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Are You Addicted to Your Smartphone?

Dr. Chris and Alisa Grace pose for the cover of The Art of Relationships Podcast.

Speaker 1:    Welcome to another Art of Relationships podcast. We are grateful for listeners like you. Let's get right into it.

Chris Grace:    Well, welcome to another Art of Relationships podcast with Dr. Tim Muehlhoff.

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    Great, Chris, to be with you in this COVID time. I'm still hanging on.

Chris Grace:    Yeah. Can you believe we're already in what's month six or seven now?

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    Yeah. And it's taken ... It's a fact, we've said in previous podcasts that the divorce rate is up roughly 31% from this time last year. And even if you're not moving towards divorce, I think everybody agrees you're moving towards insanity. I mean, we're on top of each other and it is hard to get away and find mental space and emotional space. So we thought we'd bring on a person who's actually written about this topic.

Chris Grace:    Yeah. So that's been the joy of this podcast, is to have guests come in every once in a while. Today we have just a very special guest. Someone that I know is familiar, not only with what we do here at, Tim, but just at Biola University and has been around for a while now as an alum, and a speaker, and an author. So let me introduce to our listeners, Arlene Pellicane. Arlene, I'm so excited to have you on this program because you have a new book out. We're going to spend some time talking about Screen Kids, which has come out. But let me just for the sake of the audience, you have so many books out there, Parents Rising. I know some of the early ones, the 31 Days to a Happy Husband. I leave that one-

Arlene Pellican...:    Yeah, my husband's favorite.

Chris Grace:    I leave that one on my wife's pillow a lot at night. Other ones that we'll talk about later on, but you have been a guest on The Today Show, Fox & Friends, Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, things that we're all very familiar with and love. And you host The Happy Home Podcast. So Arlene, it's so good to have you all the way from San Diego, with your husband, James, and your three children. I know you have a high school kid as well out there, so we'll have fun talking with you about all these fun things. So welcome to the program.

Arlene Pellican...:    Absolutely. Oh, it's great to be with you. Thanks for having me.

Chris Grace:    Well, Arlene, this new book has come out, Screen Kids. But before we dive into that, real quickly, you got your degree from Biola, didn't you?

Arlene Pellican...:    I did. See? You can get your degree from Biola and you can come back and talk on a podcast. It's amazing.

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    That's right.

Arlene Pellican...:    But you know what? I had such a great experience at Biola and my oldest is a junior in college now. He's interested in engineering and looking around. And just, it brings back that process of asking God, seeking God, "Where should I go?" And Biola was such a big part of me growing up and I'm so grateful for it.

Chris Grace:    Yeah. And how did you end up here? Was it just for you a place that your family had been to? Or just a random choice?

Arlene Pellican...:    No one had ever been here before and I was just interested in a Christian education, so I had looked at different schools. And to be honest with you, I had ... I think it's okay to say this. I [inaudible] between Biola and Westmont. But there was a certain boy that I liked in high school and he was going to Westmont and I thought to myself, "Well, I don't want to go to Westmont just because that boy is there." But then you also think to yourself, "Yeah, I do want to go to Westmont because that boy is there." So it was a funny situation and I just sought God and just felt like, "You know what? I'm going to go for Biola." And I'm glad I did.

Chris Grace:    Well. We are really glad that you did as well. Arlene, let's just dive right in. One of the fun topics that we get to talk about when it comes to relationships are all of those things that impact us. And in particular, I think parents today are worried a lot about what's going on with their children. You guys that have come up with a great book, the book is titled Screen Kids. You co-write this with Gary Chapman who, I don't know if our audience has ever heard of him before.

Arlene Pellican...:    Really very small book called The 5 Love Languages.

Chris Grace:    Yeah. It's kind of a stretch.

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    It was so nice for you to take him under your wing, I think that was very-

Arlene Pellican...:    Wasn't it?

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    ... that was very-

Arlene Pellican...:    I know. I know.

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    No, I think his ... I think the interview we did with Dr. Chapman is one of the highest listened to episodes we've ever done on Art of Relationships. So we're huge fans, and Arlene and I-

Arlene Pellican...:    Absolutely.

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    ... we speak at family life marriage conferences, and The 5 Love Languages is this huge staple. So let me ask you this, Arlene, technology was an issue of concern before COVID. Before COVID, you had books that were trying to alert parents, trying to alert individuals that it already was a problem, and that it was destroying our ability to stay focused, to be present in the moment. Well, now I feel like this has just added technological gasoline to all of our screen times. I think parents are frazzled and kids are sick of it, and parents want to escape time. So, "Hey, go do whatever you want technologically because I just need some sanity time." So what do you think is happening as you watch this, even with your own kids?

Arlene Pellican...:    I hope as you're listening today, you will not have this feeling of like, "Oh, no." But you'll have this feeling of, "You know what? Let me assess how we're doing and let me see the light of where could we be?" Because I think when COVID began, we just all realized we just have to survive. So, "If you need to be on the computer for six hours for school, and then you're going to watch through the night, but you're going to leave me alone so I can get my work done, I guess that's just what we're going to have to do." But that was so many months ago and I think moving forward, it's not going to change real fast. So moving forward, you have to think, "What kind of habits are we having as a family? What do we do with our free time? What kinds of pathways in the brain are our kids getting really used?"

Because I love to talk about digital vegetables and digital candy. So what you're doing right now is a digital vegetable. You're listening to a podcast. You want to increase your relationships. You probably are not addicted to this podcast. You're probably not waking up, "Oh, I got to get-

Chris Grace:    Hey now.

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    Hey.

Arlene Pellican...:    I know. I know.

Chris Grace:    Hey, Arlene.

Arlene Pellican...:    I'm stepping on some toes here. But your kids, they are saying, "Hey, I want to watch this video game. Let me play this. Hey, let me get on Netflix. Hey, I want to jump on YouTube. I want to do a social media." And it's not just the kids, it's us parents also. So we have to just realize what kind of habits are being formed. And if my children are consuming digital candy for much of the day, what is that doing to their physical health instead of running around? To their mental health, instead of learning new skills and new ideas? To their spiritual health? How can they connect with God if they're just used to getting an answer by a text in two milliseconds and they pray to God and feel, "He doesn't hear me." So there's all these things to think about. I think a good question is, is technology bringing your family closer together or further apart? It's a very simple question. But just in the sense of, yes, it can bring you together. It can. You can be Skyping grandma, you could be learning another language.

You could do all these things, but is that really what the family is doing? So asking that question, "Is technology bringing us closer together?" And maybe it starts with the step of, "You know what? We do need the sanity, so we're going to read." And maybe your five-year-old or your 15 year old once, none of that. But in the absence of technology, you and your kids will find other things. So I think actually reading is something very beautiful out of COVID that could happen in a family if they just exchanged time in the evenings and said, "You know what? We have been on computers all day today. And we're just going to ... You guys can read between 7:00 and 8:00 tonight." And can you imagine if people started reading? So my son, he's 15 and he has always been an avid reader. But I love he ... I was talking to him the other day and he said, "You know, mom, it's so cool because people spend their whole life figuring something out and then they write a book about it.

And I can read that book in a matter of two or three weeks, and I can learn what took them their whole life. And I can do that over and over and over again." So doesn't that sound a lot different than, "Oh yeah, we watched a lot of seasons of this, this, this, this, this, this, and this." That instead of just getting in that vegetative state of like, "Okay, this is easy, but let's just be amused and entertained." You could just by changing a habit of, "Hey, after whatever time ..." Or maybe it's a certain day, "... we don't do technology. We do books instead." And it's for parents too, because I know we don't read either. So for us to pick up and start that process too. I think we'll find that could be a really positive way to get through this weird COVID time.

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    Okay. Arlene, let me ask a practical question. I have adult children, two of them hate to read. Utterly hate to read. It's not enjoyable. They don't like it. One was in grad school and he had to read in grad school. But two of my kids will say to me, "I just hate to read it. I don't get anything out of it. It's not enjoyable for me." So to offer them reading time to them, they're like, "Yeah, I hate that." So that's a weird tension I'm not sure quite how to navigate.

Arlene Pellican...:    Yeah. So I would say if your kids are younger and they say that, that there is still that time to say, "Okay, let's find books that are in your wheelhouse, things that you're interested in, things that were recommended by a friend, things that your friend knows about that maybe you want to know about." So just trying to motivate that child to hook onto reading. And we also did it through money. That we would honestly, instead of doing an allowance, just like a regular allowance, it's, "Hey, if you read this book ..." And it'd be books we wanted them to read about life and learning, whatever. Whether it's about the Bible or finances or whatever. And then we'd attach money to it. Like, "You'll learn $25 when you finish that. And you'll learn another $25 when you write a book report about it." So honestly, we have done all sorts of things. And then I think for your adult kids, it could be still that same idea of finding subjects maybe that they want.

Maybe it's audio books now. That while they're on their commute, you say, "Hey, just listen to this." And hopefully have a really good introduction so it will keep them going. But maybe audio books maybe-

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    Or podcasts.

Arlene Pellican...:    ... they're going to go into podcasts-

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    See, they're-

Arlene Pellican...:    Instead of books.

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    Yeah, they're podcasts kids.

Arlene Pellican...:    Yeah. And then that also shows you too, as you grow up with technology, sometimes that capacity for one thing over a long period of time, it's diminished. So it's like the podcasts, like the shorter things and more of them that they like that better. So you can adapt in that way. But I think if you've got young kids at home, you still can encourage them to read.

Chris Grace:    Now, I think that's good. We lived on with one of our child paying them money and it just was their love language. So they read the Old Testament ... The New Testament first and they're like, "Wait, I get $100. What do I get for the Old Testament?" We're like, "Okay. Maybe 200." But they love it. Arlene, let's go back to something you said about, it sounds like one of the ways that you layer this is that you have looked at whether or not there's family time being involved. You asked this question, "Are we closer as a family?" So let me ask you this, define that. What do you see? Because what is quality family time? For example, can we count eating together? Or can you count reading together? What is it that you can count for this? You had mentioned that that's one sign that you want to point to, is technology making your family closer? What defines close families? What would you say?

Arlene Pellican...:    I think shared memories. So as you think back, you think, "Oh, remember when we went on that crazy ski trip and mom couldn't do it." Or, "Remember when we used to volunteer at such and such place and we visited the orphan." So that there are these shared memories in their minds that they go to and happy memories. And sure, there can be sad memories in there too. But I think shared memories. And I do think it is the quantity of time. That it's not only quality of those cool memories, but it's the quantity of those. Yes, those daily mealtimes, or maybe it's five times a week. But that you have a regular rhythm of eating together without screens. I think it is reading time when you're side by side, or even just in the same house, but you're doing a shared activity. It's intentional time when you sit around a table and you say, "Hey, we've got the year in front of us. What are some goals? And let's spend a few minutes each of us just saying our own ... thinking about our own personal goals and then let's share them around the table."

    So it can be very intentional like that. But it can also be we just watch Unstoppable, Bethany Hamilton's documentary. It was amazing. We watched that as a family, so that's technology. But it's together and it's something now you can reference, it's something common. We have a language to say, "Hey, let's not give up. She didn't give up, let's not give up." So it's shared memories. It's a relationship of love so that when you do bring in the rules, "Hey, we're not going to use that smartphone." There's a relationship there that's underneath that. So it's not just rules, rules, rules, rules, but that comes out of a relationship. It's ... We have three kids, so it's one-on-one time. It's James spending time sometimes with one girl and me spending time sometimes with our son. So it's also one-on-one so that you're spending that kind of time together. It's listening, asking questions. And of course, the knowledge they know that they're loved by us. And that you feel close, that you could talk about hard things, you could talk about easy things.

Chris Grace:    That's great. I think just for a lot of parents out there, knowing that if they ... I think sometimes they hear this, they hear, "Okay, technology, social media, these things have bad consequences. It influences negatively not just your brain, but your family, your relationships." So they basically throw everything out. But I think what in your answer and in your experience, what I'm hearing is that you can so long as you're together doing something ... it's book reading, or watching a video, or engaging together as a family, it creates memories. Versus I think maybe the idea that if you're answering a text between you and somebody else during dinner, then nobody else is able to share in that. Maybe sharing in something together media wise or technology wise is actually can be very healthy. So I think that's a good gauge for parents to realize, is they don't have to throw everything out. It's are you doing this intentionally together as a family?

Arlene Pellican...:    I was just going to add, I want to add a little a turn there. That there are some technologies that we don't allow in the family. Because we do think that once that technology is there, it will be unstoppable. So for instance, our kids don't have social media. And it's not to say that that some kids can't and handle it well, but we just thought for ourselves, "This is not something we really want to start." We have a junior and a freshman in high school, boy and a girl, and neither of them are on social media. And then of course, our sixth grader is also not on social media. That was a choice that we made even before watching that documentary, The Social Dilemma. Which in that documentary really shows how it's super wired to keep your child addicted and adults addicted. And just to realize, we barely have the maturity to be able to put our phone down and not be able to pick it up.

And then you give that to a child or a teenager who's forming their identity of who they are and their brain isn't developed yet, and you give that to them in their hand. And they're wondering, "Oh, who tagged me in a post? Oh, who has liked my photo? Oh, who?" We just thought that's not going to be helpful. So that is actually one type of technology we have avoided

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    No pushback? No pushback from the kids.

Arlene Pellican...:    Zero pushback. Zero.

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    Really?

Arlene Pellican...:    Zero. So you all can ... We can do a course about this. But I tell you what, from the beginning ... So this is something that's helped, there's always been this expectation. So when my kids were really young, I wrote a book about technology in 2014, so six years ago. My kids are all under 10 and they all know when you're older, you're not going to have social media and you're not going to have a personal phone. And we have a lot of tech in the house, they can get on an iMac, they can get on a Chromebook, they can do their 3D printer, they can edit music. I mean, there's stuff they can do, but they just do not have social media. They do not have a personal phone, even the high schoolers. And here's the thing. So they'll say, "You know what?" And it's funny, because I just asked them this last month just to make sure this is right. So they'll say, "No, I'm glad I don't have social media."

So my daughter, the freshmen. I really love this because she'll say, "Mom, you know, sure sometimes I wish I had it. But I'm glad I don't have it because I think it's just fake. I'd much rather have one person, a friend sitting next to me in life saying, 'Hey, you're a good friend. You're a good person.' I'd rather have that than all these followers that I just think that's really fake." So for her to be able to realize that ... And she's had friends, she goes to public high school. And before COVID, when things were in person, she's had friends say, "You're really lucky." And she's like, "What?" And they're like, "You're really lucky you're not addicted to this." So it's been really, and I'm so grateful for it because my kids, they've kind of poked into the matrix and they've seen like, "Okay, we'll do our technology later. And maybe we are lucky." So it's kind of cool.

So really instead of a position of weakness, it's really become a position of strength because the kids realize, "I can have friends in real life and it doesn't matter how many followers I have on social media. I can solve this problem on my own, I don't have to text my mom and ask her what she thinks I should do." And it's really given them this confidence that we're really grateful for. So we do like to encourage people, this can be done in public high school, in San Diego. Biking to school without a phone, this can be done. And getting good grades without a phone, it can be done. So it's been fun.

Speaker 1:    When will be that ... So I assume when they get to college, it's going to be their choice, right?

Arlene Pellican...:    Exactly.

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    I mean, "Mom, I'm 30-

Arlene Pellican...:    By the time ... "I'm 30-

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    ... can I have a phone?"

Arlene Pellican...:    I'm about to get married, my wife would like to be able to reach me. Is this okay with you people now?" So we've joked with, "Of course, you're going to have to pay for it." And I've had the ... I'm the softy in the family, so I've said to my husband, "Honey, when they start doing driving, maybe we should do ..." So we're thinking about like a dumb phone that I to be able to text and things like that. So anyway, all that to say absolutely in college for them to do that. And they're okay with that. They accept it. My son is very financially minded, so he's like, "I don't need a phone. I don't want to pay for a phone. I guess I'll have to get one in college." My daughter would be like, "Oh, if you let me have a phone, I would definitely have a phone. But I don't have a phone and it's okay." That's kind of how she is.

Chris Grace:    How do grandparents come into the picture? Do they-

Arlene Pellican...:    Yes.

Chris Grace:    Are they soft? And do they want to buy-

Arlene Pellican...:    That's so funny.

Chris Grace:    ... something? Or? And your book by the way, awesome, is that you've written this also for grandparents.

Arlene Pellican...:    We have the Screen Kids book, and then the companion book is Grandparenting Screen Kids because there are so many grandparents in the mix. We have grandparents that are pretty much old school, so they're not buying our kids the latest iPhone or an iPad for us to have a conversation. So we're pretty lucky that way. And they have borne the fruit of grandkids who want to come and talk to them, and play ping pong with them, and take walks with them instead of just hanging out and doing iPads. So they've borne the fruit of it. So they're pretty much ... we're pretty on the same side there. But we did early on, as we're dropping off our kids, they watch our kids, that kind of thing, and they'd watch a lot more cartoons at grandma and grandpa's than they would at our house. So we'd have this conversation with them like, "Okay, this is what we're going to do. If we're dropping the kids off and we're asking you to watch the kids, you can do whatever you want. You're doing us a favor, do whatever you want.

But if you're saying to us like, "Hey, we really miss the kids. Can they come over?" Then we would ask that you watch like a half an hour or less." That's the ground rules that we came to have, and that worked really well. I think communication is a part of it and realizing that if you're a grandparent, that's a sacred place where you can shape that space how you want. Maybe it's different than the way it is at home, and that's okay. But if you're the grandparent, who's like, "Oh, I want to buy my kid the latest thing ... My grandkids the latest thing. But the parents are like, 'Uh-uh (negative). Uh-uh (negative).'" Then maybe it's good you're listening, so now you're realizing, "Oh, I guess that that video game might not be the best thing for my seven year old grandson."

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    Arlene, I get what you're saying because I ... Chris is going to laugh. I had a flip phone for how long Chris?

Arlene Pellican...:    Yes.

Chris Grace:    Oh, well-

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    10?

Chris Grace:    As long as I've known you.

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    10, 13 years. Because I didn't want all of that in my back pocket. I've got a computer that can launch missiles, so my computer ... But I just recently got an Android phone and I've completely gone over to the dark side completely. I love my phone-

Arlene Pellican...:    This thing is amazing.

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    ... even more than my kids, depending on which one of them. So I see it. It's unbelievable. It is a black hole that you can go down as part ... And by the way, people ... my kids will say to me, "Why'd you get an Android?" That's because Covenant Eyes doesn't work on Apple phones, it only works on an Android. That's why I told them, "I'm not getting a phone that doesn't have Covenant Eyes because that accountability to me is really important." So I see the wisdom of that. I'm just amazed you were able to ... still able to ... this technological riptide that you've been able to not get sucked into it is admirable. And I imagine there's a lot of parents who just feel like that is unbelievably impossible to them to even think of. What would you say to parents who have allowed their kids to have these phones and now regret it? Can you pull it back? Can you-

Arlene Pellican...:    You can. And you know what? That's also just that realization of most parents don't say, "Oh, I wish I would have given the phone a year earlier. This has been such a blessing in my life and my kids." Nobody says that. So that's why when I say, "I didn't give the phone." You realize, "Hey, maybe that's not so crazy after all." Because you'd never hear people regretting that. I'm not going to say I regretted holding that off. And I would say for those that you feel like, "Oh man, I should have waited." Or, "Oh, this particular social media platform has just been so troublesome. I think I got to get them off Snapchat." Or whatever it is. I think that begins with prayer. Like, "Lord, we need You in this situation." And praying with a spouse, or a friend, or a mother, or whoever. Just agreeing with someone in prayer that, "God, will You make a way for this?" And then approaching your child with that humility and not like, "Oh, I listened to this podcast and I realized this is taking away from family time.

And your brain is all the roads are just going to YouTube and that's not going to be good for you, so I've got to ..." But instead it would be, "We gave you this because to be honest with you, we wanted to please you. We don't want you to feel left out. We want you to feel like your friends, so we just caved in and said, 'Sure'. But now we're looking at this and we're wondering, you're not as happy as you used to be. You don't have as much time to play soccer like you used to. And we're wondering if this was not a good choice. We're sorry, because we're the ones who dropped the ball on it, we're the ones that did it and we're sorry. And here's what we want to try. Let's try for seven days that we're going to collect the phone or whatever it is you're going to do. That you're going to come off the social media platform, you're going to stop playing the certain video game. Let's try that for seven days and then let's have a conversation about that."

And then it might be more than seven days. A lot of people, psychologists, doctors, et cetera, recommend a 30 day reset because-

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    Oh?

Arlene Pellican...:    Dr. Victoria Dunckley talks about this electronic stress syndrome. That a lot of things, whether it's sleeplessness, they can't focus, appetite, all of these different things. Depression, anxiety, that if you'll clear out your electronics for a month, that you will actually see, "Wow, my kid is doing so much better. The anxiety has lifted. The depression has lifted. They're sleeping every night." Because what the kids are doing is many times they're waking up at four o'clock in the morning, so they can start gaming before anyone wakes up. Or maybe they're the opposite, they're staying awake till 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. And who can function like that after a long period of time? So simply from a sleep perspective for you to say to your child, "I just want to make sure you get a good night's sleep. Even though you're 18 years old and you think I'm crazy, I'm still going to collect your phone while you're living under my roof so you can get a good night's sleep." And it's an apology. And it's really not expecting that they're going to be like, "Thank you."

You can expect that this is not going to go well, but that you will hold your ground and that you will give it time. Because it might not be for several weeks until your child says, "You know what? This is better this way." It's not going to happen automatically.

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    Now, Arlene, would you ... And I'm only saying this hypothetically. I'm only saying this philosophically, Arlene. Would you say that the parents should jump in on that? Like not just, "You're giving up your phone, but we're doing it as well."

Arlene Pellican...:    Yes. And you know what? That's a great conversation to have. Because I know for parents, they probably couldn't say, "Oh, I'm going to give away my phone for a week." Because they need it for work, let's say, okay. So you're talking to your child, but maybe you would take all your social media off of it. Maybe you would say to your child, "After five o'clock at night, I'm going to put it in this place and then will only answer it if I get an emergency." If you're an emergency worker. If you're not an emergency worker, you don't have to do that. So then it could be yes. It could be, "You know what? And I'm going to do it with you." How cool would that be? And actually be funny because now the parents probably are going to hurt more than the child. And the child's going to think that's hilarious, and boom, you've got your shared memory. So you're doing all sorts of things at one time. I think, yes, that is a great idea to say, "I'm going to do it with you."

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    I'm not doing it, Arlene. I'm just saying, I think this would-

Arlene Pellican...:    It's possible.

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    ... be great for parents to do. But I am ... You're not taking away my precious.

Arlene Pellican...:    Other parents. [crosstalk 00:27:02].

Chris Grace:    I've heard some families too and some people, even individually, some college students at Biola have taken digital Sabbaths. And instead of this is now forever, you're done. It's, "Hey, let's do a 24 hour and just see how that goes." And that's a slower way to sometimes get into this, isn't it?

Arlene Pellican...:    It is.

Chris Grace:    When you start with the 24, 48. We have, even in our classes, we have students write about their experience with the digital Sabbath. And some of the responses that we get when they've chosen to take a 24 or 72 hour response or Sabbath, they write some very interesting things about their experience.

Arlene Pellican...:    Was it that it was so difficult? Or did they have a epiphany?

Chris Grace:    Yeah. You know what it was is they just simply had ... No, it was almost always positive. Now, it didn't mean that they didn't go back to using it again. However, it gave them new information for them or a new understanding of what it would be like. And many of them said, "I think I'll do this every couple of months. I think I'll do this on a regular basis." And I think that it gave them some perspective. And if anything, it gave them a new insight into how much they're using this technology.

Arlene Pellican...:    Yeah. So it might be something for a husband and wife to do, to say ... Maybe one of you is like, "Why are you on the phone so much?" And it might be, "Hey, on Sunday, let's take a break and see what happens." I remember I visited Biola and I was talking to a student and it was a capable, intelligent student. He was carrying a phone and a little notebook that was the exact size of his phone. And he just held it together. I was curious about it, so I said, "What's that notebook? What do you use that for?" And he said, "I write down what I'm going to do with my phone in this little notebook, and then I do it on my phone. Or else I just pick up my phone and I'm on it forever." And I was like, "Okay, he's going to be like a CEO someday. That's amazing." So how amazing you recognize, "Okay, I'm going to go with purpose and then I'm going to get out." And sometimes we need these things as habits or else it's so easy just to get sucked in.

Chris Grace:    Well, Arlene, that's really great advice in general. I love the way you've navigated this, not only with your children and your family, but in just expressing this through all these kinds of medias that we have available to us, your books and your podcast. You bring in amazing guests to as well, and people need to go check out your podcast as well. It's called The Happy Home Podcast. Is that right?

Arlene Pellican...:    The Happy Home Podcast.

Chris Grace:    Good. Good. Good. So, Arlene, it's really been awesome to have you on here on our podcast. I know Tim and I have been looking forward to this because even your initial foray into this, Growing Up Social. And now this book, of course, Screen Kids. Listeners, you need to go out and check this out. Especially if you have young children or you're wanting young children at some point, because eventually, you will face this as a family. It's going to be a tough choice in a tough decision, and it's going to go against, as Tim said, against that riptide, which is extremely strong and also extremely dangerous. So Arlene, thank you so much just for sharing a little bit of this. And Tim, it's just been for us extremely helpful as parents and grandparents navigate this area.

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    I'm sorry, I was on my phone, Chris. What did you say? No. Okay. Yes. No, it's been great to have Arlene. Yes-

Arlene Pellican...:    I'm looking at my android lovingly.

Dr. Tim Muehlho...:    ... thank you so much. Thank you, Arlene. It's been super helpful. Thank you.

Chris Grace:    Yeah. So Arlene, let's do this. We hope to have you back for another podcast. That sound good?

Arlene Pellican...:    That would be great.

Chris Grace:    Awesome. Thank you again. All right. Take care.

Speaker 1:    We're very glad you joined us for today's podcast. For more resources on marriage and healthy relationships, please visit our website at We'll see you next time on The Art of Relationships.