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On this episode of the By HIs Grace podcast, Misty Phillip sits down with Molly DeFrank, the founder of the online Digital Detox, where she helps free families from their addictions to devices. We talk about detoxing from tech, the numbing out of dopamine levels, giving our kids a love of reading, the science behind the detox. Learn to be technology in its proper place.
Molly has a degree in international relations and worked as a press aide for former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. These days, she is a stay-at-home mom and foster mom to six kids ages twelve and under.
“It’s like flipping the switch. You get your kids back, they’re happier, they are calmer, they get along better, and they’re more creative”
Reset Dopamine levels.
Parents are in charge of their kids.
Bring your kids in on the conversation.
Two week digital detox….A simple two-week tech reboot can change everything. It refreshed, renewed, and transformed Molly DeFrank’s kids. Her new book explains how she did it and you can, too.
Digital Detox – Why should I do it?
If digital entertainment has an unhealthy hold on your children, if they’re grumpy
or throw tantrums after screen time or are glued to their devices and bored by
everything else, a digital detox is for you. Total removal of all digital entertainment is a tested and proven way to get back into the driver’s seat when it comes to screen time in your home. Apps and games are engineered to release excessive amounts of dopamine in our kids’ brains. Post-screen tantrums are related to dopamine crashes. Your detox recalibrates the dopamine levels in your kids’ brains.
How do I do it?
Two weeks, zero digital entertainment. In two weeks, you can UNDO the tech trance. Unplug, cold-turkey. Notice your kids’ giftings, areas for improvements, and interests. Develop a list of screen free fun ideas. Open the books! Gently nudge your most reluctant readers into reading for pleasure. Using your observations during the detox, you will create a long-term plan where technology serves as a tool for you, rather than the other way around. Your plan will use the best parts of tech, and ditch the stuff that caused undesirable behaviors in your kids. The goal is to put screens back in their right place in your home. The detox is the bridge to the results you crave.
Does it really work?
Our detox resolved a substantial amount of our parent/child conflicts. It turned our non-readers into bookworms. It revealed new interests to hone. It gave our family a fresh start. Moods improved dramatically. Our daughter skyrocketed five grade levels in reading over several months.
I’ve coached many families through their own detoxes. All of them shared incredible results. We heard things like: “We have so much more time to connect as a family”, “Fighting is at an all-time low”, “My girls have stopped asking for iPads and started doing other activities,” and “Molly—I have new kids.” The detox is simpler than parents could hope, and change is more dramatic than they can imagine.
When is the best time to begin?
A long weekend or extended vacation is ideal, or whenever both parents can be home. One fun option is to kick off a detox with a camping trip, where no internet reception is available. That said, there is no perfect time to begin. So if you can’t start on a weekend or the idea of camping makes you want to cry, just get your spouse on board and then pick a date on your calendar. Any day that ends in “y” will do.
Are you sure I can do this?
Not only are you detox candidates, but we are also kindred spirits. I happen to enjoy living life by the seat of my pants. Give me some broad principles and let me live the day as it comes. If you are this way, you can absolutely detox—and with wonderful results. I do recommend having several ideas ready for when things get wild (screamers in a store, fighting in the car at the drive-up pharmacy, etc.). Have your stacks of library books, your mental ideas for screen-free fun, and plenty of conversations with your spouse about observations and ideas. You do not have to check every box in this book for your detox to be effective. You do need to stick to its principles.
ABOUT THE BOOK
DIGITAL DETOX: It’s time to flip the switch and get your kids back.
Mom of six, Molly DeFrank was sick of screen-time meltdowns. She wanted more for her family, so she pulled the plug, declaring a digital detox for her kids. The transformation blew her away. She got her sweet, happy kids back. The detox was easier than she could have hoped and the results were better than she could have dreamed. In just two weeks, her children were free from the grip of digital devices. Their moods shifted immediately and their creativity exploded. They learned how to entertain themselves and enjoy life without screens.
Her experiment led to a total tech overhaul that changed her family’s life. The book details how she did it in just fourteen days, and how readers can, too.
WHY IS IT RELEVANT?
As if parenthood weren’t stressful enough, parents in 2022 are wading through entirely new challenges that didn’t exist for any previous generation. We are drowning in digital entertainment and distractions. Kids are literally addicted to and spend HOURS each day staring at screens and taking in images and messages – from who knows where.
On average, children ages 8-12 in the United States spend 4-6 hours a day watching or using screens, and teens spend up to 9 hours (
Studies show that 93.6% of Americans significantly increased their screen time in 2020-2021.
f parents don’t take a moment to clarify the role they want tech to play in their homes, it will continue to seep in and monopolize, stealing the moments, days, and years meant for connecting with, training, and forming their kids’ hearts and worldviews.
Parents are having vastly fewer conversations with their kids, resulting in disconnection and distance in their relationships and loss of influence.
Digital Detox: The Two-Week Tech Reset for Kids
The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains
Connect with Molly