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Unplugging Yourself to Connect With Others

Unplugging Yourself to Connect With Others

Author Arlene Pellicane encourages listeners to manage their digital habits as she discusses the value of unplugging from technology in order to build authentic relationships with the people around them.

Opening:

Teaser:

Person #1: Whenever I forget my cellphone somewhere, I try to pretend that I’m not panicking. But I really am.

Person #2: Whenever I don’t have it in my pocket, I keep reaching down and touching the side of my pants to see where it is.

Person #3: If I’m not holding it in my hands, I’m suddenly like, “Oh, no, where’d it go?” And I’m looking all over the place for it.

Person #4: Last Christmas I actually had an experience where I accidentally washed my cellphone. And, um, needless to say, the whole thing pretty much fizzled out.

End of Teaser

John Fuller: Well, we’ve all had those moments where we’re – we’re patting ourselves down, saying, “Where’s the phone? Where’s the phone?” Or the phantom ring. I think there’s a term called nomophobia. It’s the fear of being without your mobile phone.

Jim Daly: (Laughter).

John: Uh, we’re gonna talk about that in a fun way with our guest today on Focus on the Family. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly, who could go without a phone. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim: (Laughter) Yeah. Who cannot go out without a phone.

John: (Laughter).

Jim: You can, John. You’re good at that.

John: It’s my friend.

Jim: Nomophobia – that might be the only phobia that I will pray for – “Lord, give me nomophobia” – ‘cause I don’t care about the phone. I am a little – yeah. I don’t know. I just disregard it. When it – I think it might be, John, when it buzzes on my – on my, you know, pocket, I don’t get excited to answer it. I’m like, “OK.”

John: Yeah. It’s an interruption.

Jim: It feels like an interruption. Yeah. Do you have that feeling?

John: Well, and I mentioned it, the phantom, you know, vibrate where I – I reach back from my phone ‘cause I – I felt it vibrate in my pocket, but it’s not there.

Jim: Yeah. We need a doctor to call us and tell us why – why does that happen?

John: (Laughter).

Jim: Because I get that all the time. I carry mine in my right front pocket, and – for all the pickpockets out there. But (laughter) it’s true. Just zzz, and I – I’m going, “My phone’s on the counter.”

John: There is a compulsion that we have, it seems, to answer the phone. And we don’t have to.

Jim: Well, I think we’ve made our point here. We’re going to talk today about technology – how to constrain it, how to use it in good ways and, probably, how to effectively parent in that space to make sure your kids aren’t becoming addicted. It’s a hard challenge. And it’s one of the greatest difficulties, I think, we face here in America. In fact, a Nielsen report, uh, revealed that Americans devote more than 10 hours a day to screen time. And the number’s not going down. It’s going up. I guess it can only get to 24, right, John?

John: (Laughter).

Jim: 24 hours a day, and we’re done. We’re halfway there.

John: That’d be a sad, sad thing.

Jim: It’s really sad. And, uh, you know, what we need to do is discipline ourselves and learn how to choose to, uh, spend our time in ways that are more impactful, first and foremost, spiritually for the Kingdom of God, and then to look at ways to help those around us, our family coming first. So that’s the goal.

John: And I appreciate it, Jim. You mentioned, uh, kids. And we’ve had programs about kids and tech. But parents, this is about you and tech. We’re really talking to adults and, uh – and the best ways to find some balance in the digital space. Uh, a good starting place to find resources is focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. While you’re there, you can learn more about our guest, Arlene Pellicane. Uh, she is always popular here. She brings chocolate, first and foremost.

Jim: (Laughter) We love Arlene (laughter).

John: But then, our listeners love her just because of what she says and the great enthusiasm she – she has for the topics she addresses. She’s written a number of books. And, uh, the one we really want to dial into here today is called Calm, Cool, and Connected: 5 Digital Habbits for a More Balanced Life.

We should note, uh, that Arlene and James, her husband, have three children, and they live in the San Diego area. Welcome.

Body:

Arlene Pellicane: We’re very calm.

Jim: Very calm.

Arlene: (Laughter) We’re very cool.

Jim: Welcome back, Arlene.

Arlene: Thank you. Great to be here.

Jim: And thank you so much for the chocolate.

Arlene: You are most welcome.

Jim: (Laughter) You gotta stop doing that.

Arlene: The least we can do for all you do for our family.

Jim: That’s so sweet (laughter).

Arlene: Ba-dum bum.

Jim: Yeah, there you go. Arlene, uh, this is a core problem in our tech-saturated – I’m gonna say it this way. I think Jean and I have had more disagreements over this because of the kids. I know we aren’t here to talk about the kids, John. But, I mean, it’s – that’s the big issue, is how do we control this in our homes and in our own appetites? The biggest…

John: Well, and I’ll – I’ll wear that. OK? There are times when Dina says, “What you – what are you looking at now? Who are you writing to now? Who are you talking to now?” Because I’m on the laptop or my phone. So I’m – I’m the guilty one on that.

Jim: Well, and I think, for me, I’m not that captivated by it. But I’m also – uh, to be fair, I think Jean would say, “You’re not engaged enough to put those boundaries around the kids either.” And that – that can be an issue. Uh, I don’t like it. I don’t wanna be around it. I don’t care about it. Uh, but that attitude can come out even in my parenting. So – so where am I going wrong?

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Let’s start there. Correct me. Fix me.

Arlene: You don’t need fixing. That is good.

Jim: (Laughter).

Arlene: We need to be more like you, to say…

John: We all need to be more like Jim.

Jim: (Laughter) No.

Arlene: We need to be more like Jim Daly so that we say, You know what? I got something in – in my email. Can wait two seconds.

Jim: Boy, that’s true.

Arlene: Like, I don’t have to respond right now. The email is my big thing. I’m pretty good with social media, things like that. But emails, I’ll check, you know, every 10, 15 minutes. What am I doing checking my email every 10 to 15 minutes – is I think, oh, I’m going to get an important email, and I need to respond. And to realize that if I just check it even on the hour, that would be an improvement for me and would actually make me more productive. So that’s one of my Achilles heels.

Jim: But what is happening to us that the first thing we do when we – when we wake up is look at our phone? First thing when it buzzes on our hips, like we were talking about, we look at it? What is that mechanism going on there?

Arlene: I think we have really formed habits, that we have this technology – just think. Maybe 10, 15 years ago, we weren’t holding these phones. We weren’t doing all these things. So this is something very new, and it has swept us all up very quickly. And so these habits of, OK, A happens, B happens. And it’s constantly moving. And so the response is there. It’s like the urgent – you know, we used – used to talk about the tyranny of the urgent. But what’s really important? And I think the things on our phone, on our computers, all of that seems urgent, and it makes us feel productive. I think email masks itself as amazing work because I’m at my desk, and I’m doing my email. I’m so productive. But who knows. Maybe if you got on the phone, you might have taken care of it in two minutes. But it took you 10 emails to get back and forth on it. Sometimes that happens. And so I think we have built habits into our system to think that this is a productive way to live, when in some cases, particularly in our free time with a family, it is not a productive way to live.

Jim: What’s a way to test if you’re over the line, wherever the line is?

Arlene: Yeah. There’s actually a quiz in the book that asks how calm, cool and connected are you. And you take the little quiz, and you can find out if you’re ninja calm, or almost calm or barely calm, you know. And it’s – it’s the kinds of things like, do you find it difficult to sit through church without touching your phone? You know, do you think you use your technology – does that decrease your productivity? Things like that that you can ask yourself.

Jim: Well, John and I have taken this quiz.

Arlene: You have?

Jim: So let’s go to John (laughter).

Arlene: Let’s – yes. Live – live from the quiz.

Jim: John, how did you score?

John: It’s an intervention, right?

Jim: (Laughter).

John: So I was in the almost calm category.

Arlene: Very nice.

John: Four to nine questions. And I tried to – you know, we – we talked beforehand, Jim. I think I’m being honest about it. We have some extenuating circumstances that – that make me kind of feel a need to be in connection, uh, technology-wise with various family members. Um, but I can go a week on my annual hunting trip without touching the phone. And that’s…

Arlene: Right. And that does not bother you. Yep.

John: It’s a wonderfully freeing thing. I exhale when that comes along.

Jim: I don’t know if that counts if you’re out of the service range.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: I think it’s more of a temptation.

Arlene: But his – but his…

John: It is a forced matter, yes.

Arlene: But his attitude is like, I don’t mind this.

Jim: Yeah, there. He doesn’t have to drive to town to take a look. Now, that would be a sign that you got a problem.

Arlene: That would be. If you’re out camping, and you’re like, “OK, we need to drive two hours so I can, you know, have my Wi-Fi,” that would be a sign that, OK, this is – has too much of a hold on me.

John: Yeah. See, I – I think you’re ninja calm from the – from the survey, right?

Jim: It said – actually, you may not even know this is in your book, Arlene. It was, like, close to death with technology.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: That’s kind of where I’m at. I’m like…

John: Yeah. Here, Lazarus called.

Arlene: Like we are – like we’re chasing you with a phone like, “Will you please use this? I – we just beg you. Use this.”

Jim: (Laughter) It’s true. I don’t even know why, but it’s just true. I – I kind of despise it in many ways. And, um…

Arlene: And there will be many listeners who identify with you that say, “What is the big deal with this technology thing? I don’t even like having a phone around. I just have to have it to communicate with my children.” You know, I scored also, like John, in the almost calm category.

Jim: No, that’s good. um, And we’ll put that, uh, quiz on the website…

John: We want you to take it.

Jim: …If people want to take it. If we do that, Arlene, would that be all right?

Arlene: Yeah, you can take that. Absolutely.

John: Take it, and then hit the – hit the Facebook page and give some, uh – some insights about it.

Arlene: And if you feel the need to take it right now, then you might have a little problem.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: And you have to take it digitally, right (laughter)?

Arlene: You can take it on paper in the book if you want to go buy it. You can do that too.

Jim: Buy the book, just as an exercise. Just…

John: (Laughter).

Arlene: (Laughter) Yeah, exactly. As a – as a test.

Jim: …Do it via paper for fun. Arlene: As a test.

Jim: Hey, Arlene, uh, in your book, you mention smartphone habit – you mention the smartphone habit loop. Now, that can go a lot of directions. What are you getting at with the smartphone?

Arlene: Yeah. It’s just this whole idea of the cue and the routine and the reward. So let’s say you leave your phone at your bedside. So when you wake up in the morning, it’s your cue. Oh, look it. There’s my phone, my routine. I look at my phone. What’s the weather going to be like today? Did I get any emails? What are my meetings? And the reward is, oh, look I have this – you know, I – I – I got an answer to my question. So you’ve created a habit loop around that phone. But is that the best way to wake up in the morning? Probably not. You know, I think about those ads that say, here’s this medicine. And the side effects include anxiety, nausea, vomiting, whatever you know all these terrible things that happen to you, what happens sometimes when we look at that phone’s, oh, I’m so stressed out. I can’t believe I have that much to do. Oh, look at the news. Oh, the world is a terrible place. And all of a sudden, we’ve started that way because we have this habit around our phone. So what if we changed the cue? If you’re not an emergency worker, and you’re able to do this, and you charge your phone in another room. So that way – and you put your Bible on the nightstand – stand instead. And you form a new routine. Oh, the cue. There’s the word of God, my routine I will read a few verses. And then, boom, the reward, wow. I’m starting the day in a much calmer, cooler way. So it’s really the habits and even physically what you put around you.

Jim Now, the only difficulty I do have with that one is so quick to look up Scripture on the phone (laughter) in your phone app (laughter).

Arlene: You’re like, “Where is Habakkuk?”

Jim: That’s a – that’s a difficult one. Um, Arlene, you created an acronym to help people, uh, the HABIT acronym – H-A-B-I-T. Uh, it helps us to do that exact thing, to curb these tech appetites. Um, let’s move through that. What’s the H?

Arlene: The H is hold down the off button. And earlier…

Jim: (Laughter) Hold down the off button.

Arlene: …You talked about nomophobia, which is the fear of being without your cellphone. And so if you have nomophobia, say, “Off” – like, “I didn’t even know this thing had an off button.” (Laughter) Like, “this thing is always charging, or it’s always around.” And so just the idea that you can hold down the off button and that there are certain times and rhythms in your day where it’s really advantageous to. So for instance, mealtime – can you hold down the off button? Now, if you’re waiting for someone, obviously you’re – have your phone. You’re gonna text them where you are. But once you meet that person, and you’re there and everyone’s settled, put those phones away. And let that be a time of off button when you are – whether you’re out to eat or you’re eating in your own home.

Jim: Yeah, that’s good. I, uh – I’ve observed in restaurants and other things where the adult parent is lecturing the child about phone usage and then being interrupted by an email or something.

Arlene: (Laughter) Right.

John: (Laughter).

Jim: I mean, it’s kind of funny to see that, you know. You – hey, Johnny, put that phone down. And then, oh, wait a minute. I mean, it’s almost that dramatic. How can we get so disconnected with reality that as a parent or as an adult, we don’t even see the discrepancy there, the – the – you know, the hypocrisy?

Arlene: I think it becomes so normal. And you’ll see other people doing it, and you figure, this is just the normal way of the 21st century. And then you think, wait a minute. I need to do old-school 21st century. Like, yes, I will have the phone, but it’s not going to be part of the dinner table, breakfast table, that it won’t be there. And it is intentional because it’s so easy to let that slide because you have the phone because you’re meeting a kid, or just something’s happening. So you have a legitimate reason to have it. But I like to think of it like a hot potato. So once you do what you’re supposed to do with that thing when you’re with people, hot potato, get that thing away as fast as possible so you can actually talk to each other without the distraction of the phone.

Jim: Yeah. And, you know, I wanna come to the defense of – of the folks that are really tied to the phone and ask that question. You don’t know what I do. I’m so busy. In order to do the deals I’m doing, or to save the lives – maybe a doctor, I mean, that one’s self-evident, you’ve got to do that because of your job. But speak to that businessperson, or the insurance salesman or the – whoever.

Arlene: I think maybe training your mind to say, “OK, I have this thing, and I always have – you know, I need to be on. But when it is not ringing” – because the thing is,, you are on call, so you’re just prepped and ready. But nothing’s happening to it. So while it’s quiet, spend that time and just ignore it. Just pretend it’s not there. And then when it does – you know, my husband’s a realtor. He manages properties. He has it on all the time because maybe a toilet is overflowing or something’s happening.

Jim: (Laughter) Right.

Arlene: But he deals with it really well. I feel like when we’re there, he’s not looking at his phone. But when he does get a text when we’re eating, when we are out, we’ll see him, and he’ll take it. He’ll say, “Excuse me.” He’ll take it. And we understand that.

Jim: And the kids know it’s part of business.

Arlene: They understand that because then when it’s over, then you have that undivided time again. So I think that’s the important part. You do the work. But then the undivided time follows instead of this constant distraction like, oh, I have so much to do, and this and that. But really dial into your kids, into your spouse and put that phone on the back burner.

John: Uh, you’re listening to Focus on the Family. and uh, we have Arlene Pellicane as our guest today. And we’re talking about something that cuts a little close to home to everybody but Jim…

(LAUGHTER)

John: …Technology.

Jim: (Laughter) Come on.

Arlene: (Laughter).

John: (Laughter) No. No, I love how you – you know, I love how you have a – a healthy respect for it. And you use technology, but it’s not your life. And…

Jim: (Laughter) Right.

John: …We want to find balance. And Arlene’s book, Calm, Cool And Connected, is a terrific resource. And, uh, we’ve got it, interestingly enough, at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast, or if you’d prefer, use your house phone, the one on the wall, and call us at 800, A, FAMILY.

Arlene: (Laughter).

Jim: (Laughter) With the dial button?

John: Exactly.

(LAUGHTER)

John: 800-232-6459.

Jim: That’s good. Connected to the wall. I think they’re on the desks, but (laughter)…

Arlene: (Laughter).

John: We still keep one connected to the wall because they disappear so quickly.

Jim: That is fun. OK, Arlene, so we’ve covered the H in HABIT. And that’s hold down the off button.

Arlene: That’s right. Be ready…

Jim: I like that. What’s the A?

Arlene: …And able to do it. The A is always put people first. And this is the idea that when you have technology – an iPad, you’re working, you have a phone in your hand – and someone walks into the room, that that human being in your airspace takes priority. And your head physically lifts from your phone to acknowledge the person coming, whether it’s your spouse, whether it’s a child…

Jim: Even for a 4-year-old who’s comin’ in (laughter)?

Arlene: Even for a 4-year-old coming it. So this move, I call it the pivot. And I came up with this when I was writing the book with Dr. Gary Chapman, Growing Up Social, about technology and kids. And my kids all, “Oh, that’s so funny, Mom. You’re writing Growing Up Social on a computer.”

Jim: (Laughter).

Arlene: “And we’re in the room. That’s so funny, Mom.” Right? And so I realized that when I heard the pitter-patter of feet coming towards me, that a really brilliant move was to pivot my chair towards the incoming child. “Hi, what do you need?” “Oh, Mom, where’s the such-and-such?” “Oh, it’s, uh, at the – this counter.” “Great.” And they – and that was good. And that was a good interaction versus them coming in, it’s the back of my head. I’m typing furiously. I’m staring at the screen, you know, producing greatness. And I say behind my shoulder, you know, “What do you want?” You know, and I realized when I pivoted away and gave my full attention, my body language said, “I’m listening.” My eyes met theirs. And when I perform this pivot, they feel like, I’m more important than my mom’s work. Does this mean that I can’t work while my kids are at home? No, you can work. But when your kids come into the picture, that they feel like, I’m important. And so be that one that even if you’re sitting in a doctor’s office and everyone’s head is in their phone, that if a patient walks in, you actually look at them. You don’t have to have this three-hour conversation, but you look at them and you smile at them because that’s common courtesy. So let those kinds of things be true of Christians, that we know people are more important than our phones.

Jim: All right. So we have the H and the A. What’s the B?

Arlene: The B is a brush daily. Live with a clean conscience. And the idea is, you know, you asked me if I had a teen boy. So I have Ethan, 13 years old, goes camping with the Royal Rangers. And I – I always give him a toothbrush, and he always comes back and tells me he never uses it. (Laughter) And I think…

Jim: OK. Now we’re talking.

John: It’s just a wood romp.

Arlene: How can you not brush your teeth, you know? He’s like, “Mom, we’re camping.” And just like it’s so natural for us to brush our teeth every day, that that’s our habit, something we can build into that habit when we’re brushing is just ask ourselves, “Lord, is there something I’ve seen today, is there something I’ve done today that has been unholy before you?” And even use that brushing of the teeth as a signal of, like, is my conscience clear? Because to be honest, with technology, there are so many unsavory paths an adult can walk down so easily, and no one will know. Whether it’s online shopping, whether it’s pornography, whether it’s you’re anonymous and you’re saying really mean things, whether you’re being yourself but you’re just being snarky and negative, you know, whatever it is, did you post something that was offensive? Did you say something unkindly? Did you unfriend someone when you really should have had a conversation? You know, those kinds of things that now the Internet makes it – it makes it a lot easier to sin, (laughter) if I can say it that way.

Jim: Yeah. No, that’s a great point.

Arlene: And so that idea of that B. And it’s the Lord’s Prayer, Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, that on a daily basis, we’re asking, “Lord, is there something online that I have done? And help me to keep a clean conscience before you.”

Jim: You know, you look at how it feels like the culture’s degrading when it comes to civility. And it does seem to parallel technology’s arrival and our use of it. Speak to that.

Arlene: I agree with that because you look at a YouTube video, and you think, why is all this profanity attached to a benign YouTube video, you know, that doesn’t have a bunch of profanity in it, let’s say? And then you see – I know my kids go to public school. And as early as third grade, I hear that there’s a lot of profanity out on the playground. And so there is this – with the technology, you feel – you feel freer to do things that maybe you would not do in person. And then the culture is there that you see it, that you see it posted. And you imitate it. And that is not good for children or for adults.

Jim: Yeah. Speak to the adult. That’s the theme that we’re on here. But how do we resist the temptation to respond in a way that’s not Christ like? How – how do we fight that urge, in fact, use it for spiritual purpose?

Arlene: Yeah. First of all, to think of would I say this in person? You know, so before I type this comment out, if this person was sitting right before me, is this how I would say it? And then, you know, think of Dale Carnegie and go – you know, go do How To Win Friends And Influence People and think of, how can I win, let’s say? A lot of it is because of disagreement. You see a lot of disagreement, and people get nasty. But disagreement does not have to be nasty. It can be civil, and it’s the exchange of ideas. And so for us to put our ideas forward in a way that is not attacking and try to be as kind as possible. And that is the limitation of social media because you can’t see the gestures and the body language and hear the tone. You don’t know. And so that’s why the emojis – you know, you put all these smiley faces so that people know you’re not mad at them when you post something. But I think doing what you would say in person and then thinking, how can I win this person over? Not, how can I attack this person? How can I be little? And what’s the good in what you’re saying? And if there’s no good, if there’s no good outcome of it, then don’t say it. It doesn’t need to be said.

Jim: You know, I think right here is, uh, the punch point because we can manage this. And we as the Christian community should do it differently. People should look at our tweets and our Pinterest stuff or wherever we’re (laughter) doin’ – I don’t even know because I’m ninja cool.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: But it – when you do that, people should see a difference from what the world does. And I am a big believer in that because I think it’s the only way we’re gonna win people to the cause of Christ is if they say, “That’s different. And I like that. That feels better to me.” That should be the aroma of Christ in what we do. Alright. So we have the hold the off button down. Always put people first, is the A of HABIT. And then B, brush daily. Live with a clean conscience. Let’s go to I.

Arlene: The I is I will go online with purpose. And I think Jim is probably very good at this. I think you are too, John. And this is the idea of we just don’t go on to browse. We just don’t go on with no idea in mind of what we’re gonna do. But we actually go online with purpose. It is a difference between sitting in a hotel room and just clicking, clicking, clicking through the channels. And you’re there for two hours, and you’re like, “I didn’t watch anything.” Versus you look at the little guide, ooh, I love that movie. I’m gonna watch that movie. And then it’s this pleasant experience. Well, when we pick up our phone, we might have an idea. Oh, I’m gonna text this person back. But while we’re doing it, oh, we get a notification of this. And, oh, look at this. Oh, I could check my Facebook. And then we’re there for 10 minutes, thinking…

Jim: Coupon (laughter).

Arlene: What did I – yeah. Why – why did I start here? So I even suggest people can put a Post-it note, like, on your desktop computer or on your iPad that simply ask, “What am I here to do?” And when you pick up that machine, that device, you ask yourself, “What am I here to do? I’m here to buy shoes. OK. I will buy shoes. I will not do all my other shopping for the whole year.”

Jim: That dress looks so good with those shoes (laughter).

Arlene: I – I know. I know. So this is really hard for a lot of us. (Laughter) And so – but it’s the idea of I have purpose because the thing is, technology is an amazing tool to help you meet your goals, whether they’re spiritual goals, professional goals, parenting goals.

Jim: Practical.

Arlene: Practical things, it can help you. But it can also distract you from ever reaching your goal because, you know, you start with a to-do list at the beginning of the day. At the end of the day, you’re like, “Why have I not done these things, but I spent all this time on the computer. So why didn’t I do this?”

John: Yeah. It’s a big time pit.

Jim: Wow.

Arlene: So it really can be this huge time-waster. And we know that time, that’s the currency of our lives. And so we don’t wanna waste our life doing secondary things. We want to spend our life doing something that counts. And you can use technology. But if you’re not careful, you go on the land of click-on, where you just click on the next thing. And all of a sudden, you don’t even remember why you started it.

Jim: What does – uh, In fact, in that chapter going online with purpose, you give five ways to be more efficient online, which we’ve touched on, then five ways to maximize social media. Um, we don’t have time to get into all that, but just to say that you go into some great detail in your book on that topic. We gotta hit the T as we’re winding in here, uh, HABIT, the T of HABIT.

Arlene: Yeah. And it matches our broadcast, take a hike. (Laughter) So it is…

Jim: (Laughter) Take a hike.

Arlene: It’s the idea of going outside.

Jim: Oh, really?

Arlene: So many of us are so stressed out because we’re indoors all the time. Do you know, in the UK, that prisoners get more sunshine than many of the children? So prisoners are required one hour of outdoor time per day. But 1 out of 5 kids in the UK does not spend an hour outside each day.

Jim: I’ve never thought about it that way.

Arlene: And you think of our kids. You know, it used to be the punishment was, go to your room, you know. And now the punishment is, go outside, you know, go do something. And the truth is it’s the same for adults. You know, the EPA says that we spend 93 percent of our time indoors. And so we are not outside that much. But how are we restored? The heavens declare the glory of God. We are to be oaks of righteousness. Like the – all around us we see God’s creation. And you know that when you go outside, and you see a lake, or you see a – you go into trees in a forest, into mountains, you feel close to God. You know God has made this. There’s a calm that settles into your soul. You can think again. You can pray. So there’s a reason for that. God created all of that. So simply by taking a walk outside in your work day, by planning vacations that are outdoors that you don’t sit inside and play on your Wi-Fi all day, (laughter) but that you’re actually outside, that’s really rejuvenating for adults.

Jim: And, Arlene, again, I want to highlight what you’ve just said. It’s interesting here in the U.S. that we do recess up until 6th grade, but 7th, 8th, all the way through 12th…

John: I hadn’t thought about that.

Jim: …We don’t do it anymore. Maybe we should reconsider that.

Arlene: Get those kids outside (laughter).

Jim: Get ‘em outside. Let ‘em run around a little.

Arlene: And a lot of times now, you know, they’re going outside with their phones. And so they’re outside.

Jim: (Laughter) Yeah, that’s not good.

Arlene: But they’re looking at their phones, so that doesn’t work. And it’s the same with adults. We might be going outside for our lunch break, but our head is on our phone. So maybe it’s an old-fashioned notebook and journaling or doodling or doing something different just for a few minutes to get on a different track.

Jim: Arlene, this has been terrific. I hope, uh, people have benefited. And it wasn’t on the parenting theme of technology, which we often do here at Focus. And we have those resources for if you need ‘em.

John: Absolutely.

Jim: But this was about us today, putting the mirror up and saying, “OK, adults, moms, dads, how are you doing with managing technology?”

Arlene: Do you know, they had a survey of 6,000 kids. And 54 percent said that their parents use the phone too much.

Jim: (Laughter).

Arlene: So a lot of times it is us. It is not them.

Jim: The shoe’s on the other foot. That is something. And I want to say to you, “We’re here for you.” And we want you to be in a – a better, healthier place. And don’t let technology – certainly don’t let technology distract you from your growth in Christ. That’s job one. And, uh, to the extent technology can help you do that, that’s a good thing. But when it gets in the way of – of God achieving in you what He wants to achieve in you, you’ve got a problem.

Arlene: That’s right.

Closing:

Jim: And look out for those addictions. They’re there, and we’re here to help you in that way as well. Arlene’s great book Calm, Cool And Connected, it’s full of more ideas. You can do the quiz, which John and I have done. Sorry, John, you’re almost cool and calm.

John: I’m – I’m almost there.

Arlene: (Laughter) You’re almost there.

Jim: (Laughter). But, uh, it’ll give you an idea of where your strengths and weaknesses are. And you can take that online, thanks to Arlene. Appreciate that, Arlene. And, uh, we’d love to put this resource in your hands. So if you can give a, uh, financial gift to Focus on the Family of any amount, we’ll say thank you by sending Arlene’s great book Calm, Cool And Connected to you as our way of sayin’ thank you.

John: And it sort of feels, um, like a disconnect to say, “Go online to do this.”

(LAUGHTER)

John: Hey, now, go online. This is positive.

Arlene: But this I will go online with purpose.

John: There you go.

Arlene: I’m going for a specific reason.

John: All right. I like it.

Jim: Just don’t buy shoes at Focus on the Family.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: They’re really not that nice.

John: All right. So go to focusonthefamily.com/broadcast and

If you’d like give us a call – 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. Make a generous donation. Get, uh, a copy of Arlene’s great book, Calm, Cool And Connected: Five Digital Habits For A More Balanced Life. Uh, get a CD or download of our broadcast, or get our mobile app so you can listen on the go at a prescribed time so you’re not interrupting life.

Jim: (Laughter).

John: Um, all of that available again at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast

Jim: Arlene, thanks for being with us.

Arlene: Thank you so much for having me. 

John: Join us again tomorrow when we’ll hear from Dr. David Clarke about what you can do if your marriage is on the brink of separation or divorce.

Teaser:

Dr. David Clarke: So you’re in a situation like that with your marriage it seems impossible there’s just no way out, looks what’s happening it’s been years like this. And Satan is pushing, you’re done. God may not be done and it’s not gonna be done with that marriage, there’s always a chance with God’s help.

End of Teaser

Today's Guests

Calm, Cool, and Connected

Receive Arlene Pellicane's book Calm, Cool, and Connected for your donation of any amount!

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Dr. Kevin Leman

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Mrs. Wendy Speake

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Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!