A Psychiatrist's Solution to Managing Screen Rules with Dr. Adriana Stacey


Carrots&Cake listened to the top ScreenStrong podcasts & summarized the key takeaways. Carrots&Cake independently created these podcast notes and does not have any affiliation with the ScreenStrong podcast.

Key Individuals

  • Dr. Adriana Stacey - Dr. Adriana Stacey, a Board Certified Psychiatrist. Dr. Stacey's areas of specialty include mental health treatment, including treatment of depression, anxiety, and adult ADHD.
  • Melanie hempy - Host for ScreenStrong podcasts.

Key Takeaways

  • When the screens are off the table, Kids fill it with the coolest stuff. It really opens up their imagination, from parts to undiscovered hobbies to talents that they never thought they had.
  • Research by Dr. Stacey indicates that at night teens' brains are even less coherent than it is during the day. As a result, if kids have their peers around them, the potential for risky behavior is far greater than what would happen if they were just by themselves. 


  • A screen strong family is one that implies strong rules around screen time (your kids tend to develop really strong relationships and friendships with other kids who are screen strong)
  • Melanie is joined by Dr. Adriana Stacey to discuss the dangerous combination of smartphones and sleepovers, and how to navigate childhood activities while still living the ScreenStrong Lifestyle. 

Screen-free friends 

  • When you start investing in your kids' friends and teach your kids how to invest time and effort in their friends early on. This practice really pays off. Kids learn how to value their time, and engage in meaningful and long-lasting relationships. 

Can screen strong families allow their kids to go to other people's homes that are not screen strong?

  • We live in a world where tech surrounds our kids and us. So Dr. Stacey’s advice to parents is that it's okay to let your child go and play with their friends. But what she says is that those families who practice a screen strong lifestyle, they should request their child's friends' parents in the following manner: 
  • “I know that you guys allow your kids to play video games, and that's a decision in your home, our kids aren't allowed to play video games, I really want my children to still cultivate their friendship with your children. So I would love it if when my children are at your house, you would encourage them to do other things” 
  • This way, they know what your philosophy around screen time is and show your commitment towards it. If they feel confused about it, don't fall back but share some of your insights on your screen free practices, maybe it might help them start a new habit for the household. 

Keep the screen down and discover your talents 

  • Dr. Stacey - I had a patient who is of an adolescent age and a really sweet person. He was really into games on his iPad. Not necessarily video games, but just all these little games on his iPad, and he got grounded from it for a couple of weeks and wasn't able to use it and discovered that he is an amazing artist, never cultivated that, and now he loves it. 
  • Parents should really try to keep screen use at a minimum so that kids are given the time to imagine and discover hidden talents. 
  • One of Dr. Stacey's favorite suggestions to give people is to invite someone over to do something specific. Or if you go to someone's house, bring ideas. Don't feel socially isolated if because of your screen habit you feel left out. See the benefit of it and make the most of it. 

The ACT rule for parents

A - A is to ask the parents if the screens will be out.

C - C stands for being creative.

T - T is for telling them no, pivoting, and saying no when necessary.

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