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nextTalk contains content of a mature nature.
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Parental guidance is advised.
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Are you ready for the nextTalk?
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Today we’re doing a show titled Three Things to Consider when your child wants a new app.
0:00:39 – Speaker 2
Yeah, so y’all know that we have a contract in our home where my kids have to ask if they want a new app. We actually have it set up so that they have to ask for approval and then I have to approve it, like it’s through our phone. And so, first of all, if you want a copy of that contract, like if you want a copy of the rules we use in our home, the guidelines that we use, you can text the word cell phone all one word to 4-4-2-2-2. What we’ll do at nextTalk we will email you a word document and so you can edit it as you want it. We want it to be your guidelines for your home, very specific to you, so you can change whatever you don’t like. But it’s just a starting place And one of the guidelines that we have in there is you can’t just download any app you want. We need to talk about it first. That’s kind of what we’ve implemented since they’ve had phones.
0:01:29 – Speaker 1
Which is so funny. We need to change the name of that cell phone before we need to change it because things change so quickly.
I mean, i have younger kids, so we don’t have phones yet. But we have the same rule because tablets and now our smart TVs are all apps. We don’t have cable anymore. We watch our shows, our movies, everything through a screen full of apps. When we open up our TV, it’s everything from sports to cartoons to the food channels. We have it all there and we watch what we want to watch. But you have to choose the apps and download what you want to have on your screen. Same with our tablet. So even though we don’t have cell phones yet, we have that rule in place. Before you download an app, you have to come and talk to mom and dad, or mom or dad. We have to look at it, we have to research it, make sure it’s okay, go through these different guidelines just like in a contract.
0:02:18 – Speaker 2
This is a great example of how you can take our cell phone contract and just talk it through with your kids, because you guys don’t have an actual contract, or you could. You could have a family media guideline thing, but you can use that contract as like a form on what guidelines you want to set up in your home.
0:02:33 – Speaker 1
And since it’s a Word document, you can change it. If your kids aren’t that age yet, change it to meet your needs.
0:02:38 – Speaker 2
So we want to talk about. Okay, so your kid wants this new app. They’re coming to you and they’re saying, hey, can I download this, which I’m getting a lot of these days, especially with virtual learning and more free time at home, and people want to. You know my friends are all on this app, so now I want it. You know, it’s all the things And so I got to thinking about when my kid asked me that there’s always three things that I think about.
One is the age recommendation, two is strangers and three is content. We want to like dig that deeper because I want to explain to you what I mean on each of those, but all the time those three things are like going over in my head, like what is this app going to do with this, and so I kind of want to dive into that a little bit more. The first thing is the age recommended. I say this with a disclaimer. Oftentimes, the ages that are recommended I don’t agree with. As far as we know, and as much as research we’ve done, there’s no regulatory agency that kind of comes in and says what age is appropriate. The app developer does that, and so obviously they always want to get it as low age as they can, because that means more people on their app And, you know, obviously with kids too, it means more advertising. They can do more coins that they want to buy.
You know all the things, and so I don’t always trust the age recommended on there, but it’s like a starting point for me, right. And so I look at it and I kind of like, okay, in anything like I will tell you, i’ve let my kids download four plus apps without like looking at it, because I’m like, oh, it’s four plus. And then the F word is on there. I had one where it was like build an avatar kind of thing And you could put like different shirts and shorts and stuff and, you know, make it look like you, different hair stuff, and one of the shirts said F you and it was four plus crazy. And so just because it says four plus, don’t take your hands off the wheel and think, okay, it’s fine. Yeah, it is a place where I start, but it’s not a determining factor, but so I just kind of wanted to throw that in there.
0:04:37 – Speaker 1
Well, and that’s really good. I think that is something we have to pay attention to. I want to add to that from my perspective. with younger kids, not only do I look at the apps that they want to choose for the age recommendation, but I’m going to say something now that’s going to be popular.
0:04:51 – Speaker 2
It’s just don’t turn it off, just say it. Just say it. We say unpopular things here sometimes We do.
0:04:57 – Speaker 1
We do. I mean, i will say when I go to the doctor, especially the lady doctor, or when I got yes, or when you’re going there, i’m going there or when we’re doing something like in the potty.
You know and I’ve got my little ones with me because we’re still at that age You have to come with me into the potty. I have many times handed then my phone to turn around and be distracted so I could do my business. Right, give you a little bit of privacy. Yes, and I know that more than most people, i’m probably much more restrictive of them seeing my phone because of the content that I do for Next, talk Right.
0:05:28 – Speaker 3
So it’s very rare that I will hand them All the research on there. Yes, And I mean, they tell me all the time there’s no games.
0:05:33 – Speaker 1
There’s no games.
I’m like, no, you don’t need to be on mom’s phone at all Bad stuff on mom’s phone, yes, and then dad’s phone too, because he’s in school, anyway. So we don’t usually hand our phones over. But if you look around, maybe you need to look in the mirror. This is one of those moments. Most people hand their phones to their kids when they want to be quiet at the restaurant, at the doctor’s office, in the grocery store, right, yeah, you’ve seen it. Yeah, a lot of moms and dads have really inappropriate content on their phone and they don’t even realize it. So what I’m saying is not that you’re watching porn. That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is you may have some fun apps on there. You may have one of those dance apps. You may have, you know something, a game.
0:06:14 – Speaker 2
Or you and your spouse may have been messaging something.
0:06:17 – Speaker 1
Yes, you may not have been The fruit. You’re messaging the fruit but not using the fruit.
0:06:22 – Speaker 2
You know, we’re not talking nude pictures, but we’re talking emojis.
0:06:25 – Speaker 1
that may mean something, or You were giving your husband a reason to come home early from work. I get it And clearly you get it.
0:06:33 – Speaker 2
You’re turning red, but our readers are like or our listeners are like what?
0:06:38 – Speaker 1
What are they talking about? I would never do that Right.
0:06:40 – Speaker 2
Oh, yeah, right, right, yes, right.
0:06:44 – Speaker 1
But whatever it is, we don’t think it’s inappropriate because it’s okay for an adult. I mean, you know, whatever it is, i would encourage you to look at the age rating and just the content in general on your phone if you hand it over to your younger kids, because they can, you know, click of a button They can be on TikTok or something like that and seeing things that you didn’t intend for them to see because it’s not their device.
0:07:06 – Speaker 2
Well, and that goes into you know, make sure the restrictions are set on your phone if your child is going to play your phone.
0:07:11 – Speaker 1
I don’t think most people think of that, though, like that’s my phone, it’s my phone, it’s my phone And I it’s mom’s phone And Apple has great restrictions.
0:07:18 – Speaker 2
I mean, excuse me, you can go into screen time. You can set literally like movies and music to be PG no explicit content on the music. That’s the other thing. Music Like, if you are, if you listen to some kind of music that has lyrics that you don’t want your kid to hear I mean, hopefully you’re not, but if you are, you’re exposing them when you give them that phone. That’s another reason why you know, maybe get them at their own kid tablet And I know you have done that, we do, and so they have their own thing, and then you can approve their apps a little bit easier too, because they’re all in there just for them.
Yeah, yeah. So that age recommendation is super duper important, but it can be wrong And I want you to know that it can be wrong. The other thing that I want you to know about the age recommendation So your kid can be on a 12 plus app but ads can come through that are 17 plus. So I shared this story at. I share this story at events, it did my new book coming up, but one time my son was was playing a bunny app game that I had said it was fine, i had vetted it out, i had told him and get downloaded It was fine, and an ad popped up and the ad showed two men naked in bed together with a lady standing over them talking about joining in for a threesome Right. So there’s an example of how the age of the app you know. I thought, okay, it’s fine. I even vetted and played the game and I thought it was fine.
You need to know that ads can pop up that don’t match that age rating. So that’s something that we have brought to the attention of people who work. We have partner organizations that kind of. We’re not in the business of getting laws passed, but we have partner organizations that are that’s kind of their specialty, and we’ve brought that to their attention and they’ve brought it to the attention of some lawmakers. But that’s something that you need to be aware of. You just need to be aware.
0:09:15 – Speaker 1
And again, one great thing that you can do that you may think you know your kids are too young. They’re just playing the bunny apps and things like that. Have the conversation. You know the protecting their heart and mind. Talk to them about what to do if they see something inappropriate And we have so many shows on this, but that’s the bigger topic here is that if you’re having these conversations that prepare them because they will see something when they are playing an app, if it does come up, they’ll know what to do.
0:09:41 – Speaker 2
Well, and you don’t wanna freak out. you know, like when my son showed me, i didn’t immediately be like you have to delete the bunny app game. You know my first response to him was and this is where I talk in the events about Old Mandy and New Mandy, you know Old Mandy would have just said delete the app. This is crazy, you’re not playing anything anymore. But you know, new Mandy was really aware that that created a bad culture of conversation. my response And so New Mandy was trying to build this place where we could talk about anything. And so, you know, new Mandy responded way better. Thank God I wasn’t canceled. We did a show on cancel culture. But New Mandy was like thank you so much for telling me. Now let’s talk about this, about what you saw and what you think about that, and you know all the things. And then we read some scripture about what marriage is and what God says marriage is.
You can go check out our Sex and Sexuality show on that if you want. Need help talking about those conversations.
0:10:38 – Speaker 1
So, yes, definitely look at the age rating, not only on their devices, but on your apps, on your TV and also on your phone. And just a quick tip if you are going to be handing your phone over to your kid at a restaurant or wherever, make them their own folder, And that’s what we do. We’re like you can only be in this folder and there are all things that have been pre-approved.
0:10:59 – Speaker 2
That’s a great idea, great tip Real simple. If they’re not going to have their own tablet? Absolutely. If you’re just now tuning in, this is nextTalk Radio at 2 pm on AM 630, the Word. nextTalk Radio is sponsored in part by PAX Financial Group and listeners just like you. Everything we do at our nonprofit to keep kids safe online is accomplished through your donations To support our organization. Go to nexttalkorg and click on Give.
0:11:26 – Speaker 3
There’s big news if you are an investment client of USAA. Just recently, USAA announced that a Cleveland Ohio Corporation has entered into an agreement to purchase USAA asset management. They have always been an exceptional organization and will continue to serve our community well, But if you are considering a change, this might be the right time to look at San Antonio’s PAX Financial Group. 210-881-5700, PAXFinancialGroupcom.
0:11:52 – Speaker 2
Investment Advisory Services operates through PAX Financial Group.
0:11:57 – Speaker 1
So today we are talking about three things to consider when your child wants a new app. We already brought up the first thing, which is know the recommended age for the app, which may not always be accurate. So look at the age and then dig in a little bit deeper, even play it a little bit, and then you can decide if that’s appropriate for your kids.
0:12:14 – Speaker 2
Well, and I think these are the next two points of the digging in to see if it’s appropriate. But we also wanted to you know. When talking about the age recommendation, we also gave some other recommendations about you know if you’re letting your kid use your phone. And then also, you know the ads that pop up. The ads that pop up there’s no regulating that it has to match the age of the app. So if your kids are on a nine plus app, the ads can be 12 plus or 17 plus. There’s nothing that says they have to be nine plus.
So, you have to be aware of that.
0:12:47 – Speaker 1
Yes, and, like I said, with the TV. I don’t know if that’s the same with the TV yet We’ll have to look into that. But like we don’t have any cable, all apps and they have ads as well, and so make sure that you’re looking into the age of your apps on your TV devices as well. Yeah, okay, so the second thing to consider is online strangers.
0:13:06 – Speaker 2
Okay, so this is a big one. So you’ve checked the age and you’re like okay, nine plus. I’m okay with that. That seems appropriate. But you always have to dig in a little bit deeper And one of the things you always have to consider can your kids talk? can they communicate with online strangers? Most apps you can, i’m just gonna tell you, and you have to be super careful here with Xboxes, playstations.
This is talking about not just apps, but any kind of device where they can be exposed to a stranger. So this is a big one for me when my kid comes to me and says especially, you know, for young kids, now, now that my kids are older, they’re on social media, so they’re, they’re taught. I mean, they have exposure to strangers. Sure, you know they’re lit. My, i have a almost 13 year old and a 16 year old and you know my 13 year old, you can’t follow anybody you don’t know in real life. You, you know they’re the guidelines. The guidelines are very strict with him. My 16 year old you know she’s on Twitter, so she’s being followed by any, but she’s being followed by strangers. She’s following strangers but she’s earned fact trust and we’ve talked through it and she knows the dangers of those strangers, and so this is a think of it like a step by step process again.
So you know, for my, for my 12 year old, it’s one of the first questions I ask him when he comes and says can I have a new app? also, can you communicate with strangers? most of the time this is what he’ll say to me, like on things like fortnight or something like that. He will say to me I can, but it’s more of like a global chat place. but there’s also the option to do a private party or a private DM or direct message. Like he will say that to me and I’ll say, okay, you can download the app, but you cannot talk privately with an online stranger. Right, you can participate in the global chat or whatever, but you know you can’t privately go into a DM and start messaging somebody you don’t know in real life, like that’s not allowed. And so we talk through that.
We have a, we have a lot of shows on this, we do yeah, online strangers yeah, we have an online train, online minute well, i think it’s called cyber strangers and then we have online manipulation. We have grooming. That is one of our most highly listened to shows and I would say it’s probably one of the most important shows we’ve ever recorded, mm-hmm. It talks about how kids are groomed by predators online and in person and like how open communication can like stop that from happening, like it can literally save your kids life from that.
0:15:42 – Speaker 1
I want to kind of paint this picture to you so you know how serious it is and how often it happens.
My husband is currently in middle school administration and you know he’s been a part of the nextTalk from the beginning and beforehand. And one day they were having a kind of like a technology presentation you know something that they are supposed to do and he came in afterwards and it was the whole and he said a huge middle school, so tons of kids. And he went up on the microphone after the guests had left and the guest had talked a little bit about cyber strangers and he said raise your hand if you’ve ever been contacted by a cyber stranger directly. And he said 99% of the kids raise your hand absolutely anytime you tell someone that sort of like what? and he said they weren’t embarrassed to put their hand up because it’s so common, like every day, multiple times a day in their games on their social media, and so it is a big deal in middle school. I can’t speak to elementary but I’m pretty sure if your kid is online they would raise their hand too.
0:16:44 – Speaker 2
So my 16 year old daughter and I have done a couple of events at elementary schools, yeah, and our primary conversation there is cyber strangers and I will, you know, basically talk to the parents and say, when your kids come to you and say they’re communicating with somebody they don’t know, don’t freak out, don’t yell, you know, don’t? we don’t want to push them into the arms of the stranger by being crazy, right, and then my daughter will come in and talk about how she’s been contacted by people online she doesn’t know and how she responds. And every time after we do that presentation, there is a line of third, fourth, fifth, you know, even second graders waiting to talk to her, to tell her, to tell my 16-year-old daughter Oh, my gosh, last night I was playing online and somebody asked me where I went to church or somebody asked me this and And that’s one of the tips we give at this event is you know your kid. You need to instill in your kid that a red flag alert goes off in their brain when somebody online, especially that they don’t know, ask their home address, their name, where they go to school, where they go to church, any of those like personal questions where they could find your kid, those are red flag alerts. Or if they’re trying to get you to think badly of your parents. So, for example, if they’re like, why is your mom so crazy that she makes you get off every night at 8 o’clock, that’s a red flag alert because that stranger wants to come in and make parent bad guy and the stranger be the good guy.
That’s grooming. So that’s grooming, and so those are the kinds of things we talk about at those presentations And it never fails. And parents will watch their kids line up to talk to my kid and they’re like I had no idea. I’m like don’t blow up. Don’t blow up, don’t be mean to them. When you get home, like, create a good culture, because they’re ready to talk now And you know you have to be calm about it and you know parents, i mean I hate to say this, but this is gonna be hard to hear like how can they know not to talk to strangers if we Don’t tell them not to?
0:18:41 – Speaker 1
what you need to hear is that you have a great kid, and what you need to hear is that they honestly don’t know, because what parents don’t know you have parents will say all the time Like, how could they not know? to not give out their personal information. And then what we have to say, which is hard, is one, their kids, and two They didn’t know because you’ve never talked to them about it and we don’t know to talk to them because it’s changed.
0:19:05 – Speaker 2
We didn’t have. We didn’t have to worry about that. Yes, we just had to worry about getting in the car with the guy offering us candy in the white van in the white van. Not the nice white van Yeah with the window.
0:19:19 – Speaker 1
Yeah, so it is really important to have these conversations with your kid. We started early with ours, my son, a couple years ago, when he was really young. His buddy at school Came to him was like talking about Roblox and talking about talking to these people, and it was a red flag alert for him at that Age I think he was eight at the time and able to tell his friend dude, you can’t do that, and go talk to your mom.
0:19:40 – Speaker 2
And he had no idea He’s like what do you mean?
0:19:42 – Speaker 1
So his friend had a stranger on Roblox trying to talk to him, yeah, and, and asking him were asking him personal questions and about church all those things So he went to school and told your son Hey, there’s this person I’m playing with on Roblox and they’re asking me all these questions So cool you know, blah, blah, blah blah, and thankfully we had that conversation and He was brave enough to tell his friend like it sounds fun but it’s wrong. You know, you need to tell your mom. She told his mom, they reported the person. I mean it was this whole ripple effect. You can empower your kid, not just to save themselves But others.
0:20:14 – Speaker 2
I mean your kid may have just saved that kid from a sexual predator. Yeah, like for real through conversation, Mm-hmm and so that’s why this is so important. And so you know, i tell you this, because if you always shut down an app that has communication with strangers, you’re probably not gonna let your kid have anything right, because most of them do And, like I said, if they, if they’re, you know, kindergarten three and elementary school.
They don’t really need to be associating with strangers and so things like tick-tock. They have association with strangers, so that should not be a thing. Yeah, you know. But as they get older, like middle school, you start loosening up a bit, they get a little bit social media, but you still have to have these conversations about strangers. It’s so important again, i tell my son you know you can, you can follow these people We don’t know in real life on Instagram, like he loves sports people, right, and so I’m like you can follow them. But if anybody requests to you follow you back or they’re trying to DM you privately, that’s red flag alert off limit. You got to tell me.
0:21:12 – Speaker 1
Okay. So the third thing to think about When allowing your kid a new app or considering a new app, is to think through the content.
0:21:22 – Speaker 2
Yeah, okay. So you’ve looked at the age, you’ve talked about Cyber Strangers and you’re like, okay, there’s some connection here, but you set up some guidelines there. The third thing is you gotta think about the content. I mean, you got to. I mean, you know, with Fortnite there’s killing people. They’re in its cartoon character, but you know, a five-year-old, it may be too much for them. Yeah, you know, it may just be too much. Also, you gotta think about pornography.
We have so many shows on pornography and how to talk to your kids about it Great book by Kristin Jensen, good Pictures, bad Pictures on how to start that conversation with your kids in elementary school. Check that out. Cuss words. Pornography is literally. My kids have both seen pornography on Instagram. Oh yeah, yeah, cuss words. They’re all over the place Account names. So here’s one that I want to talk to you about content. So you’ve done everything right. You’ve approved the apps. You’re watching everything. My kid was on an educational app recommended by school one time And one of the account names was sexual. Yeah, like it was a sexual account name, okay. So I’m just gonna say it. But it’s gross, okay, okay, i’m just gonna say it.
0:22:27 – Speaker 1
You’re red and sweating.
0:22:29 – Speaker 2
It was like Come Drinker, Oh geez. Yeah, that’s gross, right Okay, but that exposed my kid to all these things and they were like what is this?
0:22:38 – Speaker 1
0:22:38 – Speaker 2
I’m like oh my gosh, we are on an educational And so it was a good app, but yet the account name was messed up. This is-. So that’s a content.
0:22:49 – Speaker 1
That is a content one And this is a really good point for me just to throw in here. Oh, and I’m just throwing it in here A lot of times when you start these conversations and you start talking to your kids about reporting it, i just wanna warn you that it’s gonna be overwhelming at first, like my Because they’re gonna show you so much.
Yes, and it’s exhausting to have to keep reminding yourself that this is only for a short period of time. In the bigger picture, you’re saving your kid from so much that it’s worth it. Cause in my house right now the age of my kids, i would say like anytime they’re on some kind of game or device or anything at all, i am hearing from them probably every five to 10 minutes. It’s that many things that are thrown at them, whether it’s a name that’s bad, or a girl in an inappropriate thing in a game that’s been approved, like she’s in a bikini. Well, that’s something we say to report, and I can’t roll my eyes when they come and report what I’ve asked them to report, even though it’s happening over and over and over. Or act like it’s silly, or act like it’s silly, because then they stop reporting to you. Yes, yes.
0:23:50 – Speaker 2
But the great thing is, Kim, as they get older you can loosen up those guidelines. So now, like my kid won’t tell me if they see the S word Right, You know, because I mean they hear that all day long at school and on chat rooms and stuff. But if somebody’s saying the F word repeatedly that they’re playing with, then I hear about that.
You know if it’s something like extreme if there’s bullying going on. They always tell me that. But you will loosen up a little bit on your guidelines. But the content is like super important that you make sure The a lot of Instagram, snapchat. We have shows on each of those but, like a discover section, lots of bad content there. I mean there’s been pornography there, lots of sexuality stuff there. You need to be aware of that And it’s okay if your kids are at the age where you’re okay with them seeing that. But it’s gonna take some conversations because they’re gonna have some questions about what they’re seeing.
0:24:39 – Speaker 1
Absolutely. And politics I mean, that’s something you wanna make sure that they know, that whatever they read doesn’t mean truth.
0:24:47 – Speaker 2
Yeah, my daughter’s on Twitter, And so it’s a lot of politics, and every day there’s a trending hashtag that we kinda have to talk through. You know, like what’s going on and what it means and what’s behind it and all the things. And so content is important.
0:24:59 – Speaker 1
I just have to say this last one, because it’s big, with young kids is attitude. You know, the sassy the way they treat adults in a game or an app. I mean it’s important You’ll see that shift with your kids because they are doing what they see. So it’s important to look at how they’re acting in these apps and games. Where is it coming from?
0:25:16 – Speaker 2
Okay, so three things to consider when your kid wants a new app. Age recommendations are important, but don’t rely solely on that. Dig deeper. Two, find out about online strangers. Can they talk to your kid? And three, think about all the content that your kid could be exposed to on that app.
0:25:34 – Speaker 3
Thanks for joining us on nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim on AM630, the Word. You are not alone trying to figure out how to parent in this digital world. We are here with practical solutions to help you. Follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter. Find our video series and podcast at nexttalkorg. Are you ready for the nextTalk? We’ll see you in the next video.
Transcribed by https://podium.page