I AM ABSOLUTELY BLOWN AWAY BY THE RESPONSE WE’VE RECEIVED THUS FAR FOR DEDICATING AN ENTIRE MONTH TO THIS IDEA OF TECHNOLOGY!
From the standpoint of how we’re being targeted and how our kids are being targeted to how to work with tech and not give into the temptation of becoming addicted to our devices – this month is all about helping entrepreneurs be a little less tech dependent and helping entrepreneurial families weave the two and choose a path forward in technology.
For this reason, I knew I had to have Andrea Davis on the show. Andrea is a former secondary ed teacher, turned screen time navigator, and she’s the founder of Better Screen Time. She shares family tested ideas from the tech trenches as a mother of five and she’s on this mission to help parents worry less about technology and connect more with their children, which is a really challenging thing to do in this day and age. She is just a wealth of knowledge in this space and I’m so excited for this conversation, even though I know it might ruffle some feathers. But I invite you to keep an open mind and to take what you need for you, your family, your business and your life.
IN THIS EPISODE, WE COVER:
[1:24] It’s Never Too Late
Andrea’s shares that her mission was born out of necessity. When she moved with her family from Illinois to Oregon, she and her husband decided to buy her oldest daughter (who was 12 at the time) a smartphone so that she could keep in touch with her old friends. Pretty soon, Andrea noticed that this device was becoming a distraction for her child and their relationship. This is when she decided that her daughter was going back to a brick phone and that they as a family needed a tech plan.
In talking about technology with regularity over the last month, I’ve noticed that a lot of parents are getting very triggered by this conversation, because they feel like they’re in too deep and they don’t even want to admit that. But there are things that you can do to improve the situation and make things better. Andrea explains that it’s never too early to prepare and it’s never too late to turn things around because our kids are worth it.
[9:30] Why This Matters
With technology, there could be a lot of things happening under the surface that maybe we’re not seeing yet that can certainly show up in other ways later in life or manifest in different ways.
Andrea explains that in today’s society the wants of our kids have changed but their needs remain the same. They still need the same number of hours of sleep that they always needed, they need time outdoors, they need physical activity, they need face-to-face interaction with other people, they need time to just wander, to think, to be alone with their thoughts, to be a kid. But, now we’re seeing that kids are spending about seven hours per day on screens. So, what are they then missing out on? And that’s really one of our primary concerns, looking at those basic skills and basic aspects of child development.
On top of that, the internet is a scary place. We’ve got online predators, we have sexting, we have pornography, we have a lot of videos and images about self harm, violence, so many things that are just available. And there really aren’t a lot of laws in place to protect our kids. There are a lot of people that are working to create more laws and create more protection for our kids, but a lot of those things really aren’t in place. So, a lot of that responsibility bears down on parents. And as parents, we’re busy doing other things or wrapped up in our own screens, so maybe we’re not paying attention. And it’s crazy how quickly kids can find something – an image that they cannot unsee or a contact from a stranger online; and things can go from nothing to something very, very quickly.
[14:53] Where Do We Start
As entrepreneurs, we often use our phones or our devices under the guise of “this is how I run my business”, but at some point, we start to tip the scales and become victims to these devices, falling into addiction and our own struggles with it.
So here are some tips from Andrea that will help you set the right example for your kids:
- Create boundaries. Don’t bring your phones or laptops into the bathroom or bedroom
- Business hours vs Family hours. Do not use your phone/laptop after your working hours are done or during times that are reserved for family
- Know your weakness. Identify what is your biggest weakness when it comes to technology. Do you feel like you need to respond to every email as soon as it comes or do you get lost scrolling through social media?
- Accountability. Have an accountability partner, someone who will call you out if you’re not following the rules
[24:48] A Tech Plan for Your Family
If you want to create a tech plan for your family, but you’re not sure where to start, Andrea’s advice is to start with a “thumbs up and thumbs down” conversation (aka all the things you and your kids love about technology and all the things that you need to watch out for). This is a great start because it shows your kids that tech is not the devil, that it can be used for good. It also shows you how much your kids know (and don’t know about technology) and allows them to practice discernment.
The next step is talking about where, when, what and how long (meaning where and when you will use screens, what will you do on them and for how long). The beauty of this is that you can have this conversation even with younger kids because it’s great for building that scaffolding and that foundation so that you can add on to it as they get older.
[32:59] It Is Worth It
Andrea’s goal is to help parents worry less about tech and connect more with their kids, which is a beautiful and very needed mission in the world right now. A lot of this is a living experience, and we have to be willing to adapt and change because the truth is most of us can’t just go off the grid. It’s unrealistic so we have to learn to coexist and to rise above what the standard of society is with technology and to break free of that mold and create our own mold that is in congruence with the children we’re called to raise. And that’s worth the sacrifice.
I hope today’s episode helps equip you and your family to understand what we’re up against and make conscious choices instead of becoming the victims of technology.
And if this episode spoke to you, make sure to subscribe and leave us a review! Come connect with me on Instagram at @elizhartke! If there’s a topic, a question or a guest you want to hear on the show, just reach out and share that. We do this for you so the more you tell us, the more we can serve.
RESOURCES FROM THIS EPISODE:
- Creating a Tech-Healthy Family: Ten Must-Have Conversations to Help You Worry Less and Connect More With Your Kids
- Andrea’s online courses here
- Find amazing resources here
- For more info, visit https://www.betterscreentime.com/
- Did this episode resonate with you? Help spread the message by rating and leaving a review for the show here!
- Connect with me on Instagram!