Autonomy 🤸🍔✊ GMB Fitness

Raising Strong Girls, Part 1 (Juliet Starrett)

June 11, 2021 GMB Fitness Season 4 Episode 5
Raising Strong Girls, Part 1 (Juliet Starrett)
Autonomy 🤸🍔✊ GMB Fitness
More Info
Autonomy 🤸🍔✊ GMB Fitness
Raising Strong Girls, Part 1 (Juliet Starrett)
Jun 11, 2021 Season 4 Episode 5
GMB Fitness

As a company founded by three dudes, GMB might seem like a very male centric company. But about half our team is women. The three dudes are married. Two of us have daughters, so raising strong girls and women is something we actually care about deeply.

So we got in touch with one of the coolest, most successful and badass women we know: Juliet Starrett. She’s the CEO of, an attorney, and a champion athlete. She’s also a mother of two teen girls and has managed not to tear our all her hair, so she’s got a lot to say about parenting girls in today’s world.

Key Points:

  • Relationships & Community: Participating in the community, modeling good relationships
  • Social Media: There’s a thousand ways to do social media as a parent, it’s possible none of us are getting it quite right
  • Technology, Self-Regulation, Sleep : Phones are like heroin, how to make a constrained environment


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👉 Try a free strength and agility workout

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

As a company founded by three dudes, GMB might seem like a very male centric company. But about half our team is women. The three dudes are married. Two of us have daughters, so raising strong girls and women is something we actually care about deeply.

So we got in touch with one of the coolest, most successful and badass women we know: Juliet Starrett. She’s the CEO of, an attorney, and a champion athlete. She’s also a mother of two teen girls and has managed not to tear our all her hair, so she’s got a lot to say about parenting girls in today’s world.

Key Points:

  • Relationships & Community: Participating in the community, modeling good relationships
  • Social Media: There’s a thousand ways to do social media as a parent, it’s possible none of us are getting it quite right
  • Technology, Self-Regulation, Sleep : Phones are like heroin, how to make a constrained environment


Support the Show.

👉 Try a free strength and agility workout

Raising Strong Girls, Part 1


Andy: [00:00:00] Hey, welcome to the Autonomy Podcast, where we talk about how to develop yourself physically so that you can do the things you want to do with your body and live a full life. My name is Andy. As one of the founders of GMB fitness, I spend a lot of time thinking about how we can help our clients develop the physical autonomy that they're looking for.

But as a father, same as Ryan and Jarlo, my other partners in GMB, we also think a lot about how we can be strong for our children and develop them to be strong as they grow. Especially with a daughter, it's something that I think about a lot. So for this episode, I got in touch with my friend Juliet Starrett who is one of the most badass women I know, and a mother and knows a few things about autonomy, both physical and otherwise. So we're going to talk to her about how to raise strong girls into strong young women in today's world. 

All right. All right. This is the GMB Physical Autonomy Podcast. I'm Andy and I am talking today to my friend, Juliette Starrett, who is, along with her husband Kelly, the co-founder of The Ready State, previously MobilityWOD, also one of the first CrossFit affiliates in the world. And also Juliet is a mother of two girls and an all around awesome, bad-ass kind of human. 

Juliet: [00:01:25] Thanks for having me, Andy. I'm so excited to talk all things life and children raising and business. 

Andy: [00:01:31] Yes. Today we are going to be talking about how to raise strong girls. That's kind of the broad topic and this is something that comes up from time to time because GMB is a company founded by three dudes.

So when we post videos and things, and we seem like a very male centric company, right? But about half our team is women. The three dudes are married. Two of us have daughters, like this is something we care about. And when I was trying to think of who could we get to really  bring some firepower of what a bad-ass woman is all about, you were the first person that came to mind. So here we are. 

Juliet: [00:02:08] Well, I'm honored, I'm honored. And, raising kids is one of my favorite subjects. So I'm really excited to dive into it with you. 

Challenges & Hopes

Andy: [00:02:16] Cool. I think one of the first things that we should do is I want to talk a little bit about or get your opinions on what are some of the things that, what are some of the challenges?

Because, obviously there's so many things that we could go into and we could talk for weeks and weeks about everything, about parenting and stuff, but what are some of the things that are actually important when you're talking, when you're thinking about raising your two girls and how you want them to be able to grow into two young ladies and to be in the world.

Juliet: [00:02:50] Sure. I mean, what I'll start by saying as a caveat to everything I say about being a parent is I feel like the jury's out on my success until my kids are like 25. So you and I should do like a "Where are they now?" podcast.

I have a 15 year old and a 12 year old. So,  let's say 10 years from now, you and I can do like a, "Where are they now?" And then we can really do a look back on how it actually all went when they're adults. But, I mean, as you know, as a parent, there are so many joys, but there are also so many challenges. I think for me as a parent, one of the challenges like many has been balancing working and being a really sort of very busy working mom and raising two girls.

I think one of the biggest challenges we face today as parents is the role of social media in our kids' lives. I know that that's been discussed a lot, but it is for me personally, as a parent and I know for a lot of my friends, like one of the biggest struggles we have, whether to allow it when to allow it, how much, how much to restrict, how much not to restrict.

I think there's like a thousand ways to do social media as a parent. And I'm not sure any of us are getting it quite right. So I really struggle with that. I struggle with sort of the impacts and what that means for them. And, I do feel like  my kids are literally human guinea pigs because they're sort of the first generation to have this technology, like basically from the beginning. And even kids 10 years behind them and 10 years behind, I think there'll be some lessons learned and we might've figured out what a problem it is by then and maybe course corrected.

So I think social media is a problem. And technology generally, I don't want to talk about a subject, but like I think porn is a gigantic problem for kids, girls in particular. Now of course there may be some awesome things about porn for adults, and I'm not going to take a stance on porn generally. But It's a thing for kids and I think it's creating some really weird sexual issues, especially for boys and in terms of expectations and for all kids in terms of expectations when it comes to having a healthy sex life.

So, I struggle with that a little bit.  I think that another thing that is constantly on my mind is, especially given the industry that we are in, generally the health and fitness wellness business, how to make sure or avoid my daughters having eating disorders. It's a fear I have, especially with a 15 year old daughter because we're obviously around people. Everyone who's ever written like a diet nutrition book sends it to our house, like it's at our house.

And it's like we're doing the paleo diet and then we're on the carnivore diet or whatever. We're always experimenting with things. So I worry a little bit about that. 

Andy: [00:05:12] I was just going to say you and Kelly are huge experimenters. So, your children are exposed to not just hearing about a variety of things, but seeing it tried and not even knowing what the outcome will be sometimes.

Juliet: [00:05:24] Right, right. We get sent like 50,000 supplements and we're taking all these supplements and experimenting with all that stuff. And so I want to try to make sure that I'm always conscious of separating that and helping them create a healthy relationship around food and their bodies.

I think body image is a huge thing for girls, body image, as it relates to social media. And my goal is, this is going to sound maybe a little bit cliche for my girls, but, I want them to be healthy and happy. I want them to have healthy relationships.

I think that's at the core, but I also am conscious of feeling like they're very privileged and with that comes like a little bit of obligation. So, at least I'm trying to instill in them that yes, they want to focus on themselves and find professions that they love. But that can't be their whole mission in life, that they need to actually care about their communities and participate in whatever kind of makes them excited.

And then I really want them to be independent and I can get into this more later.  I think a lot of the things that have influenced my drive and focus in life is growing up with a single mom and the things that I learned and the struggles that she had and the ways in which I chose to be an independent person, both as a person generally, but financially as well.

I really want them to be able to be financially independent. So, man, that was a really long-winded answer. And I have no idea if I actually answered  your question, Andy. 

Andy: [00:06:41] No, you did. And I think that we can just end it right here. That's great. A bunch of things. And this is, also as a parent and as somebody who works in this sort of world that we live in both being very online as an individual and also working in health and fitness kind of industry, I think a lot about these things.

Relationships & Community

Andy: [00:07:03] And I think you hit on a bunch of that I want to go into more detail with. But what you were talking about at the end, what do you really want for them in the future? Right? What kind of person do you want them to be? And not just independent and not just successful however you chalk that up, but to be somebody who has great relationships, who is valued in their community. 

And I think that that's really important. And I'm sure you know of the Harvard study where they looked at people looking back at, towards the end of their years, and the things that they really regretted and the things that they were proud of.

And I think that it's really important for us to know that all of the things that we chase after, that make our lives easier in the middle, most of them don't amount to greater satisfaction later on. And the biggest regrets people are not having better relationships. Not being a better friend, a better husband, mother, father, sister, brother, et cetera.

And not having tighter relationships with people in their community. So I think it's great that you mentioned that and I'm curious, what are some of the things that you are doing with your daughters to try to instill that in them? 

Juliet: [00:08:14] Sure.  I think the greatest thing, and honestly since Kelly and I, again, to point this out, both come from divorced families. I think the thing that literally we are most proud of in our entire life, all things considered, is that we are still married and still like each other. Literally that alone trumps every other  "accomplishment" we've ever had. Especially because there is also a lot of research to show that girls who witnessed healthy relationships and in particular girls who have really healthy relationships with their fathers are more likely to then have healthy relationships.

So I feel like just the fact that we're still married is honestly for me, one of the greatest, greatest feelings of pride I have and models that I've had for my kids. Now, look, I'm not anti-divorce. I don't think every marriage is meant to work.

So I don't want to put myself into some block there. I certainly think there are some marriages that need to end. But I just, I a)feel super lucky that I found a partner who I can, both work with and play with and still love after 20 years. I just seriously feel like I hit the jackpot there. And, I think I don't know. I lost sight of the actual original question, Andy talking about marriage. 

Andy: [00:09:21] Yeah. Well, I think it's really important. I think that what we're getting at here is instilling in our children how to have good relationships. And I think that definitely the fact that you and Kelly have a good relationship and are able to stay married and not just, legally married, but functionally have a very good relationship that's respectful and fun and you both actually enjoy being together, sets a really good example for your kids and, models one of the most important relationships that a person will ever have. 

Juliet: [00:09:53] Yeah. And I remember the second part of your question now, which is the community piece. And I have been really, in fact, I actually was just telling someone this the other day. 

They were saying, "Why do you think you and Kelly had been successful in business?" And I said, look like we have some things we're good at, but I actually think maybe one of our greatest gifts is the ability to create community around us. We were able to do that at our gym and even digitally with The Ready State, we're able to do that.

But what we have at our household is at any given point, there are people here there's people who use our home gym, our neighbors are in and out. Our doors always open, our garage door's open. There's kids coming in and out all the time. People coming in and out. We have people sitting by our fire pit.

So, we've worked really hard to create a local community, both with our neighbors and our friends in the greater neighborhood who are around and really part of our kids' lives. And, I actually think one of the reasons that our marriage is successful is I think we both realized early on that you can't get all your needs met by a single human.

And if you expect to that's your ultimate doom right? So I really value having deep and important friendships in my life. And I feel like I have many of those and I'm drawn to keeping people in community around me at all times. So, most of our parenting strategy has been to model what we hope for them by creating community, participating in our community.

And we're also really active in our community. We're really active in our kids' schools. We're active in local politics. Like we care about what's going on around us, in the world. Our kids see that. And so, to me, that's the best way for kids to learn is just to witness, witness that around them and see that around them.

We really value the whole community piece above all, above all. And honestly, after owning a gym for 15 years, I think we did a fine job, but at the exercising piece and we got a lot of people pretty fit, but where we really got it right was creating community.

Andy: [00:11:35] Right. I think it's really interesting because you guys started your fitness business. Now you've moved to doing pretty much everything online, partly due to the the COVID situation. But you started out with a gym and building an in-person community. And I find that really interesting because I started my business a hundred percent online.

And so since everything that I do in GMB and my work is all online, many of my relationships are with people that are very far from here. So I find it really important to make sure that my daughter sees me going out and socializing with her adults and places together, and talk to people in real life. I think that that's something that, especially now has been challenging for people, but it's super important. 

Juliet: [00:12:22] Yeah, it is. I think technology's here to stay and there are many amazing things. You can watch 7,000 cat videos online, which is a beautiful thing.

There's so many positives, but yeah I think we're really learning in COVID too that actual in-person human interaction is so critical. So critical. And I think kids, it could not be more important for kids to see that and have it be part of their lives and it's interesting because, I've always been a full-time working mom.

I took some short maternity leaves with my kid, but I've always been a full-time working mom. And I've always been super involved also in my kids' schools. And I've been able to figure out how to do that as well. And so they see that I'm showing up and I see that help needs to be done.

And I say yes, and even though I'm busy, I fit things in. And  I make it happen because I think again, raising kids, being part of a community, everybody's gotta be on board and do at least their part a little bit to have a solid community. 

And man, Kelly and I live in this place just north of San Francisco in Marin County and we actually call it Pleasantville because sometimes it feels kind of fake. Like we've created this really small little subdivision and everybody knows each other and looks out for each other's kids and in addition to our focus on it, we also  feel like we landed in the right place to be able to easily create community around us. And man, do we feel lucky about that for 10,000 reasons.

Andy: [00:13:42] That's great. When my wife and daughter and I moved to Tokyo a couple of years ago, we looked at so many different neighborhoods. And every single day I look around my neighborhood and think of my daughter's school.

And I feel like we got really lucky finding the space that we did. And it makes a huge difference to feel like you can trust your neighbors. Like there's things to do nearby that you can walk around or and just be friendly and say hi to people. I think you also mentioned fitting things in, and of course you're busy, we're all busy.

We all have so many things we want to do. And I know you're definitely not saying that everyone should fit everything in. We have to say no to things. But I think the really important thing is that the way you are choosing which things to fit in and where to put your attention and to make school things a priority and your children's things a priority.

And to me, what that does is that's showing, I guess the thing is values, right? You're demonstrating the things that you say are important to you by choosing them over more Netflix or, and not to say that everybody is weak-willed who watches TV or anything, but my point is values, right?

And I think that this is maybe the crux of a lot of the things is we have to teach our children, daughters, and sons too, how to have good values that will let them be the kinds of people that they want to be. And the best way to do that obviously is by demonstration. You can't just tell them things because they see what you do and don't listen to what you say.

So I'm wondering if you have any other areas or thoughts on where this has been challenging or yeah. 

Juliet: [00:15:23] Yeah. I think you're right. I think giving back, caring about something beyond yourself and your own personal interest is one of our huge values that we've been trying to instill in our kids. And again, we just do that by making sure that we're good members of our community and that we participate and contribute. 

Social Media

Juliet: [00:15:39] Again, I don't want to hammer on this, but I think we should probably just get into it as the social media piece is very difficult and I think you and I probably share something unique about it and that is that a lot of people we know are on social media, but not maybe on as much as we are and then don't rely on it for our business.

So I always think it's funny when people go on and they're like, "Oh, I'm taking a social media vacation." And I'm always like, "Well, it must be nice cause you must not be a business owner because the rest of us can't do that."  I can't wait for that day. 

I'm probably going to be 75 years old and I will have moved to the forest in Montana. And then that's when I'll be on a social media vacation, but until then, that's not even a consideration for us. 

But what I found is very interesting about social media and I think maybe it's because we are so prolific on it and on it so much and we've been the receivers of plenty of hate as I'm sure you guys have. Not even hate, but just sort of weird behavior on social media that, yeah, weird, weird behavior. Not necessarily hate, but weird behavior. 

And obviously all the other parents in our community are on social media, but not in the way we are on social media. And so in some ways we're more conservative about our views about it and the ways in which we've at least attempted and in many ways failed to restrict our children using it.

But again, because we're talking about this community piece, I can't help but go back to that because between COVID and the existence of social media, I see kids, my high school daughter literally is on Snapchat 24 hours a day, and that's how they interact and that's how they make plans.

And so it's this real conundrum as a parent, right? I was literally the last person to allow my kid to get on Snapchat. And you'll appreciate this, Andy. I actually made her, required her to make me a PowerPoint presentation about why Snapchat sucks. And it had to be at least 15 slides and she had to do research. And I was like, once you know why I hate Snapchat and why I think it sucks, then at least you can go into it eyes open. 

But it's a real challenge because I think it's so much easier in a world where really what lifts us up as people and makes us feel good and brings joy to our life is that human interaction participating in the community, giving back to others like that.

Those are things that lift us up. And I think focusing on a device all the time often doesn't lift us up. And I think that the data is bearing that out, right? Like kids are suffering from massive amounts of depression and COVID has exacerbated that. So I see the whole social media phone technology thing as this fight against some of these values that we're trying to instill in our kids. And it's really, I struggle with it a lot. 

Andy: [00:18:08] Yeah. Yeah, it's hard because if we're talking about community, I don't think you can have a full discussion about that in the world today without bringing social media into it, because so much of our community is mediated through technology.

And it's not like this is the first time a piece of technology has disrupted the way of life. We had computers and TV and radio and in the forties they thought radio was going to melt the teenagers minds with the music. But I also think that there's a difference between generational change and epochal change.

I really believe that this always online high-tech, hyper-connected world that we're creating is a true change not just in the tools that are available, but the way that we connect and interact and transact and do everything. So it's very important because it's not just that we don't see what our kids do on social media all the time, because when you and I were children, we did lots of things our parents didn't see. It's not like that's a new thing. I'm not worried about my daughter doing things online that I don't know. She will. She will. 

Juliet: [00:19:17] Yes. Yes, she will. 

Andy: [00:19:19] Absolutely. So, and we'll get into more of that later. I'm sure too, because there's a lot to confront, but yeah, social media is a big thing. So you mentioned Snapchat, is that what The Young's are biggest on these days, I don't even know. I'm horrible. 

Juliet: [00:19:35] Yeah. Yeah.  I think kids bore of it by the time they're in college. But if you're in high school, Snapchat's like your jam.

That's how you connect with friends. That's how you make plans. There's even now sports teams at schools who are managing their practices and stuff on Snapchat because they know that they'll actually reach the kids that way, like, "Hey, cross country's at three" goes out on Snapchat because the kids are all actually going to get it that way.

Yeah. Yeah. And some of them are on Instagram and they think they voyeur on Instagram a little bit. I did also, practically speaking, make my kid sign a contract about her social media usage. And I'm a former lawyer, by the way, so I love a contract. But there are some things about it and especially as we go into body image, part of the reason I was so focused on her learning about Snapchat is that kids will tell you, I know there's a record of this.

I know there is. It doesn't matter that it disappears right away, but they don't really know. They say that because they're taught that in school now and their parents tell them, but they don't really know, or they don't get it maybe because they're kids. And that's how I know how their brains work until there's some consequence around it or they take a photo of their boobs and then it gets shared around everywhere.

And then kids get expelled from school. These kinds of things happen on the regular. And so I think it's really hard to teach a kid in a really meaningful way what their digital footprint is and what that means. I think it does help that I'm an employer.

I've been able to tell my kids forever,  "Hey, so for the last 10 years, if someone wants to work for me, one of the first things I do is go look them up on social media. And if all their photos are out at the bar with their friends, I'm thinking maybe this person isn't serious and maybe this isn't the kind of person who I want to work for me." So I've been trying to teach them those kinds of lessons like the way I see it as an employer, which I think is unique and helpful to them. 

But there's some things that really bug me. I think one of the challenges I have with girls and, this is on Instagram, is the high school, like late junior high, high school girl thing is to try to post as cute, sexy, a photo, as you can often with duck lips, which are specifically not permitted in our household, and then this is how girls are getting their validation. 

So it really bothers me. I'll see Georgia's friends post a cute picture of themselves. And then all the comments are, "You are so beautiful. You're so cute. Oh my God. You're so cute." Hundreds of them. 

And I don't know. Maybe I'm just assuming that receiving your validation that way as a human is not great, but to me it's not great. And it's totally superficial, right? It has nothing to do with who they are or what they're into or how they show up in the world or anything. So I do really struggle with that piece of it, but yeah, I went way off the rails.

Snapchat is the one the kids are really into. I think by the time, remind me how old your daughter is? 

Andy: [00:22:17] She's eight. 

Juliet: [00:22:19] She's eight. So I have a feeling by the time she reaches high school, there will be some other platform that is all the rage and you guys will be navigating that. It's really hard to stay ahead.

One thing I am grateful about, about having such a strong social media presence is, a lot of the parents that I know aren't even on Instagram and their kids are on Instagram, right? At least I kind of know how it works and I can try to teach my kids about what the pitfalls are and what to make sure you don't do.

And anytime I see my daughter post anything, I really remind her that she's amazing and awesome and she doesn't need external validation from 27 other teenagers to tell her how awesome she is. But you know, it's hard. It's very hard with girls. It's really hard. 

Andy: [00:22:58] Yeah. Well, you are like a master Ninja level internet user. So you do have a lot of experience that you can impart and also to measure things with, as you watch your daughters use, but a lot of parents don't have that, you know? And so I think that that's probably a challenge for them to even know, like you said, some parents don't even have Instagram, but their kids do. And how are they able to know what even the dynamics of that? 

You mentioned validation. I think that's a huge one, especially if you want to get into body image and things like that, which, I think by the time a girl is 12 at the latest, they're already starting to have to deal with forming a healthy self-image in relation to their body image and how others see them.

And it's been mentioned before, I'm sure by many smarter people than me, but the numerical validation of how many people say "cute" or whatever on your photo. Or I know Instagram has removed the likes. I don't know about Snapchat, but I don't think that this really changes the fact that people can see how many other people, we talk about social proof in marketing, your social proof of how popular you are, is out there for everyone to see.

And what have you noticed with how that impacts your daughters? 

Juliet: [00:24:13] Well, it's interesting because when we were in middle school and high school, we had like cliques right? Then they were actual like human cliques and we girls did, I don't think boys did as much, but we definitely did. And I was always on the periphery of this one like mean girl clique. And we had this big blow up in middle school and whatever. 

But one of the manifestations, and this is the way that it's extra impossible, even for us who, those of us who are very social media savvy is, kids will create these separate groups on Instagram or Snapchat, and then only invite certain kids to those right? And then other kids become aware they're there, so kids figure out ways to kind of like be assholes to other kids and that's at any time in history, right?  

So they've figured out these digital ways to do that. And so even if you follow your own kid on social media, they are an Instagram for example, chances are, they have three other Instagram accounts that you have no idea about. Who knows what they're doing in there? Who knows who they're including and excluding.

 You know, I will say when we go back to values of just because this word has come up. One of the things that my mom hammered into me as a person, and I hope I am passing along to my kids is the idea of inclusion on all levels.

I really do not like exclusion, whatever that means in any context. And if anything, I just, I think it's always better to include. And I've always been really careful about making sure my kids include kids in their birthday parties and being really careful about that and being like, yeah, you don't get to decide who comes to your birthday party.

I decide because otherwise it's kids are mean. So, I really think the inclusion piece is huge and the exclusion and some of that is totally beyond our control as parents. It would happen at school anyway, and now happens online in many cases. And I think part of that is just working it out.

But yeah, it's definitely, they've figured out ways to do a lot of the same stuff we did in person in middle school and high school online in ways that I don't even know. 

Andy: [00:25:57] I think the difference is it doesn't end at 4:00 PM. It follows them all through the afternoon and evening until they go to sleep.

Technology, Self-Regulation, Sleep

Juliet: [00:26:04] Yeah. Which is another thing that we are literally obsessed with as parents. And I think we are in the minority actually, which makes it harder. It becomes very challenging I will say generally speaking with anything as a parent in middle and high school when a lot of the parents around you are more permissive than you are and you're the strict person. 

And I never thought, I actually honestly see myself as like this hippie, former river guide, yeah, whatever goes. So I never thought that I would be put in the strict bucket, but I guess I am. I'm in many ways kind of like on the stricter side of parenting. I totally lost my train of thought on being strict. 

Oh, the sleep thing. So this is where Kelly and I are militant. So we were crazy about sleep when our kids were babies and kids. And in fact, we would laugh to ourselves because people would be like, "Oh my God, your kids are so lovely and well behaved and so nice. And you guys must be such great parents."

And in our minds we're like, actually we're probably not very good parents, but we make sure they get every nap and they sleep all the time. We were so focused on teaching them how to be good sleepers and making sure they had space to sleep and sleep.

And so when they were out in public, they were lovely because they were well rested and we were like, no idea if it had to do with anything else. But I think man, forget about all the other things that are going on on social media. I think perhaps the biggest problem is, and this is kids and adults alike is, the loss of sleep from continuous phone and technologies.

Kids can not self regulate and I wouldn't have been able to at my kid's age either. Let me tell you a funny story. So my daughter Caroline is 12 and in the entire fall she was doing zoom learning. No in-person learning.

And I work full time. So it's not like I'm sitting there with her going, doing her classes with her. And she had a couple of days before Christmas that were entirely asynchronous, which is funny that we can all use that word now as though it's a word we've used forever and it's like a COVID word, but she has two fully asynchronous days.

And I'm gone at work all day. She's home alone. Well guess what? She watched Netflix all day. And if I was in seventh grade and I had literally zero parent supervision and it was either do this English assignment or wow, I have this beautiful, amazing technology device in my lap and I can watch my Netflix show all day.

At some point kids have to learn to self-regulate their phone use because we need to send them off into the world as adults and hope that they've learned how to self-regulate.

But the problem with technology is, especially phones, I believe it is like heroin. So you can't tell your kid "leave your phone in the kitchen and then go to bed." Because you don't tell the heroin addict who's in rehab, "You just need to wait in your room and we'll just leave the heroin in the kitchen."

Absolutely not. Adults can't even do that. So we actually take our kids phones from them at different times, depending on their age at night. And they don't get them back again until the morning. Because, seriously Andy, if some girl was sending you like sexy texts when you were in high school, At 11:30 PM.

Would you have been like, "No, I'm not going to look at my phone. I'm gonna leave at the kitchen." You would have been all, right? It doesn't matter who you are. Like we all would have done that and the notion that they can not do it. 

So I think that's where we've really tried to like, I think Kelly calls us a constrained environment, but it's just like a constrained environment is where you have no choice but to do one thing and in our house, when it's time to sleep, you need to sleep. And that's your only choice. Like your technology devices are collected and not put in a place where you can get them. 

We actually bought this thing online, which is like maybe the greatest teenager parenting tool of all time. You can get it on Amazon and it's literally a cookie jar that locks, the point of it is for cookies.

So, and it's this plastic thing with a lid. And then once you turn the timer on. Once you turn the timer on, you cannot open it. Like you can't change the time, decide to open it earlier. The only way you could get into it is to literally sledgehammer the thing open, and then your phone's in there. So there's no way, so you just can't open it.

So if we even threatened to put our kid's phone in this cookie jar thing, they tweak, they'll do anything. They'll empty the dishwasher.  Literally even just the thought of the phone going in this cookie jar and being completely 100% inaccessible to them is  a total freak out.

What's crazy to me and not all parents share this, is that I spoke with a friend of mine who's a high school teacher. And I said, "Look, why do all high schools not just make their kids, like you walk into a classroom and you have to put your phone in a pouch or something."

 It just needs to be away from your person while you're actually in class. Why is this a thing? And apparently it's a thing because enough parents pushed back and said that their kids should be able to keep their phone at all times, which is so challenging for me to wrap my head around because it's so is not how I see the world.

What is the harm and all the good of them all putting their phone away from their person while they're in class? But it turned out that the parent pushback on it was too big. And I know we're also in the total minority of parents who take away their kids' phones at night.

Most parents are not doing that.  That's why we get the strict, that's why we're so strict is that, my daughter reports that every other kid is allowed to have their phone and can be texting at all hours of the day and night. And I'm sure those kids aren't sleeping well and feel horrible and no wonder there's all this depression, but nevertheless, Kelly and I are like the mean strict parents because we are collecting the phones, but we are in the total minority.

And forget about all the so-called ill, terrible things that are happening because of social media. And again, maybe they ultimately won't be that terrible. I think just the loss of sleep for kids and adults alike is perhaps the biggest problem. And I just think parents need to keep an eye on that. 

Andy: [00:31:34] Yeah. Sleep is something that's really important. It's funny. My daughter was a very good sleeper when she was a baby. And when she goes to sleep, she sleeps super well. We've always been really lucky with that, but I think it's just a natural thing for children to feel like when they go to bed, they're missing things right?

Yeah. Oh, I have to stop watching the show I want to watch, or I have to stop drawing the picture I'm trying to draw or playing with the Legos or whatever it is, I have to stop doing the thing I'm enjoying because it's bedtime and I don't feel tired. And especially when it's something that, like your phone that connects you with your friends.

Man. I can't imagine my daughter's reaction to me taking that away from her. She doesn't connect with other people on the internet yet. She's too young for that. Yeah, that's huge. 

Juliet: [00:32:23] Soon, soon. But yeah, the way I see it as this is protective. We value sleeping as a family. We really think sleeping is gigantically important, and we actually talk about it in our professional life. So we feel like it's our obligation to protect our kids' sleep, and they can't do it themselves. They cannot do it themselves. We can't leave the phone dinging and iPad here and the computer here and expect them to not want to use those things. So we just hard and fast rule. It's 10 o'clock for our high school daughter and eight o'clock for our middle school daughter. Phone's gone. 

Andy: [00:32:54] I think that's fantastic. And just, it doesn't really matter I think sometimes what the exact rule is, but just setting rules and expectations and just making it really clear that we have these things because we value sleep.

We know it's important for your health. And it's something that we prioritize as well. So we're going to make this rule about the phone because of this value and we're all gonna follow it. 

Juliet: [00:33:19] Yes. Yup. And we do the same thing. We're not, we're not Kelly and I are not on our phones at one o'clock in the morning. We obviously can't be total hypocrites and we're aware of that too. It's like family phone pile is going right here. 

Andy: [00:33:33] Right. Yeah. I think that's super important and yeah, there's so much there too, like not being a hypocrite, obviously. I know it sounds obvious, but I catch myself, breaking that rule a dozen times a day too. Sometimes you do things that you're not aware of.

So what I want to do is we have a lot more to talk about, and we're going to talk more a little bit about body image, about sex and sexuality. And, we might even talk about health a little bit, but I would like to split this up and have that be in a part two because we've got a lot more to cover. So we will end this installment here and then start back up next time.

 Juliet: [00:34:12] Thanks Andy.  

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