0:00:00 – Speaker 1
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0:00:11 – Speaker 2
Welcome to nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim on AM630, the Word. Mandy is the author of Talk and Kim is the director of nextTalk, a non-profit organization helping parents’ cyber parent through open communication. Follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter. Find our free video series and subscribe to our weekly podcast at NextTalkorg. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
0:00:37 – Speaker 3
Today we’re talking about bandwagon mentality. You know we grew up hearing the phrase if your fringe jumped off a bridge, would you?
0:00:47 – Speaker 1
You heard that right? I heard that. I still say that.
0:00:50 – Speaker 3
Yeah, I do. When I say it, though, you feel like your parents, right?
0:00:54 – Speaker 1
You do Just with young kids. I notice they need real simple things that they can be like oh, yeah, no, I wouldn’t do that. Yeah, you can’t get too fancy with them, so they can kind of think through it, yes, yeah.
0:01:05 – Speaker 3
You know, kim, the more I work with families and the more I’m on this journey of trying, like to get my kids to talk to me about everything and instill this quiet confidence in them that I want to instill that they can stand up for what they believe in and not follow the crowd. You know, the more I try to do that and the more I see other families, I will tell you I think one of Satan’s biggest manipulation tools is to convince our kids. Everyone is doing it. Oh yeah, like there’s no hope, you might as well just join in. There’s nobody like you. You’re weird because you’re not doing it, and I hate to say this, but I fell into that trap as a kid.
0:01:46 – Speaker 1
I think most of us did.
0:01:48 – Speaker 3
And it is my goal as a mom, like I’m not going to let my kids fall into that trap. You know they can make mistakes and whatever, but I don’t want you to do something because everyone else is doing it Like it is just from Satan.
0:02:03 – Speaker 1
I remember like distinctly the moment of looking around and all my friends had boyfriends and I did not and quite frankly, I didn’t want one. I wasn’t into it yet it was middle school. I was just awkward, just wasn’t, I wasn’t ready, but I thought I am missing out and this is what I’m supposed to do.
0:02:24 – Speaker 3
It’s what expected.
0:02:25 – Speaker 1
It is what is expected of me, and some of my friends had made a few comments and so I felt like, well, I got to get me a man in middle school.
0:02:33 – Speaker 3
And so all you’re not getting yourself a mate, you’re getting yourself a little boy. That’s right. What am I saying?
0:02:38 – Speaker 1
A boy. And then you know I’m walking down this road of trying to get a boyfriend and I have no idea what I’m doing, like, why am I even doing this? And those questions ring in my head now and I share those with my kids. I’m like when the Holy Spirit is prompting questions in your mind. That’s one of those moments where you say why am I doing this? Is it just because everybody thinks it’s cool or they’re saying it’s right? That is the Holy Spirit and that’s what I’m trying to teach my kids to recognize.
0:03:07 – Speaker 3
Well, and I think it’s so, so important to start this conversation early. Like all the conversations we talk about, the earlier you can start, the better. It’s never too late. But man, start them early, it’s never too late. But it’s harder when they’ve gotten in the habit of following the crowd to break it. I mean, just like anything, if you’re a smoker, you’ve gotten in the habit. It’s hard to break that habit If you’re a cheesecake eater.
0:03:30 – Speaker 2
0:03:30 – Speaker 3
whatever you know. I mean, it’s a habit that you’re forming and so what we want to do is for them, when they’re really little, not to form that habit and to ask that question like why am I doing this? It doesn’t matter what everybody else is doing. Like, why am I choosing to participate in whatever this is?
0:03:48 – Speaker 1
One of my favorite questions with my kids because they are young my oldest is nine is tell me why this is important to you.
0:03:56 – Speaker 3
0:03:57 – Speaker 1
Because so often they don’t know. They just know that their buddy is doing it or is into it, or that’s what the teacher said, or whatever. I want to hear from you and a lot of times they’ll stop and think about and they’re like you know, I don’t really know, it really isn’t important to me. I’d want them to get into the habit of thinking through their experiences and I think that’s part of this whole bandwagon mentality. We haven’t raised our kids to think independently, to really process the emotions that they’re feeling and then make a decision for themselves.
0:04:25 – Speaker 3
So you know we talked. It’s kind of always been. This has always been a thing like we grew up with this whatever. But, as with anything, because of technology, it’s now heightened, it’s exploded. It’s exploded right, because now we have. You know, when we were growing up it was just seeing at school what was happening and wanting to get into that or do what everybody else was doing.
0:04:46 – Speaker 1
Or like a magazine in the aisle, like something real quick.
0:04:49 – Speaker 3
Yeah, now you know your kid can spend hours and hours and hours on social media and maybe none of their peers are doing it, but all the college age kids that they follow on social media are doing it and they don’t realize they’re 12, but they want to be doing all that stuff now For sure. So, like it’s this whole thing In new technologies I think about new technologies that have come out I mean vaping comes to mind immediately, because talk to any teenager and when you say vaping, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? They will probably say everybody’s doing it. It is like common, like everybody’s doing that. And if you don’t know what vaping is, you need to go check out our show. We have a whole show on it about the jewel and the vaping and all of that. But you need to know what vaping is. It is exploding in our schools, everywhere in our churches everywhere.
0:05:47 – Speaker 1
You know, it’s one of those things that it’s easy for us to think our kids would know how to handle a situation, or would think on their feet as I hear people say a lot or they’ll know what’s right and wrong and it’s true at a gut level or the Holy Spirit may be speaking to them, but if we’re not practicing with them and we’re not conversating with them about these situations, I can promise you that they’re going to do what is liked or what is popular because it’s easier. It’s easier not to stand your ground and to be. It’s easier not to be different and stand out.
0:06:21 – Speaker 3
It’s easier in the moment, in the moment, until it catches up to you, because you can only go along with the crowd for so long before you do long-term damage to yourself, because you’re going to do whatever it takes. You know, I think today I mean thank God there were no phones when we were kids, because I probably couldn’t do what I do now Like let’s just say that Because bad decisions were being made over here in Mandi World right and now.
but now our kids can be recorded doing those things. They’ve got this whole sharing nude phenomenon, which is, again, a lot of kids are doing that Good kids.
0:07:01 – Speaker 1
And they don’t think it’s wrong.
0:07:02 – Speaker 3
These aren’t bad kids. These are like good kids being raised by good parents. Yes, but there’s never been that conversation of why would you do this? And I. Where I’m going with this is now. It’s documented. It can follow them their whole life. So doing what everyone is doing like there could be literal videos, that’s going to prevent your kid from getting their first job or into a college or a scholarship, over something they did in seventh grade.
0:07:32 – Speaker 1
This is a real thing. It is a real thing. I was just listening to a podcast and a dean of a school was saying more than ever, they look at your digital footprint when they’re thinking of admitting you into the school because you are a product of their school. The moment they admit you and anyone can look back at who you are and what you’ve done and say, oh well, they go to this school. Now they must, that must happen at this school, and so they. I was surprised. It was a very prominent university and they said listen before, maybe we would look through, but now it is the standard. We will look through your digital footprint and make a decision if that would adversely affect our school, our school look. Or you know our school name and brand.
0:08:14 – Speaker 3
So if our kids get into this everyone is doing it and just following along I mean their lives could totally. I mean my life was impacted in emotional way, in deep emotional ways, but it wasn’t in the public to display Exactly, and I think today it’s both. They’re going to have the emotional scars and they’re going to have the public videos and the public shame that comes along with it, absolutely, and so this is a real thing that we need to talk to our kids about.
0:08:41 – Speaker 1
You know again, even though my kids are young, already my nine-year-old has said many times I feel like I want to get a phone, I would like a phone. And I’m like, why, why would you want to get a phone? Well, some of my friends have a phone. My friends say they have a phone and want a phone and should get a phone. And so already those conversations have started about well, why would you need a phone? What would you do with the phone? And so talking through the peer pressure that’s happening for your kid or with your kid is so helpful for them and it’s helpful for you because you can fall trap into that. Oh well, if everybody’s getting a phone, there’s parent peer pressure, yeah parent peer pressure.
0:09:14 – Speaker 3
This is a real thing.
0:09:16 – Speaker 1
I should get my kid a phone too.
0:09:17 – Speaker 3
It’s a real thing.
0:09:18 – Speaker 1
Yeah, oh, big time.
0:09:19 – Speaker 3
Yeah, and you know, with my story and our story, my daughter was exposed to things without a phone. So I 100% believe that delay the phone, delay the phone, delay the phone. But I also believe that there does come a point when you can parent it better with their own device because they’re being shown so much from others. You know we’ve got that percentage only 12% from the peer research center do not have a phone between the ages of 13 and 17. But I think what’s happening is parents are feeling the pressure really early to get the phone and nobody’s ready for it. The parents aren’t ready for it and the kids aren’t ready for it.
And so I wrote a whole chapter on that. It’s chapter nine in my book, and I have questions laid out for you Like to ask yourself and your child are they ready for a phone? And I think that’s extremely important because it has to be situational. You know the single mom who works all the time and her kid is getting off the bus. That kid’s probably going to need a phone sooner than some other kids, and so we have to have grace, like we have to have grace for those people who need that, but at the same time, just because that’s happening doesn’t mean it’s time for your kid. If maybe they’re not ready or you just don’t want to do the work, you don’t want to be involved in the online world, I mean then don’t get the phone.
0:10:41 – Speaker 1
Yeah, it scares me when we meet parents who their kids have phones with access to everything and they’re like, oh, I don’t know what they do on that thing. They just they needed it, or they said they needed it for school and that was the extent.
0:10:52 – Speaker 2
And they’re like five.
0:10:53 – Speaker 1
Yeah, oh, and you know, it sounds like you’re joking. I’m not joking, but you’re not. I’m not joking. At the school near where I live I know that there are a number of kids in the elementary class that have nicer phones than I do.
0:11:06 – Speaker 3
Not that that matters, I’m saying that they have Wait, wait, was that a little jealousy in there?
0:11:12 – Speaker 1
I just find it ironic that not only do they have a phone, but they have like the latest phone, Like wow, you know what sounds crazy.
0:11:21 – Speaker 3
OK, I’m getting off track here, but one time we had a party at our house teenagers right and our rule is drop your phone off on the kitchen island when you’re at our house. You can check it anytime, but it’s not going in the back room or the game room or whatever. And my husband laid his phone next to it and it was all these teen girls. And my husband’s phone was the smallest one. He took a picture and he was like what is wrong with this world?
0:11:45 – Speaker 1
I was like jealousy much. Yeah, well then he shouldn’t visit the kindergarten class and he’ll feel really bad.
It’s just, it’s one of those crazy things that parents unintentionally struggle with this and then sometimes they’re actually pushing the agenda. I have seen that and I’ve heard it and I cringe inside. Just yesterday I heard a mom say, well, so-and-so does it, and so I think you should do it too. You did not yes, I did, and it was not about a bad thing, but it’s pushing that agenda of you should do it because someone else is setting that tone, Because they’re doing it yeah.
That’s a good reason. And even if it’s a good thing, you don’t wanna plant that seed in your kid’s head that just because they’re doing it, that’s enough of a reason that you should pursue it. You want them to think through the reasons why it makes sense for them, period.
0:12:39 – Speaker 3
It’s okay to say no, yes, it’s okay to say no, you know. Explain the why behind it. But if your kid is not ready for something, do not push it on him just because everyone else is doing it.
0:12:51 – Speaker 1
I will tell you that one of my favorite things. I wanna share with you, this story that impacted me and my kids so much in this realm where he has learned to say no to things that he doesn’t feel comfortable with. But I’ll tell you that right after this. 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 like you. Everything we do in our nonprofit to keep kids safe online is accomplished through donations To support our organization. Go to nexttalkorg and click on give [“The Word”].
0:13:32 – Speaker 2
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0:13:58 – Speaker 1
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0:14:05 – Speaker 3
Okay, you were telling us a story. Yeah, I wanted to and I’m ready to hear it. Okay, okay, okay, Like I’m excited to hear this story.
0:14:12 – Speaker 1
So I’ve told this story before, but it really came up again in me. I have this little celebration moment every time I hear my son in this situation. I overheard him playing with another kid and the kid was being very manipulative. Like you should do this, because this is what I do.
0:14:26 – Speaker 2
0:14:27 – Speaker 1
And if you don’t like it, then you’re not a good friend Like those kinds of statements, and I had heard this a few times and so I pulled him aside and this was a while ago and I explained to him about what manipulation is and what that feels like, and we talked a lot about what some of those trigger words are and why it’s not a good thing. And it was really enlightening in that moment for him because he was feeling weird but didn’t have a word for it, and so we talked through that and I will tell you it’s been probably a year and a half since that happened and I have heard him so many times where this kid who now I’m okay with him hanging out with, even though I don’t think he makes great decisions a lot of the time I hear my son time and time again say no, thank you, I’m not comfortable doing that. Or no, thank you, I’m not interested in that. What a great life lesson.
0:15:13 – Speaker 3
Oh, my heart just explodes because I’m like yes, and you go back to that one minute five minute conversation. That was not a huge deal, it didn’t take a lot of time, but look how much it taught your kid.
0:15:24 – Speaker 1
It was not a sit down like we need to talk about this. It was just like hey, I feel like you’re probably feeling like this. You know and it gave him that fuel that it is okay to say no as long as you’re respectful, you are kind, you can say no and it’s okay. Be you, not someone else.
0:15:42 – Speaker 3
Yeah so let’s talk about some practical things that we do, because that was a real practical one for my older kids. I always say to them if you feel like everyone is doing it, but what they’re doing does not line up with God’s word or it’s hurtful, it doesn’t feel right, it’s not something that you think should be happening, then a red flag alert should be sounding in your brain Like I want them to visualize that. I want them to visualize like a red siren going off in their brain. This is something I need to talk with mom about. Like I’m struggling with this. Is this okay? You know, recently my whole thing is I’m constantly praying dear Lord, let me instill a quiet confidence in my kids. That’s just a constant prayer that I feel myself doing all the time, and I want them to have the confidence because then they won’t go with the crowd, right? So recently I’m praying this and praying this right, and when my kids actually do it like, I question them.
So let me tell you like I mess up, right. So recently we bought a new shirt at our church and it says Jesus is my jam. It’s a super cute shirt. It’s like a cute color, a cute font, you know all that kind of stuff, and it was to support a little girl doing a mission trip, you know. So it was a good cause and everything. We’ve been praying for her. And so my daughter goes to public school and she came out one morning last week and she had the shirt on that she was going to wear to school.
Okay, so in my mind, I’m always preparing her for bad things. Like, I always want her to be prepared. Like you know, for pornography, we prepare on how to respond to that. For you know, being asked for a nude photo, we talk about that. Like, how do you respond to that? Like, so in my mind, I’m always preparing her for the worst. Right, and it came out kind of wrong, I will say it. But I said to her hey, are you okay wearing that shirt? You look super cute. Oh gosh, you look super cute. But somebody may do it, give you a smart remark, or they may make fun of you. I just need you to know that, like, I want you to be prepared, so proud of you for wearing the shirt and proclaiming Jesus at your public school. And she was standing in the pantry right Looking for something to eat and she looked at me like this teen sass eye roll, oh boy.
And I said so I don’t care what people think, look at her. My heart like swelled in my chest and I looked at her and I said I am so proud of you. Like that’s what I was hoping you would say. But I also wanted you to be prepared, you know, because I didn’t want somebody to say something and then she start crying or she had a breakdown at school and like you know anything. And so I was so proud of her and I said you know what? I’m so proud of you because you’re just being you, you’re being true to God and you’re not wavering and like people are going to notice that they may not say it, because it may be weird to say way to go for doing that. But what was cool was she got in the car that day and she was like, oh my gosh, so many people told me they love my shirt. And I was like thank you, god, thank you for giving her that encouragement from her peers, because they do want it.
0:19:04 – Speaker 1
Everybody wants to be liked, it’s so true, it’s a struggle and you know, I’m going to kind of take the other side of this story here, Not that specific story, but of you know the whole bandwagon thing and lay those foundational conversations and truths.
You know, one of the things we say all the time is you be you, don’t try to be someone else. God wants you to be you, and if it feels wrong or you know it’s wrong guess what it is Like don’t. If you find yourself trying to make excuses or justify, that’s the red light that the Holy Spirit is like hey, that’s probably because this is a bad idea. And here’s the big butt we’re human, the big butt. Here’s the big butt. I like big butts, it’s called.
0:19:47 – Speaker 3
Kim, yes, okay what’s the big butt?
0:19:51 – Speaker 1
The big butt besides Kim is that, stop it.
0:19:56 – Speaker 3
No negative self-talk.
0:19:57 – Speaker 1
No negative self-talk, even if it makes me laugh. It really is that we’re human and your kids are going to mess up.
0:20:04 – Speaker 3
0:20:05 – Speaker 1
And so one of the other things that I have found myself saying a lot lately is look, if you find yourself in a situation where you’ve jumped on that bandwagon or you’ve made a bad choice.
It’s never too late to step back, get off the bandwagon, the wagon. And I remember so many times. I remember calling my mom from a party and I knew in my spirit, like don’t go to this party, this is not gonna be a good party. And I went, even though the red lights were flashing. And as soon as I got there I realized I was in a very dangerous bad position. And if my mom had not have said, like you can always call me, no questions asked, if you are in trouble, I am your go-to, like don’t Stay. And so I called and I was like I just need a ride, mom. And she’s like, no questions asked. She picked me up, awesome, um, same thing. Like your kids need to know it’s never too late to jump off the wagon. Yeah, call you. And that you will not ream them for making a mistake and and that you won’t continually bring it up.
Yes, you got her that time you were so dumb.
0:21:09 – Speaker 3
Once they jump off the bandwagon, praise them. Praise them and don’t bring it up. Don’t and same thing with your spouse like oh we can go, that’s another show.
Um, the other thing is, you know, talk about the trap of popularity. We talk about that a lot. So here’s what I want to say about that. Um, I say to my kids look, if you are popular Because you’re you and you are true to Jesus and you are standing firm in your faith, and people see that and you’re at a school when that’s cool, there’s nothing wrong with being popular. The problem is being popular. If you’re doing whatever it takes To have the popular status, that’s where it becomes a problem.
0:21:53 – Speaker 1
Oh yeah, slippery slope.
0:21:54 – Speaker 3
Yeah, and I think of Ephesians 414 we won’t be tossed and blown about by every winds, why we will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth, you know, like if you, if you share a nude photo, you’re gonna go viral and be the most popular kid in school. That is not truth. That is a lie from Satan to try and get you to go with the crowd. Yes, right, and so just instilling in them that popularity is not the goal. I always tell my teen girl everybody’s standards of popularity changes and it will. Constantly. You’ll be demanded to do something else, and then something else, and then something like next week It’ll be something else, and you’re constantly gonna be trying to do these things and it’s gonna hurt your soul, like you’re gonna have emotional scars from them, and you’re probably gonna have videos that are out there surfacing that could literally work, that could literally ruin your career or your college. Yeah, so talk about popularity, you know, and speaking of popularity, that’s why this is so important.
0:22:57 – Speaker 1
Teach your kids about their true identity, not a fake one that’s always changing. Their audience is one. Their audience is god, not people. I love Galatians 110.
0:23:09 – Speaker 3
I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of god. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. And that I mean we. We’ve got to teach them and we struggle with this. Yes, and I think they see us struggling and we’re struggling with this, and I think they see us struggling, and then so they just they model what we’re doing.
0:23:30 – Speaker 1
They do, they do it and and it’s also modeled all the time for them. Remember, not just in social media but in the programming, like if you take a minute to watch a show with your kids, oh, this is you are preaching it right now.
0:23:42 – Speaker 3
Let me tell you you are preaching it husbands are dumb on their shows.
0:23:47 – Speaker 1
You do whatever it takes to be popular and you don’t tell your parents anything.
0:23:51 – Speaker 3
You lie purposely you lie about everything.
0:23:54 – Speaker 1
You never tell them what’s going on.
0:23:56 – Speaker 3
That’s what their media, oh my bad pressure is going up because I this is literally being Saturated into our kids brains. Yes, and if we are not actively talking to them about not going along with that and we watch those shows but then we have conversations about it afterwards, like don’t you think it’s weird that they can’t tell their parents this or that they did that because everybody else is doing it? Do you see how that got them in trouble? You know, have those conversations afterwards.
0:24:25 – Speaker 1
Absolutely. You know, be set apart, know who you are, run your race, not anyone else’s. Those are those things we need to constantly be saying to our kids, so it just becomes a part of the script running through their mind. So when they’re faced with a decision or a moment, they remember those things, they listen to the holy spirit, they see the red flashing and they know what to do and then, when you really are able to teach them that you know, to have that quiet confidence and look within.
0:24:52 – Speaker 3
They’re not going to look within the crowd because they’re going to go Back to asking what, like you did, why am I doing this? And it goes back to their relationship with god, and that’s the other thing. It’s not following our rules, it’s their relationship with god. That’s the audience. Amen, sister, for our wrap-up segment today. One Satan manipulates our kids with the lie that everyone is doing it. Teach your kids to stand alone and be confident. Two talk about the trap of popularity. Three instill in your kids their true identity, not a fake one that changes. They have an audience of one, and that is god.
0:25:33 – Speaker 2
Thanks for joining us on nextTalk radio with Mandy and Kim on am 6 30 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 free video series and podcast at nextTalkorg. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
Transcribed by https://podium.page