Mobile Device Safety for Homeschool Families

Mobile Device Safety for Homeschool Families

Before your teen drives solo, you offer driver's education with lots of practice behind the wheel under your caring supervision. Naomi Dahl from Cell Phone Permit makes the case that homeschool parents should do the same for smart phones—give young people the tools they need to use mobile devices in healthy ways so they avoid addiction, cyberbullying, and phishing schemes. With this curriculum based on trust and open communication, parents can help tweens and teens navigate social media and productivity apps wisely.

Listen to this podcast episode

Podcast Transcript

Janna Koch (00:36): Hi and welcome to Homeschool Your Way. My name is Janet Koch, your host and BookShark’s community manager. Today, I am joined with Naomi Dahl. She is part of Cell Phone Permit, which is an amazing new program created to help children navigate the digital highway. Please join me in welcoming Naomi.

Naomi Dahl (00:55): Hi, Janna. Thanks for having me on today. I’m super excited.

Janna Koch (00:58): I am so thrilled to be offering this information to homeschool parents. It is something that is hard to find in the world in general, but almost a needle in the haystack in the homeschool world. So let’s get right into what is Cell Phone Permit?

Naomi Dahl (01:17): Yes. Cell Phone Permit is a program that teaches kids and teens how to be safe and healthy with their cell phones and devices. We model it just like driver’s education. We need so many hours with a trusted adult before you get the keys to the car, same thing with cell phones and devices. They can be just as damaging, if not more, mentally. And we hand our kids cell phones that are basically the world in your pocket with no training, no knowledge, nothing before we give them to them. And we’re just seeing teens and kids being addicted, falling into legal issues with their cell phones, cyberbullying. They’re getting social media anxiety. I mean, it’s just out of control what our kids are experiencing because they were never taught how to navigate such a powerful tool.

Naomi Dahl (02:05): So we created a program not only to be able to help the student navigate it, but parents as well, because we didn’t grow up with these. I mean, my family had a bag phone. That’s what we had when we first started. And then I upgraded to a hot pink LG flip phone. But parents never grew up with all of that access, so they don’t even know where to go when they’re teaching their kids how to use them. So we’ve created a program for families to be able to do together, to be able to talk about what their expectations are around cell phone screen time, who you’re talking to online, all of those things. So it’s really a character and trust building course around cell phones and devices that just help families be able to navigate that issue.

Janna Koch (02:56): Naomi, you are clearly passionate about not only this program, but this issue in general. Why don’t you give our listeners a little bit of background of how you got involved in this company?

Naomi Dahl (03:07): Yes. I, previously, before I moved to the Minneapolis area was a juvenile detention correctional officer. So I saw a lot of the back end things that happened with misusing cell phones and I saw the magnitude of it, and it was only growing and growing and growing. And then I really had a change of heart with where I wanted to go with my career field. When I moved to Minneapolis, I was interning for Jonathan and Joanne Brozozog. They’re the creators of Cell Phone Permit.

Naomi Dahl (03:39): They’re a homeschool family of eight. And when they were creating Cell Phone Permit, they asked me to come on and take on the program for them at that time. That’s really how I got involved with the homeschooling community. Because since they’re a homeschool family of eight, they actually saw such a need for the transition to homeschool. As our public school system just gets a little bit more difficult for a lot of families, they decided to create creative academy, which is a homeschool co-op partnership. And I began to teach Cell Phone Permit in that academy as well. Yeah, so that’s how I got involved with Cell Phone Permit.

Janna Koch (04:20): So prior to your involvement with the creators, were you aware of homeschoolers in your own hometown? Did you grow up with anybody that was homeschooling? Did you maybe have some misconceptions about homeschoolers prior to working with them?

Naomi Dahl (04:37): Oh, 100%. I grew up in a very, very rural community. I graduated high school with 17 kids. So there weren't a lot of homeschool families in the area just because everyone went to public school. There just weren’t a lot of homeschool families. But the few that were, there were definitely a lot of stigmas attached to them, for sure. But now looking back as you watch those families, the life skills that they have are just so far beyond most of the homeschool students in that community. But yes, as I got involved with Creative Academy and the homeschool families, I’m like, yeah, there are a lot of stigmas or misconceptions attached to homeschool families that are just so false, so not accurate.

Janna Koch (05:29): Yeah.

Naomi Dahl (05:30): And looking back, my public school was nothing like what public schools are moving towards now. But I, in the future, would not be opposed to homeschooling my own children, for sure.

Janna Koch (05:44): Well, I think that’s a testament too, that it’s being done well around you. And I love to tell people that yes, we wear pants. We’re not the homeschoolers that... We have TVs on in almost every room. They’re not on all the time, obviously when we are schooling. But there’s those things that you just think, oh, well, you hear homeschool, and then you immediately have this picture in your head. And I love just coming in and crushing that picture and going like, “No, that is not how it has to be.” And actually just the title of our podcast, Homeschool Your Way, you really can do it any way you want. We don’t have to fall into these categories that society has previously made for us, but we even maybe make for ourselves. So why don’t you go ahead and share a homeschool hack for our listeners?

Naomi Dahl (06:30): Since I’m the Cell Phone Permit administrator, I thought I would bring up a hack with cell phones. So we don’t recommend cell phones or devices in the bedroom alone with students. But even if you are in the living room, using a laptop or your cell phone as a family, set a timer when it comes to 7:00 o’clock or later in the evening where actually you turn your blue light on your iPhone to red light. Because the blue light is really, really damaging to your eyes and the retinol in your eyes. There’s been a lot of eye doctors that have come out with this new generation has no peripheral vision, or they’re really struggling with long distance because they’re just glued to their phones, and that blue light is seriously affecting their vision. So turning your devices and your cell phones onto red light will help so much, and putting the timer on it so that it automatically goes to red light also helps with, “Oh, I’ve been on my phone for a good amount of time. I think it’s time to get off.” So that’s sort of our hacks.

Janna Koch (07:38): I think that’s a great hack for parents in general. I know that I can find myself getting lost in social media or the news apps. And the next thing I know, I look up and I’m like, “Where did my time just go?” And not realizing how quickly time slips away when you are focused on a device in front of your hand.

Janna Koch (08:00): You are the second person I’ve talked to in recent weeks that has mentioned that peripheral vision in younger children of this generation is lacking. When I first heard that, I thought, “Oh my goodness, how can that be?” But both you and the other speaker that I was talking with said the same thing. When you’re so focused on just two feet in front of you, you’re not using the muscles that are necessary outside of that focus. So I don’t think that’s something that a lot of parents are even aware of, because again, you and I did not grow up with a smartphone.

Janna Koch (08:39): Even if you had a phone when you were younger, I think I was 18 when I got my first phone. I mean, they have been around a long time, but it wasn’t the same. They weren’t the same. They were nearly used to talk on the phone. And my husband and I will laugh at our daughters, they’ll be like, “Well, can’t you just call them?” And my kids are like, “Ugh, why would we call somebody?” And it’s like, that was cell phone, that was their design is so that you could speak to someone anywhere. And we’ve even evolved past that in recent years.

Naomi Dahl (09:05): And this generation actually would rather communicate over the phone than hang out with their friends in person. So not only are this new generation is struggling physically with their eyes with cell phones, but we are really lacking social skills. I mean, really lacking the fact that over 80% of genZ would rather communicate over their cell phone with their friends than in person is devastating.

Janna Koch (09:33): Yeah.

Naomi Dahl (09:33): I mean, devastating.

Janna Koch (09:35): It is hard to believe.

Naomi Dahl (09:36): Yes. Yeah, it’s needed. So education with cell phones and devices is so needed because I think a lot of parents just see it as just this little tool that’s in your hands. But I don’t think we realize the magnitude of what that tool can reach. So 83% of sex trafficking cases happen with online solicitation. 7 out of 10 people online are not who they say they are. So it’s no longer the guy offering kids candy at the playground. Now, it’s the people pretending to be teenagers in a room in Roblox or chat rooms in any games like that. So it’s like these conversations need to happen just because... And sextortion cases are out of control, where predators are pretending to be teenagers and asking for images. When they send them, they start to exploit them and for money. And now, we have teenagers committing suicide because they can’t see past that, that image circling around right now is not the end of your life. And that’s happening in communities all over the place.

Janna Koch (10:48): And you talk about this generation where we’re seeing children younger and younger have access to smartphone. Smartphones in particular because that’s the type of cell phone that’s going to be connected to the internet. That’s the one that’s going to connect you to outside, just using a text with a family or calling somebody, but we’re handing over these... You’re saying like giving the keys to the car to an eight-year-old and saying, “Okay, don’t hurt yourself or anybody else.” And then walking away with no instruction. Why do you think when you’re talking to families, when you’re seeing these students, why do you think that we haven’t seen the importance of a program like this before now?

Naomi Dahl (11:35): I think because now with how big social media is, now that the consequences are being posted and they’re circling around on the news where they weren’t as much before. And this genZ is the first generation to be born into the world of technology. I’m a millennial. So I know the world before smartphones and the metaverse and all of that, and I know after where genZ knows nothing but technology. So they’re born into it and they’re outsmarting parents. So they’re outsmarting like if we put parental controls on, if we can shut things down, they watch one YouTube video and they know how to get around it all.

Naomi Dahl (12:15): So that’s why we created Cell Phone Permit because it’s a character and a trust building course, because we’re not always going to be with them when they need to make those decisions. They need to be able to make those on their own. Because we get asked by a lot of families like, “Do you have like a big brother parental control app?” And we do have our recommendations, but at the end of the day, this is a heart and a character issue that we need to tackle. Yeah.

Janna Koch (12:39): And that is something that we really haven’t seen yet. We have seen the controls and we have seen the different techniques that parents have used to limit. But without explaining to children why we’re limiting these things, they don’t necessarily understand. I fought my teenager’s tooth and nail about being on social media. I didn’t give in till 16. And even then I’m like, “Man, I wish I would’ve held out a little bit longer.” But I would say that for me, even though I am in my forties and I have Facebook, which I guess is antiquated at this point. It’s for the elderly of us 40 and older. But I’m not on there, I’m not aware. I’m just like, “Okay, fine. So what is this?” I hear different things about different apps. And so I try to limit that and talk to my kids about it, but you’re right.

Janna Koch (13:34): I mean, my kids, really, one of my daughters even said, “Mom, I could go behind your back and get the app. How would you ever know?” Because there’s like sneak apps. There’s apps that they can download that actually hides the app that you told them they couldn’t have and you would never know. And so with your program, what you’re saying is that you actually talk about those things. Instead of just restricting them, there’s a dialogue, there’s a conversation. And when there’s information shared and the heart behind the control, for lack of better word, is protection. I’m sure you’ve heard of families who wish they had had it before something that they experienced.

Naomi Dahl (14:13): Absolutely, yes. And that’s the first thing that we go over with our students in classes. We have them list out their family values. So we have them write down about 5 to 10 family values, which some of the most common ones are trust, love, friendship, compassion, a lot of those. And then as we go through the course and we hit topics like cyberbullying, if you were creating a fake account that your parents don’t know about, does that line up with your values? You wrote these values down. We didn’t write them down for you. You wrote them down. So does this line up with who you said that you want to be and who you want to represent?

Naomi Dahl (14:51): So everything is just them reevaluating themselves as they go through how they would handle different situations on the internet or online. And that just really helps make them think twice or maybe three times about posting something. Because that’s a big thing that this generation doesn’t understand is that whatever we put out there, stays out there. We are big on what is our digital tattoo. And we talk about professionalism, because our future employers, if we plan to go to college, the first thing they look at is our social media or they’ll Google us. Because they don’t want someone misrepresenting them in their values as a company. So we go through all of that. You can’t think of just right now. If someone writes a mean comment and you want to fire finger back, you got to think about that. So we go through all of that with them.

Janna Koch (15:42): Yeah.


Janna Koch (17:36): Why don’t you walk me through maybe one of the scenarios that you guys do talk about? Because again, I feel like I’m pretty technology savvy. I don’t love technology. It’s not my thing, but I’m in there and I’m working in some of it, but I know that I am ignorant to so much that is out there. Part of it is I don’t have the time to know. I mean, there’s apps popping up and different social medias popping up. The first time I heard metaverse, I’m like, “What are you all talking about?” And I was like, “Oh, well, Facebook just changed their name.” I’m like, “Oh my gosh. Now, they’re running the world.” So for parents who maybe are unaware of some of the pitfalls of social media or an app that their child may already have, that they don’t even know what could be happening in there.

Mobile Device Safety for Homeschool FamiliesMobile Device Safety for Homeschool Families

Naomi Dahl (18:24): Right, yeah. There’s a couple. So you were talking about apps that can hide things. Those are called vault apps. Now, there’s even commercials every day on TV promoting these vault apps, and they’re marketing them towards adults to hide any financial information or anything like that, but they know who their audience is. They know who their audience is and it’s teenagers and kids.

Naomi Dahl (18:51): A big one that is a vault app is the calculator app. It looks like the calculator app, but it’s not. As soon as you hit the app, you have to enter in a code or your face ID, and then there is just all the images and videos that are hidden in there that they don’t want you to see. So that’s the main one is the calculator app, but there’s just going to be more and more and more. And it really is you’ll never be able to keep up with everything.

Naomi Dahl (19:19): We posted on our social media page a couple months ago the language of emoji, that students are no longer communicating with words, they’re communicating just with emojis and they’re speaking full sentences because they know adults won’t be able to understand it. That’s only going to grow as more emojis come out and all those things. That’s why we got to work on the character, right?

Janna Koch (19:44): Mm-hmm.

Naomi Dahl (19:45): And why is this important for us to remain authentic and accountable. There’s a video that’s pretty funny in the actual course. We mix in some humor videos with our curriculum videos so that the students can visually understand the concept that we’re going through. Because we talk about the bumper effect, that your parents are just a bumper there for you to be able to knock out or get a strike with your goal of what you want to do online, what is your goal with online. So we have a good analogy video of them bowling and things like that.

Naomi Dahl (20:22): So to connect that, we always, throughout the whole course, were really reinforcing the partnership with your parents. And that your parents aren’t doing this to make your life harder, they’re doing this to help keep you safe. Because even though your students might know how to work technology better, no one knows the situations better than you, because you’ve lived these situations even though they’re happening through technology now.

Janna Koch (20:50): Yeah.

Naomi Dahl (20:50): Yeah.

Janna Koch (20:52): Now, you talked a little bit in the beginning about the creators. What was their muse for this program?

Naomi Dahl (21:01): Yeah, so they’re now 16-year-old, they were looking at getting him a phone a couple years ago. When they’re about to get him a phone, they were thinking, “How is there nothing out there to help us prepare him for this?” Because they’re pretty involved with the community and they hear a lot of negative situations with teens and kids with cell phones. So when they’re ready to give their son one, they’re like, “We need some type of education. We’re not just going to hand him a cell phone.” And as they were looking for help, they found nothing out there to help them educate their son. So they said, “We need to create something. We need to create something to help families be able to navigate this issue.” And then they built a team with a curriculum developer and then brought me on and we created the program to what it is now. And now, we’re in five schools that teach it within the school day, as well as some youth groups across the country. So it’s been effective and it’s helped families and it’s been amazing.

Janna Koch (21:57): Well, and I believe it can only grow because it is something that once people understand that there’s a need for it, because that’s kind of the interesting intersection of this type of curricula is that you don’t even know you need it.

Naomi Dahl (22:13): Right.

Janna Koch (22:14): I didn’t know I needed it.

Naomi Dahl (22:16): And that’s what we tell parents is a lot of parents say, “Well, we’re not there yet.” And it keeps getting pushed off and pushed off and pushed off until they’re in a crisis. The phone has already been misused, they’re already in a situation where things that were sent that should have been sent or it’s, “We’re not giving our kid a phone until they’re 16 years old.” Which is great. Every family has their own expectations, but 9 times out of 10, it’s, “My friend showed me something.”.

Janna Koch (22:46): Mm-hmm.

Naomi Dahl (22:46): Right? So it’s a lot of, how are they going to handle it when they’re not around us? And the stats are in, our kids are two clicks away from pornography.

Janna Koch (22:57): Wow.

Naomi Dahl (22:58): So if they’re on a tablet at grandma’s house or if they’re at their friend’s house and they have a cell phone, that’s what it all is. It’s not just if they have their own cell phone. It’s how can we protect them and set them up for a win anywhere out in the world with devices.

Janna Koch (23:16): Yeah. And they are everywhere you go. I mean, now, they’re in schools, they’re in places of worship, they’re in grocery store. I went to go order at Shake Shack the other day, and I’m on a device. Right? It’s so normalized now. They are everywhere. It’s part of our life. So how can we do it well?

Janna Koch (23:39): For parents who are listening who think maybe I’ve missed the boat, my child has already had a cell phone. Because I kind of was in this place. When I first heard about Cell Phone Permit, I was like, “Well, my older two, I mean, we’ve had pretty good conversations and I feel like at this point they’re getting ready to leave the house. Maybe not, maybe not. Could I get their interest to do it?” I’d be hard pressed. I’d have to really give them something they’d really want in return. But I think about my younger daughter who’s turning 13. She has had a cell phone for the last year, at least. And is it ever too late?

Naomi Dahl (24:16): I don’t think it’s ever too late. The earlier, the better we say, just because so that you have those values and those good habits instilled in them before they get there. But actually, most of our families that go through the program, their kids have already had a cell phone. And it is just as effective for if they’ve already had a cell phone because the course can be pretty convicting to those students.

Naomi Dahl (24:41): Our first class we had, we had a 12-year-old boy that had already had a cell phone for a number of years. And when we talk about sexting in those more mature topics, we split up into groups. I will take the girls and we’ll have a small group discussion about it. And our male instructor will take the boys in different room and have a small group discussion. After class that day, he went up to our male instructor, Andrew and said, “I’ve been watching porn for the past couple months. Will you help me tell my mom?”

Naomi Dahl (25:06): And then we’ve also had, she’s one of my favorite students. I shouldn’t say that, but I just love her. She’s so great. She went through the course and as we went over social media and the addictive design of it, she said, “You know what? I actually don’t think I’m ready for TikTok yet. I don’t want it anymore.” And she deleted her account. So it’s just as convicting for parents who have had students already have a phone because then they’re going to be like, “Oh yeah, I have seen that actually. I know what that is.” Like phishing, we talk about PH, phishing scams that they might get from school or different companies. And they’re like, “Oh, I have seen that before. That’s what that is. I’m so glad I didn’t click on that link.” Or, “Oh my gosh, I did click on that link. I need to tell my parents. Something could be happening to our information.” So it’s just as helpful for families who have had cell phones already.

Janna Koch (25:57): And I think there’s that very sensitive area with parents. And I can say, as a homeschool parent, I can put myself in this group. We don’t like to be told what to do. We kind of feel like this is why we’ve taken control of educating our children, that maybe I’ve told my children not to do that. Or in our household my husband doesn’t have any social media. Part of his work is... It just wouldn’t be beneficial in any way. And so he’s never had it. And so he always just says, “Just get off of it. Just don’t use it.” And then I’ve worked in social media and so I’m like, “Well it’s not an all or nothing. There has to be a happy medium.” And so I feel like Cell Phone Permit kind of meets that because whether you decide it’s not for you or you’re already in it and you want to take a step back from it, you really have to have a guide to know where it can lead instead of just saying, don’t eat the cookies, right?

Naomi Dahl (26:57): Yep.

Janna Koch (26:57): Because as soon as you walk out of the room, those kids, that’s what they’re going to gravitate to. That is our human nature. So how do we say, “Hey, those cookies are for later. Let me explain why”? And I feel like this program does a good job kind of taking out the mystery of, “Oh, my parents don’t want me to have that. Why?” And saying, “Hey, let’s be honest. Because this is why.” These are the things that are out there that I don’t even know about, but I hear about, or it’s like, “Man, I don’t want you... ” Like that bumper illustration, that’s such a good illustration. It’s like, “Oh my gosh, I just, I want you to get the strike baby girl.”

Naomi Dahl (27:35): Yes, absolutely. You want your kids to win. And that’s really what reinforces that. Your parents are your greatest ally. And the course is nice because it also has some younger adults that come alongside in the videos with parents that are really just agreeing with what you’re saying. So it always helps to have maybe an outside person come in and just reinforce what the parents are saying, yes.

Naomi Dahl (28:03): And we just walk through real life situations with them, things that have really happened. And that when we go through the good things too, in the course, like social entrepreneurship, being an influencer, are you doing it? Why are you doing it? What is your end game? What is your goal? Are you just mindlessly scrolling or are you trying to build a business that’s helping people or a nonprofit, or things like that? So we always try and have them looking at the end game or the goal so that they’re always working towards something right.

Janna Koch (28:38): I will say that I’ve had, at least my youngest she’ll say, “Well, you’re just trying to scare me.” Or, “Now, I’m scared.” It breaks my heart because I’m like, “That was not my intention, but I also need to make sure that you understand some of these things.” So I’m excited to do this course with her come our school year, because I want the proper words. I want the proper perspective. I don’t want to be a scared parent who just wants to shut it all down and isolate and say, “No, we can’t have any of this because it’s all bad.”

Janna Koch (29:13): Because as you point out, it’s not all bad there. I mean, when I first got on Facebook, it was to connect with people that I had known throughout my whole life that live in different states that I would never necessarily see again. And so it has good purposes if you are using that. And I think that’s true with anything. It’s about, like you said, it’s about our heart. It’s about the intention and the values so that instead of the device and the media telling us how to live, we’re telling what we have in our hands, how we are going to live.

Naomi Dahl (29:47): I was reading an article of a homeschool mom this week and she said, “Does your device serve you, or has it become your master?” And we really walk that line with the students throughout the whole course. Like, is this a tool or has this become your life and your purpose? Because especially genZ, this generation, it’s just, they feel like if they don’t have social media or access to a cell phone, that their life is just unworthy of their peers. That seems dramatic until you’re surrounded with teenagers. Because I’m also a youth group leader, and I walk through this with my high school girls all the time of like, does scrolling hurt your self-esteem? They’re like, “Oh, yeah, 100%, absolutely.” I said, “So why don’t you stop?” They’re like, “Well, I can’t. That’s how we communicate.”

Naomi Dahl (30:46): And then I even asked them, if someone is being mean to you online, why don’t you just unfollow them or block them? And they talk about how that would just be catastrophic because people look to see if you unfollow and if you unfollow, then they start talking about it, you don’t like this person. I mean, it’s unbelievable what it can turn into for them. So it’s like things that we think are an easy fix for them, aren’t.

Janna Koch (31:12): Yeah.

Naomi Dahl (31:12): So it’s getting into all of that. How do you find that middle ground? How do you be able to navigate the digital world and still have social skills and values?

Janna Koch (31:23): Also, another point to make just personally. In our own home, I find that what my kids see, especially when my husband and I in the evening, because we have been working all day, we have not been on our phones. But when we’re all together, it looks like that’s all that we’re doing, granted we weren’t the ones who’ve been doing it all day, they have been, but then it kind of reinforces for them, “Oh, well, let’s just all sit around and be on our phones because that’s what everyone’s doing.” Like you don’t even realize what you’re communicating through your own habits to your children. You are unaware because I know what I’m doing is not hurtful, right?

Naomi Dahl (31:59): Right.

Janna Koch (32:00): I mean, okay, it might be mindless, I’m not going to lie, but it’s not...

Naomi Dahl (32:03): Yeah.

Janna Koch (32:05): It’s not necessarily, these are the things that you’re talking about that have catastrophic consequences. But just making it a household thing, like this is what we do. And so we’re not even aware that, that’s what we’re communicating by our own habits. I mean, would you say that even parents would benefit from this program?

Naomi Dahl (32:28): Absolutely. So our biggest thing that we talk to parents about in the course is that you have to model this behavior for your child. Because they’re terrible at doing what you say, but they’re amazing at doing what you do. So if your only family time together is after work and you’re on your phones, they think family time is us being together on our phones, which is we are together alone.

Naomi Dahl (32:56): So we do challenge parents in the course, you have to model this. And then that is the hardest thing for parents. That is the hardest thing for parents in the course is being able to model that for their children, just because our work is on there. You know what I mean? Most of us, almost everything we do for work is on our cell phones. So it’s really navigating that media balance, which that is a big term. We talk about in the course as well is media balance. And it’s hard. We know it’s hard, but it’s something that needs to be navigated for our kids future, for sure.

Janna Koch (33:34): So when I was younger, it was, “Can’t we just turn off the TV during dinner?” And now I’m like, “Can’t we just all sit here and watch TV together?” Because now, everyone can pick their own show and be in their own spaces. And it’s like, “No, let’s... ” I laugh because I think, okay, my mom tried to get us to turn off the TV and I’m championing for at least if we’re all in the same room, watching the same show, we could be at least have some discussion about it. What a leap we have taken in such a short time. And you talked about genZ being a generation without any technology. It has exponentially grown so that we were... It’s only been a generation or two now that it’s like, we’re so lost.

Janna Koch (34:18): I mean, my kids start calling me a boomer. I keep trying to explain to them that that’s my mom, but they don’t believe me. Anytime I do something silly or say something that’s just, I don’t get it right, I like to say, “What are you, casting shade?” And they’re like, “You don’t cast shade, you throw shade.”

Naomi Dahl (34:37): Casting shade.

Janna Koch (34:38): Yes. I’m like, “No, trees cast shade. Like, what are you guys talking about?” They’re like, “Don’t even use those words, mom, just stop. You’re such a boomer.”

Naomi Dahl (34:46): It’s throwing shade, mom.

Janna Koch (34:47): Right.

Naomi Dahl (34:48):[Inaudible 00:34:48]

Janna Koch (34:48): But logically, a tree casts shade, it doesn’t throw it.

Naomi Dahl (34:52): Right, yup.

Janna Koch (34:53): Okay, fine. I let that one go. Only to annoy them now and then, I will say something about casting shade, especially in front of their friends. They really like it when I do that.

Naomi Dahl (35:02): Yeah, I bet. Super fun.

Janna Koch (35:03): Yeah. I’m a cool mom like that. But it’s those things. It’s those that it’s like parents, we just feel like so out of touch so quickly. And I know every generation has felt that, but I do feel like we got out of touch quicker maybe than the generation or two before us because that technology surpassed us so quickly that I’m lost most of the time. Even with the most user-friendly, I’m lost.

Naomi Dahl (35:29): And I think some parents, we start when they’re young. We’re at the grocery store, we want to keep them busy so we give them a tablet. And I know that’s so much easier said than done, I know that, but that starts the addiction.

Naomi Dahl (35:48): If you watch The Social Dilemma, it is a great adult video, I’ll say adults, to watch, to really understand the addictive design of social media and devices. Like the Facebook like button was solely created around the dopamine release in your brain when you hit that like button. And so when we give it to them younger and younger, that addiction starts then.

Naomi Dahl (36:13): I know two year olds that can navigate their way around a tablet faster than I could. I mean, it’s unbelievable. And I think some parents see it as, “Well, it’s just a cell phone. I’m just glad that they’re not doing drugs or they’re not out with friends doing bad things.” But it’s like, the tech industry and the drug industry are the only two industries that refer to their consumers as users. And it 100% is a drug. That’s why they call it a newsfeed is because it’s what’s feeding your brain. And if we think about scrolling, it’s something fresh and new every single second. So that is immediate dopamine release every time we scroll. And I think parents, we really need to start looking at it like that, that no, they may not be physically consuming a drug, but there is a drug being consumed up here.

Janna Koch (37:03): Yeah.

Naomi Dahl (37:04): It’s hard. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but-

Janna Koch (37:06): Yeah, that’s heavy. I mean, that’s heavy truth and that’s how we need to see it, is that this is truth and we cannot change it. We can’t spin it, we can’t can’t undo it, but we can come alongside our children and we can help them do it well.

Naomi Dahl (37:21): Absolutely, yes. And that’s what it is. That’s really coming alongside your student and you walking this journey together. You are doing this together. It is a partnership, because they need you to navigate this. It’s like giving our kids the keys to the car when they’re eight years old. And then when they get in a car accident, be mad at them. If they misuse their cell phone, it’s the same thing. I mean, they need help and they need navigating. And kids desire boundaries, they do, they really desire it. So when they just get free rein with cell phones in the internet, we’re just really doing a disservice to our kids.

Janna Koch (37:58): Yeah. Well, Naomi, thank you so much for taking the time to come on today and talk about Cell Phone Permit. I hope that we continue to spread the word that there is help out there for parents. Not only for homeschool parents, but listeners, if you have friends, make sure that you share the podcast, you share the YouTube video because this really benefits our entire generation. And so we just want to thank you so much. Will you personally thank the creators for me because I am very excited to become a user of Cell Phone Permit with my family and hopefully we’ll have a great story about how it changed our lives.

Naomi Dahl (38:39): Absolutely. Well, thank you so much for having me today. It was great.

Janna Koch (38:43): Thank you guys. Until next time. Buh-bye.