Eps 314: Becoming Tech Intentional with Emily Cherkin

Episode 314

My guest this week is Emily Cherkin. 

Emily is the Screen Time Consultant, an internationally recognized consultant who has worked with families and schools over the last 15 years, a former classroom teacher and current parent, Emily helps families go from tech overwhelm to tech intentional.

She has been featured on the Today Show twice, Good Morning America, and the New York Times. She is working on a book about tech intentional parenting in the digital age.

You can find out more about Emily on her website- screentimeconsultant.com

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Takeaways from the show

  • The new age of technology
  • Modeling good phone use
  • Being tech intentional
  • Prioritize important skills early in your child’s life
  • Mentors vs. monitors
  • What persuasive design is
  • How to approach conversations about screens
  • Getting curious about behavior
  • Tech balance
  • Generational differences
  • Approaching tech boundaries as an experiment
  • Authoritative vs. authoritarian
  • Co-creating agreements
  • Progress over perfection


What does Joyful Courage mean to you?

To me courage means doing the hard things even when they’re scary, and doing them anyway. I love that you added joyful because after I do those hard scary things, I do feel joyful. It makes me want to put myself out there more even when it’s scary.



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Casey O'Roarty 0:00
Music. Hey, friends, welcome back to the joyful courage podcast, a show that has been downloaded over 1 million times. That's right, that's right. I'm gonna keep I'm gonna keep talking about that, a place where we will continue to tease apart what it means to be a conscious parent and a conscious human on the wild ride of parenting. I'm your host. Casey o'rourdy, positive discipline lead trainer, parent coach, adolescent lead at sproutable and Mama walking the path right next to you as I imperfectly raise my own two teenagers. Joyful courage. You know what it's all about? It's about grit, growth on the parenting journey, relationships that provide a sense of connection and meaning and influential tools that support everyone in being their best selves. Today's show is an interview. You're gonna love it, and I encourage you to listen for how grit shows up as my guest and I tease things part. But before we get started, do you know the level of giving back that happens when you leave a review of this podcast on Apple podcasts or share it on your social you guys? It is so, so important. It helps me and the show get seen. It encourages people to listen. I really need your support with this. I need your support with this. Each week, the show gets over 5000 downloads. That's amazing. That's amazing. And if all those people wrote a review and shared why they keep listening in, it would shoot us to the top of the charts. It matters so much. It matters so much so if you can jump into your podcast app, go to the joyful courage Show page, scroll down until you see write a review and tell the world what you love about this show. You can share about the content about me as a host, or a specific episode that really landed for you. If you don't listen through Apple podcast. It's fine, like I mentioned, you can take a screenshot of the show you're listening to, drop it into your social media. Drop it into your stories. Let others know that you enjoy listening in on the joyful courage podcast, and that what I put out matters. And tag me. Right. Tag me. Let's spread the word. Let's spread the word. Thank you. Thank you so much. If you're like, I don't know how to do any of that stuff, shoot me an email. I'll walk you through it. No big deal. I can support you. Thank you so much for listening. I continue to be so grateful for each and every one of you. I'm so honored to serve you and to be walking beside you. Thank you for who you are and for being in the community. Enjoy this week's show.

Hello, everybody today. My guest is Emily shirken. Emily is the screen time consultant, an internationally recognized consultant who has worked with families and schools over the last 15 years. A former classroom teacher and current parent, Emily helps families go from tech overwhelmed to tech intentional. Yay. She's been featured on The Today Show twice, Good Morning America and in the New York Times, and she's working on a book about tech, intentional parenting in the digital age. You can find more out about Emily at her website, screentime consultant.com Hi Emily.

Emily Cherkin 3:34
Welcome to the Hi Casey. Nice to meet you and see you.

Casey O'Roarty 3:40
Yes, yes, I am so glad that you're here. This is such the topic for parents of tweens and teens. And I mean, I did a whole summit about this, and it's still like, okay, great. And what do we do? Will you? Will you share with us about how you found yourself in this niche of supporting parents with tech limits and and and mind. Yes,

Emily Cherkin 4:07
I would love to. So I, as you mentioned, have a teaching background. So I spent 12 years teaching middle school, which is like the heart of tweendom. And I, God,

Casey O'Roarty 4:17
bless you.

Emily Cherkin 4:18
I get that reaction. Thank you for your service, it I absolutely love seventh graders, and not everybody feels that way, and so I feel very lucky that I got to have all that time to really get to know that age group. And what I noticed when I entered the classroom in 2003 was that nobody had a smartphone, because they didn't really exist for kids at that point, and nobody had a flip phone, except for the one kid whose mom was totally neurotic and paranoid, right? And then that kid was so embarrassed, like, Oh, my mom is making me carry this, like old school flip phone around,

Casey O'Roarty 4:53
which was news, which was totally new.

Emily Cherkin 4:56
Exactly, no, it was, it was an embarrassment. And in the. 10 years I was at one single school, it went from that one or two kids in that grade to 95% of my students had smartphones in a 10 year period. And what I noticed about halfway through that as more kids were getting them, was the impact of the FOMO that was happening, right? That fear of missing out, which is normal developmental Middle School angst, exacerbated by the introduction of social media and smartphones and so, of course, it was Myspace and Facebook initially. Now no tween will be caught dead on Facebook, but at the time, that was the IT platform, and I noticed my students coming into the classroom and just talking about, like, oh gosh, there's this party. And someone took a picture and posted it, and I wasn't invited, and it was just made everything about that social engagement that's already fraught for middle schoolers that much more intense. And so then I was like, Well, wait a second, we got to talk about this, like, we can't see elephant in the room. I can't teach a vocabulary lesson if kids are stressing out about all this outside of school stuff. And so I started talking to them about it, and I loved again, I love working with this age group, because they're still, like, genuine and earnest and honest, like they want to be good people, and they're so awkward, you know? So I just had so much compassion for just all of that. And what I found was they would say, Well, yeah, yeah, yeah, you're telling us not to look at our phones. You're telling us that we shouldn't use social media. But our parents are the worst. Our parents are texting and driving. Our parents are scrolling through Facebook. And I was like, Aha, this is a parenting challenge. This is not a kid problem, and I say that it is something we can help kids with, but it starts with us, and then I'm gonna have like, a giant asterisk there that says, also the tech companies are hugely responsible for this, so I don't exempt them, yeah. But that was a real pivot point for me where I was like, Okay, I gotta talk to parents. And then I would start doing these parent talks, like parent education nights at school, and they had no idea what their kids were doing. I mean, it was sort of this revelation for all of us, like, Oh, wait. I didn't know they could do that. Or I didn't know, you know, you could look this up or connect this way. So that led me to really thinking about, how can I support parents? Because parents are the children's first teacher,

Casey O'Roarty 7:25
right? Yep, yep, yeah. So that's how

Emily Cherkin 7:27
I got into it, and I launched my business. Actually, in 2018 I taught for 12 years, and I worked for two years in a center for kids and adults with executive function challenges. So like primarily ADHD, which was fascinating. And I really saw even more that clashing of executive function challenges with screen time. And it was just this, like, oh my gosh, so much harder. And at the same time, what was happening in schools is that more tech for schools was happening, so online homework, all of that stuff, and then we get the pandemic. And that was literally someone just said, is like, fuel to the fire, everything, just, you know, conflagration here. So that's where we are. Yeah, I've been busy.

Casey O'Roarty 8:11
Yes, oh my gosh. Well, and as I listen to you kind of go through what you've seen, I'm remembering, like, even as a young mother, well, I wasn't young, but my kids were young, when my kids were young, and I remember Facebook. I remember a friend of mine being like, Oh, it's this really, it's actually just a great place to store photos. I remember my good friend Rael was talking about it like that, and it's really cool, and you can share it with other people. And I was like, and then I got on there, and I was like, Oh, my God, this app was made for me, you know. And I didn't have any training. I and I was like, 35 you know, or however old I was in 2008 and, you know, it's so interesting to me working with parents, because there are parents who are kind of like, la, la, la, not interacting so much with their smartphones and not really understanding the different apps. And then there's parents like me, who I realize I have my own issues with screen limits, and I'm constantly like, trying to figure things out on my phone to like, Stop, like, the other night, oh my god. It was time for bed, and I went in a deep dive into these yoga videos and these yoga reels. And I was like, shit, it's 1130 I need to go to bed, and I can't stop so and then I'm sure I know that there's people in the middle who have a healthy relationship with their technology. But you know, that's I think about that too, and we don't have this memory, right? Like, there's certain things around parenting teens where we can be like, Okay, what was it like when I was a teenager and navigating, you know, alcohol or curfew or whatever? There is no for us to really, yeah, and so I feel like our generation of parents work really. You know, it's a very shaky foundation, yes, so I'm really glad to have you on. Well, you touched on for personal and professional reasons.

Emily Cherkin 10:18
I love talking about this, and I will say, I love that you referenced how this was so different even 10 years ago, when we were newer parents, because I have a 10 and a 13 year old, so that was my beginning of my parenting journey. And parents will say to me, Well, I watched TV and played video games as a kid and I turned out fine. I hear that all the time, not the same. 100% not the same. And here's why, because you remember, I'll just give you an anecdote. I remember every Thursday night, my family would be so excited because we got to watch The Cosby Show, and that doesn't hold up very well. Today, I

Casey O'Roarty 10:49
realized that I know, but

Emily Cherkin 10:50
we had to wait a whole week to watch 130 minute episode that is never something our children will ever experience, because it's 24/7 streaming of virtually anything we want. So that alone, I mean, that's just one tiny way. It's different, but we had fewer options, right? And what did you when you were when you were kid, and you said, your parents, I'm bored. What'd they tell you to do?

Casey O'Roarty 11:15
Go outside exactly today? Not my problem.

Emily Cherkin 11:19
What kids say? I'm bored. What are they really asking for?

Casey O'Roarty 11:24
I want screen time. Well, if they're I mean, you know, I Yes, and I'm thinking about one particular, lovely mom in my group who posted about, well, we don't have screen time until 4pm and I said, Wait a minute, Natalie, how old are your kids? And she's like, Oh, four, eight and 11, I was like, this is the teenager group, yes. And I've been it's a rare parent of a tween or a teen that's like, screen time doesn't happen till 4pm

Emily Cherkin 11:50
right, right, right. And again, we get so muddied because of the school related issue. And I think that is really this underlying hot lava that makes us even more fraught for parents, because you could have great screen time rules. And in fact, you know, we've dabbled in like, where do we allow screen time for my 13 year old? You know, what days that are, weekdays that we do or don't? But the problem is, he's got an iPad for school. So then what, you know? I mean, I'm not going to stand over there and watch him, you know? And I get so fired up about that, because I'm a teacher by training, right? So I know, I know what good learning looks like and what skills are required, and they mostly don't need to be on an iPad, but it's, it's like somebody told me once, it's like holding back a tsunami with sandbags. You know, it's just feeling like this is kind of futile, but I say that, and I'm still very optimistic and hopeful, so don't worry.

Casey O'Roarty 12:43
Yeah. Well, yeah, great, good. Thank you. But the other thing too is like we are an ever more tech centered society and world, and so on one hand, there's, you know, the importance that our kids are learning how to be tech citizens and how to navigate technology, which I think, just like, you know, it kind of reminds me of in schools, you know, taking the tech out and that only focus on academics versus the social, emotional aspect of development. You know, there's a disconnect there. So when we're talking about technology and the skills and using technology also included inside of that are, you know, self regulation, limit setting, all of those actual, you know, social and emotional skills that come with learning how to use These devices that aren't going anywhere, right?

Emily Cherkin 13:40

Casey O'Roarty 13:42
here's tell me about being tech. Let's talk about this movement. Here's what I

Emily Cherkin 13:46
always say, I'm not anti technology. I'm Tech intentional. And what I mean by that is that I don't hate technology. Okay, in full disclosure, I'm married to somebody who works in the tech industry, like literally married to the problem. So we talk about this all the time and and actually, he's on board with a lot of what I say, you know, and he recognizes but here's an example, because parents will say this all the time, well, my kid needs these skills to be successful in the future. And here's where I push back. When did you learn how to use Facebook and the internet? Right? You were well past College, I'm guessing, right? Because

Casey O'Roarty 14:18
that's here our kids, they didn't even have email, right? This is

Emily Cherkin 14:24
easy stuff to learn. I mean, yes, you can learn more complicated stuff, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how to get on the internet, sign up for a social media account, whatever. We cannot displace other critical skills in the name of tech soon so that we can prepare our kids for the future. And what I mean by that is, first of all, the tech skills that exist now the kids are learning now are going to be irrelevant in 10 years, right? Because things change exponentially fast. So first, you know, we if we're going to front load it by saying, Oh, but they're learning all this coding. Well, the coding language that's relevant now is not the one that people use when I was in college or 10 years ago. So there's that. The other. Thing. And my husband, how? You know, he works with engineers and, you know, graphic designers and people who he literally is in tech. And what he says is, yes, when I interview someone to hire them for a position in my office, I want them to have coding skills or engineering skills. Those are important. He's like, but that's half of it. The other half is, can they problem solve? Can they think critically? Can they have a conversation? Can they communicate? Can they manage their time? Can they be organized? And you know what those skills are, executive function, and none of those require a screen. So if parents want their kids to be successful for the future, even in a tech based career, then my advice is prioritize the right skills first. It doesn't mean you can't have some tech, and we can talk about that and how much is too much, but it's, it's like scaffolding it in. And I really think that we are sold sort of some mistruths about the benefits of tech, but we're displacing the important skills you can't get back, at least not as quickly or efficiently as when we're young, you know. And our brains are just so malleable. So that, to me, is huge. I

Casey O'Roarty 16:08
want to highlight what I'm hearing you say, like what your husband mentioned. And by the way, my kids are not learning coding through Snapchat, Tiktok, Instagram. But anyway, right? No. But what I'm hearing like, what I love, and some you know, what I talk about with parents and a really powerful, positive discipline tool is making agreements and CO collaboration and and when I think, when I'm list as I'm listening to you, and those executive functioning skills, that's what they're stretching into as we are curious with them about tell me about this. And how are you navigating red flags, and what do red flags look like, and teach me about this app. And how are you now? How are you? You know, what does it look like when you are when you've reached the limit and it's time to put it away, and how to manage the emotional, you know, flooding that comes. You know, there's so much, even as tech as is the topic, there's so much around it where, if we are willing to be in conversation and to hold our kids, because that's another piece too. Like the technology, I mean, it's an it's another thing when we're talking about the school laptop, right? But as far as the phones, right, which, I think parents of teens and tweens, we mean, we can talk about video games too. But the phones, that is a privilege, people, that is a privilege. You do not have to buy your child a phone. You don't have to, right? And we're doing it. And if we're going to do that and give them that privilege, it comes with responsibility. And I don't mean like they better be doing their chores. I mean, that's a whole nother podcast. What I am talking about is they need to be willing to have conversations about limits, about health and well being, about self regulation, all those things that your husband mentioned, they have to be willing if they're going to have this privilege. It comes with this responsibility, and I think when we can sit inside of that, it makes those conversations, well, easier. I don't know if that's more fruitful, but it's like, yeah, fruitful. Like, just a given, like, this is what we do. If this is what you're gonna, you know, it's like, I'm not gonna give my kid a car keys and just say, good luck. No, that's

Emily Cherkin 18:36
exactly the metaphor I use. You would not hear your 16 year old the car keys and say, just go drive. It's all good. Heck no, yeah, you'll

Casey O'Roarty 18:43
figure it out.

Emily Cherkin 18:44
I mean, there's a whole reason there's laws around, you know, early driving and permits and all that. And I absolutely that's so important. And I think I have a rather strong opinion about parental controls, and I say this a little bit tongue in cheek, which is that I don't recommend parental controls. I recommend parenting. And here's what I'm going to put a little star again and say, Look, if you have parental controls you like and you use fine, I'm not going to tell you to take them away, but here's my reason for saying no to that. Too often parents want them the parental controls to exempt them from the parenting piece of this, and this is exactly to your point. We cannot just hand these things over and say, Well, I downloaded X controls or B app or whatever it is, and they're fine. It doesn't work. That's the same car key thing. Well, have they have airbags? Yeah, they'll be fine. That's not how it works. And so we can't. I like to quote Devorah Heitner, who wrote screen wise, like, you know, it's we have to be the mentors, not just the monitors. And that is where, I think, especially in those teen years. I just love what you said about the opportunity, you know, the conversations around this, that it's a both, and you know, too often we're combative when it comes to screen related. Challenges, and is one of the things I say all the time is we have to go backwards, to go forwards like we have to start with connecting with our kid before we have the fight about screens. Because if it's a fight, you know, it's not going to work for either of us, right? It's just, yeah, you know, it's just stressful,

Casey O'Roarty 20:16
yeah? So, yeah, yeah, yeah.

I love what you're saying around monitoring versus parenting. And you know, I'm definitely in a both and with my 16 year old, I love that the that iOS has parental controls and we have limits set. And I look and I see, wow, because we are having this tension around he's what, you know, like the days where he's like, Well, it's six, and I've I met my limit. Can you just give me more time? And it's like, well, let's see what you've been doing. And it's two hours of Tiktok earlier in the day. And then the question is, like, is this that's too bad? Like, I know you'd rather be connecting with your friends, right? Do you think this is a place where you might want to limit around Tiktok so that you're getting, you know, pinged that, hey, you've, you've been on this thing for an hour. Like, is this how you want to use your amount of screen time today? And so I feel like we're in the both and and, like, I was telling you before I hit record. And I think I've said this on the podcast, we are except for that covid showed up in our family, but we were already everybody's okay. We were all ready to have a new conversation with him, because he's 16, and it's, you know, there's places to look at. We've had the same limits for a while, yes. And so this is great timing for this conversation. But you know, it's, it is? It is something that evolves with our kids. And I, I'm not willing to say, well, actually, I'm not going to say that. I'm not willing, because the good news is I can see, right? Every the data is there, and we can look together. I

Emily Cherkin 22:02
love that. That's a tool too. Then, you know, you're using it again. And this is, I always say, like, our phones are not switch plates, they're Swiss Army knives, right? Like they're multi tools. They do all kinds of things. And, you know, using it as a tool is a way we use our phones. I mean, this is something we can acknowledge a name, it gets tricky. And what I'm hearing, and I love is like, at 16, you're having a very different conversation about how screens and technology are being used. I It's the parents of six and eight year olds who tell me that they've got unlimited internet access or social media access. I mean, they're eight year olds with Snapchat, right? Like that, to me, is way putting the cart before the horse. You know, you've got so many years of development that need to happen. So I hear, if you know your 16 year old, you're having these conversations, yeah, that makes sense to me. And I hear in that the intentionality, right? Like to me, that's the important thing. And what looks tech intentional in my family, maybe a little bit different than in your family. It's just that it is an alignment with your values as a parent and in your household and and again. Full disclosure, you know, my 13 year old, 13 year old and I had an argument about this last night. You know, you're the only parent who sets limits. You know, I don't like this. These are your values. I got that one. This is I never said, Well, you know you don't have to like them like this is, this is developmentally normal, and I think parents sometimes don't know that or understand that, and it's hard. It is. It does feel bad when your teens so mean to you and like I like, but we have to remember that we're the parent and that we have to regulate and manage our own emotions so that we can be ready and present to help them manage theirs. It's not, yes, we can't personalize it. And again, guilty is charged. I get mad and hurt sometimes, like, I don't want to make it sound like it's easy to do that, but we have to remember that like they're 13 or 15, you know, like this is harder for the course or

Casey O'Roarty 24:02
18? Yeah, yeah, totally, exactly. So talk to me about persuasive design, and then we're going to get into some of the questions that came straight out of the community. So what is persuasive? I

Emily Cherkin 24:16
feel like no conversation about screen time is complete without understanding what this is. And I always say to parents, this is not a fair fight. And what I mean by that is persuasive. Design is this concept. Here's a really easy to way to remember what it is. It's literally technology plus psychology to change our behavior. So it looks like a lot of different things, but here's an example. How many of us have decided to watch an episode of a show on Netflix, and the show ends and it auto loops into the next episode, and we don't even have to physically move our body, and suddenly we're watching 2345, episodes, and we didn't mean to, right? I've done that. Yeah, last night, exactly. Yes, how about scrolling through Instagram? Is there a bottom to your feed? No. You literally could scroll until you die. And those are just two of many types of persuasive design that the products we use, the apps, the platforms, the devices themselves, are designed to hook and hold our attention, and they these tech companies have hired developmental psychologists to design the products to tap into our neural pathways to do that, and if we adults in our 40s plus, have hard time with the auto looping and the scrolling, how on earth can we expect a 12 year old or a 15 year old to manage this, because their brains, that part that was going to control that emotion regulation, isn't fully developed till they're well into their 20s or even later. So that's when I when I say it's not a fair fight. We have to remember that when our kids have the meltdown, when they fight us on stuff, yes, some of that's developmentally normal, but it's not a fair fight because their neural pathways have been hijacked. I mean, we have we are fighting dopamine and feel good hormones. We are not fighting our child. Our child's not weak willed or bad. It is totally unfair. So that's when I get really mad, and I want to fight the tech companies, but I believe that, especially for older, you know, the tween and teenage, we can talk to them about this. That's what's so wonderful. They're smart people at this age. They're little humans, not little adults, because their brains are still different. But we can talk to them about that. And that's when I would talk to middle schoolers about this. I just loved they were outraged. It was like the injustice. How dare you manipulate me. I'm not okay with that. But the problem is, even adults, when we understand this concept, we still think we're like, impervious to like. We're like, Oh no, no, I know what it is, but it doesn't affect me. We like gas or I know

Casey O'Roarty 26:53
what it is, and I'm gonna hit yes, I am gonna watch the next episode of too hot to handle.

Emily Cherkin 26:59
We're like, gaslight ourselves sometimes. And I think the problem is we have to remember that it's so much harder for children. And children, I include up to 18, you know, like they're

Casey O'Roarty 27:10
still children. Oh, beyond Yes, yeah, so

Emily Cherkin 27:13
yeah, design is and then I think it's again, this perfect storm, right? We were in pandemic life. So how did we stay socially connected? Well, we turned to our devices, we turned to FaceTime, we turned to online school, we worked from home. Everything became digital, and again, in the short term. And I'm going to quote my husband here, because I love this. He said it was a lifeboat when we needed it. But lifeboats aren't long term housing, right? It was a short term solution that can't be sustained long term. And we can see that in the mental health impacts of isolation, excessive screen time, stress, anxiety on young people. And I mean, I do correlate a lot of that to screen use, and it's not the only thing. I know. There's a lot of factors, but that that's a worrisome thing to me. So that's what persuasive design is. And I do believe that if parents understand it, they can be more intentional about how they talk about screen time, like we can say, you know, whatever age kid is having a meltdown. I mean, it could be a six year old or a 16 year old, we can say, Gosh, your brain sure loves what it's doing, and you don't, and it your brain doesn't want to stop, right? We can sort of take it away from the person that's having the problem or the challenge and say, like, This is so unfair, like, no wonder you don't want to stop, right? You're literally having all of this good stuff happening up there, so that can help. Yeah, doesn't mean it goes away. Yeah, I

Casey O'Roarty 28:37
was, I was in a conversation last night with the gals in my membership program about we were talking about screens, because it's the conversation. And you know, some of the coaching that I gave to when approaching our teens and tweens in these conversations is to start with connection and curiosity, because when we show up and we're like, put the damn screen down, you know, or like, God, you're always on that screen. Or I read this, I have all these articles, you know, like, this is what they say. But I mean, first of all, I feel like our teens, they know a lot like they're, they're a lot more aware than I think a lot of us give them credit for and to go in with curiosity and to find out, like, Is your body giving you? Do you get signals from your body about like, Whoa, it's been a long time, and how do you navigate that? I think that's yes, so powerful. Did you watch the social Yes? Did you watch the movie? Did you and did you feel like it was useful?

Emily Cherkin 29:42
I think it's yes, there, you know, it's

Casey O'Roarty 29:44
the beginning of a conversation beginning. And

Emily Cherkin 29:46
I think the only you know, yeah, I think it's totally worth watching with teens. I think they're going to know you have a hidden agenda. So again, it's approaching it with the right intention of like, Hey, I taught all this. Would you want to watch this? I love what you said too, about curiosity. And I have a little. Story about that, because my, one of my mantras I say all the time is, how to how can we replace judgment with curiosity like that? That's the strategy we have to approach love that. And I learned that in a mindfulness class that I took before I had kids, and I had time to take mindfulness classes. And I remember thinking, Oh, this is such a great quote, I'm going to put it on a keychain for my husband. And I went and got it engraved, and I went and picked it up and brought it home, and it shows so

Casey O'Roarty 30:23
nice of you. Well, listen to this subtle, oh, yeah, right,

Emily Cherkin 30:27
right. Totally hidden agenda, but I managed. My cousin looked at she was visiting. She goes, Emily, you spelled judgment and curiosity wrong. I was an English teacher. I had turned this key chain in to the engraver. I couldn't even, I couldn't even blame the engraver. It was my fault. But it's a great example of, like, Oh, this is so embarrassing. And also exactly the point, like, what is it about those words that make it tricky to spell? But I agree, you we have to. I always say it's a both and not an either or. You know, you can't. If you go into any conversation about screen time with judgment, it's shut down the conversation. It's a battle. So getting curious, and I love there's lots of word prompts. I'm sure you talk about these all the time. You know, like, I notice I wonder, how does it make you feel? Or talking about it ourselves, one of my favorite tips is this idea of living our lives out loud, which means we narrate what we do, is we do it. So gosh, I'm reaching for my phone and I'm bored and I'm scrolling through Instagram, and I don't want to be scrolling through Instagram, but that's just what I'm feeling right now. Or I'm looking at a map. I'm looking up a recipe, like, doesn't matter how old your kids are, what great modeling, accountability, executive function, skill building, like showing them that we struggle too is huge. It goes such a long way, right, and it helps us build that connection. So I love that you said that, yes. Well, let's

Casey O'Roarty 31:51
take a look at some of the questions that I got from some of my peeps. Yeah. So Sean was wondering. She wrote in, as parents of teenagers, should we force limit settings, such as unplugging, especially when we see it causing harm, or do we let them learn their own lessons? She feels really mixed. And I'm curious even about this question, like when we see it causing harm, meaning, yeah, what kind of when the unplugging is causing Yeah, or we're seeing that the use is causing harm, but either way, what are your thoughts about forcing that limit setting? So

Emily Cherkin 32:24
the word forcing definitely jumped out at me, because that is immediately going to be a conflict, right? You're going to set up that combative feeling. So again talking, getting there, curious. So when again causing harm, wondering if that's from the screen itself or the taking it away. But to get curious, I notice that when screen time ends, you have a really hard time, or I notice you're spending a lot more time on your phone than usual. Can you help me understand what's going on? Is there something you need the conversational piece first? So I would not even think about the limit setting until you've had the conversation more than once, right? And it it needs to be little snippets, right, like little few second conversations in the car on the way to school, whatever it is, letting them learn their lessons is so tricky, right? As you point out, you know, the older kids get we want that independence, that differentiation, they're forming their own identities, but we still have to provide the scaffolding and the safety lanes, you know, and that for the Internet and screen use, there are some safety considerations. I don't even just mean, like the predatory, scary stuff, but the impact on brain development and sleep and behavior and mood, like, that's our job to help them regulate it. And the problem is it's this perfect storm, because if we say no or take it away or limit or minimize it, they react because of that hijacked brain, right? So the response to our limit setting is more extreme than if we were setting a limit on like no more candy, right? So it's a little bit harder, a lot harder. So a little bit harder, it's a lot harder, let's be honest. And I think it's both and again, like, you know it's we have to remember it's normal for teens not to like our limit setting or not to like our rules, and we can name them. I know you don't like this, but right now, that's the rule. And I'm doing this as a safety thing, like, or in my mind, as a parent, this is about your health, and I'm prioritizing your I say that,

Casey O'Roarty 34:19
yeah, yeah. I'm a broken record. This is about health and well being well, and I love what you're what you're saying, Emily, because it's not, and I'm hoping, I'm guessing, I'm trusting that the listeners are hearing it too. It's not, do I set limits, or don't I? It's setting limits inside of relationship with the child that those limits are impacting, yes, right? And I think if you're listening and you're thinking like, Oh my God, all I have to do is bring up limits and they freak out, then maybe the conversation isn't about the limits. The conversation is about wow, I notice it's really hard for us to talk about screens. Have a conversation about the conversation exactly,

Emily Cherkin 35:02
you're laying that foundation first, because you can't again. You know, you can't build the road if you don't do the whatever. I don't anything about building roads. But you know what I mean? Like that metaphor, and that's absolutely it. Like, yeah, we have to have that conversation and we can talk again. I really think there's such value in modeling that it's hard for us too, because then kids know we're human, and it's our struggle too, you know, and and then it's you approach it together, especially too, as kids get into those teen years, you know, being their ally and helping them see, gosh, you know, being an adult can be hard, and it comes with lots of privilege, but it's challenging even. You know, this is hard for us too. So I always say to parents too, like no parent has ever called me to say, I wish I gave my kids more screen time. I wish, right? I gave them a phone earlier or social media earlier, never, right. So, right. You know, even though it's hard now remember that literally no parent has ever said that.

Casey O'Roarty 35:57
Yeah, one of the members last night in my group call was talking about how her 15 year old, like they're in the conversation about allowing Snapchat for their 15 year old, and I just had to have a moment of a round of applause for her, like you made it all the way to 15 with no Snapchat. Well done. Yeah, yeah. So the next question that I have comes from Alicia, and her child is 11. Well, I guess she's 13 now, but, and I think that this is also so applicable to the 15 year olds and the 17 year olds. She talks about how March 2020, they really let go of limits. And her child also is ADHD, and that interaction with friends was, you know, as it is for all kids so exceptional, right? And now, a couple years later, her daughter is doing great as far as all the areas go, relationships, extracurricular, grades, but mama feels like the iPad is all she ever wants to do. And mom feels guilty. It's a quick, easy dopamine hit, and she's doing well, so I can struggle, right? And I know this struggle like everything's looking good, and so it's hard to find the why, to rein it in and to restrict so how can we support her around? What the benefits are around doing the work of reining it in. I mean, I can't really think about any other better way in this

Emily Cherkin 37:27
question. And I one thing I want to say right away is that parenting is like the judgiest experience I've ever had. You know, being judged as a parent, right? And then feeling like everybody's judging everybody else. So I always tell parents to go for good enough that it's like an 8020 rule. You know, 80% of the time we're doing what we want, parenting how we want, working in our values. And then I joke that during the pandemic, it was more like 6040, right? Just, let's just get above half. So first of all, the cutter or make it to half, right, exactly. So to cut ourselves some slack, like parenting and guilt, guilt, it's so real. I get it and I empathize, and it also doesn't really move the needle. So just to give yourself some slack, that's my first thought. But secondly, this is it all comes back again for me to that tech, intentionality and balance. And so I there's a colleague of mine, Dr Doug gentiel, who has done a lot of research on screen time and looked at generational differences, so like how our childhood, our parents childhood and our kids' childhoods are so different. And one of the things he talks about is displacement, so that simply the time we spend on screens and we can look like he actually does the number of hours per week that kids in America today spend on screens versus, yeah, I mean, it's, it's a humbling number, and I can, I can send you a link to that, but one of the things to think about is, I don't know, you know, it's way higher than it used to be, but, but

Casey O'Roarty 38:54
more than a part time job.

Emily Cherkin 38:58
But the key point is, not so much the total number, but what it displaces? And so for teenagers in particular, what's the first thing they displace when it comes to screen? Use sleep.

Casey O'Roarty 39:10
Movement. Oh, sleep. Okay, probably

Emily Cherkin 39:12
that too, because sudden, being sedentary, but like staying up later, or being online at night or right? And so that's it's sort of this, like flip thing, because sleep is the low hanging fruit, like it's, it fixes so many other issues if we can prioritize sleep. Yeah, but for this mom, like hearing that there is success and balance in these grades, extracurriculars and relationships, sounds great to me. I hear balance and that it that displacement maybe, you know, yeah, a little bit of screen time is fine. But I hear her saying that she feels uncomfortable about all the iPad being the end all be all like the thing that her daughter wants. And there's a little neurodiversity point in here too, right with ADHD, which is that it's kind of a misnomer to call it a hyperactivity Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, because actually. ADHD is a surplus of attention, right? It's like the hyper focus, hyper intensity, and so it at the expense of everything else. And so that's gets really messy when we talk about like that dopamine, especially for the brains that are craving that that stimulation, it can be even harder to manage and regulate the screen time. So it does require that parent intervention piece, but also to talk about it again. I hear the curiosity piece coming back, like I notice you really love your iPad. What is it that you want to do on the iPad, and why is it so compelling to you? And it's okay to say, as your parent, I'm feeling uncomfortable about how much you want this, and I want to figure out how we can step back and revisit this as the thing you want more than anything. And I don't, you know, I don't, she doesn't say on your Is it six hours a day, or is it an hour a day, right? There's a big difference, right?

Casey O'Roarty 40:49
So, right, right? Yeah, well, and I, and I what I'm hearing you as I'm hearing the language you're using. I just want listeners to recognize this is the same conversation that you can have with a 16 year old. Like, I'm really uncomfortable. I noticed that you've got that phone going all the time. And I'm, I'm really curious about that, and I'm I, and I'm actually kind of concerned about that. And I'm wondering, this is the great entry point of like, I'm wondering what kind of personal limits you have? Yeah, because that's the other thing too. We assume that they don't, that they're not tuned in at all to the fact that they're spending all this time. And maybe they are, you know, but we don't know unless we ask them, and yes, I love what you're saying, and when we then. So now we've had this period of time, and it's time to what like the displaced, the home, the housing. Oh, yeah, housing, right, right, yeah. Now we want to go back to more of a long term housing situation, and we are confronted by these kids that are not on board. Yeah, yes, there's that too, because it's easy for you and I to have this conversation and and I'm sure listeners, it's like, here we are another couple parent educators, but my kids gonna freak out, yes, right? Yes. So let's, let's

Emily Cherkin 42:13
talk about that. Because here's the thing, too. Again, it goes back to the curiosity and connection first, right? Again, don't talk about the limits. Don't talk about it, which

Casey O'Roarty 42:22
is very like, I want everyone listening. The power of the curiosity and the connection is gigantic. It's not like, formulaic, it's not Oh, like, It's not a trick. It's real. It's real because it's building relationship and creating a relational situation for this conversation to happen? Yeah. And

Emily Cherkin 42:43
as a teacher, I always think too learning happens in the context of relationships. Like, it doesn't matter what the content is, the learning will happen because I have a relationship to my students or my child, right? So we have to remember that. Like, I think I get, I understand parents wanting to jump to the limit setting, but like, there's a lot of pre work that has to go into that. And once that happens, the limits are easy, actually. I mean, again, easy. I still, again, argue it's not simple, yeah, and they're pushing back on it is, again, we have to remember how normal that is. I think another thing I was thinking about is because, again, I want to go back to that, like, both and, like, if we got to do this together, especially for that tween and teenage group. You know, it's like, how can we say, like, again, we can free broken record. I notice I wonder, right? Like, those are just great prompts. Anytime you're feeling that judgment coming on about the screen, use I notice, just say it as an observational statement, and then to say, I wonder, what would happen if we tried something different for one week, and we give it a really clear limit. So it's not like you never get screen time ever again in your whole life. It's like, Could we try this and see what happens? And it might not even be like, you know, away for a whole week. It might be like during homework. Could we try and see what happens if your phone lives in the living room while you do your homework? And I know parents are gonna say, but they need to talk to their friends. And there's the online school stuff, and that's a whole different podcast that we can talk about, because it's a mess. Clearly, we're

Casey O'Roarty 44:08
gonna need a part two, Emily, because I'm looking at the time and I'm like, there is so much more. So I would be honored.

Emily Cherkin 44:13
Yes, I would love that, but yes, so I think again, I love this idea of approaching it as a little family experiment, like, let's do it together. And PS, we have to participate too, because we that's modeling, that's accountability, that's showing that we still are works in progress. Like, it's okay, look, yes, you're the parent. You get to set the rule after your kids go to bed, you can binge watch on Netflix. You're right. That's all true. But when our kids are watching and learning and listening, we get to be a part of that experiment too, and so maybe identifying. And again, I always tell parents, please start small. Please start small. Please

Casey O'Roarty 44:50
start small. Yes.

Emily Cherkin 44:51
Don't go home and revisit everything tonight. Or, you know, do it all at once. It won't work. So how do you pick like, what's the one thing? I call it the None. Negotiable, like, what's the thing you really, really want to get in place and start there, and you have to let the other stuff go. That's hard. That's hard, yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 45:17
Well, and that leads me into the next question, which I think is for a lot of people, the one place that's non negotiable, and it's turning in, like, turning down, turning off, turning in the tech overnight. So Melanie wrote in her kids are 13 and 15, and they swear no one else has to do this. And she is a, you know, conscious parent, and she knows that all the parent groups and counselors and therapists say, turn them in. Teen brains are tired and emotional overnight and can't process what's going on via the screens. How do you enforce this and get teens to buy in? Now, I have to be transparent here, so we, like I said, use the apple screen limits, and one of the limits that set that is non negotiable is his, my son's phone shuts down at a certain time, and the Spotify app, because that's the conversation, like, I need music to go to sleep, so the Spotify app does not shut down, and everything else does. So he actually has his phone in his room, right?

Emily Cherkin 46:25
But you've shut it down, and essentially it's like, so I feel, I feel good about that, right? He's got a disc man now,

Casey O'Roarty 46:33
yeah, and I'm fully aware too, like, the whole conversation around, yeah, but they can, you know, the workarounds and this and that in my family, like, because it's set up as health and well being and and because it's not about, like, I dare you to try to go around this, like, that's just not the vibe that we have. And I'm open to discussion. I'm open to collaboration. Yeah, that's not so much of an issue in our house. So anyway, I just wanted to be transparent in this conversation. But what do you think about like? So how do we protect their sleep and help not make it this thing that we're in a battle about? Yes,

Emily Cherkin 47:12
so kids who battle you more may also be sleep deprived, right? So this is a nice little vicious cycle here. Yeah, and again, what I hear you saying in the example with your family too is like that authoritarian versus authoritative, right? If we set so many rules, we're inviting a developmentally normal response, which is to push back on limits. So the more limits we set, the more they push back. Doesn't mean we shouldn't have rules, but we don't want to invite that challenge, which is why you go backwards again to the curiosity and connection. So for overnight, again, I'm right there with you on that. You know, it's a health issue, it's a safety issue. Sleep deprivation has an impact on every other part of our life. Hi, remember being a new parent, right? Like, oh my gosh, I was a different person when my brain wasn't getting enough sleep. So I think that's a that's an okay one to be hard and fast about now, again, depends on the age of your kid, right? And depends on how you've set it up until now. And I'm going to ask parents, where are your phones at night? Because if it's on your nightstand, it's going to be a lot harder to enforce that rule for your teenager. And I know the first comment people are going to say is, but it's my alarm clock. Alarm clocks, that's

Casey O'Roarty 48:25
the same thing we hear from our Oh my gosh. They're like,

Emily Cherkin 48:27
what? 20 bucks, less than 20 bucks you can get one, and iPhone costs. How much? Right? We can, we can model that. And, yeah, maybe it's a little less convenient, but there is a great opportunity to like you do it with them, model it. You know, yes, privilege comes with that being a parent, and there's other ways we get that, but it's going to be a lot harder to enforce something if you're not willing to even try it yourself. So that's, that's an important one, and I really think again, that low hanging fruit. It's okay to say to your kid, like I've, I've learned something new about sleep and the importance of sleep, and I would like to try this for a couple days. I would like to see what happens if we put your room in your phone, and, you know, in this space at night or whatever it is, and you know, your your point about, like, a workarounds and like, you know, shutting certain apps off again, if you have parental controls at work and you don't mind managing them fine to me, that seems like a full time job sometimes, like, I don't want to spend that much mental energy. But my kids are younger, so I'm not quite there yet, and I imagine I might be, but kids do find workarounds. So there are some apps that even if you shut other things off, there's still ways to get into the internet. And you know, so yes, again, it's that, like, how nuanced Do you want to be sometimes, right now, I feel like it's easier just to be like not in your room, period. And if you need something else at night to help you fall asleep, I have a tip about outsourcing audio. You know, get an external speaker that's not digitally connected, and you can have it in another room, and you can time, put a timer on it, right so it goes off after an hour or whatever. So there. Are some ways to work around it, but, but yeah, I mean, I think sleep, if you're going to start with anything, sleep's a big one. It has the biggest impact. I

Casey O'Roarty 50:08
think so too, for sure, for sure, for sure. Margaret, so she asked a bunch of questions, but the one that I grabbed was that screens are the primary, or sometimes the only distraction coping mechanism employed for a child's anxiety or loneliness or other negative affect. But her tween doesn't see it that way, right? And so, like you mentioned around values, self regulation and values are really different. We parents are trying to create some limits. The howling, the crying, the despair and frustration coming from the child is mounting for a kid whose neurodiversity might make tech self regulation even harder than for other folks. What are some parenting strategies that you recommend? This is, yeah, that's a big question. Margaret's not the only one. Yeah, and I,

Emily Cherkin 51:01
again, I'm going to be the with the mental health challenges that young people are facing, which are really higher than ever. I don't ever want to say to yank something away without having a support in place to to balance it. That being said, a lot of parents say, Well, I got them the phone or the social media because they were afraid of missing out. They felt left out right, that it's sort of this, again, that vicious thing. But I always invite parents to think too about, well, what are you what FOMO? Are you generating by giving them exposure to social media? They're going to be 10 times more aware of what they're missing out on, comparing themselves, feeling like they're not enough, because now they have this platform where they can compare themselves to so many more people. So we have to think like there's that piece of it. I really think again, it goes back to the curiosity and connection. I noticed you seem so sad. I noticed you're feeling really anxious, and we have to talk about our own issues with reaching for our phones and moments of boredom and loneliness too. And there's another thing I like to talk about, is this idea that not all screen time is created equal, right? So, like during the pandemic, where face timing with relatives, you're using the device to maintain an existing connection. Like to me, that makes sense. You know, for newborn babies, who are born and they didn't get to meet grandparents for a year. Newborn parents would ask me all the time, is it okay to FaceTime? Yes, but you're not doing it 24 hours a day, right? Like, it's a few minutes to see grandma and hear their voice. That's what's important about that relationship. And so again, I don't want to shut that down, but I also know how hard it is for parents of teens and tweens to say, like, Well, that's all the social life. It's all on social media or texting or group chats or whatever like, how do we help our kids feel included,

Casey O'Roarty 52:47
right? But isn't there a difference between texting and group chat and even Snapchat conversations? There's a difference between that and

Emily Cherkin 52:57
scrolling 100% because it's like one directional versus two, right? Not

Casey O'Roarty 53:02
that there's a way to be, like, here's how you fix that. No, you're right. You know, there's not all this something to keep in mind,

Emily Cherkin 53:08
and it doesn't have the same impact on our brains too, right? And we have to think about that like, this is a thing too. Like, parents will say, Well, how much screen time is too much? I say, well, a little bit's Okay, and a lot's too much. Isn't that a really helpful answer? So

Casey O'Roarty 53:19
thank you, parent educators, you

Emily Cherkin 53:21
are welcome. The problem is, it's not going to be the same for every kid, right? You have two kids. You get it, one works for one doesn't work for the other. Or what, whether you know my son's gonna he has no interest in social media, but there's a video game he always wants to play, and it is the bane of my existence, because we're constantly battling about it, right, badly, discussing it, right? But I do think that we just have to know our kid, right. So again, where are the is there offline, social connection to support that kid? So that, when there is the online part, is the tool for connecting in real life, right? The in person connection, right? There's that piece of it. I also think that we have to remember that the that we know that not a fair fight when the kids are having those meltdowns, that this is the developmentally appropriate reaction to the persuasive design they are going to flip their lids and it's it gets much harder when they're older, right? I talk to parents of younger kids about this, like, think about this now. So here's, I have three questions. I always invite parents to think about, because when we choose to give a screen based option for whatever purpose, we have to think about, what do we gain? And there's a lot of reasons, like convenience, connection, communication, whatever it is like, there are good reasons.

Casey O'Roarty 54:35
What do we gain? Or what are

Emily Cherkin 54:38
Oh, right. What is gain? Okay, giving it right? And for younger kids, it might be like, Oh, I can go make dinner while they play on the iPad. For older kids, it might be they feel connected to their peers, right? The second question is, what do we lose or go place? So if we're giving, if our kids bored, and we give them screen time, are we displacing an opportunity to help them learn what to do when they're bored? Right? Because bored. Boredom is the birthplace of creativity, right? We want boredom. Boredom is invest so what do we lose or replace? And then the third thing is, what do we model? What are we modeling about having big feelings and feeling anxious and reaching for our phones or reaching for our devices, like maybe I'm calling a friend because I'm upset, and I'm modeling that connecting with another person helps me feel better, but if I'm just going to sit and scroll through Twitter, that's not necessarily making me feel better, in fact, more likely it's going to make me feel much worse, right? So we got to then go back to live your life out loud. We talk about what that experience is like,

Casey O'Roarty 55:33
yeah, yeah. And I would also suggest, and I'm guessing you'd probably be in agreement and alignment here for Margaret, too. And I kept and like what you said, you know, there is going to be a pretty intense reaction if we're yanking the thing away or just coming up, it's been too long, you need to put it away. I think that this is one of those places, and Margaret, you're the one that knows what this can look like for your child and everybody that's listening. But this is a place where CO creating an agreement around what it looks like, what limits look like when they're going to happen, how it's going to look and I'm guessing, if it's a neurodiverse child, like getting really nitty gritty with it, having conversations around, gosh, you're, you know, how are you going to feel when you reach your limit? What's it going to be like for you? What are some, what are some things that you can do when you feel that way? And, you know, in doing all of this, like you said earlier, Emily, with starting with that first main thing, and then kind of expanding the limits. But I think, you know what's when I think about a parenting strategy, I really want you know everybody to remember these conversations that we're having around self regulation, around screen use, around limit setting, are not happening when everybody's dysregulated and there's no limits, and in the heat of the moment. Because, you know, talk about lack of executive functioning, nobody's got exactly functioning in that moment. So, you know, making it a family affair. And I love, I love what you said when we were talking about sleeping, and like, I'm gonna try my own limit, you know, like, I'm gonna model it. I'm gonna play with it too, because I'll be honest with you when we all gather around and it's like, Let's see whose screen time is the highest. That's not an award you want. Let's just say that I am not the

Emily Cherkin 57:33
lowest. No judgment here, but, but yeah, we gotta. We can't pretend that we've got this figured out, either we're

Casey O'Roarty 57:40
Yeah, and listeners, I want you to know too. I'm going to make sure there's a link in the show notes. I have a screen time agreement handout that people can use to generate those conversations and to pull in a lot of what Emily's saying as well. Okay, Margaret, I hope that was helpful to you. Katherine, I loved this post this year, and I have to read it out loud, because it cracked me up, and so many people were like, Me too, me too, me too. So she writes the screaming, Casey, I can't stand it when my kiddo games with his friends, the screaming is unbelievable. And when he's not gaming, he's watching YouTube where there's people who are also playing games and screaming. Why do they have to scream so much? And how can I get him to be aware of it and the impact on the entire house without screaming at him myself, but in the mean way, not the fun way. Oh, I

Emily Cherkin 58:33
again, relatable. Yeah, that's I have a lot of empathy for that, because for me, it's when my daughter walks in with the speaker on full volume, and her audiobook is playing, and she tries to talk to me, and I'm like, I can't talk to you while this thing is blasting. So again, I'm

Casey O'Roarty 58:53
sure everybody's sitting here like, I wish. I know

Emily Cherkin 58:56
I probably have, but it's a slippery slope, because how do you access iPad? This is where we got the external speaker, right? The whole and she's 10. She's a little younger, but I really think we go back to that curiosity and connection again, because I wonder if her son is even aware that he's doing it. So then it has to be this, Hey, I notice that when you're gaming or when you're talking to your friends, there is just a high level of volume. Do you notice that that's happening? He might be like, No, I don't right. Like, right? And then it might be a moment of like, okay, so I wonder what would happen if we did this, or I feel really stressed out when you scream all the time. It's frightening, it's stressful, whatever it is. Another thing might be to sit with him while he's doing his video games, and then say, I'm gonna put my hand on

Casey O'Roarty 59:43
your arm, pinch him, pinch him every time he, poke

Emily Cherkin 59:45
him with a pencil. I was gonna go there. But as you say, like, put the gentle hand on the arm and be like, Hey, here's that moment, here's that I'm just yeah again, that physical awareness, bringing it back to his body like he may not be connected at all. So. So that's unfortunate. Another solution might be for Catherine to just get those stories canceling headphones for herself, right? Like, oh

Casey O'Roarty 1:00:08
my gosh, my sister swears by them. She found ear pods, earbuds that like and she's got a new baby and a four year old. She says, Casey, it's a new role.

Emily Cherkin 1:00:18
I have a friend who does that too, and it just says, like, I compare it so much better when I don't hear 50%

Casey O'Roarty 1:00:26
so a little safety

Emily Cherkin 1:00:27
first. But I think there are some, yeah, again. I think it just goes back to that. Are you aware? Help me come up with some solutions. Like, how can I be a reminder to you? You know, outside of electric shock. Like, how can I, like, right? Just give you this gentle reminder, and then, you know, maybe there's a cut off. Like, if I have to remind you as much, it's just not going to work to do this, like, right?

Casey O'Roarty 1:00:50
Not or even, you know, there are certain times of day that it's right that this amount of volume is going to work in the household, right, right? Like, it's okay to say that too, because I love thinking about in positive discipline, we talk about mutual respect and kindness and firmness, and it is about respect for the child, respect for the parent, and respect for the situation, others that are affected by it. And if any part of those isn't being respected, then it's, it's imbalanced. Doesn't work, right? Doesn't work. I

Emily Cherkin 1:01:24
think that's a group. That's a very good point, yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 1:01:28
oh man, yes, though, Catherine, we know what you're talking about. Okay, well, oh man, definitely you're coming back, because I'm sure that, like, even in the hour, yeah, even in the hour that we've talked. I'm sure everybody's got follow up questions. And so we're going to dive into that. I was also

Emily Cherkin 1:01:47
just thinking about the one, the screaming one, like, what's happening in his brain that is triggering that level of response? Because I wonder if there's all this nervous excitement and energy that needs to be burned off before he plays, or even after, right? Like, I'm that just occurred to me too. Yeah, another thought,

Casey O'Roarty 1:02:04
well, and I mean, my son, we're not a huge gaming family by any means. That's not our issue. But when he gets into Fortnite with his buddy Josh, and, man, it is, it's pretty comical, I mean, and it is, it's this, like, enthusiastic, impulsive, like, like, they're in the moment, and it's, it's loud, super loud, so I hear you before we wrap up. Though, is there anything that you want to be sure that parents hear before we're done today? I mean, we've covered a lot, so

Emily Cherkin 1:02:39
I think the biggest takeaways that I want parents to have in mind right now is the good enough like we're going for good enough that great. It's progress, not perfection. So it's We do better when we know better, and that even if this feels awkward and we practice exactly like again, you know, even parenting experts don't have this all dialed in. We just have the tools more readily accessible, and so to just build your toolbox, do the things that you know, to try them out. It's okay if your kids eye roll and say, Oh, Mom, you're so weird when you live your life out loud all the time, right? But that's okay, right? Because they're learning and works in progress too. So yeah, and just again, could cut yourself slack, because this is hard. Like, there, there isn't perfection in this. And I will be the first to say that, even as in the work I do, like, I don't guarantee that you will never fight with them about screen time again, but it would be a very premise for me to do

Casey O'Roarty 1:03:37
that right? Let's just say you will, yeah, because

Emily Cherkin 1:03:39
you would fight it off other things like parenting and teens like, that's a normal thing. We have to go back to the normal part of this and just know that the screens have made it a lot harder.

Casey O'Roarty 1:03:50
Yeah, so I always ask my guests at the end of my shows this question, what does joyful courage mean to you? I just love this. I was

Emily Cherkin 1:03:59
thinking about it. Because to me, I have, like, my two words are courage and integrity. Like, those are my, like, my focal points. And to me, Courage means doing the hard things, even when they're scary, and doing them anyway. And I love that you added joyful, because after I do those hard, scary things, I do feel joyful. And I think that's, it's like there's that dopamine hit, right? It makes me want to do it again. It makes me want to put myself out there more, or speak up more, even though it's scary. So I loved

Casey O'Roarty 1:04:30
that. Yeah, yay. Remind people where they can find you and follow, yeah, please follow your work. So

Emily Cherkin 1:04:37
I'm my website, the screen time consultant.com, I just launched my new site yesterday, so if you don't,

Casey O'Roarty 1:04:44
it's gorgeous, by the way, if you

Emily Cherkin 1:04:47
find any like broken links, let me know I'm still utilizing it. Yes, yes, yes, I'm on again, I recognize the irony of this on social media, but again, it's a tool for getting my message out there. So Instagram is primarily, I guess, where I am. I have a Facebook group as well, and I post, you know, LinkedIn and Twitter, YouTube channel with some videos. And I'm actually going to be launching a parenting course in search. So I'm looking to help curious, caring and concerned parents go from tech overwhelmed to tech intentional. So really it's that, how do we become a tech intentional parent? Lot of the things that we talked about, but practicing it in real time, you know, sort of having that ongoing support from me, which, as you know, is key,

Casey O'Roarty 1:05:32
is that for parents of younger kids, older kids, who do you see as the audience? That's a

Emily Cherkin 1:05:38
great question. It's funny. I have often thought that my audience is like the parents of five to 12, because I want to get in there early, but the parents who come to me tend to be the 10 to 15, you know? So it's the like, you don't know what. You don't know when the kids are little, right? And so I love the proactive, preventative approach, but I would say for parents of kids anywhere, I mean, I think it's good foundational stuff. So birth to 12, but even 1314, two could be useful and relevant. Or listen to this podcast, lots of good stuff in there you

Casey O'Roarty 1:06:12
go. And part two, stay tuned. Would love to awesome. So, so great to have you on Emily. Thank you so much for your time. Thank you for

Emily Cherkin 1:06:21
having me. It's great to talk to you, and I look forward to talking again. Yeah, we'll have to do it again, yay.

Casey O'Roarty 1:06:32
We did it, we did it, we did it, yeah.

Did you have a Dora flashback? That's a song from Dora the Explorer. We had another useful conversation to support us on the parenting journey. The teen years are real, my friends, I know I don't need to tell you that you're living it. Don't forget, please leave a review on Apple podcasts or share a screenshot of the show on your social media. Tag me at joyful. Underscore, Courage be a part of expanding the impact the show has on parents and their teenagers. Register for this month's pDTV at besproutable.com/pdtv. Love you people. I will be back next week with a solo show. Until then, remember, stakes are opportunities to learn for you and for your teams, be in the practice, and if you can do nothing else, take a deep breath, feel your feet on the floor, maybe have a glass of water, and remember that everybody's gonna be okay. Thank you to Chris Mann at pod shaper for making this show sound so great. Thanks to the team at sproutable for helping me to get it out to the masses. I will see all of you later. Bye.

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