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Eeeek!To Look at Their Phone Or Not To? THAT is the Question!
Episode 181st December 2021 • The 6570 Family Project • Nellie Harden
00:00:00 00:30:01

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Should you look at your kid's phones or not?  Ahhh!  The big question today!  Listen in while I walk with you through my own opinions and experiences and give you the deets as to what is happening in the texting and social media world with our kids today and then you can form your own opinions and make decisions for your family!

About the Host: (bio, personal links, resource links)

Nellie Harden is a wife of 20+ years, mom to 4 teen/tween daughters, dreamer, adventurer, servant, multipreneur, forever student, and a devoted teacher, but her ride-or-die passion is her work as a Family Life Coach & Mentor.  

Coming from a career background in marine mammal sciences, behavioral work, and a host of big life experiences, both great and not some not so great, she decided that designing a life of purpose and freedom was how she and her husband, along with their 4 daughters, wanted to live.  

Her work and passions exist in the realms of family and parent mentorship because she believes that a family filled with creativity, fun, laughter, challenge, adventure, problem-solving, hugs, good food, and learning can not only change a person’s life but is the best chance at positively changing the world.  

She helps families build Self-Led Discipline™ & Leadership Into their homes, sets their children up for a wildly successful life on their terms, and elevates the family experience with big joy, palpable peace, and everyday growth!

With a lifelong passion and curiosity in thought, choice, behavior, and growth she has found incredible joy in helping families shift perspective, find answers, and a path forward.

(Nellie has been coaching families for over 10 years and has degrees in Biology, Animal Behavior, and Psychology. )  

LINKS:

Family Success Vault- https://www.nellieharden.com/vault

Website- https://www.nellieharden.com

Online Community- https://www.facebook.com/groups/the6570project

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/nellieharden/    

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/nellie.harden/

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Transcripts

Nellie Harden:

Hello and welcome to the 6570 family project podcast. If you are a parent of a tween teen or somewhere on the way, this is exactly the place for you. This is the playground for parents who want to raise their kids with intention, strength and joy. Come and hear all the discussions, get all the tactics and have lots of laughs along the way. We will dive into the real challenges and raising kids today how to show up as parents and teach your kids how to show up as members of the family and individuals of the world. My name is Mellie Hardin, big city girl turn small town sipping iced tea on the front porch mama, who loves igniting transformation in the hearts and minds of families by helping them build self love, discipline and leadership that elevates the family experience. And sets the kids up with a rock solid foundation, they can launch their life on all before they ever leave home. This is the 6570 family project. Let's go Hello, everyone. Welcome to the 6570 family project podcast here is the place to come. And we are building in leadership into our families and elevating the family experience and also preparing our kids for life after they leave home. So all that to be said we have a big topic to cover here today. In fact, dare I say, it is a bit controversial. I have heard very passionate people on both sides of this. When we were trying to decide do we don't we and all of this stuff. And I have to say we landed on the Dewey. Okay, and what am I talking about here? Well, if you read the title, you know, it said Do we or don't we look at their phone? Right? This is our kids phone? This is their I've heard it called their quote unquote, personal property. Right? And so it's difficult to try and ascertain what is the boundary here? What should we be doing? What shouldn't we be doing? And we got a bunch of shoulds in there, right. And you know, if you've been listening to this, or any of my many interviews that are out there, if you ever want to hear what I'm talking about on other platforms, too, you could just go to Nelly hardened comm slash about I have plenty of interviews that I talk on right in that page. And I speak a lot about not following the shoulds right, you are the parent, this is your family, you are unique, there is no family that is or has or will ever exist that is exactly like yours, you have your own fingerprint, and you have to figure out what is best for you. Now, I am going to just present you some facts today and some of my own ideas and you make whatever decision that you want. I am not shitting on you. Okay. And that is an sh o u LD, I'm not shitting on you. So do we or don't we? And I will say I have been on every end of the spectrum in this, you know, before the kids had phones and after the kids had phones. And then of course, you know, I have four kids. And so my first one, like everything in her life, she had a little bit more leeway than the others because you learn from the first one, right? You're like, oh, that probably wasn't a great idea. That Flemish giant rabbit that we got her when she was eight years old because she wanted a bunny. And we're like, Sure, let's try a 40 pound bunny. And then we were like, oh, you know, so I don't think the kids getting their own animals at eight years old is a good idea after poor Charlie, may he rest in peace. And so that's a story for another day. But anyway, so do we don't we and so if you're listening to this, I just want to come

Nellie Harden:

present this I was gonna say come at you but I'm not coming at you present this to you today. With I want you to know, I've been where you are. I felt what you're feeling. I've had the same apprehensions both ways. And so I get you, I really, really do I get you. So let's just start with the fact that we are here as their parents as their we are family architects, right? We are literally designing, planning and overseeing the building of the beginning of their life, right? We're responsible for that. As parents, we are the architects of the beginning of their life, that then they take as the foundation for all of the rest of their life. That's a really big honor and responsibility that we have and teaching them how to have that human connection, how to have a conversation, how to have relatability and respect and honoring differences, but also having boundaries right around us. Those are all things that they learn from you along the way. And honestly, they learn them from you, whether you teach them to them to them or not, right, they will learn by observation, they will learn by what you do by what you don't do. And those are called the inevitable impacts, which is what I spend two weeks on going through in my coaching program, the Family Leadership Academy. But it all boils down to this, these impacts are happening, whether you want them to or not, whether you intend them to or not, whether you're like, Oh, I didn't want that impact, but it happened, right, all of those things, but human connection, conversations relatability respect, vulnerability, honoring differences, boundaries, all those things are things they learn in this in this 6570 training realm, that 6570 is how many days 6570 that you have in this very confined parenthood childhood dynamic of highest impact, highest influence that you have over their lives. So we want them to be set up for success in that right. And if we can set them up for success, then I have definitely found through much trial and error, to err on the side of having compatibility and sharing between parents and children as far as what is going on on their phones. And I say their phones. But of course it also means tablets, and computers and everything anywhere where they're communicating with another person. And you also want to be involved in their education too, right? So anyway, that aside, we're just talking about this human connection conversation here today. And like I said, I've After much trial and error, I've definitely erred on the side of sharing. So if we are going to set them up for success with this, then before they even get a phone, it's important that they know that this is a phone you can use right. But this isn't your phone, if you have the means to pay for the phone. And to do that, I encourage you to do that as a parent just so they can understand. This is actually my phone, and you are using it right. And that really sets the precedence for what I'm going to be talking about. But it's open. It's shared knowledge between the two of you. There's no it's not you sneaking into I'm using air quotes here. It's not you sneaking into their phone, right? They know that you have full access to their phone. And in our home phones are in our office, my husband and my husband and I's office every single night. And they know that we have full access to them. And we have programs that we use in order to have access to them throughout the day as well. Now,

Nellie Harden:

are we checking it every two seconds? Well, no, of course not. We are not doing that. But just the knowledge that we can, is very helpful. And I'll get into the reasons why in just a second. But like I said, we have phone hours here 11 to six or phone hours for the kids. And then before 11, it's in our office after six, it's in our office. And they're allowed to have 30 minutes during the day of phone time. And my kids, by the way, are 1214 14 and 16. Now the 16 year old when she drives down when everything so I like her to have her phone on her. Because we want to know that she's okay, she has a way to contact us if something happens, etc. So she has her phone with her for a lot more of the day than the other ones do. But she's still because we've kind of groomed this. She's still not having a super overage amount of time there. But if you haven't done this, if you're like, Okay, well, that's great and all but my kid is 16 Now 17, even 14, whatever. And and they've had their phone for a long time. And it's been just there's hands off that is that is yours. I'm not going to do it. Well, if that's the case, then I realize that you could just sit and talk with them and say, you know, I've realized that I haven't done a great job at checking in maybe guiding you, making sure you're protected and having consistent conversations about this other world that your mind actually lives in, right? You want to build that trust. So anytime that you're being sneaky and getting on there without their knowledge that's going to break down trust. So we want to just have an open forum where you are building trust with them. In fact on in the family architects Club, which I is our community if you're not a part of it yet and you have kids that are 17 or younger. Get in that community If you could just go to my website right on the front page it linked to it. So Nelly, harden calm, that's an E ll IE, H, AR D n.com. And so you could just go there, and it will link right to that. And but last week in that same group, we had a five and five challenge, I run these every month. And in this one, it was five text messages that you can send to your kids to affirm and build trust. Again, we're always wanting to affirm and build trust, we're not trying to be sneaky with them, right? We're not trying to break boundaries with them. We are trying to break down walls and build relationship with our kids. And when you think about this, okay, so that's what I was suggest, if, if, you know, either situations happening, they don't have them, yet they're getting them, or they have had them a while and they're not sit down and have that conversation with them. If you want some pointers on how to have that conversation, reach out to me on social, I'd be happy to help you there. But let's dive a little bit into the why why why does it matter? Right? Well, texting and slash messaging, slash messaging is meant to amplify a relationships, communication, right? It's not meant to be the primary mode of communication. Think about it, like this text messaging, kind of replaced what it replaced a phone call. So are you going to call up somebody that you don't know all that well, and say a bunch of things that you don't necessarily mean to say, and then hang up the phone? Well, no, probably not. Right? And, and you only call someone generally unless it's like service based and everything, but you only call somebody socially if you know them first, right? And so that is what texting should be as well, right? I use the S word the should word. But that really is what texting was created for, was to be an amplifier to an existing relationship, right, an existing communication relationship. And here's why. And what we found along the way is there is a screen ego, right? Have you heard of this, you've probably experienced it before, right? It is this false sense of security, and especially our kids, because, again, they're the ones growing up mostly saturated in this, we, as parents, we still like rode the fence, or grew up in a time when there wasn't cell phones yet cell phones, for me came out when I was in college, I had my little Nokia with the antenna, I had to pull in and out, right? My husband's family, I believe had a car phone. We did not have such fancy gadgets and my family. But anyway, so this false sense of security means they will do things and say things to people through texting or messaging, I mean, name, your social media and all the DMing whatever. But they especially caveat will not call me out but especially snap Snapchat because that quote unquote, air quotes goes away after they see it, or after 24 hours, whatever that is. And I keep telling my kids, I have said this till I was blue in the face, nothing goes away. So many people have gotten in trouble because they thought, oh, I posted that I thought it went away. No, it never goes away. You just need a little bit of code, a little bit of background, you can find that there's programs out there that parents can buy that will take you right in there and show you everything that they've snapped. So it never ever goes away. But they get this screen ego and they're all of a sudden saying things that they would never say to someone face to face, right? Even with friends they have their texting language, which can and often does include a lot of swear words, a lot of dark language, a lot of really, really crass sarcasm and all of this, but then you see them in person. They're like, Oh, hey,

Nellie Harden:

how are you? Oh, it's so good to see you and all of this. And it's like, um, this isn't matching up? Why do you and I've had this conversation with my kids, because like I said, I've been there. And I have this conversation. Why do you feel like it's okay to text like this. But then when you see each other, you never speak in that way toward one another? And they the simple answer is, well, it's just safe to do over texting. And so then you have to ask the question, Well, why do you think it's safe to do over texting? Like, what does that even mean to you? That it's safe to text this, but it's not safe to say it in person, right? There's this duality of reality that is happening with our kids. And so if we can get in there, and we can say, Oh, hold on a second. You You say that you want to represent yourself like this, that you want to be this? And is that true, right? We're not shaming them. And we're not trying to mold them, like clay to be us, because they're not they are their own people. But digging underneath and making sure that they know who you want to be is represented in everything that you do, including your text messages, right? And, okay, so anyway, and then that's just texting. And I will say that we had a incident, if you will, with sixth graders, right recently, and it was it was over the phone. My sixth grader knows that. Because before she got her phone, she just got her phone. And it's because she started having a lot more hangout time with friends. We wanted to be able to communicate with her, she was using her friend's phone to communicate with us, and it got messy. So we're like, okay, she was the earliest of all the kids to get a phone not by much by literally three months, two months, actually. But anyway, so she has her own phone, we she knows that phone is actually ours, and you use it, it's a mode of communication. It is so that we can, you know, keep an eye on make sure that everything is okay with you that you can get with us if there's any emergencies happening, all of that. And it's also for you to play on and have fun on if you do games or what have you. But we had an incident where she was getting text messages sent to her from a friend, a friend that she had met a few weeks prior. And they were dark, like dark, dark, dark. And again, she never I've had this girl over to my house, never would she say these things in person, or even talk to my daughter about these things in person. She's like, I don't even understand this is not how she is, but I was like, but it is how she is because look at what she's sending you. And it got a little scary, you know, for a while. And it was not just the two of them and involve somebody else as well. And these other parents, they were like, Oh, well, I'm gonna I'm gonna look at their phone, you know, I haven't done that. And so then when they uncovered the phone, there was months and months and months of these messages backlogged that they had no idea, right, they had no idea that their kid was dealing with some of these things. They had no idea that their kid was being exposed to some of these things that their kid felt like this, all of these things, and then those conversations started being able to happen. And one of the children involved, he said, You know, I got to talk to my dad about this, and I feel so much better, right. And it would not have happened, had that dad not been able to look at the text messages that were coming through on that phone, because we raised, you know, some red flags. But that's my point, you guys, there are things happening in this virtual world of there's through DMing and texting. And if you don't inquire if you don't look into that, then there is an entire other personality and entire other set of situations personality, even sometimes that can be coming through in that text. And what you're seeing is something completely different than what's going on in their actual head. Right? Okay,

Nellie Harden:

so let's just crack open, I'm not going to spend, I've spent a little bit of time on this in previous ones, it'll be much bigger later on. But let's just crack the lid on social media for a second. Because I do a lot, a lot of research, I do a lot of a lot of reading. And you guys have probably heard that social media, adults kids like is a dopamine dump, right? It dumps dopamine into your system that is our happy hormone. And it's like pulling a wheel on not a wheel a lever on a slot machine. And you're like, yes, yes. Could it be maybe did someone maybe do this, and the maybe is enough of a dopamine dump to keep tracking and keep checking and keep checking, right. And the amount of depression the amount of suicides today, especially in our young people, and all of this going on, is really, really at a critical high. And the dopamine dump that they get is actually just lower a hair lower than cocaine. I mean, what cocaine you guys, it's a hair lower than cocaine. Am I gonna go get my kid cocaine? No. Are my kids especially my oldest? Now my younger ones are not on technical social media. They have YouTube and they can well they don't have YouTube, but they can look things up on YouTube and that's probably the extent of their social media. My older one though. Remember 40 pound Flemish giant when she was eight she, she has social media. And it started when she was young, and we were just like Sure, right. And you know what it started with it started with musically, because she just wanted to lip sync and do some of those funny videos will musically transition transformed metamorphosed into what is tick tock today. And then that went down, and then Snapchat and then Instagram, right? She's on Facebook, but she calls it's for old people, right? According to According to her, which, you know, maybe right or wrong, whatever. I'm on Facebook.

Nellie Harden:

But anyway, so social media, big dopamine dump big dopamine booster, right, and it's just lower than cocaine. And here's a good point for you like a thinking point. Alcohol is also a huge dopamine dump. And there's a certain age that alcohol is allowed at, because we want to make sure that our kids have all these natural defenses in them before they are allowed to be around this addictive substance, anything with dopamine is going to be addictive. And let's all face it. I mean, we all know social media is addictive, right? And so we need to have this time to teach them to build them to a solidify those core beliefs, all of that and help them develop their character help them develop their identity before. And if it's not before, at least more than social media is doing it for them before this dopamine craze is happening, right? And we need to install these before the addiction is dance before them and wave two like this, you know, come and get it Come and get it. We want to install all of these things. And listen, technology has a place technology is super cool, right? I love technology. But it has to be secondary to human connection, not primary. And they have to understand that understand humanity before they can substitute it for this false reality of the virtual world. It has to be the case, because what happens if it's not you guys, I love movies, you know that I throw up movie references all the time and think about it Ready Player One, and free guy, two of my favorite movies. I love them for their entertainment value. I hate them for what it could mean for our actual humanity. Right? You guys were kind of headed there. Zuckerberg and the whole Metaverse and everything. That's a whole other subject I've been doing so much research on. But because my question is how are parents going to parent when their kids are literally living in a different universe? Right? That's, that's a that's a podcast for another day, a whole podcast series for another day. But Ready Player One and free guy great entertainment love those movies especially? Well, both of them. I just love them. But it also is a drop of the reality that is to come. Right. And it's not going to be a drop in the future. It's going to be a whole ocean full of reality that's coming. And last night. I think it was 101 of the movies were watching. There was someone that was being arrested for not understanding. And it wasn't like arrested like you're in trouble. It's more like taking them to a home. But they were being put under arrest for having the inability anymore to differentiate between reality and virtual world. It could that be a reality? Yeah. Yeah, it really could. Right? So all this to say, Should we look at their phones? Should we not look at their phones, I definitely yield to the yes, they are yours. And even if they're not yours, you are their teacher, you are their guide during the 6570. Let's actually create identity and character and be louder or have more time spent in that. Then they're spending in this virtual world where they can have these false ego glasses and false ego minds put in and say it doesn't matter what I do here. It's not going to affect here where it all affects each. Everything that they do in the virtual world affects what is happening in the real world. And they are one in the same right? Because our minds are one in the same we can't have a differentiated mind. We can't say Oh, this is my human in person self and this is my virtual self. Right? It cannot go on they will merge and there will be conflict between them for sure. And side note here, I've been asked before you know so what about them? If if you can see your kids phones, can your kids do your phones? No, no, they cannot. No. Can you show them things? Sure, whatever. But they don't have the authority, nor do they have the emotional maturity. To see what's happening on your phone, you do have the character, the identity and your boundaries set up, right? Or at least you're working toward it. And so you as an adult, you as their teacher, right, you are their teacher, they are not your teacher. So you as the adult here know, your phone is not something that they need to have, you know, full access to at all. So if one of your kids comes at you with that, just remind them who the leader in the home is. You're all a team, and you are helping them you are building their inner leadership so that they can be self led in their leadership by the time they leave home.

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