For the Sake of Our Youth with Tessa Stuckey

In this episode, we have a wide ranging discussion about the dangers our kids face with technology with Tessa Stuckey (@themomtherapist on Instagram). We also provide strategies for having conversations and helping kids avoid dangers relating to technology.

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Cybertraps with Tessa Stuckey

Jethro Jones: 00:00:00 Okay, this is so exciting. 

00:00:06 Frederick Lane: 00:00:06 It’s momentous. I know just how it felt when the Titanic took off. Go ahead.

00:00:15 Jethro Jones: 00:00:15 Right? Hello, everybody. Welcome to the cyber traps podcast. My name is Jethro Jones from the transformative principle and the author of the new book school X, which is all about redesigning your school to meet the needs of those in front of you. 

00:00:30 Frederick Lane: 00:00:30 Greetings folks. I’m Fredrick lane and author, attorney, and educational consultant based in New York.

00:00:35 I’m the author of 10 books, including most recently cyber traps for educators. 2.0, raising cyber ethical kids and cyber traps for expecting moms and dads, Jethro. And I are teaming up to bringing timely, entertaining, and useful information to teachers, parents, and others about the risks arising from the use and misuse of digital devices.

00:00:58 And over the 

00:00:59 Jethro Jones: 00:00:59 coming weeks and months, we’ll be talking to some of the nation’s leading experts from the fields of education, parenting, sociology, and parenting. I was just doing a cold read. That’s how it goes. We’re on this. As we look here into what it takes to better navigate our increasingly high tech world, how are you doing Fred?

00:01:18 Frederick Lane: 00:01:18 I’m doing fine Jethro apart from my editing skills 

00:01:24 Jethro Jones: 00:01:24 that will get better. I’m sure. Today we are excited to have Tessa Stuckey on the program with us. She is a licensed professional counselor and a mother for trying to make a change. Uh, she has a bachelor of arts from Texas state university and a master’s from Sam Houston, state university and mental clinical health counseling.

00:01:43 And she’s a licensed professional counselor and she is also the author of the great book. For the sake of our youth, which is about the cultural impacts that are impacting. Our kids today. So Tessa, welcome to the cyber traps pod. 

00:01:56 Tessa Stuckey: 00:01:56 Thank you so much for having me. 

00:01:58 Jethro Jones: 00:01:58 So we’re really excited to talk with you today.

00:02:00 And there are so many different things that we could talk about. I want to jump into this idea of how the culture that is out there right now is impacting our youth in the things that they are doing. Um, and we’re going to talk a little bit more about this in a minute, but specifically the idea of kids sending nudes back and forth and how that is a.

00:02:21 Certainly a trap that can cause them some great harm that they’re not even prepared for. So, uh, let’s start there and talk about that first and foremost. 

00:02:30 Tessa Stuckey: 00:02:30 Yeah. So I will never forget sitting with my clients. I run an all girls adolescent group and they, this was a few years ago and they started talking about.

00:02:43 Sending a guy that picture and that picture and how he asked for this. And, and I, I had never felt so old in my life because I just like the mom in me was like, you sent, what, what are you doing? And the way that they were talking about it was so casual. And I’m not very old at this time. I was still in my twenties too.

00:03:03 And so I was just so. Perplexed by how much had changed since I was in high school. And obviously technology has just boomed and grown so much in the last 10, 15 years that, you can’t be too surprised by that. But I was surprised with how casual, the idea of exchanging nude photos had become, and then I was.

00:03:26 I was seeing the aftermath of it, how the girls were reacting to it after they had done something like that, or the trauma of the picture being passed around amongst numerous people in their school and how embarrassing and humiliating and, the labels put on them. So I was doing a lot of the trauma work with that.

00:03:47 And. You know, I’m all about being young and having fun, but I am not about nudes and I never will be. I think it is, very very emotionall harmful for the person asking as well as the person. Sending and what I find a lot of times happening is that girls feel pressured to send as part of the relationship status, you know, kind of like before they even hold hands or kiss, they should send a nude because that means that you really care for that other person or that you really want to be in that relationship.

00:04:26 I’ve also found surprisingly, a lot of boys. feel pressured to ask and they, of course, I’m sure they’re happy to see some pictures, but, they still have those, emotions that hit them integrity and guilt saying, You know, I shouldn’t be pushing her to do this, but they feel pressured either by friends or by the girl to ask for the picture.

00:04:53 And so it’s this, this. Hard to understand dynamic, um, that plays a part in their relationship with the new pictures. 

00:05:02 Frederick Lane: 00:05:02 One of the things that I talk about with, um, the family groups that I speak to is that it’s not really about the technology it’s about the behavior and that I think is generally true, but I do think that something sociologically has changed.

00:05:21 In terms of the willingness of young men to ask for these photos and increasingly whether it’s willing or not that the decision by young women to provide them. And, and I should say just, and I’d love to have you comment on this as well, but while that is overwhelmingly the gender flow, if you will, of these images, it’s not exclusively that there have been situations that I’ve written about in which young men are pressured into doing the same thing.

00:05:52 Tessa Stuckey: 00:05:52 Yeah. I think that there’s a lot of things to think about. One is, and I talk a lot about this in my book, is that the desire for attention and the desire to feel important and that’s human nature for all of us, we all want to feel valued and we all want to feel important. And what’s hard for teenagers is that in a world full of technology, feeling important and valued and getting that attention a lot of times relies on the internet and social media.

00:06:19 And so they might. post some sexy looking dance on TikTok and get astronomical feedback. And that feels good for them. And I can’t blame, I can’t blame them for that. It feels good to get recognized and get noticed. And to have that feedback, but a lot of times that can lead to really unhealthy situations that can be really scary or totally inappropriate, or, all of a sudden the girl is sending pictures and she’s just like, how did I end up here?

00:06:50 Um, but you’re right. I agree with you that it happens on the flip side too, where boys are sending pictures and they don’t want to, or they’re feeling pressured into that as well. And it’s just. It’s created this culture where it’s completely expected and normalized, and what they aren’t understanding is the emotional, um, take away.

00:07:16 And the long-term effects of that are really damaging for them. Um, and I think also for boys, Oh man, I think they boys growing up in today’s world, um, there’s so much. Sexualized situations or girls posting pictures of themselves in a bikini. And that’s totally acceptable and normal. When I think about when I was a teenager, my dad like would not let me out of the house in a bikini.

00:07:47 Right. He would not let me go to school, wearing a bikini. He would not, he did not like me even going to the beach in a skimpy bikini. Um, but now our kids are posting it online and the whole world is seeing it. It’s created this understanding for boys to expect it more and to think that the girls are comfortable with it too, which maybe they are because they’re behind the screen rather than being in person, wearing a bikini.

00:08:13 And I think that it gives the boys this, um, kind of, uh, confidence. I’m trying to think of the word, like a tricky. Confidence. Like it’s not a real confidence. What’s the word I’m looking for? I can tell you Fred you’re okay. 

00:08:31 Frederick Lane: 00:08:31 Right. You can tell him on the edge of my seat here. Cause this is really fascinating tests.

00:08:36 What I would say is. That based on the research I’ve done the cultural changes that we’ve seen over the last several decades effectively give boys permission 

00:08:47 Tessa Stuckey: 00:08:47 to ask 

00:08:47 Frederick Lane: 00:08:47 in that way to, to, to, to say to the young women, with whom they’re involved or they want to be involved. Um, I have a right to ask for this because our society.

00:08:59 Idolizes women in these objectified roles. And so you just need to plug yourself into that because that’s how we interact. And it’s, it’s a deeply flawed approach to things. I would toss out a couple of concepts that I’d love to get your feedback on, um, which would be the concepts of global reach impermanence.

00:09:22 And I think that, to me, those are the concepts that are most difficult to explain to young people, this idea that, you know, if you’re, and please don’t even get me started on, on elementary school kids having smartphones because, 

00:09:37 Tessa Stuckey: 00:09:37 Oh, don’t get me started on that either, man. I can go off. Yeah. I’ll let you 

00:09:41 Frederick Lane: 00:09:41 rent for him, but let me just say that.

00:09:44 Yeah. What kids really don’t understand is that when they’re sending these images, whether it’s a bikini or a nude, or what have you to someone else, the intimacy of electronic devices makes them think that that’s the limit to distribution and they don’t intellectualize or fully absorb the ease with which that can be redistributed.

00:10:07 And because another part of my world is doing computer forensics. The idea of digital permanence is really hard to explain to kids and get them to appreciate and getting back a little bit to the pressure points you were talking about. Um, there’ve been a handful of cases, if not more where, uh, images of young women in particular effectively became baseball cards.

00:10:31 Within a school environment and kids were setting up Google drives, where they were swapping the cards. And then these entire drives were showing up on foreign websites. 

00:10:41 Tessa Stuckey: 00:10:41 You’re reminding me of a story that I tell the girls in my office, and that is, you know, back again. This makes me feel like I’m ancient that I say back in my day, if I wanted to show a guy, a nude picture of me, I would have to get a disposable camera.

00:10:57 Set it up, not know how the picture would turn out, but take it anyway. Take it to the drug store to get developed, which that might be embarrassing. Then go over to his house and drop it off and hope that his parents didn’t see it by the way, this is all hypothetical. I never actually did this. Um, and then my client’s response is, Oh my gosh, then so many people can see it.

00:11:22 And I’m like, but it’s destroyable. I could also go destroy that picture and make sure that nobody else sees it if I really wanted to destroy it. And they can’t seem to understand that. And you know, what the problem really is is their age, the lack of brain development, right? Their prefrontal cortex is not fully developed until the ages 25 to 28.

00:11:45 And they cannot. They cannot grasp long-term consequences. And, and so it’s really sad because you’re right. It’s hard to explain that to them, the permanence of it and how in the future, it could come back and bite you in the butt and be a problem for your lifestyle moving forward. And they can’t seem to grasp that at all.

00:12:11 And it’s, it’s hard to figure out how to explain that to them. I always just tell them, like, why not have fun in person not to include, not to encourage sex, but if you give him bunches of pictures, like he’s not going to want to hang out with you much because like he’s already got it right there. So like, why don’t you play the game a little bit, play hard to get and wait until y’all are in together where you can like kiss and have fun rather than just giving it all away for free.

00:12:41 Jethro Jones: 00:12:41 Another aspect of this that I think is really fascinating is that we have very few instances where kids get to go and just hang out with other kids by themselves, without adults there. And yet kids have their devices in their rooms with them at night and where this kind of stuff is, is easy to have to have access to.

00:13:02 And, and when you have those situations where. You know, you can’t be alone together, but you can, um, be texting and texting each other all throughout the night. 

00:13:13 Tessa Stuckey: 00:13:13 Um, it, 

00:13:14 Jethro Jones: 00:13:14 it really makes it difficult for you to find time to be alone together, but it’s easy to find time to be alone together and in texts. And so I want to talk a little bit about this idea of.

00:13:26 Of how we, how we help our kids see that this, this cultural push to do it. The expectation that you talked about a lot, that boys should be asking and that girls should be sending. How do we talk to our kids about that? About turning that around so that that’s not what they’re feeling? 

00:13:44 Tessa Stuckey: 00:13:44 Yeah. Well, I’ve thought a lot about this Jethro because I have four boys and they’re all, I mean, my oldest is nine, so we’re approaching some adolescent years.

00:13:55 Right. And so I’m all about starting early and all about early intervention and having real talks with our kids. And I’m sure Fred, that is a lot of what your book for kids is about. teaching them those cyber ethics At a young age and, and I just had a talk with my nine-year-old and seven-year-old last night about, um, like how, what to do.

00:14:23 If someone shows you a picture on the bus or what to do with. You know, someday when you have your own phone, which they’re nowhere near getting their own smartphone, but someday, like if you’re on mom’s computer and you stumble on something, or if you’re on the iPad and trying to get something done for school and something pops up, I mean, this is why I go into.

00:14:45 You know, not allowing our kids to have smartphones at a young age, because just like you were saying, the new version of sneaking out of the house and getting in trouble, I sneaking onto devices at two in the morning to get into trouble and nothing good happens after midnight. And now it’s even in your own home.

00:15:01 And it’s just a scary, overwhelming place for teenagers, but also for parents to be parenting in this world the earlier the better to have those conversations. And then, you know, it depends on if you have a. Boy or a girl on how to approach that conversation. But I think the earlier of explaining, like these pictures don’t go away and maybe sharing stories of examples of that.

00:15:25 Like I have a friend who works for the school district who. You know, found pictures on somebody else’s phone and, you know, the police were involved and they were able to look at all of the pictures, even the deleted ones, and like explaining that in story form is really, really helpful for kids to hear that a little bit better.

00:15:46 Even older kids, teenagers, if you come across as shameful or lecturing or don’t you dare ever do that, I better not catch you doing that. They’re not going to absorb that as well. They’re just going to think, okay, how can I be more sneaky so that I don’t get caught? But if you go into it with, you know, this is something that I didn’t have to deal with when I was a kid in this way, and I’m still learning my part in it with.

00:16:10 Teaching you and parenting you in this tech world, but I want to make sure that you’re being safe and that you’re being respectful. And these are some things that I think we need to talk about and coming, making sure you’re a safe place for them. So if they say your 15 year old does get into a situation that he can still come and talk to you about it and not feel that shame from you because he’s already feeling it within.

00:16:36 There is a reason why God gave us that feeling of guilt. You know, we have to be checked sometimes and, and 15 year old boys, they still feel that even if they’ve stumbled on some to some pornography or a girl does send them a picture and they like it at first, they still feel that guilt. And so as parents, we want to make sure we have that open relationship with them so that they can come to us and say, I don’t know how it got so out of hand, but it did.

00:17:05 Frederick Lane: 00:17:05 Well, let me tell you that, um, we’ve got some similar life experience because I’m the dad and stepdad have four boys, myself, 

00:17:13 Tessa Stuckey: 00:17:13 definitely 

00:17:14 Frederick Lane: 00:17:14 farther along the life track than yours there. What are they ranging now between 27 and 21? So the ship has sailed they’re out of the safe Harbor for the time, but I, but I will tell you it’s, you know, I appreciate you’re referencing that because.

00:17:32 Raising cyber ethical kids was really specifically designed to 

00:17:37 Tessa Stuckey: 00:17:37 help 

00:17:38 Frederick Lane: 00:17:38 augment the development of those conversations, that safe space for kids and parents to talk to each other. I am an advocate as you suggested of starting earlier and, and as soon as possible in terms of developing the safe space. That kids need in order to have those conversations.

00:17:59 So raising cyber ethical kids is built around this idea of a family acceptable use policy that grows with the kids as they get older, because of course the issues change. And then the other thing that comes into that is this idea that you should try to make the kids educators. Because one of the best ways to get them talking about technology is to have them teach you how they use things.

00:18:24 So if you see something or if you hear them talking about something, you can say to a kid, well, I’d like to know how that works. Can you install it on my. Smartphone or whatever. And then use that as a, as a foundation for a conversation about what the risks are, you know, how people interact with each other, that kind of thing.

00:18:44 Jethro Jones: 00:18:44 The principal trick that I have used for years, which is instead of saying, what are you doing? And an accusatory tone, because you know, the kid is doing something wrong. Just say, Ooh, what’s that. And it, they feel like, Oh, I’m doing something cool. I should like, I should share this. 

00:19:02 Tessa Stuckey: 00:19:02 Yeah, he’s interested.

00:19:03 Right. 

00:19:03 Jethro Jones: 00:19:03 And it’s a little tricky, but it’s, it’s a huge change in how kids perceive what it is that we’re trying to do. And if they feel like we are after them and trying to, trying to find what they’re doing wrong, they can sense that a mile away and, and this all too often in, in a. In a worthwhile effort to try to positively impact our kids.

00:19:26 We totally cut them off because we make them feel like what they’re doing is wrong. And like you said, Tessa, they already know that it’s wrong and they don’t need anybody else telling them that they need to figure out how to deal with it so that they can make a better choice in the future. And, and, and on that front, you know, somebody.

00:19:45 Uh, has, has gotten involved with this kind of stuff and, and they don’t know how to go and talk to their parents and their parents don’t know how to bring it up with them because it’s gonna be awkward no matter what, what’s your advice for, for talking with, uh, bringing the subject up when you feel like maybe it’s too late?

00:20:03 Like, okay, I didn’t start and I have teenagers now. So how do I have this conversation? 

00:20:08 Tessa Stuckey: 00:20:08 Well, I think that, um, to put the blame on yourself as the parent is a really great way to allow that comforting time for your kid to come to you. So saying something like this is my fault that I let it get this way without educating myself on how easy you could have stumbled on this.

00:20:32 Or this is my fault for giving you a smartphone and not. Preparing you. And so what I tell parents is it’s not your fault because you didn’t know that it was going to be your fault, right? Like you didn’t know, we were still dealing with like, figuring out how to do all this with technology. We’re still working on all the kinks where it’s kind of like the Guinea pig phase.

00:20:54 So I try to explain to parents, like, it’s not necessarily your fault because you didn’t know you had to pay attention to this, but in order for your child to not. Put the blame on themselves. You’re going to have to just take the blame and say that like, it’s my fault that I didn’t educate myself, or I didn’t realize that it would get to this point with you.

00:21:16 Let’s figure out how we can get through it together and keeping that open communication where you validate their emotions that they’re talking about. Even if your son or your daughter says. I made a big mistake and now I feel horrible about it and everybody knows. And I’m so embarrassed. You validate those emotions rather than focusing on the behavior, because if you focus on the behavior, that’s when they’re going to feel that shame and that disappointment from you.

00:21:42 One 

00:21:43 Frederick Lane: 00:21:43 of the things that I think parents might find useful in, in dealing with this is that. Sometimes it’s hard to know something’s gone wrong. So what, what advice do you give parents about how to recognize that their child might be having a tech related conflict or issue that’s concerning? 

00:22:04 Tessa Stuckey: 00:22:04 What we see across the board is when someone is struggling with something internally.

00:22:09 So say they’re failing chemistry, but they don’t want their parents to know their behavior changes in other areas. Right. They might become irritable at times when they’ve never been irritable, they might snap at their parents. They might be experiencing anxiety about soccer practice, but really it’s about chemistry or really it’s about your relationship with that boy on Snapchat that you.

00:22:31 You know, didn’t realize it had gotten so out of hand. And so it’s important for parents to pick up on the daily behavior too and say, Hey, you seem really frustrated lately. You know, can we have find some time this week to talk about it? And what I find is really helpful. Because a lot of times parents think that their kids don’t want to talk.

00:22:52 Um, when in reality they actually do, they really do want to talk. They just don’t want to be lectured. They want to be heard. And so what I tell a lot of parents is get in your kid’s zone. If your kid loves to play basketball, get yourself out there, shoot some hoops and don’t put any pressure on. Then talking once they feel comfortable with you and you are in their zone, they will start to open up.

00:23:18 They are dying to open up to you. You just have to create a space that’s comfortable for them. They come to my office and they say, I wish my mom was like you. I wish my mom would listen to what I say. And I’m like, your mom has actually better intentions than I do because she loves you in a different way.

00:23:37 I bet your mom wants to hear everything you’re saying, but there’s always that block there. And so as parents, it’s our job to bring down those walls so that we can create that space. Well, 

00:23:48 Frederick Lane: 00:23:48 and, and Tessa, you’re giving me the perfect opportunity to raise. One of the issues that I think is most serious, which is that frequently the wall between parents and kids.

00:24:00 Our parents own devices and how they use them. And, you know, with time after time, we’re getting survey results that show that kids really resent their parents device use. And so, you know, it’s, it’s, if you care about what your kids are doing and, and the impact of technology, you need, number one, to set a good role model example in terms of how you’re using them.

00:24:24 But then secondly, you need to recognize that your use of the device. Interferes with your ability to pick up on those signals that you’re 

00:24:32 Tessa Stuckey: 00:24:32 talking about? Yeah. I strongly encourage parents to keep their phones down when they’re around their kids. And if you have to pick up your phone, say you have to check an email.

00:24:43 There are times when I have clients that are texting me about scheduling and if I don’t, you know, I’m one of those people that if I don’t schedule it right then and there. I might not get to it and then I totally forget about it. So I, what I do with my kids is I narrate what I’m doing. So I’ll never forget my five-year-old comes to me.

00:25:02 And he says, mom, are we going to that birthday party this afternoon? And. All all while he’s standing there in my head, I’m thinking, Oh shoot, I totally forgot about that birthday party. And I pick up my phone and I start looking at the weather to see if the birthday party is still going to come. I look at the map or I have to find the email to find the Eva to find out where the birthday party is to figure out what time it is and see like how far away it is.

00:25:26 And all of this is going through my head. Right. And meanwhile, all he sees is my phone in his face. And I have not even responded to him yet. I haven’t even said, Oh, hold on, buddy. I don’t even know if we can go. I haven’t even responded yet. All he gets is a big fat I’m ignoring you. I’m not listening to you.

00:25:44 And so from that moment on, I made it a priority to narrate what I am doing when I pick up my phone. Every time I don’t care how old my kids will be, I will always. Narrate it, because one it’s teaching them what the phone is for. And I too, I don’t want to ever come across as a hypocrite. I don’t ever want them to think that I’m like sitting there ignoring them, playing candy crush, which I don’t even have candy crush, but, you know, and really I’m getting work done or I’m emailing or I’m, you know, checking the weather.

00:26:14 So I always, always, always say, Oh my gosh. Let me see what the weather is today to see if you guys need to wear jackets every single time before I pick up my phone or I don’t pick up my phone when they’re around, I wait until they’re in bed. I wait until they’re at school. I wait till they’re not around because I never want that disconnect to happen.

00:26:34 I 

00:26:34 Frederick Lane: 00:26:34 love that story. I mean, it’s a very honest sharing and I appreciate that, but, but more substantively, I think that is. A great suggestion because it demonstrates such respect for your children and, and that your, your verbal communication to them takes precedence over the digital communication you’re getting, you know, even if they’re, even if they’re sort of going hand in hand, you’re still talking to them first, before you do what you’re doing on your phone.

00:27:07 It’s a very subtle thing, but. 

00:27:09 Tessa Stuckey: 00:27:09 It’s very powerful and I’m teaching them also boundaries. So they will come to me and say, mom, can you cut this picture out for me? And I’m in the middle of replying to an email. So my responsibility as a mom is to sometimes teach them boundaries and say, you know what, buddy?

00:27:25 Right now, mom has to get some work done, but I will help you with your Eagle or cutting out that star. After I’m done with this, I have to be on my phone right now for work. So I make it very. Um, clear to them, those boundaries. Um, but I also want to teach them screen time management and all that. You know, when we’re watching a movie, I’ll never, I mean, this still happens sometimes when we’ll be watching a movie.

00:27:48 And one of my favorite things to do is try to guess who’s playing what character in an animated film. And so a lot of times I’ll look it up on my phone to see if I’m right about that character. My kids are trying to spend time with me and here I am looking it up on my phone. So now I verbalize what I’m doing or I say, Oh, I’ll look it up after the movie, you know?

00:28:09 And, and so it’s created that. Space. My husband hates when I hit, I tell this part of it, but my husband would laugh at me when I would narrate what I was doing on my phone. And he thought it was just the stupidest thing. Like you don’t need to do that. Kids need to understand that adults need their technology and that they just need to be okay with it.

00:28:29 Sure, sure. But my husband was driving. And my son said, Hey dad, can you put that song on that? I love. And my husband, he lacks communication skills any way. I’m going to be honest, but he didn’t respond. He didn’t say, yeah, buddy, let me look on my phone. So he didn’t narrate what he was going to do. He just picked up his phone at the stoplight and started to look for that.

00:28:53 Song. And my son got so mad at him and said, dad, you’re always on your phone. You’re never listening to me. I really want that. . And my husband was like, I’m literally looking for that song right now on my phone. And I mean, I just said, you know, I had to chuckle a little bit and just, I don’t like the whole, I told you so, so I don’t, I refuse to say that, that I did, you know, just say narrating can be very helpful to help the other person know what.

00:29:23 What you’re doing on your 

00:29:27 Jethro Jones: 00:29:27 counselor way to, uh, to say I told you so, okay. Yeah. 

00:29:33 Frederick Lane: 00:29:33 The application of that in my own 

00:29:35 Tessa Stuckey: 00:29:35 life. Yeah, 

00:29:37 Jethro Jones: 00:29:37 exactly. Um, and I think to add to that, the interesting thing that I’ve seen with my own children and with other people’s children is that kids are always curious what you’re doing.

00:29:47 Right. Um, on your phone. And so they want to know, and my kids often come and look at what I’m doing, and I think I need to start narrating what I’m doing also, but I, I like the idea of respecting, um, the other people that you’re with kids or adults by narrating what you’re doing. And if we. If we took that time to show that respect to people, um, our kids or other adults, then it would, it would make things a lot better.

00:30:14 I like to watch football. I’ll watch it a lot. And my son complains about it a lot. Um, because to him, if I’m watching a game, then it’s like, um, it’s all I’m doing all day long. 

00:30:25 Tessa Stuckey: 00:30:25 Yeah. 

00:30:26 Jethro Jones: 00:30:26 Exactly. Yep. And when I’m paying attention to the game, I’m not paying attention to the other things. And what I try to do is pause the game while I’m watching it.

00:30:35 If the kids are talking to me or if my wife is talking to me so that I can show them respect and say, this is what you do, you differ the human interaction, as opposed to the digital interaction. 

00:30:48 Tessa Stuckey: 00:30:48 I love that 

00:30:49 Jethro Jones: 00:30:49 because that’s what matters. And I don’t, I don’t articulate that, but I think what I’m learning from this conversation is that I probably should.

00:30:55 Frederick Lane: 00:30:55 And Tessa, actually, if I can weigh in on that a little bit, because I know from our earlier conversation that you tend to work with older kids. Um, you know, in terms of your practice, although obviously you’re parenting younger ones as well, but I, you know, I could hear some parents say, well, do I really need to do that?

00:31:13 If my kids are in the bassinet or in the stroller or something like that? And, and I guess that I, I really want to make sure that people understand that devices have a negative impact, even at that stage in terms of the parent-child relationship. I remember, uh, you know, we spent some years living in Brooklyn and, you know, you know, the stoops that they have the long stairs going down to the street and we would sit there, you know, it’s a lovely way to spend an evening just kind of actually doing a little urban picnic and walking, watching people walk by, but.

00:31:48 It struck me, partly because I was working in this space that you would see these parents walking their kids in strollers. And like you were talking about, the kid is staring up at the back of a phone or the back of an iPad sometimes depending on what the parent was watching. And as I was researching, um, cyber traps for expecting moms and dads, one of the things that came up was the impact of that lack of face.

00:32:15 Uh, time, if you will, actual real face time, um, with, between the parent and the kid, and it interferes with the development of empathy, which is a very important human skill. And it’s one that we really only develop in the first couple of years of our lives. Right. So it’s a huge issue. 

00:32:36 Tessa Stuckey: 00:32:36 Yeah. And I think if anything, it’s about creating healthy habits too.

00:32:41 You know, if you don’t want to go into the psychological stuff, The, the impact of your baby feeling a wall between you or not feeling, um, attached or connected to you, if anything, it’s about creating healthy habits so that when they are old enough to understand that you have a phone you’re already used to narrating everything you’re already used to having that thought process in your head.

00:33:06 When you do pick up your phone. 

00:33:09 Jethro Jones: 00:33:09 Such a great conversation, Tessa, thank you so much. I mean, we didn’t get into anything about how this technology impacts kids feeling around suicide or about, um, you know, depression or anxiety with it. And those are all big topics that I hope we can come back in and reflect on later.

00:33:27 Tessa Stuckey: 00:33:27 Yeah, we’ll just have to do it again. That’s right. 

00:33:30 Jethro Jones: 00:33:30 So, um, the good news is, is that people can connect with you on Instagram. You’re very active on there. You’re at the mom therapist and, um, I would encourage people to go and follow you if they’re on Instagram, um, your stories and your posts are a wealth of information in your book for the sake of our youth is available everywhere.

00:33:48 People should definitely check that out. Um, how else should people get in touch with you 

00:33:52 Tessa Stuckey: 00:33:52 Tessa? Um, they can go to my website, which is Tessa That’s with an E Y or Facebook. It’s just Tessa Stuckey, LPC. And so those are the best ways to get ahold of me. 

00:34:05 Jethro Jones: 00:34:05 Excellent. Um, I want to thank you again for being part of the cyber traps podcast.

00:34:09 This has been an awesome conversation.

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