0:00:02 – Speaker 1
Welcome to the nextTalk podcast, where we share real stories and practical advice for parenting the digital world.
0:00:09 – Speaker 2
We’re your hosts, Mandy and Kim. Mandy is an award-winning author and the founder of nextTalk, and I’m the director of nextTalk, a nonprofit organization created to strengthen families through open communication. You can check out all of our resources at NextTalkorg.
0:00:24 – Speaker 1
For wives, moms and friends tackling culturally relevant topics from a Christian perspective. We’re sharing what we’ve learned and where we’ve failed. We’re so glad you’re here for this conversation.
0:00:37 – Speaker 2
So today on the show we have a special guest. Well, really that’s not accurate. It’s not we, it’s me, kim, and Mandy has the day off, and so I have my wonderful husband, charles. Welcome back to the show. Oh yeah, it’s great to be back. Oh, my goodness.
0:00:53 – Speaker 3
It’s been a long time. Microphone.
0:00:56 – Speaker 2
I think the microphone has missed you almost as much as me, Man. it’s been a long time.
0:01:00 – Speaker 3
I love being here. It’s a great opportunity. I love to share what’s going on in this dad brain of mine and hopefully bring some balance I don’t know, maybe a little perspective to all the listeners out there Some dude perspective. Some dude dad perspective.
0:01:16 – Speaker 2
Well, y’all always have a different way of thinking of things, so I think that’s good. Today we’re kind of tackling a big subject and the reason, as we were planning for this show, we were thinking about all the different topics and different things that we’ve done before on the podcast And all of them kind of stem from patterns or things we’ve experienced in the past and what that looks like now in our marriage and our relationship and our parenting and our careers good or bad And when you really look at that in a bigger picture, it’s about generational cycles.
0:01:53 – Speaker 3
It can be. Yeah, sure, i think a large part of who I am is my past. The lessons that I’ve learned have kind of shaped me, and same thing, i think, for most people right, we’ve kind of been influenced by our experiences, and we also have been influenced by our families growing up. We have a certain genetic code that we all have, that we’re sort of prone to certain things, and I think those things go back, i think, further than just our parents.
0:02:24 – Speaker 2
Yes, that’s so true. I think, even as Christians and even culturally like, looking at different ways we’re affected through the generations can be fascinating in such a great conversation with your friends and with your spouse, and that’s kind of what we wanted to recreate here today. Now, generational cycles can be positive or negative. We’re going to talk a lot more today about breaking generational cycles, but we wanted to define it for you first, because I think that’s a good starting point. It’s significant family behaviors that repeat themselves from one generation to the next, and that can be attitudes, behaviors, ways of thinking, values, all different types of things, but the key is that it’s repeated over time within your family.
0:03:11 – Speaker 3
Right, and this isn’t. we’re not talking about tradition, right? We’re not talking about how we celebrate certain things. We’re talking about behaviors. We’re talking about significant behaviors that over time, have just sort of become the identity of your family in a way, some significant behaviors that really shape maybe the men in your family or maybe the women in your family have kind of adopted certain behaviors and sort of accepted them as is, because, well, that’s just the way we’ve always done it, kind of a thing, right.
0:03:44 – Speaker 2
It becomes the norm.
0:03:45 – Speaker 3
It becomes acceptable.
0:03:46 – Speaker 2
Correct. Yeah, that’s so true. One that came to mind for both of us right away was divorce.
0:03:55 – Speaker 3
I thought you were going to say DeVito, like Danny, big fan of taxi as a kid and then generationally seeing him in twins with Schwarzenegger, and then now even as the voice of the Lorax for our kids. Devito is a great generational cycle, but a negative one is divorce. You’re right, let’s stick with divorce.
0:04:18 – Speaker 2
He’s actually in Schlatz’s these commercials now.
0:04:20 – Speaker 3
He’s great. I know It’s like another generation He’s in Schlatz.
0:04:23 – Speaker 2
He’s some C in which commercials.
0:04:24 – Speaker 3
He’s everywhere. He’s everywhere, i mean, the little man keeps working.
0:04:30 – Speaker 2
Okay, divorce, of course, okay. So this is a really big topic, but we both come from long lines of divorce and it’s been repeated throughout history in our families And it’s something when we were dating that we talked about, as we wanted to be the couple or we wanted to be the generation that broke that cycle, and it’s a it’s a tall order.
0:04:54 – Speaker 3
Right, and it’s I mean you guys know the stats right, i mean over 50% of American marriages end in divorce.
0:05:00 – Speaker 2
even includes Christian marriages, right? Christian marriages are even higher at this point. So, okay, it’s really sad.
0:05:06 – Speaker 3
And then when people remarry it’s like 70% right. So it becomes and that’s just all you need to know about that right, because if you allow it to happen it becomes normalized, it becomes acceptable, it becomes okay. So my parents are divorced, My dad’s parents are divorced, and this goes back, you know, two generations where it wasn’t as acceptable. Right In a kind of trailblazing, pioneering way. In a bad way, it became acceptable, i think, in my dad’s eyes that divorce was an option. Right, because his dad left when he was like and he was a teenager, so him and his brother joined the Navy and then his mom never remarried.
So my grandma was alone, right. Her kids grew up, they joined the Navy, they saw the world And my dad only kind of knew his mom as being kind of a single mom, so it wasn’t so unfamiliar for him, you know, to have somebody just leave their wife and, you know, start new, because he saw it happen. Yes, you know what I mean. So it became sort of acceptable for that sort of thing to happen. And I don’t know how far back it went, you know, because I don’t really talk to my dad too much, but I don’t think it would be too tough to go too far back to find examples of divorce.
0:06:17 – Speaker 2
Which you know, interestingly enough. I think that’s a lot of people’s stories, especially when people are age.
They saw that happen with parents and grandparents, and if you see something enough from people you respect or look up to or were your parental figures, then it becomes normalized or becomes okay. Or you know it’s not okay, but you use it as an excuse. when it comes to your own life, when things get hard, when you don’t know what to do, if you don’t have someone pouring into you, you’re like, well, this is what they did, so I guess it’s okay.
0:06:51 – Speaker 3
I’m not the only one doing something bad. So it’s all right then because I have this society of fellow rule breakers or other bad choice makers, you know, kind of going along with me. So you know, we see it in young kids all the time.
0:07:05 – Speaker 2
Right, you know, it’s like when you bust your kid for doing something, what’s the first thing that they say Well, johnny did it too, he was doing it too, they were all doing it, mom you know, So, yeah, it’s easy to kind of give strength to the actions when other people are doing it right, And that’s kind of what we wanted to do is give you some examples first and then talk about some ways you know in your own life that this can apply and how you can look at generational cycles and if you want to keep them, if they’re positive ones, or if you want to break them.
We’re going to give you a few tips for that. But divorce was the first one we thought of, which led to an even bigger topic of communication, which is such a nextTalk way to go. But it’s so true Like, if you look at divorce and you look at all the different things that can contribute to a divorce, unhealthy communication or a lack of communication, I think, is a huge generational cycle that we have had to break and that a lot of families have. And so much of that is because it wasn’t expected for our parents, and especially not our grandparents, to dig into deep conversations or to be a good listener or to understand your kid’s feelings or to talk about hard things. I mean, this is stuff that’s hard for us now.
0:08:18 – Speaker 3
So even just our parents’ generation that just wasn’t heard of for a lot of people, i think in men especially like there’s a generational expectation that we don’t have to talk and that if we talk too much, that’s a feminine quality. So talking about feelings, talking about hardships, talking about weakness, vulnerability, failure, that is anti-male. Yeah Right, so that’s not something that was ever encouraged in any male circle. I was ever a part of Right. You could go back. What we’re seeing now is we’re seeing a ton of need for folks to be able to especially men, to have that opportunity to talk about things and really kind of recognizing those in our own kids and seeing that in the youth today how much they need that. That is one of those generational pivots I think that we’re going to have to make in order for these cycles to break.
0:09:16 – Speaker 2
That’s so true. That is so true. And again, with the marriage theme, you can see why divorce numbers have gone through the roof because it was also not acceptable at a certain time to leave no matter what. And now that that has become more acceptable and people didn’t talk about things before, now they’re talking about them. And then you have to stay and do the hard work And if you’re used to just leaving and starting over or quitting and that was never modeled for you or you never recognized, well, this is a generational cycle that I want to change and I’m going to be honest. It would be easier on the surface to just quit, walk out divorce We know in the long run that’s not easier, but on the surface it seems like it would be in the moment than to have the hard conversations and learn how to love your spouse better, to work through the difficult times and to learn new ways of operating as a couple.
0:10:13 – Speaker 3
Yeah, absolutely So you have like the easy way out that is. Sometimes on the surface it looks simpler. However, we know that that’s probably more damaging than ever before. You miss out on the lesson that’s learned, and then you also miss out on breaking that generational cycle. So we mentioned divorce, we’ve talked about communication. Anything else You want, like just personally, like what are some things that you feel in your family, or in my family, generationally speaking, has sort of crept in?
0:10:46 – Speaker 2
I know a big one for us is a relationship with money Like that is a huge one.
0:10:51 – Speaker 3
How dare you talk about money? I’m not ready to discuss this right now.
0:10:55 – Speaker 2
I’ve crossed the line.
0:10:56 – Speaker 3
I’m sorry Woman, I’m not ready to communicate about this.
0:11:00 – Speaker 2
These hard conversations are too much.
0:11:01 – Speaker 3
Press, stop, press, stop, pause record, walk it up, oh my goodness.
0:11:06 – Speaker 2
It’s so true, though, like money is huge, huge, and the way your family has dealt with it, it definitely affects you. So, for example, in my mom’s family, whenever the topic of money came up, it was a nightmare, real bad, let’s just leave it at that. And that’s how my mom grew up, seeing that anytime budget, money, spending was talked about whether it was a positive thing or a negative thing it ended in a horrific conversation. So switch over to me growing up with my mom Every time she had to do the bills or talk about money or budget, she’d get a stomachache stressful. So that’s how I grew up just spending the money and make it work. So then I get married to my detailed husband and I bring that into our marriage, and it would be.
It was one of the hardest things for us to work through at some point, because I was going along with just like making it works. We don’t have to deal with the difficult conversations And guess what? That doesn’t work in a marriage, and so we had to talk about it. We had to change the way we were doing things and we had to shift the boat into a different direction.
0:12:21 – Speaker 3
You know, we never had money growing up And so I remember my mom coming home from work and my mom would at one point I remember her working three jobs and she would waitress like super late at night And I remember her bringing home single dollar bills And she would like take them out of her purse or pocket or whatever And she would just sort of like flatten them out and we would count And it would be like sometimes it was a good night, sometimes it was a bad night, but even a good night wasn’t really like a lot of money. And I remember just never having anything, you know like never really like seeing money, like we never talked about money because it was never really, it was just do we have enough this week to buy food? Do we have enough this week to? I mean, just, i don’t know. We just we always lived in apartments keep the lights on, you know and so when, because it was so scarce, every dollar was just like so much more right, it meant so much to have any sort of extra money coming over And maybe and that’s why I’m probably so tight with money, you know, with us and you had your free spending, mom, and that generational cycle And I have my mom, who never had, you know, her thing was like she never had two pennies to rub together, you know kind of thing.
Now she would give you the shirt off her back And if she had that dollar she would probably give it to somebody who needed it more, even though we were the ones that needed it, mom. But you know, those are one of those things, like I never wanted to be that poor or never wanted my kids to see that, that I wanted to make sure that our kids had at least something, not that we would have everything in the world and again, money doesn’t solve any problems but like I never want on vacations as a kid, everyone on trips. You know I never went on anything that was outside of school, like you know, like field trips for the things that my mom and dad never my mom never vacation with me, never went anywhere. I know that wasn’t something that we had the finances to do, and so it really meant a lot to me as a dad and as a husband to make a difference, make it Different, not a different, but make it different for my kids.
0:14:40 – Speaker 2
For us to find a new way of creating a relationship with money for our kids well, like in a piece with it.
0:14:49 – Speaker 3
Not not the extremes that we both came from and that’s hard well, especially when we’re from two different extremes, right, yeah, i mean that middle is really hard. But I think you know we talk about money is a good example for us, because we do kind of came from different backgrounds with that. We had similar backgrounds with divorce. We had similar backgrounds with lack of communication, especially like with the men in our families.
I think, When we look at, like, the money concept and you really have to like face this reality, what road are we gonna go down? We’re gonna go down the road that you grew up in the beginning, go down the road that I grew up in, or we gonna choose a different road. Are we gonna lead our family down a different path? and so I think, when you and everybody’s gonna take a little inventory of their own home Here, their own family, generational struggles, and I think the first thing that you’re gonna want to do is you’re gonna want to identify What are those generational issues that you really want to tackle and change as a family.
0:15:44 – Speaker 2
And that takes really transparent, open communication and sometimes that’s really uncomfortable because you can feel defensive of your family. I know we’ve experienced that before. You can feel embarrassed. You can also feel like, was it really that bad? do I really want to break that cycle, because it’s familiar and so that’s the hardest part. I think first is identifying like, okay, let’s actually talk through what is my family look like, what does it look like now and what are some of those things that I’m doing that maybe we shouldn’t be doing, or things that are good.
There are some generational cycles that are good, but it’s important to identify them And have that conversation with your spouse. And we do want to throw in like a little disclaimer here if there’s generational cycles that include abuse or addiction or anything like that, it’s really important not just to identify them and talk about them but get professional help. Like that’s beyond just a conversation. You need to get professional help and you can always reach out to us here at nextTalk, especially if you’re here local. We have counselor partners that we can connect you with. We have reduced counseling fees if that’s a concern, or we can suggest some other ways to get help. But those are things that are immediate, those are emergencies. So please, if that’s part of your generational cycle and it hasn’t been broken yet, get some help.
0:17:05 – Speaker 3
Yeah, i think it’s. Also, you gotta approach this with caution, right when you’re talking to your spouse about something, because you might And guys you know really tread lightly here when you hear what I say. You never want to open a conversation with reminding your wife or telling your wife that her behavior is like her mother’s behavior or something like that’s almost unrecoverable, and so we don’t want it to be like hey, you know, when you do this, it’s just like how you hate when your mom does that.
0:17:40 – Speaker 2
Yeah, it only applies when it’s negative. It’s not the positive.
0:17:43 – Speaker 3
You never say that about the positive, So let me like, yeah, word of caution here is like, really, you know, think about how you’re going to approach this with your spouse, because, remember, this is going to come from. it comes out of love, right? This is only coming out of compassion and for wanting your family to just be better. And so, before you share something with your spouse about wanting to break a generational cycle, you really got to pray about how you are going to share that with your spouse.
initially, kim and I, we’ve been talking about these things for a while. right, we’ve been, you know, married for over 20 years. can’t believe it? Oh, 2-0, baby. But we’ve, you know, we’ve struggled with a lot of these things and we could kind of talk to each other about them. But if this is the first time you’re bringing it up, you’re going to want to exercise a ton of caution and really make sure that you explain to them that this is not an attack on them, it’s not an attack on their family or their upbringing, but it’s just something that you want to address.
0:18:40 – Speaker 2
After identifying which is so important, you got to decide together what those things are that need to change and what that looks like, because you have to be on the same page with that, like the money thing Are we going to go your route, my route, or are we creating our own new path? And that creates it requires so much conversation and working through and adjusting as you go and then bringing your kids into that conversation, because, especially if they’ve seen grandma and grandpa or they’ve seen you act a certain way and then you decide you know what. We don’t want to do that anymore. We want to change it up. Don’t just change it up and expect your kids to get it. This is one of those things. Include them in the conversation, include them in the solution and talk about why you want to change it.
0:19:25 – Speaker 3
Yeah, i think these, a lot of these topics typically come up like in pre marriage class, but sometimes they’re not seriously taken until after several years in the marriage.
0:19:35 – Speaker 1
Yeah, So it’s like well, i knew this was an issue or I knew we had.
0:19:38 – Speaker 3
We were on different sides of this particular you know theory or theme. However, this didn’t really come up right And so you’re like, well, i’m willing to look past this, i’m willing to, you know, kind of move on, move forward. But then as life happens, and, as you know, marriage and kids come into the picture. It’s like it starts to reveal itself, right, and so maybe, if you guys are like at a big, like impasse here, maybe it was something that you know just had to get swept under the rug or life goes on.
We never had a chance to really because, look, life gets busy, you don’t get a chance to spend time really having a conversation. Maybe take some time, go to a marriage retreat, spend some time with your pastors, like really finding a good place that you can plug in and really hash this out in a good spot, right, so that way you’re able to now bring it into the, to the rest of your folks. We’re bringing it into the rest of the family, bring the kids involved, but deciding on what needs to be addressed and then getting on the same page Like you mentioned, alignment is a big thing in our family Like we want to be aligned, meaning like not just agree, but the actions that we take and the things that we do actually support the decisions that we make Right, so getting on that right page. So if you need to seek out, you know, the prayer warriors, and your church and your community probably need to do that, yeah for sure.
0:20:57 – Speaker 2
Yeah, so identify what they are, then, you know, decide what we want to change. And the last one you know and we don’t want to sound cliche here, but it’s so important And one of the things that I have noticed in marriage and then in parenting is that I’m always praying like Lord, show me, show me what I have done wrong here, or show me what needs to change, or show me what I need to see to be more like you. And gosh, that happened so much. It’s a dangerous prayer, i’m gonna be honest, because it often ends in me apologizing for things that I thought I was so right about. And it also ends a lot of time in me seeing things behaviors in myself or in my husband or in my family that I’m like that’s, i don’t think God’s best for us, and so asking God, show me what those behaviors are that over time have been perpetuated in our family, that are not what you want for us. So pray about that.
And then a lot of grace, because once you have that conversation with your spouse, you’ve identified, you’ve decided what you wanna change. It’s not gonna be perfect. Habits die hard, like real hard, and that’s what I meant by coming back to the fact we’ve been married 20 years together like 47, and we know each other so well in a lot of ways. But in some ways we get tripped up on the day to day of life and we fall back into old habits and family patterns and we mess up. And having grace for your spouse and your kids and your family as you’re trying to become this new creation, this new family in Christ, is so important in modeling that for your kids. That changes hard, but with grace and with the grace of God, anything is possible.
0:22:46 – Speaker 3
You know and James has sort of been the letter or the book of the Bible that our family’s really been kinda stuck on. I guess you could say since the summer we’ve been reading it as a family. We kinda keep going back over and over again with it. But this particular one verse from James, one verse five if any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all, without finding fault, and it will be given to you. You know, some of these conversations and the change that’s needed is gonna take a lot of prayer. This is not just some. It’s gonna take a lot of work. It’s gonna take a lot of probably some tears, probably a lot of just communication with you and your spouse and your family all together. It’s gonna take a lot. So praying for the wisdom to find out how to get to the root cause of these things and improving is huge.
0:23:40 – Speaker 2
And we just wanna end with one more thing, like a hope filled verse, to remind us like, listen, there is nothing outside of the bounds of God’s ability, and if you truly are asking Him, help us break these generational cycles, it’s gonna happen. It’s gonna happen Second Corinthians 517,. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here. We are living with the Holy Spirit in our heart, in our soul, like He changes us from the inside out, and if we are seeking Him truly and honestly for change in our relationships and our families, i believe He will show us exactly what needs to be changed, what needs to be said and what needs to be healed. And so keep that on the forefront of your mind, get into these conversations with your spouse and start creating a generational cycle that you can be proud of. Thanks for being on the show, i love being on your show.
0:24:38 – Speaker 3
I love you. I feel so famous now. Thank you so much. Letting me be a part of this is great.
0:24:44 – Speaker 1
Thank you so much for joining us, listening and sharing our podcast. Because of you, this show is in the top 5% of over 2.9 million podcasts.
0:24:57 – Speaker 2
We have lots of resources for you, from counseling to live events. Or if you have a show idea or a question for our team, visit our website at nexttalkorg. We’d love to hear from you.
0:25:08 – Speaker 1
At nextTalk. We’re more than cyber parenting. It’s conversations to connect.
0:25:13 – Speaker 3
This podcast is not intended to replace the advice of a trained healthcare or legal professional, or to diagnose, treat or otherwise render expert advice regarding any type of medical, psychological or legal problem. Listeners are advised to consult a qualified expert for treatment.
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