Listeners may know Brady Smith and his wife Tiffani Thiessen from their work in film and television. What you may not know is that they’re passionate about helping families reassess their relationship with screens.
In 2019, they published You’re Missing It, a children’s book that’s a cautionary tale about what happens when parents find themselves glued to their phones. During the months of COVID lockdown, Brady created a hit Instagram show called Random Acts of Drawness, inviting kids to draw and doodle in real life away from screens. This happy accident led to the launch of his latest book by the same name–now available everywhere super-awesome activity sketchbooks are sold.
Listen in as Brady joins START co-founder Krista Boan for a conversation about the book and their efforts to help their kids develop healthy relationships with screens.
Screen Sanity is Executive Produced by Krista Boan and START.
It is produced and edited by Mike Cosper for Cosper Productions.
Krista Boan: [00:00:00] Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Screen Sanity podcast. I’m your host, Krista Boan, cofounder of Start, where we help families raise happy and healthy kids in a world that is increasingly digital. We’ve had hundreds of conversations with parents everywhere who share the number one battleground in their homes is screen time.
[00:00:20] And while we’ve learned that there is no easy button when it comes to parenting today’s kids, there’s also an unbelievable movement of parents who are stepping into the arena and fighting for their kids’ hearts. Each episode, our guests’ll help us dive into some of the tensions families are facing, and walk us through some of the conversations you’ll wanna have to prepare your kids for the road ahead.
[00:00:41] Welcome to Screen Sanity.
[00:00:46] All right, all right. So, if you have been following along with Start, you are catching on that we are pretty passionate about helping parents figure out how to keep their kids happy and healthy, in a crazy, increasingly digital world. And we are so excited today for our conversation with a very special guest and comrade in arms when it comes to helping families re-imagine what it looks like to stay captivated by life, not screens, actor and artist Brady Smith.
[00:01:16] Now, if you need proof, I will direct you to his Instagram feed, and it’s filled with memories that he has made with his family, and they’re doing things like taking the long way home, and canoeing in a mountain stream, and making a jungle gym out of giant sequoias, and just in general palling around his art studio in LA with his two kids, Harper and Holt, and his wife, Tiffani Thiessen. And of course, I’d be remiss not to mention that oh, by the way, they have four dogs, six chickens, and one super-chatty parakeet.
[00:01:54] And while it’s tempting to write this family off as just, you know, another Hollywood super couple living a glamorous Instagram life, I think you’ll quickly see that Brady’s role as an actor and artist and author is second to his authentic passion to be a great dad and husband.
[00:02:14] And so this couple that we’re oftentimes used to seeing on the other side of a screen is actually about as intentional as any family can be when it comes to interacting with screens, and trying to help their kids stay healthy and balanced when it comes to screen time.
[00:02:29] So, Brady, welcome to the Screen Sanity podcast.
[00:02:32]Brady Smith: [00:02:32] Well, thank you. Again, I’m flattered to be here, and I appreciate you guys having me. So thank you very much.
[00:02:40]Krista Boan: [00:02:40] Yeah. Well, you may or may not know, but at Start, we kind of have five big ideas that we share with parents when it comes to screen time. And we always kind of start in the same place, which is an idea that we call start with yourself.
[00:02:54]Brady Smith: [00:02:54] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
[00:02:54]Krista Boan: [00:02:54] And so it’s this idea that if we want our kids to really have a healthy relationship with technology, we need to model a healthy relationship with technology. So it’s that idea that behaviors are more easily caught than taught. And it turns out that you have given a little thought to this idea yourself.
[00:03:11]Brady Smith: [00:03:11] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
[00:03:12]Krista Boan: [00:03:12] So much so that it led you and Tiffani to create a children’s book called-
[00:03:16]Brady Smith: [00:03:16] Yeah.
[00:03:16]Krista Boan: [00:03:16] … You’re Missing It. So I would love… would you give us the backstory? Would you take us on a journey of what led you to be passionate about this topic, and kinda how your book came to be?
[00:03:26]Brady Smith: [00:03:26] Absolutely. My- my mother was an elementary school librarian, and I got my degree from a very small college in Nacogdoches, Texas, the oldest town in Texas, called Steven F. Austin State University. I got my bachelor of fine arts there. So, graduated college, went back home to Houston, Texas, started my illustration design company, and my mom, back to the children’s book, my mom always wanted me to write a children’s book, since I had this ability to draw. I just… I never had that- that oomph of an idea, that light bulb of an idea.
[00:04:03]Krista Boan: [00:04:03] Yeah.
[00:04:03]Brady Smith: [00:04:03] And I played around with ideas over the years, eventually moved out to Los Angeles, eventually started working small costars, guest stars, to recurring, to, you know, larger roles. Met my wife [laughs] on a blind date, which my parents had met on a blind date, which is kinda cool.
[00:04:22]Krista Boan: [00:04:22] Oh my goodness.
[00:04:23]Brady Smith: [00:04:23] Yeah. Started dating, I had never seen, um, [laughs]-
[00:04:29]Krista Boan: [00:04:29] Wait-
[00:04:29]Brady Smith: [00:04:29] … an episode of Saved by the Bell or 90210.
[00:04:32]Krista Boan: [00:04:32] Pause. Pau-… wait, what?
[00:04:34]Brady Smith: [00:04:34] Yeah.
[00:04:34]Krista Boan: [00:04:34] What did you do… wait, what? [laughs]
[00:04:36]Brady Smith: [00:04:36] Yeah. Yeah. I know.
[00:04:37]Krista Boan: [00:04:37] ‘Cause I’m sitting here listening to you say blind date, and I’m thinking, how did that happen?
[00:04:44]Brady Smith: [00:04:44] Yeah.
[00:04:44]Krista Boan: [00:04:44] But you never saw an episode.
[00:04:46]Brady Smith: [00:04:46] I ended up… I did a guest star on a TV show, and one of my wife’s friends was the woman I was playing opposite on the date with.
[00:04:58]Krista Boan: [00:04:58] Okay.
[00:04:58]Brady Smith: [00:04:58] And then she set us up on a blind date.
[00:05:00]Krista Boan: [00:05:00] Okay, gotcha.
[00:05:01]Brady Smith: [00:05:01] Um, I- I was aware of who my wife was an actress.
[00:05:06]Krista Boan: [00:05:06] Sure.
[00:05:07]Brady Smith: [00:05:07] But I had never seen her work per se.
[00:05:10]Krista Boan: [00:05:10] Okay. Okay.
[00:05:12]Brady Smith: [00:05:12] So, you know, all my friends back home are still like, dude.
[00:05:16]Krista Boan: [00:05:16] [laughs]
[00:05:16]Brady Smith: [00:05:16] Because they all watched Saved by the Bell-
[00:05:22]Krista Boan: [00:05:22] Yeah.
[00:05:23]Brady Smith: [00:05:23] … and I didn’t. You know, I mean, I had nothing against Saved by the Bell. I just was outside climbing trees or riding my bike.
[00:05:30]Krista Boan: [00:05:30] Yeah.
[00:05:30]Brady Smith: [00:05:30] I mean, I don’t know, I’d just never seen it. But we ended up dating, and then we got married, and then we had kids. I’m- I’m going somewhere with this, I promise.
[00:05:36]Krista Boan: [00:05:36] No, this is great. [laughs]
[00:05:39]Brady Smith: [00:05:39] Then we got a bunch of dogs and chickens, and then cut to, I am pushing my son on a swing, I think he’s about two years old, and I’m looking at my phone with my other hand, so I’m doing the one-handed swing push.
[00:05:53]Krista Boan: [00:05:53] Oh, yeah. [laughs]
[00:05:54]Brady Smith: [00:05:54] And my wife literally opened up our kitchen window and screamed at me, loving, across the yard, “You’re missing it.”
[00:06:04]Krista Boan: [00:06:04] Oh…
[00:06:05]Brady Smith: [00:06:05] And I was like, huh. Bing, light bulb. Wow, this is, uh, what a relevant issue that I am 100% guilty of. This could be something. So I went to my little studio, uh, very amateurishly, if you will, stapled some eight and a half by eleven pieces of paper together.
[00:06:29]Krista Boan: [00:06:29] Oh, love it.
[00:06:29]Brady Smith: [00:06:29] Fleshed out the story. You know, I mean, it was, you talk about scrappy, this was the scrappiest, uh, you know, children’s book pitch of all time.
[00:06:39]Krista Boan: [00:06:39] So good.
[00:06:39]Brady Smith: [00:06:39] But I- I brought it in, and I was like, hey… and I didn’t mention anything to her beforehand, I just went in and just kinda did it. And I said, “What do you think of this?” And she’s like, “Wow, this is really… this is very relevant.” I was like, “Right?” It’s about a little boy’s perspective of his father [laughs] being on the phone.
[00:07:00]Krista Boan: [00:07:00] Yeah.
[00:07:00]Brady Smith: [00:07:00] And missing out on a day out at the park.
[00:07:03]Krista Boan: [00:07:03] Oh, wow.
[00:07:03]Brady Smith: [00:07:03] And then he becomes friends with a little girl, and this little girl’s mom is on the phone. So the whole time these- these two children are witnessing everyday things, but in a child’s eye, they’re miraculous. Like, you know, butterflies, squirrels chasing each other, the stuff that we as adults have kinda, you know, been there, done that-
[00:07:26]Krista Boan: [00:07:26] Yeah.
[00:07:26]Brady Smith: [00:07:26] … to kids, it’s all brand new and beautiful.
[00:07:30]Krista Boan: [00:07:30] Yeah.
[00:07:30]Brady Smith: [00:07:30] And they kept re-… you know, back to their parents who are on the phone, they’re like, “You’re missing it!”
[00:07:35]Krista Boan: [00:07:35] Yeah.
[00:07:36]Brady Smith: [00:07:36] And then finally, something happens where the dad is knocked back into, uh, being present, if you will. And it’s a, you know, a rhino escapes from the zoo, and the boom, boom, boom, of the heavy rhino’s feet knocks the phone out of the dad’s hand.
[00:07:51]Krista Boan: [00:07:51] [laughs]
[00:07:51]Brady Smith: [00:07:51] It’s adorable.
[00:07:54]Krista Boan: [00:07:54] It is adorable.
[00:07:54]Brady Smith: [00:07:54] [laughs] Thank you. And then-
[00:07:56]Krista Boan: [00:07:56] Yeah.
[00:07:56]Brady Smith: [00:07:56] And then that’s it, that was our first book, You’re Missing It, and we’re- we’re super proud of it, we’re incredibly proud of the message, so.
[00:08:02]Krista Boan: [00:08:02] Well, I just think that there’s something and life-giving about shedding light on a really hard challenge through a children’s book, because it kind of flips the perspective-
[00:08:14]Brady Smith: [00:08:14] Yeah.
[00:08:14]Krista Boan: [00:08:14] … from the lens of kind of casting shame about, you know, our addiction and our need for our phones.
[00:08:20]Brady Smith: [00:08:20] Right.
[00:08:20]Krista Boan: [00:08:20] And instead, it kind of shifts it into more of an invitation into something better. And the other thing I love about it is that it’s just kinda lighthearted, and- and that can be such a disarming thing, and- and provide a safe space for us to just take an honest look at our screen habits, in a way that says, gosh, okay, this is in a children’s book, so clearly, I’m not the only one struggling out there.
[00:08:43]Brady Smith: [00:08:43] Yeah.
[00:08:43]Krista Boan: [00:08:43] We’re all in this together.
[00:08:45]Brady Smith: [00:08:45] You know, thank you for noticing that. I mean, the- the goal is obviously the- the hero of the story are the children, and they’re the… they’re who the book is for, so obviously, you want to, uh, make them the- the focus in the area of the story, but also, it was really important to me and to my wife to… what you said, there’s no shame.
[00:09:06]Krista Boan: [00:09:06] Right.
[00:09:06]Brady Smith: [00:09:06] And we’re not pointing fingers. And when- when my wife and I did the book tour, we always started it off with, you know, we are not innocent here. We- we just suggest everything in moderation, basically.
[00:09:20]Krista Boan: [00:09:20] Right, right.
[00:09:21]Brady Smith: [00:09:21] Um, because, you know, realistically, this is the first time where people work with their phone, right?
[00:09:28]Krista Boan: [00:09:28] Right.
[00:09:28]Brady Smith: [00:09:28] I mean, I do.
[00:09:29]Krista Boan: [00:09:29] Right.
[00:09:30]Brady Smith: [00:09:30] Um, you have to have it to make a living to make money to buy food and to pay rent and to do stuff like that. Not everybody, but a lot of people do. So we wanted to be aware of that without pointing fingers.
[00:09:45]Krista Boan: [00:09:45] Yeah, absolutely. Nobody out there wants to put, you know, the genie back in the bottle.
[00:09:50]Brady Smith: [00:09:50] Right.
[00:09:51]Krista Boan: [00:09:51] But everybody out there I think is kind of suffering under this weight of distraction and numbness, and- and looking for, you know, ways to kinda keep that in check.
[00:10:02]Brady Smith: [00:10:02] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
[00:10:02]Krista Boan: [00:10:02] I’d love to hear, like, in your home, how does that play out for you guys? Have you adopted new kind of habits or practices? Um, what are the-
[00:10:11]Brady Smith: [00:10:11] We- we did… we started this rule where it’s called pool float.
[00:10:16]Krista Boan: [00:10:16] Oh.
[00:10:17]Brady Smith: [00:10:17] And what we do is we put all these iPads and the phones on a float in the pool, and if the kids want it, they have to swim out there… I’m kidding. [laughs]
[00:10:25]Krista Boan: [00:10:25] Oh, oh my gosh, I was like, wait. [laughs]
[00:10:25]Brady Smith: [00:10:25] You gotta work for it, kid.
[00:10:25]Krista Boan: [00:10:25] [laughs]
[00:10:25]Brady Smith: [00:10:25] No, totally kidding. Um, no, we… [laughs]
[00:10:35]Krista Boan: [00:10:35] I’m, like, sitting here, like, imagining it, I’m like, but there’s a bubble around it, right? There’s a bubble, and, wait, they do what? [laughs]
[00:10:41]Brady Smith: [00:10:41] I just wanted to see how close everybody was paying attention.
[00:10:44]Krista Boan: [00:10:44] [laughs] It worked. [laughs]
[00:10:48]Brady Smith: [00:10:48] Um…
[00:10:48]Krista Boan: [00:10:48] Threaten somebody’s phone, and all of the sudden, they sit up straight really, really quickly. [laughs]
[00:10:51]Brady Smith: [00:10:51] Yeah, exactly.
[00:10:52]Krista Boan: [00:10:52] Yeah.
[00:10:53]Brady Smith: [00:10:53] Um, pool’s not heated, they really have to work for it, you know?
[00:10:56]Krista Boan: [00:10:56] [laughs]
[00:10:56]Brady Smith: [00:10:56] Um, we have a very simple rule where we have 30 minutes a day on the weekday, and an hour on the weekend.
[00:11:07]Krista Boan: [00:11:07] Yeah.
[00:11:07]Brady Smith: [00:11:07] And the kids can break it up however they wanna do it. They can break it up, you know, uh, 15 minutes at a time, 10 minutes at a time. But we do not go over 30 minutes. Um, and that works for us. You know, it might not work for other people. I know some people that their children only get iPads on the weekday.
[00:11:28]Krista Boan: [00:11:28] Right.
[00:11:28]Brady Smith: [00:11:28] I mean, on the weekend. We, you know, that’s basically what we came up with. And- and I… and I’m gonna be completely honest with you, Krista. It’s a battle.
[00:11:36]Krista Boan: [00:11:36] Yeah.
[00:11:36]Brady Smith: [00:11:36] You know? I mean, the main source of arguments in our home is the iPad. And it’s just the way it is.
[00:11:48]Krista Boan: [00:11:48] It is.
[00:11:48]Brady Smith: [00:11:48] But we’re- we’re slowly getting our kids to be like, listen, it’s… you turn it off in 30 minutes, or you don’t get it. And it’s just the way it is. So we’re not perfect, we’re just really trying, you know?
[00:12:00]Krista Boan: [00:12:00] Well, and that’s- that’s the biggest thing, is just, um, small steps, and just staying in… staying in the ring.
[00:12:07]Brady Smith: [00:12:07] Right.
[00:12:07]Krista Boan: [00:12:07] Yeah. And, you know, at Start, we’re very much about helping families be intention about the places and purposes for screens in our lives.
[00:12:15]Brady Smith: [00:12:15] Right.
[00:12:15]Krista Boan: [00:12:15] And sometimes, that does mean limiting them. But we’re also so grateful for them, especially after a year where they, you know, allowed us to continue to connect and stay entertained.
[00:12:27]Brady Smith: [00:12:27] And, I, you know, I’ve said this before, but our- our book, You’re Missing It, came out in 2019, in April, you know?
[00:12:28]Krista Boan: [00:12:28] Yeah, wow. Yeah.
[00:12:28]Brady Smith: [00:12:28] If- if I would have thought of this idea a year later, it would not have, uh, been as effective, you know what I mean? Because now, we have… we rely on Zoom, I mean, the reason my wi-… my wife is not a part of this right now is because she’s upstairs navigating two children on virtual school.
[00:12:56]Krista Boan: [00:12:56] Right, right.
[00:12:57]Brady Smith: [00:12:57] So, it’s just the world we live in right now. Um, and I think that it’s a beautiful thing, because at- at least people are inside and they’re- they’re safe, you know? So.
[00:13:07]Krista Boan: [00:13:07] And we believe, you know, that one of the most forward-thinking things that you can do as a parent is to just embrace and step into your kids’ online world, um, when they are on screens, and, you know, when they have screen time, to allow that to spark creativity in the offline world.
[00:13:23]Brady Smith: [00:13:23] Right.
[00:13:23]Krista Boan: [00:13:23] And, you know, you kind of nailed this idea, uh, about a year ago, when the pandemic broke out, and suddenly, you know, the whole world was spending massive amounts of time, you know, doomscrolling, learning how to use this new thing called Zoom.
[00:13:36]Brady Smith: [00:13:36] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
[00:13:36]Krista Boan: [00:13:36] Um, trying to stay sane and distracted, honestly, from the crushing news-
[00:13:41]Brady Smith: [00:13:41] Right.
[00:13:42]Krista Boan: [00:13:42] … that was snowballing. And it was in this cultural moment that you kind of said, “You know what? I’m gonna show up in my Instagram feed in a way that brings joy and hope to families.”
[00:13:52]Brady Smith: [00:13:52] Right.
[00:13:52]Krista Boan: [00:13:52] And perhaps inspires kids to bring screen time to life. Would you like to tell us a little bit about your super-fun IG show, Random Acts of Drawness?
[00:14:02]Brady Smith: [00:14:02] I would, yes. Random Acts of Drawness kinda was an accident. I had a mother of one of Harper’s friends at school mention, you know, “Hey, you know how to draw, you should have a drawing tutorial for kids.”
[00:14:19]Krista Boan: [00:14:19] Yeah.
[00:14:19]Brady Smith: [00:14:19] And I thought that was a super sweet idea. However, I… and I can only speak for my- my daughter, who’s old enough to do the virtual school by herself, that the last thing she wants is just to be taught something else, you know what I mean? She’s doing school for so many hours a day. So I was trying to come up with some kind of way that would be fun and still do drawing, and still be enjoyable to watch. And I… and I basically came up a timed kinda thing.
[00:14:50]Krista Boan: [00:14:50] Yeah.
[00:14:50]Brady Smith: [00:14:50] Where I would get 30 seconds, so that- that provides a fun sort of risk.
[00:14:56]Krista Boan: [00:14:56] Yeah.
[00:14:56]Brady Smith: [00:14:56] And the kids have to kinda come up with an idea, a- a zany and random and ab- abstract as they can come up with, you know, like an… like a hippopotamus parachuting eating, um, a stick of celery, and I have to draw it in less than 30 seconds.
[00:15:11]Krista Boan: [00:15:11] [laughs] Yeah.
[00:15:12]Brady Smith: [00:15:12] Um, and that’s basically, uh, the whole concept. And I- I had the idea, I- I went into my studio, I leaned my iPhone on a, you know, a stack of books, pulled an easel out of our garage, and, uh, I had this big newsprint pad of paper already, just for sketching in my studio, and I drew one. And I did, you know, “Hi, this is Brady Smith, welcome to Random Acts of Drawness.” [laughs]
[00:15:38]Krista Boan: [00:15:38] Yeah.
[00:15:39]Brady Smith: [00:15:39] And I just kinda made it up on the fly, and again, I went up, back up to the house, and I was like, “Hey, honey, what do you think of this?” And- and she was like, “It’s adorable. Do you really wanna do this every single day?”
[00:15:53]Krista Boan: [00:15:53] [laughs]
[00:15:53]Brady Smith: [00:15:53] And I was like, “Ooh, I haven’t thought about it much.”
[00:15:56]Krista Boan: [00:15:56] [laughs]
[00:15:56]Brady Smith: [00:15:56] Um, and then I was like, you know what? Sure.
[00:16:01]Krista Boan: [00:16:01] Yeah.
[00:16:01]Brady Smith: [00:16:01] Why not? So I did episode two, and I did episode three, and then by episode four, everybody’s at home, just trying to come up with, uh, ways of entertainment, and I- I wanted it to provide joy, and I wanted it to also provide escapism for parents, ’cause I knew how hard it was-
[00:16:24]Krista Boan: [00:16:24] Oh, gosh.
[00:16:24]Brady Smith: [00:16:24] … trying to keep the kids entertained. And not having ’em just stare at an electronic device. So, are they staring at an electronic device looking at Random Acts of Drawing that’s on my Instagram page? Yes. But it’s a short amount of time-
[00:16:36]Krista Boan: [00:16:36] Right.
[00:16:36]Brady Smith: [00:16:36] … and it will hopefully instigating the parents to do something like that with their kids. You know what I mean?
[00:16:43]Krista Boan: [00:16:43] Oh, yeah. Yeah. In fact, um-
[00:16:46]Brady Smith: [00:16:46] That was the goal, and-
[00:16:47]Krista Boan: [00:16:47] Yeah.
[00:16:48]Brady Smith: [00:16:48] Sorry, go ahead.
[00:16:49]Krista Boan: [00:16:49] Oh, I was gonna say, in fact, last night, as I was preparing for this podcast, I, um, pulled up your feed, and my- my 12 year old was watching. And sure enough, um, within 10 seconds, what has he pulled out? His sketchbook that is blank-
[00:17:03]Brady Smith: [00:17:03] Yeah.
[00:17:04]Krista Boan: [00:17:04] … because he never knows what to draw. And he says, “Mom, I wanna sketch.” And I go, “Okay, good.” And he goes, “But I don’t know… I don’t know where to start, I don’t have any ideas. I don’t…” Like, he kinda did this, like, my head is a blank.
[00:17:17]Brady Smith: [00:17:17] Sure.
[00:17:17]Krista Boan: [00:17:17] Like, he had no inspiration. And so we walked out, you know, well, just to start repeating things. Like, pick a star, pick a Christmas tree, and start drawing them over and over. And he- he really struggled… he really struggled, as you and I have talked about before, just with that wanting it to be perfect the first time.
[00:17:34]Brady Smith: [00:17:34] Right. Right.
[00:17:35]Krista Boan: [00:17:35] And it paralyzed him. And it- it took us a good, like, 30 minutes, but you know what, the thing was, was, um, me sitting down next to him and doing it with him.
[00:17:43]Brady Smith: [00:17:43] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
[00:17:44]Krista Boan: [00:17:44] And so all that to say, to encourage you that even in my little corner of the world, that it not only encouraged him to apply, you know, his creativity, but what else did it do? It- it provided an opportunity for me to sit shoulder to shoulder with him, and be vulnerable. [laughs]
[00:18:04]Brady Smith: [00:18:04] Right.
[00:18:04]Krista Boan: [00:18:04] And just try something. Yeah.
[00:18:06]Brady Smith: [00:18:06] And what’s so neat about this also is that he has something from that moment, a keepsake. You still have that drawing.
[00:18:16]Krista Boan: [00:18:16] Mm.
[00:18:16]Brady Smith: [00:18:16] And that’s what’s cool, so you guys spent time together, and you have something that you can look, you know, tape it to the wall, look at it, and- and it’s a memory. So I just think that’s so neat, and I- I stress that with my children all the time, where even, I mean, look, I… there’s something that exists called a writer’s block, you know?
[00:18:39]Krista Boan: [00:18:39] Totally. Right.
[00:18:40]Brady Smith: [00:18:40] It is… it happens to the best of us. I mean, it happens to me on a daily basis. But one thing that I have learned through trial and error is just putting my rump in the seat-
[00:18:53]Krista Boan: [00:18:53] Mm.
[00:18:53]Brady Smith: [00:18:53] … is the hardest first step. Sitting down at my desk and then saying, “All right, I’m here.” And then once I start to doodle, 99.9% of the stuff that is in books or that I paint is from a doodle. I mean, it’s just sitting down and taking that first step. So I think that’s great. I… there- there are happy accidents by kinda going with the flow and seeing where your imagination takes you. So I think that’s awesome. I love hearing that. That was, again, that was the goal. And I think it registered with a lot of people.
[00:19:30] The neatest thing for me is that I believe by day five or six, I started getting Random Acts of Drawness DMs on Instagram.
[00:19:39]Krista Boan: [00:19:39] Yeah.
[00:19:39]Brady Smith: [00:19:39] Um, from, like, Nigeria.
[00:19:42]Krista Boan: [00:19:42] Wow. Yeah.
[00:19:44]Brady Smith: [00:19:44] Or Estonia, or-
[00:19:45]Krista Boan: [00:19:45] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
[00:19:46]Brady Smith: [00:19:46] … Zimbabwe. I mean, it was… it blew me away, from those little videos, and I… and I did it for 100 days straight.
[00:19:54]Krista Boan: [00:19:54] Yeah.
[00:19:55]Brady Smith: [00:19:55] You know? I mean, we talk about how Instagram and social media, everything looks like it’s all rainbows and fluffy bunnies and hearts, right?
[00:20:05]Krista Boan: [00:20:05] [laughs]
[00:20:06]Brady Smith: [00:20:06] It’s not.
[00:20:06]Krista Boan: [00:20:06] Right.
[00:20:06]Brady Smith: [00:20:06] I mean, some morning, getting my kids to go into my studio, they were just like, “We don’t wanna do it.”
[00:20:12]Krista Boan: [00:20:12] Yeah.
[00:20:12]Brady Smith: [00:20:12] And a lot of the- the fun of Random Acts of Drawness was the interaction between myself and the kids. You know? Because that’s also something that a kid can relate to is another kid.
[00:20:23]Krista Boan: [00:20:23] Oh, totally.
[00:20:24]Brady Smith: [00:20:24] So…
[00:20:25]Krista Boan: [00:20:25] You know what I could relate to? When your dog would walk right in front of the photo-
[00:20:29]Brady Smith: [00:20:29] Oh my God, yeah.
[00:20:29]Krista Boan: [00:20:29] … that you wanted to take, and he just wouldn’t move. [laughs]
[00:20:34]Brady Smith: [00:20:34] Yeah. Yep.
[00:20:34]Krista Boan: [00:20:34] Real life.
[00:20:34]Brady Smith: [00:20:34] [crosstalk 00:20:34] drawing, so half the time I don’t even know what’s happening, and there’s this giant dog rear blocking the shot [inaudible 00:20:41].
[00:20:40]Krista Boan: [00:20:40] [laughs]
[00:20:43]Brady Smith: [00:20:43] So, yeah, I mean, it was… it was pure, wonderful chaos, a- a majority of the time. Which, again, it’s… that’s real, right?
[00:20:53]Krista Boan: [00:20:53] Yeah.
[00:20:53]Brady Smith: [00:20:53] And I think that’s what made it so endearing to people that- that were watching it.
[00:20:58]Krista Boan: [00:20:58] Well, I… what I love about it, you know, is that it really kinda married these two kind of worlds, this analog, right, which is where you and I grew up.
[00:21:06]Brady Smith: [00:21:06] Right.
[00:21:06]Krista Boan: [00:21:06] The world of journals and doodles and pens and paper. And it married it… the- the most beautiful part of that, too, the most beautiful part of the digital world, where all the sudden, you’ve got, you know, kids calling in from all around the world, and- and-
[00:21:22]Brady Smith: [00:21:22] Yep.
[00:21:22]Krista Boan: [00:21:22] … and finding these common spaces that we have, these common desires and these common needs that we have, to be creative, and to find joy. And, you know, it occurs to me that- that you’re- you’re probably not too far from my age, and that we kind of live on… in this particular generation that knows both how to navigate both the analog and value it, but also to value the digital. And, you know, I’ve made peace with the fact that technology’s gonna keep changing our world, [laughs] and my kids’ world. But at the same time, I do feel this desire to kind of be an archiver of certain things that I want my kids to know about life in the analog. So things like doodling and sketching, things like teaching my kids, you know, the words to Home on the Range. Things that might accidentally get thrown aside in the path of digital progress. And I’ve kind of started thinking of them as heirlooms.
[00:22:18]Brady Smith: [00:22:18] Mm. Mm-hmm [affirmative].
[00:22:19]Krista Boan: [00:22:19] Similar to, you know, like a grandmother’s handkerchief, or a grandfather’s baseball glove, parts of the past that are just too important to forget. And some of these things aren’t really things as much as ideas or experiences. So for example, in the online world, our kids are often offered this sense of instant gratification. You know, the world is at their fingertips. And yet, when I think about my childhood, I want them to have this heirloom and kind of knowing what it feels to sometimes without an answer.
[00:22:49]Brady Smith: [00:22:49] Oh, yeah.
[00:22:49]Krista Boan: [00:22:49] And actually, you know, COVID’s kind of given us that gift, right? [laughs] Whether, you know, it’s in school or on the job or falling in love. And then, you know, that beautiful exhale, and that joy, when finally the wait is over.
[00:23:03]Brady Smith: [00:23:03] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
[00:23:03]Krista Boan: [00:23:03] And you realize that, oh, wait, I grew. I grew stronger.
[00:23:07]Brady Smith: [00:23:07] Right, yeah. You had a word for it, you had to earn it.
[00:23:09]Krista Boan: [00:23:09] Yeah.
[00:23:09]Brady Smith: [00:23:09] It wasn’t the instantaneous thing. I mean, remember how big a deal it was when, uh, you could get your film developed in an hour?
[00:23:17]Krista Boan: [00:23:17] Yes.
[00:23:18]Brady Smith: [00:23:18] That was a game-changer. Usually, you had to wait two weeks. Remember? You took a photograph and you’re like, “Oh, I don’t know if I got it.”
[00:23:23]Krista Boan: [00:23:23] Oh, yes.
[00:23:24]Brady Smith: [00:23:24] And now you just look at your phone, and you’re like, “I didn’t get it, let’s take 55 more pictures.”
[00:23:30]Krista Boan: [00:23:30] [laughs]
[00:23:30]Brady Smith: [00:23:30] I mean, yeah, that’s the world we live in. So I- I agree, I think it’s… I think it’s a great thing for kids to have to wait and be patient. I, you know, he- here’s another example. When I was a kid, like every other kid, and I would go up to my mom and dad and be like, “I’m bored.”
[00:23:48]Krista Boan: [00:23:48] Right.
[00:23:49]Brady Smith: [00:23:49] Their- their reply would be, like, “Good.”
[00:23:52]Krista Boan: [00:23:52] Right.
[00:23:53]Brady Smith: [00:23:53] “Figure it out.”
[00:23:54]Krista Boan: [00:23:54] Right.
[00:23:56]Brady Smith: [00:23:56] “Go do something that makes you not bored.”
[00:23:57]Krista Boan: [00:23:57] Right.
[00:23:58]Brady Smith: [00:23:58] And that’s where… and I can only speak for myself here, but again, I feel like it’s pretty darn common. That’s where your creative mind really kinda takes off, ’cause you have to figure it out. Then you’re like, “What can I do?” You know, I would go climb a tree with my Star Wars figures, and I’d pretend they were, you know, jumping off, or whatever. But I would figure it out.
[00:24:21] And now, you know, it’s a different situation sometimes, where we feel like we have to keep our kids entertained. And the moments of quiet and boredom is, I believe, a blessing.
[00:24:37]Krista Boan: [00:24:37] Right. I… we couldn’t agree with you more here at Start. That’s actually, when we talk with parents about, you know, kind of reimagining for their family, what do they… what do they really value as time well spent, time that will have memories? And we always just say, you know, boredom, it’s… here’s the thing about boredom. It’s super painful. It’s super painful at first. But if they can break through and get to the other side of that, that is where that explosion of creativity comes.
[00:25:08]Brady Smith: [00:25:08] Mm-hmm [affirmative]. It’s so true. You know, going back to the heirloom-
[00:25:12]Krista Boan: [00:25:12] Yeah.
[00:25:13]Brady Smith: [00:25:13] … that you mentioned-
[00:25:13]Krista Boan: [00:25:13] Yeah.
[00:25:14]Brady Smith: [00:25:14] … the documenting, um, for 19 years now, I- I have been doing a daily illustrated journal. I’ll send you a couple-
[00:25:23]Krista Boan: [00:25:23] Yes.
[00:25:23]Brady Smith: [00:25:23] … uh, just to show you, like, an example of it.
[00:25:26]Krista Boan: [00:25:26] Yeah.
[00:25:26]Brady Smith: [00:25:26] But, um, literally, the moment of my wife and I’s first date-
[00:25:34]Krista Boan: [00:25:34] Mm.
[00:25:35]Brady Smith: [00:25:35] … to the day that we got married, to the day that we found out we were pregnant, to… pregnant to the birth of our children, has all been illustrated, and, you know, like, I- I have in my illustrated journal talking to you guys right now.
[00:25:47]Krista Boan: [00:25:47] Mm.
[00:25:47]Brady Smith: [00:25:47] So it’s- it… I work on it in the morning, I work on it at night, documenting what happened throughout the day. And that’s something also that my kids see me do, my daughter has- has played around with the idea and started to do it, but it’s another way of expressing creativity and being artistic without shoving it down their throats, you know what I mean?
[00:26:11]Krista Boan: [00:26:11] Totally.
[00:26:13]Brady Smith: [00:26:13] The… again, they are always watching, and they are always absorbing, and that’s another kind of example, like in the children’s book, where you’re just not knocking ’em over the head with it.
[00:26:26]Krista Boan: [00:26:26] Oh, I love it. You’re giving them a gift, you know, preserving story and history, and really what that translates into, which is so critical for our kids these days, is identity.
[00:26:37]Brady Smith: [00:26:37] Right.
[00:26:37]Krista Boan: [00:26:37] And- and place. Um…
[00:26:39]Brady Smith: [00:26:39] Well, the neat… the neat thing is that my daughter and my son literally can go through these books and see what they were doing every single day of their existence.
[00:26:51]Krista Boan: [00:26:51] Wow.
[00:26:53]Brady Smith: [00:26:53] And- and- and it’s the- the raw stuff too, you know what I mean? It’s like my son having a temper tantrum. So it’s all these, and I can’t wait for, you know, whenever- whenever that may be, but, you know, my daughter’s wedding day. My son’s.
[00:27:07]Krista Boan: [00:27:07] Yeah.
[00:27:08]Brady Smith: [00:27:08] I mean, you know, so, anyway…
[00:27:09]Krista Boan: [00:27:09] You know what I love about that is… I love that for so long, you know, I grew up in the analog with my photos that I developed at the local grocery store, and put ’em in albums, or maybe they didn’t make it in there, and… but then when, like, Instagram came out, and there’s a company called Chatbooks that I started using… well, then I’m like, this is brilliant, ’cause all of the sudden, I’m documenting all of their- their life for them, and then they’ll have that, you know, using this digital tool.
[00:27:35] But here’s- here’s the difference. When I started doing that, I also had the rest of the world watching the photos that I was posting, because I was using Instagram to post, you know, their daily things. And so what I ended up recording was only their best moments.
[00:27:51]Brady Smith: [00:27:51] Right.
[00:27:51]Krista Boan: [00:27:51] And what you are doing is telling the true tale, which in-… which also includes, you know, grit, and wonder, and resilience.
[00:27:55]Brady Smith: [00:27:55] Right. I, you know, I… I mean, look, the- the days are long, right?
[00:27:55]Krista Boan: [00:27:55] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
[00:27:55]Brady Smith: [00:27:55] So I only have a page that I do the journal on, so I can’t document everything.
[00:27:55]Krista Boan: [00:27:55] Right.
[00:27:55]Brady Smith: [00:27:55] So I’m definitely selective. But the big moments, like the funny… the funniest thing that happened in the day, I- I try to… you’ll see. I mean, it’s the good, the bad, and the ugly. But you’re right. I mean, that’s… and also, that’s the thing with social media, right? All you see is the best of the best, the crème de la crème. And that is not realistic. So with our kids looking at that all the time, and everybody being perfect, and nobody being completely, 100% honest, that’s- that’s gonna be, um, something that is gonna mess with their perspective of life.
[00:28:04]Krista Boan: [00:28:04] Yeah, you know what else I love about just… I- I’m not obviously suggesting that every parent out there is going to be able to journal, you know, and draw, um, every day of their child’s life. But what I love about it is that it communicates this concept that we talk about some with our parents, which is attunement, which is, my eyes are on you, I see you, we are moving forward in this journey together. There’s something beautiful to me about being attuned in a way that the rest of the world doesn’t have to see too.
[00:29:21]Brady Smith: [00:29:21] Right. Yeah, it’s ours. You know, my wife is very protective of our privacy.
[00:29:27]Krista Boan: [00:29:27] Yeah.
[00:29:28]Brady Smith: [00:29:28] And that just kinda comes with the territory, because she’s been in, you know, the public eye since she was, like, probably 10 years old, so.
[00:29:36]Krista Boan: [00:29:36] Right.
[00:29:36]Brady Smith: [00:29:36] Y- you’re right. Like, you know, the journal is- is ours, it’s our family. I don’t… I’ve had a lot of people say, “You should post this every day, and then everybody can follow your daily existence,” and- and as sweet as that is for them to suggest, the answer is no. You know? There’s gotta be some things that we hold precious and dear to just us. It’s just… the public eye can be very, very cruel.
[00:30:05]Krista Boan: [00:30:05] Mm.
[00:30:06]Brady Smith: [00:30:06] You know? And we just try to kinda protect each other.
[00:30:12]Krista Boan: [00:30:12] Well, yeah.
[00:30:12]Brady Smith: [00:30:12] That’s going a different… a different road, but-
[00:30:14]Krista Boan: [00:30:14] No, yeah.
[00:30:15]Brady Smith: [00:30:15] You know? It’s like any family. You know what I mean? There’s people that can… anybody in the world can look at these pictures you put up, and that, at times, is- is a little frightening.
[00:30:25]Krista Boan: [00:30:25] Yeah.
[00:30:25]Brady Smith: [00:30:25] Not even a little.
[00:30:26]Krista Boan: [00:30:26] Right, right. It- it occurred to me, as I was preparing for the podcast, that, you know, for you and your wife, this has been something that isn’t actually new to you, that having the public eye on your life, and trying to preserve what’s private, and kind of provide space for- for people to have a peak at what’s going on, that’s- that’s kind of old hack for- for people who, you know, have been on the screen, have been in Hollywood.
[00:30:53] But, like, the interesting thing, to me, is that since the introduction of social media, that all of the sudden, like, the masses are now experiencing that same kind of phenomenon of, all of the sudden, their whole life can be on display to anybody who wants to see it.
[00:31:09]Brady Smith: [00:31:09] Right.
[00:31:09]Krista Boan: [00:31:09] Without any kind of, like, wisdom about… or understanding, or- or coaching, even on how to-
[00:31:13]Brady Smith: [00:31:13] Navigate, yep.
[00:31:13]Krista Boan: [00:31:13] Yeah.
[00:31:13]Brady Smith: [00:31:13] You are right.
[00:31:13]Krista Boan: [00:31:13] Discern what to put out there and what not to, and what you could hurt if you… what you could lose. Um, so, if you ever need, like, a- a book to write, you could maybe just, like, coach us all on that. [laughs]
[00:31:30]Brady Smith: [00:31:30] Oh, my gosh. I’m- I’m learning daily as well, so.
[00:31:32]Krista Boan: [00:31:32] Yeah. Yeah.
[00:31:33]Brady Smith: [00:31:33] Uh, Holt’s just… Holt’s five, so he doesn’t… all he cares about is playing with his Legos, you know?
[00:31:38]Krista Boan: [00:31:38] Yeah.
[00:31:38]Brady Smith: [00:31:38] But with Harper, she’s going through growth where she’s interested in other things, and interested in, you know, she- she sees the way sometimes when we’re out in public, and people react to see… more… not- not- not necessarily but my wife, you know?
[00:31:55]Krista Boan: [00:31:55] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
[00:31:57]Brady Smith: [00:31:57] Although I do have a really funny story about some guy that was a big fan of some commercial I did, and he freaked out.
[00:32:02]Krista Boan: [00:32:02] [laughs]
[00:32:02]Brady Smith: [00:32:02] [inaudible 00:32:04] such a silly commer-… remember those Dr. Scholl’s gelling commercials? Do you remember those?
[00:32:09]Krista Boan: [00:32:09] Yes. [laughs] Yeah.
[00:32:10]Brady Smith: [00:32:10] It was the first job I had when I got out here. Are you gelling? Yeah, man, I’m gelling like Magellan, right?
[00:32:19]Krista Boan: [00:32:19] [laughs] Yeah.
[00:32:19]Brady Smith: [00:32:19] Okay.
[00:32:19]Krista Boan: [00:32:19] Yeah.
[00:32:20]Brady Smith: [00:32:20] So… [laughs] so, we were out getting, uh, we were getting coffee, and a buddy of mine, uh, was visiting from Texas, and it was my buddy Kevin and my wife and I. Uh, we were dating at the time, we weren’t even married. And, um, you know, the guy’s like, “Number order, uh, 72,” and Tiff walks up there and gets it, and he goes, “Oh, wow. Cool.” And then he’s like, “Number 84,” and I walk there, and he’s like, “No way, dude! This is awesome. Hey, the gelling guy’s here!” That’s, anyway, the only example [laughs] I have of somebody getting excited.
[00:32:58]Krista Boan: [00:32:58] [laughs] I think that’s more than I have, so there you go. [laughs]
[00:33:03]Brady Smith: [00:33:03] So funny. Anyway, my point is, is that Harper, you know, has, through her 10 years of life, seen examples of this. And this is just a funny story of keeping our kids protected and sheltered, if you will. So she came back from kindergarten when she was five, and she was like, “Mommy, some girl in class said that you were on TV when you were little. And I told her that she was wrong.”
[00:33:33]Krista Boan: [00:33:33] Right.
[00:33:33]Brady Smith: [00:33:33] “I told her that you were just a cooker.”
[00:33:35]Krista Boan: [00:33:35] [laughs]
[00:33:35]Brady Smith: [00:33:35] And the reason she said a cooker was at the time, my wife had a show called Dinner at Tiffani’s on the Cooking Channel.
[00:33:42]Krista Boan: [00:33:42] Okay.
[00:33:42]Brady Smith: [00:33:42] So Harper was familiar with Tiff cooking on camera.
[00:33:47]Krista Boan: [00:33:47] Yep.
[00:33:47]Brady Smith: [00:33:47] So Tiff was a, quote, “cooker.”
[00:33:50]Krista Boan: [00:33:50] Mm-hmm [affirmative]. That’s cute.
[00:33:52]Brady Smith: [00:33:52] Um, and then, you know, Tiff was like, “Well, your- your friend is right, I- I- I had a show when I was much younger,” and, uh, Harper was like, “Can I see it?” And Tiff’s like, “Uh, well, I’ll let you watch the first, you know, season,” because then… and she was talking about the show called Saved by the Bell.
[00:34:10]Krista Boan: [00:34:10] Uh-huh.
[00:34:11]Brady Smith: [00:34:11] And Harper watched the first episode, and I- I can’t stress to you enough that it was… it was similar to, like, watching a gerbil wheel all of the sudden fly off that wheel.
[00:34:29]Krista Boan: [00:34:29] [laughs]
[00:34:29]Brady Smith: [00:34:29] Because Harper’s little five year old mind was blown.
[00:34:33]Krista Boan: [00:34:33] Right.
[00:34:34]Brady Smith: [00:34:34] I mean, can you imagine?
[00:34:34]Krista Boan: [00:34:34] Right, right.
[00:34:35]Brady Smith: [00:34:35] Seeing your mom-
[00:34:36]Krista Boan: [00:34:36] Yeah.
[00:34:38]Brady Smith: [00:34:38] … walking, talking, breathing, living, as a kid?
[00:34:43]Krista Boan: [00:34:43] Right.
[00:34:44]Brady Smith: [00:34:44] Like, we- we had photos, right?
[00:34:45]Krista Boan: [00:34:45] Right.
[00:34:45]Brady Smith: [00:34:45] Of our parents younger.
[00:34:46]Krista Boan: [00:34:46] Right.
[00:34:46]Brady Smith: [00:34:46] But not real life where you’re watching it.
[00:34:49]Krista Boan: [00:34:49] No.
[00:34:49]Brady Smith: [00:34:49] And it was just… I think it’s a neat moment where sometimes entertainment can be so negative and so… you were talking about doomscrolling earlier, and just so dark. But this was a really-
[00:35:02]Krista Boan: [00:35:02] Aww.
[00:35:03]Brady Smith: [00:35:03] … special neat-
[00:35:04]Krista Boan: [00:35:04] Yep.
[00:35:04]Brady Smith: [00:35:04] … light moment-
[00:35:05]Krista Boan: [00:35:05] Yeah.
[00:35:05]Brady Smith: [00:35:05] … where Harper saw her mom as a kid. [laughs] You know? And we hadn’t planned anything, it just kinda, you know, organically happened, and it was just kind of a fun little story, so.
[00:35:18]Krista Boan: [00:35:18] Well, Brady, we usually include a portion of the podcast where we kinda do a Dear Abby segment. All right, so, this week’s parent wrote in with this scenario. “We have always tried to limit our kids’ screen time to 30 minutes a day, outside of their virtual learning Zoom calls. But with all the stress our family has been under, we’ve recently realized that we’ve gotten lax, allowed them far more screen time than we had ever planned, and I’ve noticed recently that when I try to shoo my 10 year old off his screen, he fights back.”
[00:35:51]Brady Smith: [00:35:51] Mm-hmm [affirmative].
[00:35:52]Krista Boan: [00:35:52] “It’s like he’s lost his desire to get out and experience the wonder and beauty of life.” So, Brady, would you speak to that 10 year old who is glued to their screen about why it’s important to unplug and put boundaries around their screen use, and what they actually might miss if they don’t?
[00:36:12]Brady Smith: [00:36:12] Yes. Your mom and dad are gonna buy an inflatable pool floaty.
[00:36:18]Krista Boan: [00:36:18] [laughs]
[00:36:19]Brady Smith: [00:36:19] They’re gonna put your phone… just kidding.
[00:36:22]Krista Boan: [00:36:22] [laughs]
[00:36:23]Brady Smith: [00:36:23] Um… [laughs] And this is what I say to my kids, that you’re not gonna remember the time that you spend on your iPad. You’re gonna remember going outside, throwing the baseball, kicking a soccer ball, seeing squirrels jump through the air. That’s the stuff that you’re going to remember. It’s almost like the creative process.
[00:36:48]Krista Boan: [00:36:48] Mm.
[00:36:48]Brady Smith: [00:36:48] Putting that first step forward. Instead of putting the first step forward, put the first step outside. Just go outside. You know?
[00:36:56]Krista Boan: [00:36:56] Right.
[00:36:56]Brady Smith: [00:36:56] It’ll take a second to adjust, not for you, but for the kid who’s been staring at an electrical device.
[00:37:03]Krista Boan: [00:37:03] Right.
[00:37:04]Brady Smith: [00:37:04] But 99% of the time, that works.
[00:37:04]Krista Boan: [00:37:04] Yeah.
[00:37:05]Brady Smith: [00:37:05] I mean, my wife and I are just like, “Go outside.”
[00:37:09]Krista Boan: [00:37:09] Yep.
[00:37:10]Brady Smith: [00:37:10] And they don’t wanna come in.
[00:37:12]Krista Boan: [00:37:12] Yup.
[00:37:13]Brady Smith: [00:37:13] And- and that’s a great feeling.
[00:37:14]Krista Boan: [00:37:14] Yeah. Can we close out with a rapid fire? We’ll do-
[00:37:17]Brady Smith: [00:37:17] Do it.
[00:37:18]Krista Boan: [00:37:18] Okay. [laughs] are you ready? Do you have your-
[00:37:21]Brady Smith: [00:37:21] I’m ready.
[00:37:21]Krista Boan: [00:37:21] … your game face? Favorite piece of old school technology, the kind you have to explain to your kids, ’cause they’ve never seen it before.
[00:37:29]Brady Smith: [00:37:29] Um, an old phone.
[00:37:31]Krista Boan: [00:37:31] Mm.
[00:37:31]Brady Smith: [00:37:31] Where you have to… a rotary phone.
[00:37:31]Krista Boan: [00:37:31] [laughs]
[00:37:31]Brady Smith: [00:37:31] Where you have to stick your finger in a hole and then go, uh, you know, clockwise, and it click-click-click-clicks counterclockwise.
[00:37:41]Krista Boan: [00:37:41] Yes.
[00:37:41]Brady Smith: [00:37:41] Clock… that’s a hard word to say. Clockwise back.
[00:37:45]Krista Boan: [00:37:45] Yes.
[00:37:45]Brady Smith: [00:37:45] That would be my favorite.
[00:37:46]Krista Boan: [00:37:46] Yeah.
[00:37:46]Brady Smith: [00:37:46] ‘Cause they have no flipping idea what that thing is.
[00:37:51]Krista Boan: [00:37:51] [laughs] That’s so good. So good. And the big, long, like 20 foot… did you have, like, one of those 20 foot long lines that you could, like, pull the phone into your bedroom?
[00:37:59]Brady Smith: [00:37:59] We- we didn’t have the long lines, but we had a super duper long cold, and the amount of times it would get caught on something, or knock something over, or… do your remember… here, here’s a question for you. Do you remember having to hold the phone by the… by the curly cord upside down, and letting it spin on its own, with- with [inaudible 00:38:21] and the gravity would, like, straighten the cord out?
[00:38:23]Krista Boan: [00:38:23] Totally.
[00:38:23]Brady Smith: [00:38:23] That was never… people will never do that again, and that’s sad.
[00:38:27]Krista Boan: [00:38:27] [laughs]
[00:38:28]Brady Smith: [00:38:28] I remember… I remember holding the phone upside down sometimes so long that the blood would drain from my fist.
[00:38:34]Krista Boan: [00:38:34] [laughs]
[00:38:36]Brady Smith: [00:38:36] So there you go, that would be the old school thing.
[00:38:38]Krista Boan: [00:38:38] That’s good.
[00:38:38]Brady Smith: [00:38:38] I’m-
[00:38:39]Krista Boan: [00:38:39] Okay, your next question is, fill in the blank. Being a parent in 2021 is…
[00:38:45]Brady Smith: [00:38:45] Um, I think in any year, being a parent is challenging. So I guess I’m gonna say the word challenging.
[00:38:53]Krista Boan: [00:38:53] Mm.
[00:38:53]Brady Smith: [00:38:53] Not bad challenging. Not awesome challenging. But just challenging.
[00:38:58]Krista Boan: [00:38:58] Yeah.
[00:39:01]Brady Smith: [00:39:01] Right?
[00:39:02]Krista Boan: [00:39:02] That’s good.
[00:39:02]Brady Smith: [00:39:02] Like, there are moments of the highest high, and then moments of the most just… wow, hard, hard moments.
[00:39:12]Krista Boan: [00:39:12] Yeah. Definitely.
[00:39:13]Brady Smith: [00:39:13] You wanted me to fill in a blank, and I just filled in a paragraph.
[00:39:16]Krista Boan: [00:39:16] It’s… [laughs] we’ll keep moving. Okay, favorite app.
[00:39:20]Brady Smith: [00:39:20] Favorite app?
[00:39:21]Krista Boan: [00:39:21] Yeah.
[00:39:22]Brady Smith: [00:39:22] Um, I have an app Genius Scan. Have you heard of this?
[00:39:25]Krista Boan: [00:39:25] No. What is it? It’s…
[00:39:27]Brady Smith: [00:39:27] It’s pretty- pretty cool. It’s… you can scan something on your phone.
[00:39:32]Krista Boan: [00:39:32] Oh…
[00:39:32]Brady Smith: [00:39:32] So when I do illustrations, and I need to get it to my publisher-
[00:39:36]Krista Boan: [00:39:36] Yeah.
[00:39:36]Brady Smith: [00:39:36] … I will scan it, and it automatically makes it a PDF, and I can shoot it off into the great beyond.
[00:39:43]Krista Boan: [00:39:43] Oh, that could be amazing.
[00:39:45]Brady Smith: [00:39:45] Yeah.
[00:39:46]Krista Boan: [00:39:46] For filling out schoolwork…
[00:39:47]Brady Smith: [00:39:47] You can [inaudible 00:39:49] anything like that, it’s really neat. And that way, they have it as a PDF.
[00:39:51]Krista Boan: [00:39:51] That’s so cool. Genius Scan. Favorite trick you use to keep your tech in check.
[00:39:56]Brady Smith: [00:39:56] My timer on my phone.
[00:39:58]Krista Boan: [00:39:58] Okay.
[00:39:58]Brady Smith: [00:39:58] I put on 30 minutes, and when that sucker beeps, the world stops. I’m, uh, I’m not… I don’t wanna say hardcore, but I’m very, very, um, good about setting a timer.
[00:40:11]Krista Boan: [00:40:11] Okay.
[00:40:11]Brady Smith: [00:40:11] Then, hey, put ’em up.
[00:40:14]Krista Boan: [00:40:14] That’s good. Okay, the internet breaks down for 24 hours. What do you do to unplug?
[00:40:19]Brady Smith: [00:40:19] Celebrate. [laughs]
[00:40:21]Krista Boan: [00:40:21] [laughs] Celebrate. That the internet is broken.
[00:40:25]Brady Smith: [00:40:25] Yeah. [laughs]
[00:40:25]Krista Boan: [00:40:25] [laughs] Where are you gonna go? What are you gonna do to celebrate?
[00:40:31]Brady Smith: [00:40:31] Uh, you know what, I- I mean, well, two answers. One, I don’t think you have to go anywhere. I think you can really just kinda be home and enjoy the fact that-
[00:40:39]Krista Boan: [00:40:39] Yeah.
[00:40:39]Brady Smith: [00:40:39] … you’re not gonna be online for a little bit.
[00:40:41]Krista Boan: [00:40:41] Yeah.
[00:40:41]Brady Smith: [00:40:41] And reacquaint yourself with your home. You know? Go in the yard. Have a picnic in the grass. Or not the grass, in your living room. Wherever. We, uh, always go up to the Sequoia National Forest.
[00:40:55]Krista Boan: [00:40:55] Yeah.
[00:40:55]Brady Smith: [00:40:55] My wife’s granddad built a- an awesome little, very little, it’s almost like a wooden tent, but a charming little A-frame cabin.
[00:41:04]Krista Boan: [00:41:04] Oh…
[00:41:05]Brady Smith: [00:41:05] And we have kinda taken over and made it our own. Um, I think I mentioned a while ago that my wife’s new passion is, I mean, every A-frame Pinterest page, I think she belongs to.
[00:41:18]Krista Boan: [00:41:18] [laughs]
[00:41:18]Brady Smith: [00:41:18] And it’s her- her A-frame mission. But we go up there, and the kids are outside, and it’s lovely. We are experiencing, you know, the mountains, and I mean, we- we had a bear walk by.
[00:41:35]Krista Boan: [00:41:35] Wow.
[00:41:35]Brady Smith: [00:41:35] My kids had a bear walk by our little cabin. And that right there is a memory that they wouldn’t have if they were on their iPad.
[00:41:49]Krista Boan: [00:41:49] Okay, friends. Well, if you’ve been listening along from your walk, or your car, or somewhere you cannot get a visual of the amazing artwork and memories that we talked about today, I highly encourage you to check out Brady’s work on his Instagram feed, and his newest book, Random Acts of Drawness, is releasing in the next couple weeks. So grab yourself a copy, get it for your kids, um, and just have fun making memories.
[00:42:14] And if you are out there, and you wanna learn more about digital health for your kids, check out our website, westartnow.org, or follow us on social media, we’re on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. We would love to connect with you about bringing our resources to your community.
[00:42:31] And if you enjoyed today’s podcast, we’d love it if you could subscribe on your favorite podcast app, and maybe leave us a review. And until next time, friends, you never know when a bear might walk by. Screens are small, but the world is still pretty big. So keep looking up.