16 Things to teach kids that school won't - SE3EP2 - Brian Perry and Luke Grim
This episode has been published and can be heard everywhere your podcast is available. Today we are joined by Brian Perry and Luke Grim - creators of https://www.these16things.com/ Brian is a Christian, husband, and father of 7 kids. He spends time coaching soccer, running obstacle course races, and serving as a counselor at a church camp for kids. Luke is a Christian, husband, and a proud father of eight children. Luke served in the U.S. Army and since retiring, is a 12th-grade teacher, youth soccer coach, church camp counselor, and men's group leader. Their book "16 Things to Teach Kids That School Won't" is a guide for parents aimed at preparing teens for adulthood. It outlines 16 essential life skills, providing practical strategies for teens. Join me for this insightful conversation with Brian Perry and Luke Grim. This Episode is brought to you by Skill Samurai – Coding & STEM Academy www.skillsamurai.com.au
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Speaker 1 (00:08): Welcome to the Parenting in the Digital Age podcast. Many parents are concerned that their child might be falling behind. Others are just looking for ways to help their children thrive, not just in the classroom, but socially and well into their future careers. Each episode we explore the challenges facing parents in the modern world, from behavior, education, and nutrition to device and gaming addiction. We interview a range of leaders in the area of childhood development to help you successfully navigate parenting in the digital age. Here is your host, Jamie Buttigieg.
Jamie: Good morning or good evening, gentlemen. Maybe, Luke, you wanna start us off with, maybe in your own words, tell us a bit about what you guys do and what you're passionate about. Luke Grim: Yeah, good morning, Jamie, I appreciate this. So Brian and I, this is Brian's baby and I'm just along for the joyride. We have a website called these16things.com and what we've realized is there's an audience of parents out there that are raising teenagers that this world is just upside down. Culture, media, television, video games, if you pick a medium out there, social media, there's something out there twisting our kids. away from what we probably want as values and morals. And so a lot of teens are being raised either on their own or by culture and media. And sometimes parents just kind of throw their hands up out of despair. So what we're aiming to do is to motivate, inspire and equip, you know, pick a cool word. They're all cool words. We want to help other parents because Brian and I, we got a bunch of kids too. And it's just tough, Jamie. So Brian can tell you more about the website, but. we're here to help out the parents and give them some ideas of sit down at the dining room table sit down and talk about this thing this week let's be intentional instead of being a hopeful so that's kind of it in a nutshell Jamie: Yeah, yeah, well put Luke and a worthy mission that you guys have. Brian, maybe you can tell us a bit about the website and the book, there is a book that parents can download from your website, 16 things to teach that schools won't. Tell us a bit about the website and the book. Luke Grim: Brian's muted. So while Brian is unmuting, I'm just kind of filling the airspace. Brian: How's that? Jamie: There Luke Grim: Go ahead Jamie: we Luke Grim: Brian. Jamie: go. Brian: There we go. I'm not even Luke Grim: Yeah Brian: sure. Okay. So the website is just a bunch of information about how to teach your kids life skills. And of course, it's these 16 things. So we have 16 different topics that we go through. And it's all about teaching the kids these skills. And we send out two lessons a week. There's gonna be one on Monday morning, one on Thursday morning. And they're both on the same topic, just two different lessons. Of course, that's our time here in the US. So different areas of the world, you're going to get it a little earlier, a little later, depending on where you are, but that's what we do. The book is a free book to get on there and download just on the menu up above at the top of the page website. Just click on book and you can go download the book and it goes through a lot more in-depth, I guess I'll say, information with other resources that you can click on to do. And then we're working on some other things and if you... Click on the, if you get to our website, sign up for our email list. Eventually we will be updating everybody on when those other resources will roll out, which will be even a, there's a lot on the website. This is gonna be way more than what's on the website as well. Jamie: Yeah, absolutely. And I recommend to parents go and get that book, particularly if you are a parent of teens or about to be a parent. If you've got a preteen, this book will be invaluable, really thought provoking. So how did you guys select the 16 skills that were highlighted in the book? Brian: I'll take that. It started out to be quite honest I heard another podcast and they were talking about things that kids should learn that they don't in school And I took that list which was not 16 is actually a little less and I took that and added some and Just launched that started working on all those skills. Once I brought Luke in he really I mean he added We changed out a few others Luke pointed out that a couple others should be in there more faith-based which is what? We're both Christians, so there is some faith stuff in there. And rightfully so, Luke pointed out that we need those, and I agreed. And so we added and changed out a couple others. But that's how we came up with it. Jamie: Was there an inspiration other than hearing the podcast? I mean, you guys have about, if I get the number right, it's about 15 kids between you, right? And was it based on your own journey with your own parenting journey? Or was there an inspiration that caused you to, or frustration? Like, what was the inspiration behind the book? Luke Grim: Oh, behind the books, that's a Brian question, yeah. Brian: So just for the whole entire thing, I have seven kids. And when I started, I had six, but when we started this project, I had six and my wife was pregnant. And I'm big on teaching the kids how to function in life. And I've been telling for years, you guys need to understand and learn what we do every day. So we earn money, whether it's through a business or work, the kids need to understand how to earn the money. We take care of our house in every way, whatever that is, whether that's just the finances, whether that's cleaning. cooking. We try to help the kids understand what we do and involve them in that as well. And then just how to let's say how to deal with people. We kids don't understand a lot of even adults don't really understand how to deal with people all the time, and how to just have a rational conversation. And so that's another thing we try to teach. And then of course, all the faith based stuff. So When I heard that podcast, immediately I said, we have to do something with this. I told my wife about it. I said, I have to do something with this because we do a lot of these things already and we're pretty passionate about it. And of course, Luke has even more kids than I do. So Luke has eight kids and, uh, I've, we've been friends here for a few years and I see him teaching his kids the same things. So I thought, why not bring Luke in? And, and he's a natural teacher as well. So I am. not the natural teacher, Luke definitely is. Jamie: Right. We're going to cover some of these things, some of these 16 things from career readiness, financial literacy, the importance of sleep and eating and exercise, mental health. I mean, even negotiation is in the book, you know, which I think it's a wonderful thing to be able to teach kids because I think it underpins almost everything we do in life. You know, I negotiate with my wife every day. So maybe, Luke, why don't you share your thoughts on the role of teachers in schools teaching these skills? You know. Obviously you've identified schools don't teach this. Now, is there a reason for that? Is it? It's not Luke Grim: Yeah, Jamie: surely it's not the teachers. Luke Grim: that is almost, almost a loaded question because I am a high school teacher. So, so Brian and his family, they homeschool our family, we homeschool, but I am a public school teacher. So a little bit of backstory there. So I served 20 years in the military and when I got out in 2017, I knew I wanted to be a teacher or principal, but I had become very, very disappointed You strike me as a guy that reads the news quite often. And America is just so divided. If you just pick a topic, I'm willing to bet the world is divided, but some countries more so. We're just divided on everything. And as politics grew and grew and grew, all of a sudden teenagers are, they hate Trump, they hate Biden, but they can't really tell you why. Their parents told them to, some teacher told them to, but they don't know why. They're just full of hate. We have teachers that are pushing ideology on either side, more so one than the other, but what is really the role of a teacher? You know, we live in a country that our math scores and our English and comprehension scores are just down in the tank, but teachers feel it's their job to teach all these other ideologies. Well, they're not licensed for that. They're licensed to teach math. I personally am licensed to teach government. That is what I actually get paid to do. is teach government citizenship. It's not my job to tell you what gender identity is. It's my job to teach government. But teachers are overstepping again and again and again. And so we'll pick one of the, you mentioned negotiation. If you're in a business class, maybe the teacher's job is to teach you that, but we're not tackling it from just a business standpoint alone. It's negotiating with Christ-like character. And so how do we teach our teenagers? So here's the crux of that one. How do we teach our teenagers to negotiate for a pay raise when they're out of the house? How do we teach them to negotiate to get into a graduate program at university? How do we teach them to negotiate with an airline about getting bumped up to first class? But how do we do that so that they're not selfish and ruining relationships? Well, Jamie, if you're like me, I don't bring my kids everywhere I go. And so they don't get to see dad negotiate. They don't get to really witness it. So unless we sit down and intentionally, and I really mean that, intentionally teach them how to do this, they're not gonna learn it. They'll be 30 years old till they finally figure it out. So I don't know that the teacher's role is actually to teach a lot of these things. And even if they did it, I think they're gonna go very one-sided. So we think these are very much parent-kid conversations, sitting down after dinner and just spending 20 minutes. It's awkward, maybe it's uncomfortable, I got it, but it. Our kids are worth it. They're worth their time. And I think they're hungry for these kinds of conversations, Jamie. Jamie: Yeah, look, I couldn't agree more, Luke. But, you know, there are things that parents just probably aren't equipped for. Like one of the examples I read in the book was emotional intelligence. You know, it's really important, but you know, I'm not gonna pick a number, but there are a bunch of parents out there that don't even know what emotional intelligence is, let alone how to build those skills in their kids. So maybe a question for any either of you is maybe talk a little bit about emotional intelligence. and why it's important to develop this in our teens. And then we'll talk a little bit about the how. Brian: Okay. So I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're meaning, but I have a story just from a couple of days ago. Of course, here in the U S we're celebrating the 4th of July independence day. And on the third couple of days ago, I don't know when this is going to come out, but a couple of days ago from right now, we, uh, we're walking home from fireworks downtown in our little small town and there was a four way stop and when the second guy back started to go out a little, uh, too early, started to go without stopping. And not even close to, not even remotely close to causing any sort of an accident. The cars must've been 20 feet away and one car laid on their horn, the car that was supposed to be going. And there's a guy walking right next to me with I'm gonna say his six year old daughter and is just absolutely irate. He wasn't even, there's no way this is gonna affect him at all, but we're walking up on the sidewalk. And he's just, he's irate. He's cussing at this guy, calling them all sorts of names. And it's just baffling that one emotionally, he just gets upset at something like that. Two, he's not even involved in the whole thing. And three, what's he teaching to his daughter to just flip out at the, you know, the first nuisance, the, the mildest nuisance that comes along and he's flipping out at it. And that's what I get from it. I try to teach my kids to stay calm. It doesn't matter. Even if that is something would have happened, the two cars would have hit and I'm walking by, it doesn't affect me. There's no point in getting upset. Jamie: Yeah. Brian: So, yeah. Luke Grim: I gotta Jamie: Yeah, Luke Grim: add Jamie: that... Luke Grim: on to that. And so what Brian's talking about is that parent is actually teaching by example, the opposite of what we'd like to teach. They're demonstrating by example. And so that parent actually does know. They're just living the other side. Here we go, finances, Jamie. Let's say you're broke. Let's say all three of us are just poor. Just because we happen to be poor doesn't mean we don't know what it means to open a bank account or what it means to put money away. or what it means to save retirement. We just don't do the things, but we know how. And so yeah, you're right, a lot of parents feel disqualified, but you know, that's a lie they're telling themselves and we wanna kind of break that. Parents are qualified. Maybe they're Jamie: Yeah. Luke Grim: not doing the things, I agree, but I think that we know, we know enough to have the conversations, maybe. That's what I think. Jamie: Yep. Yes. So you say it's a matter of just having those conversations and using those situations to teach those lessons when they come up. Luke Grim: Yeah, and you know, I put myself in the shoes of a, I don't know, a 15 year old boy, and my dad or my mom sits me down and says, hey, this is a tough topic here, but hey, son, we're gonna have a conversation about relationships and pornography. Wow, what 15 year old boy is trying to have that conversation? Zero, that's how many. So parents, if they avoid this conversation, the people that are pushing it are the people that want them addicted. and it ruins relationships. And if you're a girl, if you don't have that conversation, you can get involved in bad relationship. So whose job is it to sit them down? It's ours. But man, Jamie, it is tough, it's awkward. But I think that when you're done with that, you know, 20 minutes go by, 25, and even if you guys fight and argue about it, they realize, wow, my dad thinks that I'm worth it. They have that kind of a hard conversation, and I think they're gonna tuck it away. I think that conversation becomes a significant emotional event. They'll remember 10 years later. They'll remember 20 years later and do it with their kids. Jamie: Yeah, yeah, you're 100% correct. So there's a part of the book there that talks about the importance of giving back and charity. And it's something I try and do with my own children. We're involved in Rotary International, and we like to contribute both locally and internationally to as many causes as we can. But how does a parent, well, how do you guys go about instilling that sense of social responsibility or the habit of giving? And what are some of the benefits to those? kids and teens as they grow up. Brian: First of all, what we do to teach them this is one, we teach by example. So like we said earlier, Luke and I both go to church, we're both Christians, and we believe, I believe, that tithing 10% is what we should do. So we show the kids that we do that all the time, every week. Then my kids do earn a little bit of money. I have my own business, I'm a painter. We do painting, pressure washing, a bunch of stuff like that. So I actually have my kids clean out brushes and I pay them to clean out my brushes. And then sometimes they do get to go to work with me and earn a little bit more money. But what they do is when they get up to $20 for cleaning out brushes, I will give them the $20 and then they take 10% of that. I know it's only $2, but it's starting to teach them the skill. So they take $2, they put it in an envelope. Once they get up to whatever it is, sometimes it's just $2, sometimes they're up to $10 or so, then they can take that to church and tie that. If there's another organization that they have heard of that we are involved with and they want to do something with them, that's fine as well, they can give it to them. But they take the 10%, they tie it. They also take 10% and put it into what we call long-term savings, which is money they won't ever touch. Ideally, they're gonna live off that interest eventually. And then they take whatever else they want, whatever percentage they want, they put in the short-term savings, which is saving up for camp or something big they want to buy, and then they get the rest of the spend. But the Jamie: Yeah. Brian: tithing, the 10% tithing, that's how we teach them the responsibility of tithing. Jamie: Yeah, important skills that I think in your book you recommend is a Dave Ramsey's book as well. One of your recommendations. Brian: Yes, that's one of them. Jamie: Yeah, Luke Grim: Yeah, yeah, Jamie: yes. Luke Grim: total Jamie: Some Luke Grim: money makeover, Jamie: some good lessons Luke Grim: financial Jamie: in there. Luke Grim: piece, yeah. Are you familiar with Dave Ramsey? Jamie: Yeah. I am, yeah. Luke Grim: Yeah, so what Brian's doing is he's taking those ideas and those themes and he's actually putting them into effect. And how do we make our kids want to do that? And that, I don't have the picture perfect answer, I don't. But what Brian's doing is he's demonstrating, hey, I do this, so let's do this together. And I think that that's powerful. So again, back to that word is intentional. Brian is very intentional about what he wants his kids to do and giving them the why. Brian, how old are you older, too? Brian: 14 and just turned 13. Luke Grim: Yeah, so that's the age where kids, they wanna know the why. You know, they're done kinda just doing it cause you told them to. And if we can show them and give them the why, I think they'll continue being generous and selfless when they leave the house. That's kinda the goal. Jamie: Yeah, yeah, and it really is about building those habits early. I remember, you know, being furious as a kid, got my first job. And my dad's way of teaching was you spending nothing. You get nothing. I take your bank books and I'll give them to you when you're ready. And that was a little bit extreme. I thought now, okay, I was able to buy my first car and buy a house when I was 20 years old. But I don't know that it was the right way because when I was then afforded the ability to use my money. I didn't use it wisely because I wasn't taught the lessons. And so you're right. It is about building those habits early, but it's hard. You know, like I find it even like I've got a 19 year old son, they're all into instant gratification. I want that thing that, you know, thinking that thing is going to bring them happiness on some level and it never does. You know, how do you encourage like how do your kids go Brian, you know, with saving the 10%? Do they do they get it? Brian: The older ones get it, I think. And they're actually fairly excited sometimes. When they take it to church on just a normal Sunday, it's just standard. It's not a big deal. But when they come across, we're involved with a couple other missionary organizations. And I was on the board of one a while back. But when something would come up with them, they would say, hey, let's give this to Lafois, which they're based out of here, the US, and they were doing some work in the Dominican. public with Haitians, but he said, let's, you know, I want to give them to them this time and I know they need it here. So I think they are pretty excited to do that when something big comes up or if there's an event at church when they're raising money for something specific, they always come home and we usually put it in our safe. And again, it might get up to 10, $15, but they're asking if they can get that out so they can take it into church because they're raising money for again, something very specific and they want to take it in for that. So I think they do. They don't really understand yet. They know what we're doing, but they don't understand, I guess, all the implications, all the benefits to other people from it. Jamie: Yeah, but I think you're doing something good because you're building the habit early. And I think that that's part of it, just having the habit rather than trying to introduce it to a 19 year old or a 15 year old. You know, I think it is important as a parent to build those habits early, even if the why isn't quite fully there. Let's talk about failure for a minute. So our culture often only celebrates successes. How can we teach our teens to view failure as an opportunity for growth rather than a devastating setback? Luke Grim: I'll jump on this one. Last month, last year, Brian and I went, if you see his shirt, for those not able to see, Brian finished together, we did a lot of Spartan races last year, the obstacle course races in the mud, five miles, 10, 15. We did a whole lot of them across the United States. We got a whole bunch of medals. We feel like champions, right? Well, this year I went down to Fayetteville, North Carolina, it's on the East Coast, and I tried the hardest one, a 32-miler. And I knew that my knees, because I've had issues with them, they may act up and they did. About the eighth or ninth mile, I could feel it on my knee. At the 13th mile, I'm limping. At the halfway point, I'm putting on fresh socks and fresh shoes. I'm like, I'm done. This is gonna be a mess. So I get 27 miles out of 32, and I have to call it quits. I have tears of pain. Now, I'm not streaming, but I mean off and on for miles, because you also know what's about to happen. You can see the writing on the wall. I'm about to get in my vehicle, have to drive back home as a failure. And as I'm processing this, I'm out in the woods and I'm doing a lot of soul searching because I'm not used to failing. I'm not used to that level, you know, and I'm realizing there's actually a lesson for my kids. My kids are going to want to watch how dad goes through this. Dad, why didn't you just do the last five miles? I'm thinking, well, if I could, I clearly would have. But there's a lesson in that. And I think a lot of us as adults. We hide our own failures. We don't apologize to our kids. We don't tell them when we're at a crossroads trying to deal with some crazy situation. Maybe we'll talk to our spouse, but we don't share that with their kids. So they don't ever get to see that. So I made sure with my kids, I came home and said, yeah, this was, it stunk. It was pretty bad. But next year I'll be getting after it. And I know this and I know this. We had conversations. They gotta watch me go through a pretty big failure, at least for me. with my head held up high. So for this scenario, Jamie, I think parents maybe share. Let me know how you're feeling that you're going through it and model how to go through it, Jamie. Jamie: Yeah, absolutely. Be open and talk about it. Brian, did you want to add anything to that idea of failure and how we teach our kids to fail the right way? Brian: I do. So first of all, a lot of people can look at Luke's race and say, well, yeah, Luke failed and they kind of criticize them. And I've gotten that from different things. And what I usually realize is that the people who aren't even trying are the ones criticizing the most. So those that made it and finished that race wouldn't criticize, most likely wouldn't criticize at all because they were there. They understand what it took to even get there. And we've seen, Again, we were on a lot of races last year. We know some that were, I don't remember some of the percentage of the people that didn't make it, but it was a very high percentage of people didn't make it. And there's no criticizing from the people that are there. And they may go home and get some criticism from, you know, again, the people who are probably sitting on their couches, not doing anything. But so first of all, understand that. But as far as teaching the kids that failure is okay, is letting them fail. A lot of parents want to step in and make sure their kid succeeds and then their kid doesn't learn anything. So it's okay to be a little hands off, let the kid fail, and then talk about that and say, you know what, you're not really failing unless you give up right now. If you get back out there and try it again, you can succeed. And it's just a stepping stone to get to your whatever goal you're pushing for. So I, my, I guess my point is just let the kids. Give them some freedom. Let the kids fail sometimes. Obviously if they're gonna Seriously injure themselves or die. We don't want to fail at that But if it's something small let them fail and it's okay. Talk about it Help them push past that and succeed in that. Excuse me succeed next time Luke Grim: Jamie, Jamie: Yeah. Luke Grim: one of your podcast guests was talking about tabletop RPGs last month. I was listening to some of that and we're big board gamers of the house. Brian and the family, they do games and there's a lot of value. And maybe eight years old, eight to 12 is kind of a good section to start, but I don't know, I'll be sitting down with my kids and my wife and my wife can feel really bad for me because like, Luke, why are you beating our kids so bad at the games? Like, well, it's not all the time, but I'm like. I don't want to save the kid and just give it away. Because there's a lesson to that. And you do that too many times in a row. Brian's big into soccer at the soccer league with coaching. And I can't imagine what that would do to a kid to not let a kid fail sometimes. Jamie: Yeah. Luke Grim: I mean, at our house, it's controlled. We can control it and work through it. But when they're 19 years old, Jamie, you said you got a 19-year-old when they're out. That is not the time to learn how to process that. That's a tough Jamie: Yeah. Luke Grim: time. Jamie: And I think it starts early. I've got an 18 month old granddaughter and, you know, she's about to fall. And you can see she's about to fall. Naturally, you want to step in and stop them from falling. But you've got to let them fall. You've got to let them know that they can that they can figure out how to go down those stairs or up those stairs themselves. Well, they're never going to figure out life. So I think I think it starts from literally that age. So in an era where maybe I'm a little over critical on this, but I think you know, schools and sporting clubs, everyone's a winner, everyone gets a ribbon, you know, like, how can parents help their kids build self-esteem in their teens without fostering a sense of entitlement? Brian: I think it starts with just not, first of all, I don't think you are over critical of this. Everybody thinks, you know, there's no losers, everybody wins. We've been in leagues where they're not keeping score or anything and we don't want to have a loser. I've heard some schools are now doing away with, oh man, I can't even think of it. The, the boy, what am I thinking of? Luke, help me out. You know this. Luke Grim: We're talking about certain tests homework. They're doing his homework colleges doing away with SATs Brian: No, the smartest person in the class. Boy. Luke Grim: Oh, like the Jamie: call these ducks. Luke Grim: valedictorian. Brian: valedictorian, Jamie: Yeah. Luke Grim: Oh, Brian: yes. So Luke Grim: in 2017, Brian: they're doing away. Luke Grim: 2017 Brian: Yeah. Luke Grim: in Texas, 26 valedictorians. This made national news. It was a high school in Texas, 26. And they did some interview with the district people. And like, well, we just felt like all these people did so well. You can't possibly set yourself apart from your peers when you want to go to a college or university when everyone got what you got. Sorry, Brian, Brian: Yep. Luke Grim: I just, yeah. Brian: No, I couldn't even, I couldn't even think of it. My, it just slipped my mind right there. So, um, but I've heard some schools are doing away with the valedictorian because they don't want anyone else to feel bad that they don't, that they didn't get in, of course, and youth sports, sometimes everybody gets a trophy. And Luke mentioned that I took, I coached soccer and I mean, most of the time, these kids, I was at U 11 and so these are eight, nine and 10 year olds. And. They understand, they know if they've won or lost. So us going in and saying, you know, it's all for fun, it doesn't matter, isn't really helping the kids, to be honest. Now, I don't agree with going out there and be like, we have to win this game, and we're losers if we don't win this game. I don't agree with that either, but understanding that sometimes you lose in life, and that's okay. It's all right to lose this game. Let's work on what we need to and come back next time and hopefully beat this team. Jamie: Yeah, and if we don't teach that as kids, you know, they get into what we call the real world, they get into a place of employment, whatever that job looks like, and they don't get a promotion. And they can't understand why, like if they go through a significant emotional event or trauma because they didn't get a raise or I didn't get a job promotion. And they can't figure out these things because they've been taught their whole life that everybody should win. Brian: And then when they do lose, we have to worry about their mental health. Jamie: Yeah. Brian: It's all Luke Grim: So Brian: about their Luke Grim: Jamie, Brian: mental health because they're not used to it. Sorry, go ahead. Luke Grim: so I mentioned I'm a teacher and I actually work with our alternative education program kids that are not going to graduate because they don't have enough credits, right? They're at risk of being a dropout and at the high school level, you know, we have all these teachers that they just want to wrap them up. They just want to love on them and tell them it's going to be OK here. Let me help you pass this class here. Here let me let me do away with these assignments. because they're bringing your grade down. In other words, Jamie, imagine you took a test and you scored a 10% or you just never took the test. I'm like, gosh, Jamie's got an F because of this test. Let me just take the test off of the books. And these sort of things again and again and again, if there's a lesson to that, and these kids are gonna leave high school and they are leaving high school, they are not prepared for true success and they're not prepared for true defeat. They think that the world is a warm and cozy place. And at the same time, they're about to have to balance a rent payment with utilities and food and gasoline and a vehicle. Then they have to go to work and be efficient and effective and know how to negotiate and know how to talk to people. And then, because they spent years on their phones, they don't know how to interact and date. We're in for a world of hurt. It's looking really, really bad. So... The stuff Brian's talking about with the soccer kids, imagine you're the parent of the soccer kids. This is our chance. Sit down at the table and talk about winning and losing. Yeah, have a conversation. This is what it looks like. And here's an example when I won. Here's an example when I lost. And here's how I dealt with them. Our kids kind of actually want to hear our stories. Jamie: Yeah, it's often those defeats that define you. Like I know about business and you know, when I get knocked down and knocked about and get bruised, it's what's created the business or the person that I am today. Like you need to have those knocks. If you don't, I'm not sure what sort of life or quality that you have. In your book, guys, you talk about the importance of sleep. And you know, this is something I actually thought all teenagers were really, really good at. They're all good at sleeping. I think my 19 year old is still sleeping this morning, right? So, you know, how can parents and educators better emphasise the importance of sleep? You know, given the modern distractions, you know, like there are a lot of teens who, you know, they'll finish dinner, they'll watch some TV, they go to their room and they're on their phone for hours. Like it's a problem. You know, is this getting in the way of sleep? What's your advice to parents and or teens here? Brian: I would say take the phone away. Maybe they can have it up until eight o'clock or whatever that time is, give them sufficient time to get that out of their system before they can go to sleep. But it really even starts before that. So Luke and my kids, none of them have any sort of social media. My 14 year old does have a phone. She texts with it and that's about it. Maybe watches some YouTube videos. but she understands what she can and what she can't watch. But she's learning how to be able to use that phone responsibly. And she sees us not constantly on social media. So we've talked to her about the importance of not being on it, especially at her age. So there's no distraction of her trying to scroll through TikTok at 10 o'clock at night instead of going to sleep. And she understands that, I think. Now, my 13 year old, he just turned 13, 14 year old is a girl. 13 year old as a boy, he doesn't quite understand that. And that's why his phone, or technically it's not even his phone. We bought a phone for the kids from when they go stay the night somewhere. So any of the younger kids can now take that phone when they go somewhere, but he has it most of the time. And we see him texting all the time sometimes. So that's been actually taken away and now we leave that in our room. So learning the boundaries before they get to that age where they can even be scrolling through their social media or whatever they're looking at. And, but if they already have it, it's just sitting them down and having that discussion of saying, hey, this is harming you. It may not feel like it day to day or minute by minute even, but this is, it will harm you. This is harming you staring at your phone constantly. How about we both put it away and, and hey, as a parent, all do the same. I'm gonna put it away after eight and nine o'clock, whatever that is. They're just trying to teach them. Go ahead. Jamie: Yeah. Luke Grim: Yeah, so you mentioned a 14, 13 year old. So here's how it affects them when they're 16, 17, 18 in high school about to finish. I'll call a parent or family about 10, 30 in the morning, maybe 11, and I'm just trying to check up on one of these kids. I'm like, hey, you know, they're about to fail this semester. They're gonna fail algebra. And the parent will answer. I'm like, hey, is Billy there? Billy's still asleep. I'll look at the clock. It's like 11 o'clock. Well, would you mind getting Billy up? It's kind of important. Oh, he just went to bed about four hours ago. And I'm doing some math. I'm like, four, that means he went to bed at 5 a.m. And me, coming from the army for so many years, I'm pretty direct. I'm like, so I just wanna make sure I heard that your son went to bed at 7 a.m. How's that work? Well, he can only do so many hours at work because he's only awake during this amount of time. And Yeah, he's up pretty late doing video games and on TikTok and stuff. And so, you know, we just kind of let him sleep. These are parents that have given up. They have made a choice. They made a choice to disengage. And that choice is gonna hurt that kid badly. And I didn't even thought about it, Jamie, when you asked us about sleep, Jamie: Ruff! Luke Grim: and I said, man, the world is in for some hurt. Add this to it. Kids that can't keep a job because they're only awake during certain times. How are they gonna do college? How are they gonna do anything? The advent of the smartphone, it's looking pretty bad for teens nowadays. Jamie: Yeah, it's interesting. So let me be the devil's advocate here, Luke Grim: Yeah. Jamie: Brian. So some would say that's an extreme view, you know, that if we don't let them have phones or we don't let them have social, that we exclude them from how kids are now forming social networks and how they form friend groups. How would you respond to that? Brian: I would say that I think my kids have a pretty good social network. They still have a lot of friends. We're even homeschooled too. So you would think, well, Bryant's kids probably just don't have any interaction. They can't be on social media. They don't even have access to their phones all the time. And they probably just sit at home and we're like the Waltons or something. We're just sitting home on our farm, not doing anything. But our kids are constantly busy. Where our kids are friends with the grim kids? There's a couple other families We're friends with and it's like sometimes like guys you just need to stay home at some point here Just stay home and stop Planning stuff with all your friends and there's still ways around that they can still maybe email them and of course the older ones who are doing the planning do have their phones and they can they can make all their plans, but I understand that Maybe not being on social media or not having quite that much access to their phone or to a computer is... I'm gonna say harming, but I don't believe it is. But it could be taken as harming because now they're not learning skills that all the other kids are learning. But as a different, as another example, a few weeks ago, I have my daughter here on the other side of my door, my two-year-old yelling dad, she, or a few weeks ago, well, I'd say a few weeks ago, probably a couple months ago, we had a bunch of kids over to our house. And of course... Like I said, we have seven kids, Grimps have eight, we have other friends with four, and I'm gonna say that night there must have been at least six extra kids staying at my house. And one of Luke's kids actually comes in, we got home from soccer, my wife's cooking dinner, comes in and the first thing she says, Mrs. Perry, do you need any help making dinner? So as a Luke, she's 12, 13, but Luke Grim: We're talking Brian: Naomi, Luke Grim: about Eva Naomi. Brian: Naomi. Luke Grim: Yeah, she's 13 now. Yeah, 13. Brian: 13. So she comes in as a 13 year old, asked my wife to if she needs any help. And then she didn't, it was almost done, but we ended up having dinner. And then all the girls stayed downstairs, all the teenage girls stayed downstairs and talked, talked to us, the adults. They, we had a, we have a baby as well. One of Luke's kids was holding the baby. A couple others were cleaning up dinner. One of them started wiping off our cabinets and everything. And I guess my point is Luke Grim: Brian, Brian: that Luke Grim: don't gloss past that for anyone listening. Everyone that's listening has been to a restaurant and they've watched a family of five, all heads down, buried in electronics. They've seen a mom in a grocery store pushing a two-year-old who's buried in an iPad. We've all seen it. So that picture you just painted, Brian, is really powerful. A whole gang of, really, girls in this scenario, but they're engaging, they're having conversations. So Brian: Yep, Luke Grim: I Brian: and Luke Grim: just, Brian: in. Luke Grim: whoever's listening, that's worth. talking about. Brian: So instead Jamie: Yeah. Brian: of running back upstairs and scrolling through TikTok, or in my opinion, worse, making TikTok dances, they stay downstairs and they talked to adults. Now what teenage girls wanna do that? Or what teenagers in general wanna do that? And so I guess my point is if that's weird or awkward, I'll take that. I will take that because I have friends who they're kids, much, much younger, seven, eight years old. They're just like, oh, they're obsessed with TikTok. And all they want to do is make TikToks. It's like, come on, man. I want to teach my kids to be able to function in life. And I'm not saying that there is just, you either want to do TikToks or whatever social media and you can't function, or you're 100% like our kids. There is a lot of middle ground and anywhere in between. And I do, this is going long, but I do understand that technology is becoming more and more prominent and my kids aren't necessarily learning that. They are in some ways, just not in every way that would seems normal nowadays, but I'll take that. I'll take the functioning in life first, and then they can start to add in technology. Jamie: Yeah, no, I think you make a compelling case, Brian, and well put. And then this is partly why we started our coding and STEM Academy, our own learning centers here in Australia. And we've got a few in the US and Canada, but it's because we recognize there is this deep problem in society. And I'm not gonna, screens necessarily aren't the problem. It's the applications that are on the screens, designed to be deliberately addictive. And so we, like you, we believe there's a better way and kids can have a blend of both. And so we want to just take kids and put them on the creator's side of technology. Learn computer programming. That'll teach you failure. That'll teach you resilience. That'll teach you teamwork. That'll teach you leadership. That'll teach you to be an innovator. That'll teach you to think computationally and learn how to solve problems. And so I think there is a healthy space for technology use. I don't know, certainly I've found a perfect balance in my household, if I'm completely honest, but I know I can do better as a father. But it doesn't mean we should stop trying, you know, the first Luke Grim: Yes. Jamie: step is self-awareness, right? Luke Grim: Yeah, and I really love the idea of the coding that you're talking about is that you're intentionally trying to take kind of an issue of people, all these things and intentionally put the energy towards this. Intentionally teach problem solving, intentionally teach this. And if someone went to a website and all these different items, these 16 things on there, every single one of them is designed for a parent to sit down with the kid and intentionally have this talk. So you're right, I love your devil's advocate approach. I don't think Brian was saying it's all or nothing. Because I know Brian, but it did, it had that sound. There's a balance, but any parent out there, I mean this, any parent, if you ask them, what do you want for your kids when it comes to addiction to electronics? Because that's really what we're talking about. What is it that you want? They're all gonna tell you they don't want their kid addicted to electronics. Well, the following question is, are you willing to have a tough conversation with them about it? We didn't say take their phones. That's not what we're proposing. We're just saying have a conversation and let it go where it goes, right? It's your family. It's in your house. But are you willing to have the conversation? I think some people won't because they feel like they've given up. So we really want to encourage if anyone's listening, they feel like they've lost control. They have a 17 year old. They don't know what to do anymore. Definitely want to encourage you. You are qualified, you do know what you need to know. It's just a conversation with your kid. That's it, that's a conversation. Jamie: Yeah, well said. Appreciate that sentiment, Luke. And I'd also encourage anyone who is in that position to download this book. What is the website, guys? Brian: It is Jamie: Leave16things.com. Brian: these, correct, these16things.com. So it's these16things.com. Jamie: You know, like I went straight to the website. You didn't even need to put in your email address. Like the guys here are so generous in giving you this content. And at the end of every chapter is a kind of how to, it's almost a playbook for each of the 16 things. So like I know as a parent, sometimes it can be a little bit overwhelming. Which conversation do you have first? And there's no easy answer, but start having one conversation. Luke Grim: And so Jamie: Quick Luke Grim: Jamie, Jamie: one, Luke Grim: yeah, Jamie: go ahead. Luke Grim: yeah. So Brian had talked about the newsletters and you just said, it's like which conversation? And so as Brian and I alternate, he's writing this week and I'll write next week. Yeah, anyone that signs up and they get the newsletters, give it a skim, it's a five minute read, maybe 10. And if it's not for you, delete it, move on with your day. But if it strikes you as meaningful for your house, consider talking to your kids about that thing that week. Yeah. Jamie: Yeah, yeah, thank you. One point on careers, in your opinion, and you can both take this or one of you take this, what is the most, hard one to answer, what's the most important skill or attribute that a teenager should develop for career readiness? Brian: In my opinion, it's how to deal with people. So I don't know, have you heard of the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People? Jamie: I just gave it to my 15 year old daughter. Brian: Okay, I Jamie: Yep. Brian: made before my daughter went to camp this summer, she had to read two books and that was one of them. And she just got back a week or two ago. So as a 14 year old, yes, she had to read that. But in that book, Dale Carnegie is talking about, and I can't remember who it is, but they were saying, he was saying that this guy had no experience in that industry. But what he did have is he had the ability to deal with people. And a lot of times businesses or if you're looking to get a job at a business, it's not necessarily the people who are the most skilled in that particular field. It's the people who understand how to deal with, with other people, especially if you want to move up in the business, higher, low, lower level, may not really matter a whole lot, but if you want to move up, you have to learn to deal with people and business owners. I, I agree with that as well as a business owner. Um, it is, I think it's easier to have the business succeed if you know how to deal with people. Now something where you're online, only working online and not ever having to deal with people, maybe the technical skills are better, but in my opinion, how to deal with people is just right near the top of that list. Jamie: Good. What do you reckon, Luke? What's at the top of your list for the number one career skill to develop in your team? Luke Grim: Yeah, Brian's answers are my top three. For me, it's a balance between serving in humility with confidence and arrogance and understanding what those four things mean. But again, that blends into what Brian's talking about. So even coming from a military background, leaders that are humble are not weak. And it takes a mature person to finally understand that. Being a humble leader and a servant leader is not weakness. I promise you, when you are not around, they're making some tough, strong decisions. This is males and females. It's not a male only thing. But knowing how to balance between the two. And the earlier they can get that, the better they'll do it. What Brian's talking about is knowing how to interact. Yeah, I like it. Jamie: This is, I'm going to add one and we'll make it the holy trinity of career skills, decision making and problem solving. That for me is probably an important. So definitely the people skills are important as well. But certainly the ability to be able to make a decision. Too many kids today I see in our own classrooms, they're afraid to make a decision because their parents have made every decision for them. And when you get into the workplace, you are in trouble. When you get into life, you're in trouble. When you get into a marriage, you'd be in trouble. If you can't make great decisions and solve problems. But anyway, that's, maybe those three can be in a book one day. Guys, Luke Grim: Ha ha. Jamie: we've got to wrap it up. I'll finish with a nice light question. Which of the 16 things do you wish you had learned earlier in your own life? Share that. Luke Grim: Mine's easy, financial literacy. I was, until I met my wife, I was a mess with finances. So that's an easy one for me. Jamie: ride. Brian: I mean, I would have to agree with that as well, but since he said that, um, I'll go back to how to deal with people. Uh, I'm sure I have made a lot of people mad that whether I didn't mean to, or, or I just shouldn't have. And it probably just came down to how I was dealing with them and maybe not even understanding that, that I was upsetting them, whatever. So, uh, I, I just think that's a very important skill to learn. Jamie: Yeah, wonderful Luke Grim: What about Jamie: guys. Luke Grim: you, Jamie? Jamie: Ooh, Luke Grim: No, Jamie: which of the 16 things? Luke Grim: what do you wish, just in general, what do you wish you would have known when you were younger how to do better? Jamie: Look, I had great mentors when I was young. I got had to be friends and influence people when I was about 14 as well. And it changed my life. I had some great, great young mentors. For me, look at the risk of repetition. It was financial literacy. My parents thought they were teaching it to me by taking literally every money cent I earned. They took it and then gave it to me when I was sort of 18 or 19. And then that created a train wreck because I had all this money. and wasn't taught how to use it, save it, donate with it and all those sorts of things. So financial literacy, probably the other one for me is healthy habits, healthy habits around food, healthy habits around exercise. It's still something that I need to wrestle with, largely mentally, but I think that would be the other one for me. Thank you for asking. Guys, thanks for your generosity. I know I've got a lot out of today's conversation. I wanna stay connected with you guys. I think to be honest, if you're not developing it already, you need some sort of camp where parents and teens can come. You need some sort of course, because the combined knowledge, the information I read in the book is a game changer. So I encourage you to pursue your mission and keep doing the great work that you're doing. And I look forward to seeing what eventuates from these 16 things in the future. Thanks for your generosity. Brian: Thank you, thanks for having us here. Luke Grim: Take care, Jamie: You're welcome. Luke Grim: Jamie. Enjoy some coffee this morning. Jamie: Will do. Cheers guys. Okay.
If you enjoyed the show, please connect with Jamie on LinkedIn or Instagram. You'll find links in the podcast description. Parenting in the Digital Age is sponsored by Skill Samurai Coding and STEM Academy for Kids. Skill Samurai offers afterschool coding classes and holiday programs to help kids thrive academically and socially while preparing them for the careers of the future. Visit www.skillsamurai.com.au. This episode is sponsored by Skill Samurai - Coding & STEM Academywww.skillsamurai.com.au
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