CNLP 320: Toni Nieuwhof and Dr. Rob Meeder: A Pediatrician and Lawyer Talk About the Reasons for the Rise in Childhood Anxiety, Beating Tech Addiction in Kids and Best Practices for a Thriving Marriage in a Busy Home

Pediatrician Rob Meeder and Toni Nieuwhof—a pharmacist, lawyer and host Carey Nieuwhof’s wife,—join Carey to talk about the reasons behind the recent rise in childhood anxiety, how tech addiction is impacting children and parents and some best practices for keeping your busy family healthy.

Toni and Rob are also hosts of a brand new podcast, The Smart Family Podcast where they interview world-class experts about issues facing parents, children and families.

Welcome to Episode 320 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

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Smart Family Podcast

The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

No-Drama Discipline by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

3 Insights from Toni and Rob

1. Kids are heavily affected by conflict between parents

Whether it was in Toni’s practice in divorce law, or in Rob’s pediatrics office, it was pretty easy to tell if a couple was having conflict over/about their kids. Rob could tell by how the child responded in the presence of each child, and Toni could tell by how the parents argued.

In those moments of conflict, the child will say whatever he/she thinks the parent wants to hear. These children are stressed out, anxious, and often find other ways to cope. When going through a divorce, it is almost impossible for parents to shield their kids from the animosity caused by the separation.

2. We can’t “rip off the band-aid” with technology

If you ask parents what the biggest point of tension they have with their kids in 2020 is, they will almost universally answer “screen time.” This doesn’t surprise Rob at all, as it is one of the primary issues that parents bring up in his office. He even has some patients who are unable to pull themselves away from the screen long enough for a doctor’s appointment.

So how do we, as adults, help kids understand the dangers that come with technology? And what boundaries should we put in place? Rob is hesitant to give a hard and fast recommendation, but he is willing to say that kids under age 5 should be limited to less than 30 minutes of screen time a day. As for older kids, you will need to try to limit the amount of time spent of them for entertainment purposes. You will have to allow them to do their homework on their devices outside of entertainment time.

3. You need to invest in your marriage before you invest in your kids

One fact that ends up surprising many couples is that you will have more time alone with your spouse than you will with your kids. If you want your marriage to survive, you need to invest serious time, money, and energy into loving your spouse in a healthy way.

One way that Rob and Rose do this is by getting away together without the kids 3-4 times a year. This helps them work on their marriage, and has allowed them to keep up common interests. Carey and Toni tried to do the same thing once a year, but wish they could have done it more.

Quotes from Episode 320

Anxiety is now more common than it was during the depression and world wars. - Dr. Rob Meeder Click To Tweet

'A young child will often tell each parent what they think that parent wants to hear, even if it's completely contradictory. - Toni Nieuwhof Click To Tweet

There was a sharp uptick in anxiety and depression when the iPhone was introduced. - Dr. Rob Meeder Click To Tweet

Toddlers and babies don't need screens at all. - Dr. Rob Meeder Click To Tweet

Over the last four or five years, I would say that mental health issues, especially in that school age and teenage years, seem to be increasing. - Dr. Rob Meeder Click To Tweet

Our phones stay outside the bedroom when they're being charged. - Dr. Rob Meeder Click To Tweet

You've got to emotionally connect before you can redirect. - Dr. Rob Meeder Click To Tweet

You are you inside your marriage, and you are you when you leave the marriage. So you can't leave you. - Toni Nieuwhof Click To Tweet

Sleep, diet, and exercise—those are what I call the three no brainers of mental health. - Dr. Rob Meeder Click To Tweet

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Next Episode: Chris Hodges and Brad Lomenick

Chris Hodges was an unlikely church planter. After burning out at age 38, Chris found a renewed call and planted Church of the Highlands, which has become one of the largest and fastest growing churches in America. Chris and Brad Lomenick talk about mentoring the next generation of leaders, what’s changing, and how systems and creativity can work together rather than compete with one another. Both Chris and Brad will be featured speakers at this year’s ReThink Leadership Conference in Atlanta, April 29th-May1st, 2020.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 321.

CNLP 320: Toni Nieuwhof and Dr. Rob Meeder: A Pediatrician and Lawyer Talk About the Reasons for the Rise in Childhood Anxiety, Beating Tech Addiction in Kids and Best Practices for a Thriving Marriage in a Busy Home

1 Comment

  1. Steve Lanning on February 11, 2020 at 7:37 am

    Such an encouraging topic and conversation, Carey!
    Maybe Dr. Dobson has passed his mantle!
    It does confirm all of my ‘attitudes’ for marriage, parenting and raising kids I’ve had since my wife and were married in 1975 (and raising three now-adult-and-married children) My unwise choice was starting a business the same year we were married (yes we’re happily celebrating 45). I’ve been advising against combining the two ever since!

    Carey, as a stark-raving fan of yours (and a follower of Jesus since a college senior in 1970), I’ve just been amazed how our Lord has used you in the lives of leaders of both ministries and business. We need you. Just loved SO many of your podcasts–Pastor Vetters–pastoring pastors and focusing on small churches and your many books you’ve recommended (I think I’ve purchased them all). Books like the excellent “Master of One” by Jordan Raynor–a passion for business AND Jesus–man, I love that attitude.

    As I am reading through ‘Master’ I’m making a list of all my fellow brothers and sisters in the business world that I’ve got to send a copy to…and then I hit page 92 in the ‘Explore’ section–and my list of people I send the books was suddenly cut by 50%–at least. Why?

    I can just hear them–via the phone or in telling me person something akin to–” You are right, Steve, this is indeed a fantastic book for believers in business. But when the author gave an example of a beer brewing company resulting from a Bible study, I couldn’t believe it! Wow. You can’t make this stuff up! Look, I just couldn’t take this book knowing the number of lives lost to drunk drivers. Here’s your book back!”

    For goodness sake, others will tell you that I am certainly not a prude of a Christian in any way, but have you not had other fans of yours comment on Jordan’s book in this way? I used to belong to the Baltimore, Washington, DC Venture Capital Club and to think that THIS was the FEATURE example that matched the author’s illustration of using one’s ‘passions and gifts’ is mind-boggling! Could not Jordan think through this to come to the conclusion as an ‘although all things are lawful, all things are not expedient’ theology?

    Thanks, Carey. I hope your blog response editors will at least allow this message to get to you if their desire is to delete it from the ‘public’ sight. I am just curious about what others thought. Maybe I’m out here on an island–I know I am culturally–I’m just wondering if any other hard-chargers-in-business believers agree with me.

    Still a fan, still waving your pennant up here in the stands and still cheering you on!

    -Steve Lanning

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