Tiffani Thiessen Wrote a Children’s Book About Putting The Damn Phone Away

Tiffani Thiessen has a children’s book out, folks — yep, that’s Saved By the Bell’s secret feminist Kelly Kapowski. She collaborated on it with husband Brady Smith; the pair are busy co-parents of Harper, 9, and Holt, 4. The book, You’re Missing It! is published by Penguin Random House. Its message? Put that phone down already — and just be in the moment with your kids.

Thiessen and Smith spoke with People about their new venture, the brainchild of which started with an incident involving Thiessen hollering out a window at Smith (who was distracted by his phone while playing with their son), “Put your phone down, you’re missing it!”

Smith — who did the ink and watercolor art — explained to Romper that his wife’s window warning made him realize this was the exact project for the two of them. “I thought, ‘that’s it!’ That day, I basically sketched out the entire book, then showed it to my beautiful wife, and we both agreed this was the book we should work on.”

The book’s premise? The story follows a boy and his phone-addicted dad on a (at first) one-sided adventure in a nearby park. The little boy begs his dad to get off his screen and into the real world with him — and when he succeeds, good stuff happens (just like in real life).

We’re trying to stress that anything in moderation is cool,” Smith told People. “[But] when you’re on the phone you’re missing out on these little bitty beautiful fleeting moments of childhood because everything to a kid is new, exciting.”

Their book supports recent World Health Organization (W.H.O.) screen time suggestions. The W.H.O. reports that zero — yup, you read that right: zero, nada, none, nothing — screen time is the only way to go for babies. And TV before age 2, well… let’s just say it may be worse than you think for growing minds.

Thiessen told Romper that she recognizes the trickiness of handling screen time for kids in an era of technology and digital communication. Her way of managing? Returning to the good old days: “I was always raised in a house where we’d gather around the dinner table, everyone was present, and we’d have a good conversation about our days. Brady’s family was the same way,” she said. “So now we really try to continue that. It’s a balance.”

She added that she feels she and Smith have been blessed with kids who aren’t particularly interested in screens. “Harper is a girl who just loves to be outside,” Thiessen added to Romper. “[And] Holt is happy playing with his figurines and toys right now. But ask us again in 10 years!”

We love this family for keeping it real in the sweetest way — and we’re so here for their very timely book. You can get your copy of You’re Missing It now at Amazon.com, $10.95.

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