stuff from their parents. I'm not saying she told me every freaking thing.

I don't wanna know everyth freaking thing. No, God no. But I know some of the key components of who they are as a person. They hide from their family because they are so fearful of rejection or disappointing them or being just pushed away and it's, it breaks my heart.

[00:25:48] Jess: It, it is. You know, like what? Oh, I can't even talk.

You got me a little, a little, little stammering here. Okay. So like at our tea party, I went through and I said, I, you know, I told her, I said, I want you to make sure that, you know, you're getting into the harder years. Mm-hmm. , right? You're getting into junior high and high school. These are harder years

[00:26:06] Randi: and they're, uh, they're hormones start changing and everything.

[00:26:09] Jess: Yeah. And, and situations get tougher. Yeah. Right, right. I mean, with others and peers and it, a lot of peer pressure and things like that. Yeah. And I said, I want you to know. I said, you can always come to me. Mm-hmm. always. I said, yeah, I might get mad. I said, but I'm never gonna be so mad that I don't show up for you.

Yeah.

[00:26:25] Randi: And I have always told my daughter that too. I don't care. I mean, I do care, but like if you do something dumb like drink or whatever, vape, whatever they're doing, she, she is had the opportunity and has not. But I said even if you do those things and or you're drunk and need me to pick you up, I will pick you up.

I will not yell at you until the next day, .

[00:26:46] Jess: Well, and that's what I've said is I'm not gonna yell you to the next day. I will make sure you're safe and we're gonna talk through how to make better choices.

[00:26:52] Randi: Yeah. And I have told her too, before, I, I will always love you. Always, always. I might not like, like you right now or not like the decisions you're making, making, yeah.

Your behavior right now. It's not you, it's your behavior. And like, I need to process that and I need to, you know, deal with that, but like, let me let that go and then we can have a conversation. So, you know.

[00:27:14] Jess: Right. And, and so you can't have these conversations if they're always on their electronics. Mm-hmm.

[00:27:19] Randi: Right. And they've learned to tune you out and they. A lot of times we do use it as a punishment to take it away. And then so when we're kind of like maybe like we should take a pause, they just automatically go to the red zone. Like, this is negative, this is horrible. Like what did I do? So like it's kind of the same thing, like kind of make it like almost like you have to work it in to

[00:27:39] Jess: schedule it.

Yeah. So you guys can all work

[00:27:41] Randi: it in and they can anticipate it and know like, okay, my parents are gonna make me. You know, turn off my phone and like play a game with them or whatever. I mean, we still play board games, like with our kids and my daughter loves it and she's almost 17, you know, but it's something that we do as a family.

Like she's just learned and I'm like, everybody puts their phones away. Like we're gonna play mouse trap or whatever. Dumb. We bite new games all the time, you know? And like, she's like, okay. And she loves it and she still asks for it. , you know, too,

[00:28:06] Jess: mine asked for time, uh, with building Legos. Mm-hmm. . So me, her and my husband all have a Lego kit.

We've done it before and we're gonna sit around. I'm waiting for it to be a little bit like a crappy day, right? Mm-hmm. like a weather-wise. Oh yeah. Like a rainy day. Like a rainy day activity. Yeah. And then we're just gonna pull out our Legos and we spend the day hanging out building Legos, you know, and it's not like there's these deep, huge conversations.

They can be, they can also just be fun. Mm-hmm. and so, Spend time doing that? No. I mean, you know, you, you don't have to go and buy a new Lego kit. You can also just use ones you have and do some building or.

[00:28:41] Randi: Whatever. Yeah. And it doesn't have to cost money either. No. I mean, go for a family walk, go for a family bike ride.

Like the, these things that you can do to take a digital pause for their wellbeing, it will help like manage their behavior issues. I mean, there's like so many things that will help with their overall sleep, their self-esteem.

[00:29:03] Jess: Yeah. They're self-esteem. They're hurt, they're seen, I mean, I, I talk to parents all the time about, you know, y I know there's that stress of I have to cook dinner and my kid wants my time.

Mm-hmm. , I can't do both. But you know what? You can, you can, I used to stick her up on top of the, you know, it'd be something special. She could hang out on top of the counter while mom cooked. Obviously not by the flame. No, no. But like she'd be there and we'd have conversations or she could help.

[00:29:27] Randi: Right. So that's what I do.

I teach my kids to cook. I have them help me. They're like my sous chefs, like in the kitchen. That's time with them. I'm teaching them something that they're gonna need for the future. Yeah, and I'm present because we're all active and we have to be hands on doing something. And that's something that doesn't cost anything but your time.

[00:29:44] Jess: Well, and the other thing is sometimes I will, I can, I am totally capable of taking both my dog to the dog park. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. . But what I say is, I need help taking the dogs to the dog park. Can you come with me? Mm-hmm. . Right? Because there's two of 'em. There's two people. It makes sense to her. Yeah. I can totally do it.

But what that is, is while they're running around, she and I sit and talk and hang out. Right. And so it's, it's really like unstructured structured time. Mm-hmm. . No. Or with our oldest, you know, if I was, he was in the car with me. I used to get lost on purpose. He thought I had no clue where we live. That's so amazing.

Yeah, because I would miss an exit. Yeah. And then I'd have to go really far to the next exit and then I would go the long way home. And if he was engaged in a conversation with me, I. You know, take wrong turns and whatever.

[00:30:32] Randi: Yeah. And just make it longer. Enjoy live in that moment.

[00:30:35] Jess: Right. Because it wasn't, there was no pressure, it wasn't face-to-face.

Mm-hmm. , I call it windshield time. Yeah. Yeah. And, and a lot of kids will talk to you then.

[00:30:43] Randi: Right. And, uh, it, it's like no pressure. And like we do something too, like, um, my son, because he has a hard, hard time, he wants to be on electronic, in the car, um, because he has autism and he has adhd. You know, help himself soothe.

But like we do something like, we play, um, we are big Disney fans and so we do, um, a Disney song guest. So like I will like go flip through the songs and they have to guess like what the name, what the movie, the song is from, and like that. And they love it still my almost 17 year old and my seven year old, and they get like so into it and by the time, you know, then nobody's worried about being on their phone.

You know, he's not asking constantly, you know, for like the iPad or can I play a game because like I'm engaging them in something and then he, they have to pause, focus, listen. And then we're also having fun and then we start recalling like all the movies and like the fun times we watched them and like all this stuff and it, and that costs me nothing.

And I was engaging with them and I guarantee they will remember. Like forever.

[00:31:43] Jess: Yeah. We, we used to play Ice Spy. Right? Right. And so she remembers when we moved here that we played a lot of Ice Spy in the car, cuz it was a really long guy ride. Right. And so, or we listened to books so we can have a conversation and I'll pause the book on purpose and have a conversation about, wow, I didn't even, did you?

And, and we just kind of engage that way. Right? I mean, yeah. Okay, fine. There's an electronic book, but it's, it's other ways that I stop and engage her.

[00:32:08] Randi: Right. And. This is though, we're not always like thinking this way. This is how we model that you can live a life without being on your phone. Yes. And then they can learn how to mimic that and know that it's okay to release and step back and find those own their own boundaries within phone use as well, or electronic use.

[00:32:29] Jess: Yeah. When she was little, she, she wanted us all to sit at the table. Mm-hmm. . We had family night, dinner night forever. And I think we were talking last episode that Yeah. We've gotten away from it too. Yeah. And I just need to pull us back because it was one of those, you know, how was your day? What'd you do?

And we need to kind of go back together to

[00:32:46] Randi: do it and empty that boundary and hold yourself responsible to it again.

[00:32:49] Jess: Yeah. And it means, yes, you sit at the table and Yes, we set the table. Mm-hmm. . And it was, I, I think I'm gonna probably make him do that tonight. Yeah. High

[00:32:58] Randi: five. Let's do it. Yeah. You guys find something that's gonna work for you, for you guys, for your family, for your kids.

Try utilizing just one of these things and see if it helps you. And you know, give us some feedback too, like do you think these tips were helpful? Like did you use it and it worked or it backfired? Yeah. I mean you gotta try it to see and see if it works. What do

[00:33:18] Jess: you do that works because, right. Just cuz we, we don't know all of it.

No, we think we do, but we don't know all of it. . So tell us what you do that

[00:33:26] Randi: works. And we'll talk to you guys in our next episode. All right, talk to you later. Thanks for listening and normalizing mental health with us. Don't forget to

[00:33:35] Jess: check out our free resources and favorites on our website, unapologetically, randy and jess.com,

[00:33:41] Randi: like and share this episode, and tune in next week.

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