Ep. 106- Kids and Phones: What You Need to Know with Bill Brady

by | December 1, 2021

Ep. 106- Kids and Phones: What You Need to Know with Bill Brady

by | December 1, 2021

The Fresh Start Family Show
The Fresh Start Family Show
Ep. 106- Kids and Phones: What You Need to Know with Bill Brady
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Terry and Wendy Snyder have Bill Brady on the Fresh Start Family show to discuss all the things parents need to know before handing their children a smartphone. 

Bill has found his lifes’ passion in helping families become aware of the dangers of smartphone access and providing a better, safer, and more customizable option for parents and their children. 

As the Co-Founder and CEO of Troomi Wireless, Bill has created a safe phone to help kids discover their talents and safeguard them in this ever increasing technological age. 

1. The benefits of waiting to give your child a full access smartphone

2. The many dangers of untethered access to apps, gaming & internet. 

3. The science / studies that tells us why it’s so important to wait 

4. Building tech – life skills, one step at a time is so crucial for kids 

5. How social skills are allowed to grow & flourish when kids are given the opportunity to be bored.


Mama, are you are sick and tired of relying on hand-me-down parenting tactics like spanking, threatening, intimidating, and using harsh punishments that create a total relationship strain (and aren’t effective at all!!)
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Episode Highlights:

  • What makes troomi unique
  • Correlation between confidence in children & smartphone usage
  • Teaching children to learn how to communicate in a technological age
  • Allowing our kids to be bored to increase creativity
  • Preventing overwhelmed brains in children
  • Obvious vs less obvious dangers of phone and internet access
  • How to bring phone / internet safety into your home

Resources Mentioned:

Connected, But Alone – Ted Talk

Wait Until 8th Pledge

Get a FREE Troomi A12 Device. through December 15th – Use code FRESHSTART at checkout

More Cooperation and Better Listening TODAY Bundle

Helping Siblings Get Along Lesson Bundle

Effective / Grace Filled Discipline Bundle

Join me for a free discipline class HERE!

***From December 1-12, Troomi is hosting a daily giveaway. If you purchase a Troomi phone on one of those days you’ll be entered to win the prize for that day. The prize will be announced daily on Troomi social feeds. 
Troomi is also doing an unboxing contest through the end of December. Send Troomi a video of your child opening a Troomi phone, & you’ll be entered to win one of three prizes: 1) peloton bike 2) a year of free service 3) target and Amazon gift cards. Good luck!



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Not able to listen or want to read along with us?

Here is the episode transcript!

Wendy:
This episode is brought to you by Fresh Start Family lesson bundles, your fast track to quick results with learning and implementing positive parenting successfully head to freshstartfamilyonline.com and click the shop tab to learn more Hello listeners. It is time for a new episode of the fresh start family show. I am your host, Wendy Snyder, positive parenting educator and family life coach. And I’m so happy that you are here with us. So today on the fresh start family show, Terry and I had the most incredible chat with Bill Brady, who is the co-founder of Troomi wireless.

Wendy:
So they are a mobile phone company designed for kids and Bill is the co-founder and serves as a company CEO. So he’s most importantly, just a really inspirational dada of five who has such a big heart for empowering kids with healthier solutions for using tech, which you guys know. I am so passionate about the same subject. So during this episode, you’ll hear us talk about some really important reasons why it’s such a good idea to wait. As long as you can tell you put an advanced smartphone into the hands of your kids and you guys remember if you happen to be a family who’s already given your kiddo an iPhone or a smartphone, please know that it’s not too late to change your game plan around phones, and I can support you on that journey.

Wendy:
So this conversation is really not just about phones, but also about our children’s mental health, their healthy brain development and teaching the next generation. How to manage technology. Which really is an essential life skill for every human being, because tech is here to stay. You guys, it’s not going anywhere. So you’re also going to hear us talk in this episode about the importance of setting limits and believing in your boundaries, being okay. If your rules are different than the rules your friends have for their kids and how to endure uncomfortable discussions and really situations with your kids, where maybe they just feel really different, or they wish that you had less strict or less firm rules around technology.

Wendy:
We cover that in this episode. And remember, if you need help with the whole setting from rules thing, our firm and kind parenting blueprint really is such an easy peasy done in an hour program that we’ll teach you our four steps to setting strong limits, and then following through without threats, without yelling, without shaming, without bribing or rewarding. And you can get started today by heading deferment kind, parenting blueprint.com, okay. Families. Well without further ado, enjoy this episode and go give Troomi wireless some love. I really, really love what they’re doing. They’re just kind awesome people. And we’ve gone ahead and added their devices to our shop page over on the fresh start family website.

Wendy:
So these, these phones I think, would make a perfect holiday gift for your kids. So make sure you go check them out and enjoy this episode.

Stella:
Well, Hey there, I’m Stella. Welcome to my mom and dad’s podcast. The fresh start family show. We’re so happy. You’re here. We’re inspired by the ocean Jesus and rock and roll and believe deeply in the true power of loving kindness together. We hope to inspire you to expand your heart, learn new tools and strengthen your family. Enjoy the show.

Wendy:
Well, hello there listeners and welcome to a new episode of the fresh start family show. I’m so happy you’re here and we are so excited to have bill from Troomi wireless with us today. Welcome Bill to the show.

Bill:
Welcome. Thank you. Wonderful to be with you.

Wendy:
Yes. Oh my goodness. We are so excited to have recently met you and your team over at Troomi met. Most of our listeners know that we are just so passionate about helping families understand how to really intentionally and conscientiously plan out how they’re going to approach phones with their kids. And so today we are going to talk about that with you. So we titled this episode, kids and phones, what you need to know. And so we have a lot of great stuff planned, but first Bill, would you just introduce yourself to the listeners? Tell them a little bit more about you and Troomi and all the things and why you love and are so passionate about this subject that we’re going to talk about today.

Bill:
Yeah. Great. Thank you. Well, first and foremost, I’m a dad, my wife and I just celebrated 20 years of marriage. Put in a solid 20, June 2nd, 2001.

Wendy:
We were June 30th. So there you go. Congratulations.

Bill:
Likewise. Thank you. And so Heidi, Heidi, my wife. She’s an incredible, incredible lady. I got the, I got the good end of the deal for sure. We have five wonderful children. Our oldest is 17 and a senior in high school. And then we have a 14 year old, a 12 year old, a nine year old, and then we had our, then we had our bonus baby and he is five. So we’ve got her in there from 17 down to five and yeah, we’re, we’re in the thick of it. And in, in loving it professionally, as you mentioned, I’m a, I’m the co-founder of Troomi wireless in as our CEO and a company that we developed to give families a, a better, safer option for introducing technology to their kids.

Bill:
And, and I’ve really found my life’s passion in this work. So yeah, thrilled to be here with you today.

Wendy:
Oh, so good. And yeah, this, this is really something that we are still passionate about talking about. So here at Freestar family, we have the honor of helping families all over the world, and it really is an issue that everyone is dealing with because when you think about it, I mean, the, the whole idea of having a phone with you twenty four seven has just been around for like, I mean, we’ve been together 26 years. So I remember the first time we got these phones, it was like 23 years, right. Probably 20, 23 years ago, maybe 25,

Terry:
But it wasn’t even a smartphone. I mean, that was just like a flip phone. And that was just so that, like, I could talk to you when you got off work or like if you needed something, but yeah, it, if, if you were to go back in time and like tell parents like, you know, whatever 20, 30 years ago, but one of the biggest issues that they would face in this era is phones with the kids. They’d probably give you a really strange look. And it also reminds me that there’s a, there’s like a, a moment, a scene in the movie, Jumanji, the newer one where the, the, the guy’s been stuck in the game for like 20 years or something like that. And the girl is freaking out because she’s like, I can’t believe I don’t have my phone. He goes, I have a feeling that phone means something different in the future.

Terry:
And like, so here we are. So here we are. We’re like, this is a big, is a big issue,

Wendy:
But it’s so new, right? Like we are the first generation of parents who are having to deal with this. And I just personally feel so grateful that I got the message about, I guess it was probably five years ago when I found Colin Kartchner his work and was just floored by how much he helped families. And, oh my gosh. I mean, I just fell in love with him and I could not stop learning from him. And he gave me the courage to really take a different path with our kids. And thank God we did, because here we are, you know, my daughter is now 14. I’m sure you have a similar story with your kids, but my daughter is 14. My son’s 11 now.

Wendy:
And they are definitely different than most of their friends and the fact that they don’t have an iPhone or twenty four, seven untethered access to a smartphone on their hip all the time. But they, they, the benefits are magnificent of having them wait and having them kind of slowly but surely get into this because as soon as they have it, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s just, it’s a lot, it’s a lot to handle. So I’m excited to talk about this. So let’s, let’s just get right into it. Bill, what do you say? And you have so much knowledge. I know you’ve put so much, like you said, you, you found your life’s passion and in your work, in the, or your joy in this work, but will you start us off by just telling us about when it comes to waiting to kiss, give your kids a full access smartphone, what are some of the benefits?

Wendy:
And actually before that, sorry, before that, will you just tell us a little bit more about true me before we get started? Because our listeners have heard me talk about alternatives to iPhones before, but just real quick, before we get into our subject matter, will you tell me what makes Troomi unique and what, like, if listeners are like, what the heck is true me, just tell us a little bit about that and then we’ll get into our subject matter.

Bill:
Yeah. I mean the quick version is that we wanted to provide a device to families where they could cater a phone experience to match the true needs and maturity of their kids. So picture giving a younger child a very limited experience talking text only, but then graduate them into increasing functionality as they get older as their needs mature. For example, as they need digital classroom apps for school, as they have various hobbies that could use a safe app, big give them that graduation process all the while, keeping them away from pornography, away from predators, away from bullies away from social media apps where a lot of the concerns start.

Bill:
And so that’s what we’ve done. We built an operating system, put it on some beautiful, but affordable Samsung devices. And, and then put just a level of parental control that is unmatched for its flexibility and its ease of use. And, and that’s what true me is.

Wendy:
Ah, so good. And I really do when I met, when I met you guys, I had known about devices that were just the, the text in a voice before, but it wasn’t until I kind of met you and really thought about it. I was like, man, that is a really smart thing to have them graduate and learn step-by-step. So I do love that aspect and my kids just got some Troomi devices. And I know my daughter is really excited because now in middle school, for example, so she’s in eighth grade, the device she had before did not have any capability to do anything, right. Like internet or anything, but it is crazy how the reality in middle school now is those eighth grade teachers.

Wendy:
They think every child has a phone, like it’s just expected now. So she’ll be like, mom, I can’t, you know, I can’t, I can’t do this. They’ll tell me just to take a picture and I’m like, sorry, tell him whatever, you know, and now we have a way for her to operate in a way that’s reasonable, right? Like a lot of the things she’ll come to us. I’m like, I know that’s hard, honey. And like, like you’ll find a workaround, but now we can say this, this is good.

Bill:
And there’s two sides of it. You know, we’re, we’re obviously first and foremost, we’re about keeping kids safe. You know, every parents should be concerned about making sure their kids are safe, online and developing healthy habits. But there’s also, the other side is, you know, technology is a reality and they are going to have to use technology responsibly as they’re older. So we also said, Hey, we want to protect kids today and prepare them for tomorrow. And so it’s, but it comes back to giving them today what’s appropriate for today and allowing them to step into, to more as they, as they, as they have needs that really do want it more, more technology or more functionality and give that to them as their discipline improves, as their self-esteem improves as their, you know, positive habits and hobbies are developed and they have the brain function to handle some of the challenges that come with phones, let’s save, let’s save the additional functionality for when they have that, you know, the other good things already in place.

Wendy:
Yes. And so you you’ve started to talk about it a little bit, but let’s kind of just go into some of the benefits of really waiting to give them the full capabilities. Right? So whether you’re talking about an iPhone or a true me phone down the road, that, that you’re like, cool, go for it. You got full, full access, whatever you’re, you’re now in 10th, whatever, but the benefits of waiting to be able to open up that access to them. What are some of the things that you kind of think of?

Bill:
One of the immediate things that I see in my, my own kids and their friends and, you know, seeing kids come from different cultures and different backgrounds, like family cultures, I’m referring to, you know, some have been immersed in technology from the beginning and some parents have been more guarded or, or conscientious maybe about, you know, providing things at a, at a more appropriate time. And I absolutely see a clear tie between the confidence that kids have their ability to strike up a conversation and just have a face to face conversation with an adult.

Bill:
And I love that. And I think we, I think if we give kids too much technology at a young age and they just, their whole paradigm revolves around screens, it’s harder for them to develop some of those social skills. I have. I was actually talking to, to a dad earlier this morning whose, whose son is 12 years old and I’ve met this boy, he’s, he’s a new user of, of, of one of our devices. But when I met him in person, I was floored at how he could look me in the eye, talk, joke around, have a playful banter with an adult.

Bill:
And a, and I thought, wow, this is an impressive young man. And I reached out to his dad this morning and I said, let me guess, I don’t know this for sure. But I’m guessing that this is Gabes first phone. Is that correct? He said, absolutely. We’ve kept him. You know, we’ve kept that for this age. And in, in, you know, as a result, he hasn’t been just glued to video games and screens and everything else. He’s learned how to communicate in, but every child needs that. I think that’s important.

Wendy:
It is so true because as soon as you have that full access all the time, the, the idea of boredom, it almost becomes like that’s, you know, I think of there’s, there’s so many things we could say, right? But the social thing is huge. Like if you’re able to sit in a crowd, we see this when our daughter has a birthday parties or friends over, you can tell. And even actually, even our son, there was one at his party a few months ago, a few weeks ago, but the ones who are able to sit around the table and have a conversation and, and endure like a minute of, no one speaking is, is really evident because it, it is, it’s one of those weird skillsets that, that it makes sense all obviously for us adults with developed brains fully, but who would have thunk, right.

Wendy:
That we would have been facing this challenge, but it really jacks kids up. I feel like when they have like that, I think it adds to the social awkwardness and the, the social anxiety of like, if there’s silence or, you know, it’s like, it’s, it’s just what you go to. If you feel embarrassed or you feel like you’re scared to start a conversation, or if you’re waiting in line for the bathroom and you don’t know what to do. So you look down which prevents you from experiencing life and meeting friends and having conversations.

Bill:
We do it as adults too. Next time you get on an elevator look around and every single person has their phone in their hand because they don’t want it. They don’t want to make eye contact. They don’t want to talk, but I can hide in my phone. It’s yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s the time we live in, in, in the other thing that happens too, I think is creativity. You know, you, you mentioned giving kids the chance to be bored. Well, it’s in that boredom where their creativity can evolve, you know, in, in, especially if you’ve got a younger kids, they’ve got to learn how to make their own fun and, and find joy just in unstructured time, unstructured play and in, in yeah.

Bill:
Too much technology robs them of that, that opportunity as well.

Wendy:
Yeah. I even think of as an entrepreneur and a mom and, you know, I’m always trying to figure out like, how do I call my nervous system, stay in like a peaceful state. And I actually just read a book called burn, burn, burned out. And it was, was, I was reminded just how, how overloaded our brains are all the time. And it’s the same, same concept with these phones is, I mean, most of us society wants us to get used to, there’s never a down moment. Like if you’re, if you have a moment on the train, or if you have a moment in the car on the way to school, you check your texts to check your email, you check your social, you, you entertain yourself with some Tik TOK videos. Or my thing is funny animal videos on Instagram.

Wendy:
I don’t do it that often. Okay. People, but it is, it is one of my happy spots, funny, minimal things, but it is like, it is, it’s really not healthy for our brains. Like as human beings, we need empty space. And to think that’s what I’m really leaning into as a, as a woman in my forties. And I can’t imagine the children who are like in, like, it’s just such a gift. If you can give them that ability to develop their brains in a healthy way. Because if there’s no, there’s no denial that it’s going to affect that generation. If they have no quiet, no white white,

Bill:
There is a Ted talk that, that I would recommend to everyone. It’s from a lady named Sherry Turkle. It’s a phenomenal top called connected, but alone. And in this talk, she talks about one of the consequences of this on all the time technology, everywhere, always connected environment. We live in we’ve, we’ve lost the capacity to, to have this same kind of comfort with on the spot interpersonal interactions, but we’ve even lost our comfort with ourselves. So that in, in that 10 minutes of downtime, instead of deep thinking and just calm, it’s this agitated, oh, I’ve got to have something.

Bill:
I’ve got to have something. And, and it’s a remarkable talk. We’re listening to that alone on it’s a TEDx.

Wendy:
We’ll make sure we put it in the show notes. That’s an awesome

Terry:
Mean. My takeaway from all of this is like, you know, and having we’ve done a lot of, you know, life coaching work is it’s amazing how many people, when they have a little bit of space to think about their life and what they want for themselves is they want to be more present. Like once you finally get you, you, you get a moment to think about your life and your time here on earth. It’s like, you know, we don’t want to be distracted. We don’t want to take things for granted. We don’t want to be, you know, full of, of input. And, you know, it’s when we think of kids, you know, we’re not even giving them a space to even feel what presence even feels like from the get-go.

Terry:
So they’re not even going to discover what being present means until I don’t know, have to go to rehab.

Wendy:
And their generation is our age, like deep digital rehab places. That’s going to be a good industry to be in. I’m telling you, they’re going to be like every block,

Bill:
Those things that are already, that’s already a thing that’s already, right? Yeah. It’s it’s yeah. So it’s some of the opportunities I’ve had to, to work with youth in various various capacities. It’s scary. How many kids get to 17, 18, 19 years old. And they go out on their own and have some significant issues because all of a sudden technologies either inhibited them from the develop, they need development. They need to have a healthy adult lifestyle, or, you know, then all of a sudden, maybe they don’t have the same access to the technology they’ve been used to in their kid function.

Bill:
It’s it’s, it’s scary.

Terry:
Yeah. So, I mean, 0.1, we talked about the benefits of waiting, but, you know, point number two is let’s talk about the many dangers of untethered access to apps gaming and the internet. I mean, I’m sure it, you know, it runs the gamut, but I mean, you know, give us some of the, some of the dangerous from your perspective though.

Bill:
So I always think about that in terms of the obvious, the obvious dangers, and then the less obvious ones, you know, the, the obvious ones I think most people can relate to. We don’t want our kids immersed in pornographic and violent content. Most parents would say, yeah, of course I don’t want that. We, you know, across the board, no parent is going to say that they’re comfortable with predators. You know, that’s an obvious one. We want to keep our kids protected from, from predators. And there are hundreds of thousands of them online right now, trying to groom our kids online bullying is another one of those obvious ones.

Bill:
And, you know, 37% of kids in a recent study report being bullied online in nearly half of that is happening on Instagram. You know? So that’s another one that’s probably more obvious, I think a lot about the less obvious ones. It’s the, the stress, the anxiety, the depression that we’re seeing in this, this new generation of, of adolescents. There’s a doctor that’s done a lot of, of, of work on this Jean Twinkie. Her name is, and she says in a recent book, we’re on the verge of the biggest mental health crisis our country has ever seen in an, in, he wrote a book called IGN and she talks all about how, how differently are the, this generation of kids is from previous generations because of the influence of technology.

Bill:
And her takeaway is they’re not ready for adulthood in there. They’ve got mental health challenges that are, that we’ve imposed, not on purpose, but because we didn’t know any better, but through, through this constant attachment to technology. So yeah, that’s, that’s a huge one, you know, it’s, it’s in that arrives or comes from it’s that fear of missing out that I’m always focused on while I compare myself to other people online. It’s that?

Wendy:
So anxiety like driving, you know, like it is. Yeah.

Bill:
And I think comparison, you talked about the comparison culture that, that lives on social media for kids and adults, frankly. And I think comparison robs us of gratitude. Now, if we spend all our time looking at what other people have in thinking about what we don’t have, all of a sudden, it’s pretty hard to be happy in, in it’s very clear. I mean, even there even business coaches, they talk to executives about this. If you focus on gratitude, you’re going to have more happiness and less stress. And so that’s another one, you know, it’s the, it’s the, that, that, that constant feeling of, I, I’m not good enough.

Bill:
I’m not enough. I don’t have enough. I don’t do enough. And it’s really hard for an underdeveloped brain to, to deal with that.

Wendy:
Yep. It is so wild. I mean, I can’t cite the studies like, you know, but I should be able to, I should get a list. I could probably get a list from you guys of like the studies that have shown the rates, right. Of depression and anxiety and suicide and teens. I’m pretty sure those rates have like 10 fold increase since the invention of the iPhone. Right?

Bill:
So the statistic on that comes from the, the centers for disease control. The rate of teen suicide in the United States of America has nearly doubled, nearly doubled since 2007. And that’s the year that the smartphones became the new norm. We just can’t argue that anymore. That there’s not a, there’s not a link there it’s, it’s become very clear through different studies. In fact, there was a study that was done by, by one of the, the universities in my state or a 10 year study, looking at the, the connection between teenagers and different levels of immersion in, in social media.

Bill:
And particularly in girls, interestingly enough, in girls, more so than boys, here’s a clear, a clear causation between spending three hours or more on social media per day in increases in suicide risk.

Wendy:
It’s not okay. It’s not okay. Yeah. Well, and I honestly think parents just don’t realize it. Like, I don’t think there’s enough of these conversations having, just to educate them, to say, Hey, just a heads up. Like if, you know, like here’s the reason, like exactly the conversation we’re having today, but here really are the scientific, proven studies from the last 20, 25 years that have shown anxiety, depression, suicide, social anxiety, all the things are skyrocketing. I just don’t think they’re aware. I mean, I guess sometimes they are, but they just don’t quite believe it. Right? Like, that’s why I was so thankful for Colin Carter’s work because man, he just hit the pavement for this time. That, that time that he was on this earth.

Wendy:
I mean, it’s just so sad that he passed away, but he did so much education. And you just see, like, if you tuned into any of his work, you learned really fast that it’s not B and B. It’s not BS. These are actual kids that are suffering all because we think that they have to have these devices like, and let me tell you, I mean, we have a lot of experience about being different and it has been a bit of an ass kicker. I mean, there have been, there have been, it was probably, it’s been probably four years since Stella really was like, Hey mom, can I get a phone like this? And it was back in, it was back in. I want to say it was like fifth grade or something.

Wendy:
So she’s in eighth grade now. And we said, no, honey, we’re going to resign the wait until eighth pledge. I don’t know if you guys work with that organization at all, but love them. And we actually tried to get like a bunch of her friends to do it. We asked about 10 friends and basically I think two or three said, sure, that sounds good. And then they didn’t make it. They, their kids had phones by the sixth grade. So still really has been the only one in that group of friends who have waited. But there have been so many conversations where she was in tears, just like, mama, why do we have to be so different? And please, please I’ll do anything. I get straight A’s and I’m a great athlete. And why, why can’t I just have this? And we had to have so many conversations to tell her about this stuff and, and educate her and support her and empathize and go, Hey, I know it’s tough to be different.

Wendy:
And here’s why we’re doing this. You got to just trust me. You got to trust me. And now she’s to the point bill where she really is a bit of an advocate. Like she, you know, she won’t say it to her friends, but she’ll say it like after a party or something, she’ll be like mom or after a volleyball tournament, she plays competitive volleyball. She’ll be like, man, it’s crazy to watch my friends. They just, they can’t even get water. They can’t make a water without getting on Tik TOK or they can’t. They like on a bus ride up to an tournament, two hours away, they are glued to their phone. No, like she she’s like, I just look out the window and listen to me. It was like, or whatever. And nobody interacts. And so she’s, she’s become a bit of an advocate, but there were, there were years where I was like, oh my gosh, am I torturing my child?

Wendy:
But I know, thank God because of the studies That really are becoming more and more abundant, but it’s that I’m not, we’re not torturing our we’re we’re, we’re supporting and mentoring. And by the time she does get a fully full access phone, I believe with all my heart that she’s going to have better self-management skills. And she’s going to be able to understand like, just preventing her from having the addiction because let’s face it. Like once we’re all as adults, so many of us still do have addictions, but at least waiting,

Bill:
You know, there’s a, there was a study done. There’ve been several great studies done on these topics by the pew research center. In, in one, I want to say it was 2018 and 2019. They did a survey of thousands of kids in parents about screen use. And over half of the kids surveyed admitted. And they said, I spent too much time on my phone. I would like to spend less time on my phone. The challenge is that when you get into those situations again, the genie’s out of the bottle, you know, and, and we revert to what we know.

Bill:
And especially if everyone else is doing it, oh, well, what are you doing? You’re doing the same thing. But, but kids, when they have those, those opportunities to really reflect on, am I, am I happier with, or without always being glued to a screen more and more kids are realizing I’m actually happier without.

Wendy:
Yup. Yup. And you just, as parents, it sure feels really hard sometimes. But if you can just find the courage to be one of the out casters. I mean, I say we have a podcast episode called it. It’s okay to be different, but it’s like, I always think of it. I’m always telling my community and my students like you guys trust me, man. It’s cool. It’s cool to be different. Like teach your kids. And then that’s like the worst thing, right. When you’re a teenager, all you want to do is be like everyone else. But to really with compassion and connection, teach them like, Hey, here’s what it feels like. And I know it’s going to feel crappy for a little bit, but then you’re going to get to experience it, what it feels like.

Wendy:
And it just feels darn good.

Bill:
Flip, flip the paradigm a little bit instead of out casters we’re trailblazers.

Terry:
I like that. I like that. Well, you know, cause it’s, it’s also, I mean, it, it makes so much sense. It’s like how you were saying, you know, if you put all this subject matter in front of most parents, you know, they would say, yeah, no, you’re right. We sh that doesn’t sound like something I want to put in front of my young child that doesn’t, that doesn’t. And then, oh, these studies, you know, the statistics you just put in front, I think any reasonable parent would understand with all that stuff. It makes total sense. And then there’s just this, oh, what am I going to do about it? Like, I’m just going to like, like society norms and culture just kind of takes over and then life just moves on.

Terry:
And then it’s like, whoops. And then what you end up with years down the road is regret. And I feel like that’s the worst feeling in the world. It’s like, you know, we recently had one of Stella’s friends or parents come to us and ask us, how’s it going with the, you know, the way that you guys have been introducing technology in your home. And we’re saying, you know, it’s not always easy, but it’s going well. And they’re like, well, that’s, that’s cool. Just so you know, this was the biggest mistake that we made was to, was to put that phone in our daughter’s hands. Cause there’s no there’s, you know, now we’re just, there’s so much stress around it. And so anyways, I think

Wendy:
With what they said was, and she said, you can actually use me as an example, Wendy. She said, this has become her entire identity. And we actually, we had to stop carpooling to like competitive events together because her daughter is struggling with so much anxiety now at the age of 13. And, and it also has become the main punishment tool, right? So there’s like three points of pain happening it’s used as a punishment. Like, and then you have the anxiety that’s risen and then the identity is in this device. And so it was really impactful, right. To hear her say that.

Wendy:
And, and, and, and for anyone listening, who’s like, Hey, we’re already gone down this path. Like the genie’s already been opened. I still believe with all my heart that there are ways. And that could be another episode that we could record one day fail. But like how you like switch up your plan a little bit. And I really do believe you can do that. If your child doesn’t have an iPhone right now, and you’re realizing there’s a problem there, I have a strategy to be able to switch it, like, switch it up, still bring in a true me and still have a little bit of an iPhone at home or something, but it is just, it is just really impactful. And, and then, yeah, as far as like the genie out of the box thing, it’s, it’s why I always, I just advocate like, just wait as long as you can.

Wendy:
And if the earlier you start the better, like just know technology and bedrooms and, and then no, no I-phones or, you know, no twenty four seven smartphones out in the world, like that’s a rule from the time. And if you, if you can do that, it just goes a lot easier. Cause your kids, it just gets taken off

Bill:
And you’re touching on something that’s really important there. I think for, for a lot of families, it’s this is, this is no fault to anyone because again, society, we didn’t know what we were getting into when we started giving kids smartphones, we just didn’t know. And, and, and now we do, and there’s this, you know, definitely increase in increasing conscientiousness about it. But I think for a lot of families, they’re afraid of this combative relationship that they’re going to get into with their kids. If they say, Hey, you know what, we’re going to, we’re going to wait awhile. We’re going to, we’re going to hold off or we’re going to do not an iPhone, but we’re going to do something that it’s more appropriate for your age.

Bill:
You know? And I think what people have got to get over this fear of having conversations with their kids about it. And, and, and we found that when you can sit down with, with your kids and help them understand the, why, the why behind it, it’s not just, I’m a mean parent. And I’m saying, no, this wedge in the relationship, no, sit down, sit down with your kids at a young age, you know, be having the conversations about content on the internet, in, you know, the dangers that are there, be having the conversations about predators and bullies.

Bill:
And, and, and, and then, you know, as, as it gets time to start thinking about devices, have the conversations of, Hey, we’re going to do what you need, not just what everyone else is doing. And here’s why, and I think parents will be surprised at, at how much different those conversations go. When the kids are feeling, Hey, my parents are coming at this from a position of true love, true concern. And they really do want the best for me, even though I don’t understand all of it right now.

Wendy:
Yeah. And that is exactly what has happened in our home. I, I love it when, like, I remember when we first started to do this, I was like, just like the route we took with homework with our daughter, because our daughter is like a very, very strong-willed power kid, pushes back a lot challenges, you know, like we benched a future leader leader now, like just a powerhouse, like she’s just an intense, you know, it can be an intense kiddo. And I remember in the beginning of this, and back when we took a certain angle with her, for school to have like, not to force homework and like, not like that, we watched the film race to nowhere and it really affected us. But I remember being nervous in the beginning being like, crap, I hope this works.

Wendy:
This doesn’t work. You know? And now here we are like, where I can honestly tell parents exactly what you said has unrolled in our house. And it has been through, there has been tears and long gone be like, I remember one night we still, and I were up till like 11 o’clock at night. And there was moments of the conversation that I was like, child, just get over it, you know? But I had, somehow God gave me the compassion that night to hold space for her and just listen and talk and hear her out. And then also through that, she listened to me. And then by the end of the night, it was like the most embracing hug. And I forget exactly. But there was, there was like a moment, there was a conversation a few nights after that, or a few weeks where she basically said to me, mama, thank you so much for, for caring so much.

Wendy:
Thank you so much for, for doing this for me. And I was just like, dang, she gets it. She really does get it. And she still doesn’t like it on Sundays, but now, now three years into it, she really actually does. I think when you agree, pretty much respects it and gets it.

Terry:
So it allows you, both of our kids just want to know why a lot. They really, especially her. She wants to know the rules, what and why the rules exist. And sometimes it takes a lot of endurance to go through that. But once she gets it, it’s like, it’s good. And you know, just going back on some of the things, you know, that we touched on earlier, this kid can go and look an adult in the eye. Not only she could speak to a whole room of adults, if she wants to, you know, she’s and then, you know, she also sees like, when he said in social settings, if there’s a bunch of kids that you would think would all be interacting with one another, but a bunch of them are and just have their, their faces in the screens.

Terry:
She sees it. She’s aware of it. She understands. She’s like, Hmm. And she, and she said, she’s seeing the other side of it. That, that we’re, that we’re seeing now, because we spent the time to explain to her why, and we didn’t, you know, you know, you can still empathize with, with them and still do it in a way where it doesn’t feel like, you know, you’re literally on the other side of a wall from them. I mean, you can do it with them. You can explain it with them. And it might take some time. So I’m just encouraging moms and dads out there. Take whatever time it needs, take whatever tears it needs ticket, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s just, it’s just this part of it. And you know, each kid’s going to be a little different.

Wendy:
It makes me think of the episode we recorded. No is not a bad word. And we really talk about how behind every, no, there is a yes, and there’s a lot of yeses with this one, right? So, and one of those yeses is building the life skills as far as tech goes, right? So w we’ve talked about this a little bit bill, but our last two points are building tech life skills, one step at a time. And then how social skills are allowed to grow and flourish, which we kind of already covered too. But when it comes to building the tech life skills, I do love that Troomi devices you are able to add on as you go. So give me an example.

Wendy:
So, so with, with the kids that are able to grow with it, so the school thing is awesome. Is there another example of some things that they’re able to add onto it once they get a little bit older?

Bill:
Yeah. Another great example is the question of internet access. Right? You know, so one approach is just to say to your kids, I don’t want you on the internet. There’s all kinds of garbage out there you’re you, you don’t have access to the internet. We, we all know that there is garbage on the internet and plenty of it, but there are also some wonderful things on the internet, great tools for learning and for discovering or enhancing your, your talents or your hobbies. And there’s, there’s a lot of good there too. And so one of the things we wanted to do was be able to let parents make that choice through our, through our, our, our parental controls, well, their, their first choices.

Bill:
Am I ready to add a web browser? And then you can say, yes, and then your, your, your choices. Do I want to give them, you know, for an older kid, like my 17 year old daughter, she is at a point where she’s learned and she understands and she’s disciplined. She has access to the internet full rate and, and does well with it for my younger kids. I not ready to do that. And they’re not ready to do that. So instead with them, we have what’s called the, the, the kid’s smart browser from on our devices, where as a parent, you can say, Hey, let’s sit down and talk about what you need to do on the internet.

Bill:
I’m going to give you this kid’s smart browser. And you’ll be able to visit all the websites that we talk about right now and input into our parent portal here. And so, you know, for a young kid, maybe there’s three and for a middle-schooler, maybe there’s 10. And, you know, and in that, that list of, of sites grows based on what the kids need and their maturity. But when they’re using that, kid’s smart browser, there’s no searching for anything. There’s no search bar. There’s no ability to type in a domain. You’re literally just given a dropdown menu of those sites that have been added inside the parent portal.

Bill:
So there’s no risk of getting anywhere else yet. You know, you could still go to those sites that you and your parents have decided are, are safe and, and are going to be beneficial to you.

Wendy:
Nice. So say for example, it would maybe be like discovery.com or like I had Terrin, our little guy he’s 11 now, but like during the week he’s allowed to watch science shows. So I can picture like giving them access to like some science stuff.

Terry:
Yeah. And I remember for a while he was into like the Lego, you know, website, there was like things to do there. So yeah. I mean, you could give him a couple of things and then, and then, yeah, it sounds like if there is something for schools specifically, if there’s a, you know, a.com or.edu that is associated with their school or something like that, you could add that to sounds like.

Bill:
Yeah, absolutely. Any, any, any, any website, any domain. And it could be that the child is working on a specific project for school and they need to do research about Australia. You know, you, you jump on with, you know, you jump on and you, you look at the Australia tourism site or whatever, and, and you say, okay, I’m, I’m, I’m satisfied that this is a safe site and you can put that on the list, you know? So it’s really, really easy to add sites or take sites off, just do it in a matter of seconds and the parent portal and immediately that updates to the phone. So. Cool. All right.

Bill:
And then our last one, which we kind of already covered.

Terry:
Yeah. And so, you know, our, our final point here was how social skills are allowed to grow and flourish when kids are given the opportunity to be bored. I mean, gosh, it was hard not to because it’s like, it’s at the forefront. Yeah. And I think, you know, even for myself, you know, it’s like, and maybe this is something also that I could put out there to, you know, other parents it’s like, you know, exposing that this isn’t like something that like, Hey kids, you just don’t understand. And I’ve got it all figured out. It’s like, you know, I’ll, I’ll admit myself. Like sometimes I have a hard time taking the trash out without checking my phone on the way back, just out of boredom from the walk, from the trash land, back to the thing.

Terry:
And I’m like, and I catch myself and it’s like, so to, to, to mention that to my son or daughter and just be like, man, I catch myself to like, this is a thing. And, you know, and, and some of this might be, you know, you might have to get creative with your kids, or you might actually have to put yourself in check when going through this process too, you know, it might be a family challenge where it’s like, Hey, we’re going to try something new, or we’re going to introduce this, you know, new thing or way of doing things to you guys. But mom and dad are going to do something a little different too, because I also want the opportunity to be bored. I also want to have the benefit of the creativity that I might get by, you know, staring at the trees for, for a little bit, instead of staring at my phone.

Terry:
So, you know, yeah. I would just, you know, on that, that topic, it’s like, it’s not just about kids being, given the opportunity to be bored. I think, you know, parents can, can really benefit from this, this whole transformation as well.

Bill:
Oh yeah. One of the biggest things we can do as parents is to model intentionalism. You know, if our kids see us using technology as a tool for specific purposes that are good, they help us with work. They help us with, you know, healthy hobbies and whatever those things are, but they see us being purposeful, not just mindlessly attached to that device. I always, I always say that the, the phone should be a tool that a tyrant, it was created to be a tool to help us not to run our lives. But that’s what, that’s what happens. So as parents, we can really model intentionalism and show kids through our own interactions with them.

Bill:
Well, we have our devices in our hands that people are more important than, than the technology and the devices. We’ve all had those tragic little moments, you know, where we’re, we’re on a device doing something. And I, one of our kids comes up and is like, Hey mom, Hey dad. And they’re excited to tell us something and they get the, oh, just one second, just one second. I’m going to finish this text just one second. And you finish the text and you look over and your child has gone. And they’ve just realized, oh, the phone’s more important than I am subconsciously, but that’s, that’s the message that they get.

Bill:
And in turn, it’s easy for them to treat other people the same way. So it does, it starts with how we model it. There’s no question.

Wendy:
Yep. And then from that, the FOMO kicks in. Cause if your dad’s on the phone or your mom’s on the phone, there’s gotta be something cool that I’m missing out on. And then there’s like the relationship breakdown. And then yeah. It’s like that, listening to that internal kind of gut check system that I believe God’s like, go ahead, get off, stop it. And I think it’s, it just, it’s fascinating to have an awareness around that, right? Because you do feel it when you’re around other people that if you’re on your device and there’s someone with you, it just feels wrong. It just feels off. So it’s like being able to listen to that and lean into it and know that we’re teaching them so much when we’re humble enough, just to raise our hands and say, Hey kid, I’m learning this right beside you.

Wendy:
And you’re not alone. And, and being willing to like check yourself, I think is so good. So gosh, bill, we could talk to you for hours. This really is, is such a great conversation. There’s so much more, I would love to talk about too. I mean, the whole idea of supporting parents with, like I said, how to be different, how to be a trail blazer instead of just doing what the Jones is do is another one. Something we can talk about one day, there’s a lot, but you, the work you’re doing is wonderful. Thank you so much for partnering with a frustrated family to help educate and empower and support and encourage families. And I just know that they’re really, really going to be blessed by this episode.

Wendy:
So tell us, tell us more. Of course, they can go to troomi.com and I know you guys have extended a beautiful discount. We’re going to be putting in the show notes page for our listeners. So it’s really exciting.

Bill:
Yeah. Everything, all of our, all of our sales happen at troomi.com, but there’s also some great resources there. We do a lot of work on our blog to provide parents with resources and ideas for parenting through all these challenges, as well as on Instagram and Facebook were just at Troomi wireless on, on both of those. And yeah, we try and try and provide some, some great content to, to really help families out.

Wendy:
Incredible. Amazing.

Terry:
Yeah. And for, for listeners, it’s Tru-Mi t R O OM I, which is where are you going to find all the great things the build has mentioned? So yeah, we just encourage everybody just to have these conversations, have your paradigm shift, whatever you need to do. This is an important thing that you’re faced with as a parent. And so, yeah, it’s just so happy to put this out in the world so that people can hear it, absorb it, listen to it, make different choices in their home or make maybe this is your first, you know, choice to make around this subject. That’s also, our goal is just to get in front of people before, you know, you have to start undoing things.

Terry:
So thank you so much for your time, Bill. Thank you both. Great to be with you

Stella:
For more information, go to freshstartfamilyonline.com. Thanks for listening families have a great day.

Wendy:
I hope you loved this episode. Listeners. Be sure to head on over to the fresh start family shop page, to check out our special collection of all of our favorite books and resources that we have curated over the last few years, as well as many of our programs that we have available here. If you’d like to pursue more education on the positive parenting front. So head on over to freshstartfamilyonline.com and click the shop tab at the top to learn more, enjoy.

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at [email protected] or connect with me over on Facebook @freshstartfamily & Instagram @freshstartwendy.

 

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