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 podcast. Listen 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.
If you’re a senior leader at your church, join us for ReThink Leadership, April 29-May 1 in Atlanta, Georgia. We have an incredible lineup including Simon Sinek, Mark Batterson, Jon Acuff, Chris Hodges, and so many others. I’ll be hosting it along with Jon Acuff.
It’s in a unique gathering around tables with other leaders. We’ll be talking about some of the biggest challenges leaders are facing. You don’t want to miss it.
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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
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
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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.