0:00:00 – Speaker 1
nextTalk, sponsored by NextTalkorg, contains content of a mature nature. Parental guidance is advised. Welcome to nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim Every Saturday at 10 am on AM 630, 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?
0:00:38 – Speaker 2
Today’s show topic is about finding your parenting tribe. Who do you have helping you through this crazy journey of parenting? Who do you have advice that you can get from? Who can you talk to? Who are your mentors that can guide you through all of this?
0:00:52 – Speaker 3
Yeah, you know this is a big topic. I think it’s huge Because I didn’t have what I would consider a tribe or an inner circle when this whole thing started and I found myself kind of lost, absolutely. You guys know my story. You know, five years ago my daughter asked a question and I didn’t really know who to call, who to talk to. I had one or two older mentors that I got biblical wisdom from and that I loved dearly. That walked me through a lot of things. You know that I struggled with, but when I realized the shift in parenting that had happened, you know I could call them about biblical stuff, but I couldn’t call them about Snapchat, right, and so there was something different happening that I realized I don’t have these kinds of people in my circle.
0:01:39 – Speaker 2
Yeah, well, and you know we moved here from far away, yeah, and so we moved right before we started our family. So it was my husband and I and we were trying to figure out how to plug in and where to meet people and it was a really lonely season. And then I got pregnant and it was the first time I was a stay at home mom. So here I was kind of alone, new baby, no friend circle, and trying to figure out who are my people and where do I find them.
0:02:06 – Speaker 3
Yeah, and you know I think it’s you go through that process that it’s really hard and when you move there’s definitely that transition period because we also moved yes, and my daughter was one, and there was a good two to three years that I was like the same situation, like searching, almost like mom dating, you know I need to find my mom, and where do I find them to?
0:02:26 – Speaker 2
0:02:27 – Speaker 3
Yes, and you know. Then there’s all these great programs for when your kids are little like mops, or you know, these play dates, play dates all that kind of stuff and I found my people there, yeah, and I found a great group of friends, but what happened is our kids all grew up and we’re going to different schools, yes, and different activities, yes, and so you enter this space when they get older. That it’s just kind of lonely, I think.
0:02:52 – Speaker 2
Well and you’re trying to find. Well, where do I reconnect now, now that I’m out of the mops? Where do I find that next stage of parent friends or mom friends? And when I look back, I was thinking a lot about this. Looking back through how that transition happened and what happened there, I really realized I have to look at it more as seasons versus.
You were my friend for life and we’re going to be best buddies and it’s going to be amazing, which is how we think of friendship when we’re like tweens in middle school and that’s where we develop that idea of friendship, which is good. But if we don’t transition out of that and realize that friendship as an adult lady, woman, is going to look different.
0:03:29 – Speaker 3
It’s disappointing, yeah, and it’s frustrating and you feel like you feel lonely. You feel lonely and the enemy will speak that into you. Like you have no one, like nobody’s business you will. Yes, and so I think we got to have our guard up about that and be careful, you know it’s funny.
0:03:47 – Speaker 2
I really talk to women a lot and sometimes they say I just can’t find my friends. I just can’t find those people that you’re talking about when you say the word tribe. And so I think it’s real important that we define what we mean by that. And it’s easy to kind of think about friends and see people on social media and look through all of that and say, well, I don’t have that and I don’t have these close people, and I think it’s a misconception sometimes what we mean by that.
0:04:14 – Speaker 3
Yeah, I think that’s a really great place to start here.
You know, when I found myself in this cyber parenting nightmare and I was didn’t really feel like I had anybody to call, you know, I looked at my Facebook account.
I had thousands of friends on Facebook, but then I was like, who am I gonna call when my world comes crashing down? You know there’s a difference and I want somebody that’s trustworthy, that I can call when I’m really struggling, that I know it’s not gonna be gossiped about, or, you know, a private, confidential conversation that I can have with a trusted friend who can say to me I’m gonna pray for you and you have to recognize this, this and this. You know, this person helps give me perspective on my situation, because a lot of times when I’m struggling with a situation, my feelings are taking over, everything’s magnified, I’m not seeing things clearly, and so sometimes I need that friend to come in and be at the voice of reason, and so I guess for me, when I talk about inner circle or tribe, that’s what I’m talking about, like those trusted people in your life that you can call at 2 am if you have an emergency. You know, not the Facebook acquaintances.
0:05:22 – Speaker 2
And I’m so glad that you said that, because here’s where I think we need to explain a little bit, because this was a big aha moment for me. So tribe for me, and I think for you too, mandy is you have that 2 am friend, or maybe you have two of them if you’re blessed in that way. You have that 2 am friend, but that doesn’t mean that you are spending every weekend with that friend that doesn’t mean that you are going to the rodeo and you’re having dinner.
0:05:49 – Speaker 3
Ain’t, nobody got time for that.
0:05:51 – Speaker 2
You got couples together all the time. That is not the same thing and I think that’s where I was struggling and a lot of my friends struggle. Is that transition to being a mom, to being a wife? Maybe you’re working, trying to manage your household and you’re thinking, if this is my inner circle person, we need to spend a lot of time together. That’s not practical for most of us. It’s just not so. For me, the tribe looks like a 2 am friend that I may not even see that often, but I know I can trust them. I know we have the same moral basis. I also have a friend that I just loved to chat with on occasion because she makes me laugh hysterically. I have another friend that I know we are on the same journey with health and so she’s that friend and these are all people within my tribe that can support me, but it just does not look the way it did when I was younger.
0:06:41 – Speaker 3
Yeah, and it’s hard with social media. I mean, here we go again with the comparison thing and we always talk about helping our kids through it. They are feeling left out. I mean there have been many times that I scroll through my Facebook or Instagram and I feel left out. I think these people have been friends for 20 years. I don’t have anybody like that because we’ve moved and there’s been transitions and life things and all of this stuff and I haven’t been the best staying in touch with some of my childhood friends. I’m just not, I think, because we’re busy with life and you do.
Your season changes and you’re right. God calls us to new direction, everything. But we have to really take caution of this, because when you’re feeling like I don’t have any friends, again that enemy he comes to still kill and destroy, and he wants you to feel alone. He wants you to feel like you don’t have anybody to talk to, and that is not true.
0:07:38 – Speaker 2
It is not true and I’m glad that we kind of set that up and we’re gonna talk more about how to find that 2AM friend and how to find the people in your tribe. But I promise my husband that I would throw this in here for the mamas to hear in a marriage, yes, in an ideal world, we would have a best friend couple you know what I mean when the husbands are best friends and you and the wife are best friends and you know You’re able to do all these things as a family. And he said that’s really rare and it’s not always practical because think about a marriage, two people coming together, how hard that is, and you change through life and different seasons. Imagine four people who are going through different seasons of life and changing and have different interests. So try not to put that expectation on your marriage. To find a marriage couple to spend all your time with, it’s stressful.
0:08:29 – Speaker 3
Well, and that’s a good point, because I think oftentimes what happens is I don’t want a stereotype here, but oftentimes us women, we find our girl that we like our friend, and the husband may be saying you know they’re, they’re a great couple, but I don’t really connect with the husband, right, but they constantly are being scheduled and pulled along into this environment and the husband may be trying to tell the wife Listen, I like them, yeah, it’s just we’re kind of different, yeah, and I don’t want to spend that much time. Well, then it becomes a marriage issue, like you become. You know the husband feels controlled, so we have to be really careful here.
0:09:03 – Speaker 2
We do have to be careful and remember too that guys and girls a lot of times are different. Yeah, not always, but a lot of times are. My husband is very happy with alone time, time with his kids, time with me and Some time a church and he would be filled. Yeah, cup is filled. He is not a super social guy and I know there’s a lot of guys out there like that, so finding that, balance.
0:09:25 – Speaker 3
Well, and if you have one person in the marriage who’s very social and one person who’s very introverted, yes, you need to talk that through with your marriage and find a balance there. And I think this is a great point. My husband and I were both introverted, so we actually have to push ourselves to get out with people.
0:09:44 – Speaker 2
That’s how we are too. Yes, and so, like you mean, you want me to take my PJs off and put on real clothes.
0:09:49 – Speaker 3
It’s, it’s so funny because, like all it’s, that’s how Satan manipulates you. Like I’ll look at Facebook and be jealous, but then if somebody asked me to go do something, I’m like no, I can’t do, like I messed up.
0:10:02 – Speaker 2
Yes it’s crazy. I want all the friends but I don’t want to put in all the effort, exactly exactly where we live in this funny world where we think you Satan loves to confuse us that way. Yeah, but anyway, the point being that there’s a lot of facets to consider with friendship and with your inner circle and with your tribe. It’s not, as you know, easy as we think when we hear that word.
0:10:24 – Speaker 3
Well, and the other thing we have to think about is we’re modeling this for our kids. Absolutely, our kids friendships are consistent. They’re gonna constantly change, as ours are, and so it gives us a great opportunity. And a couple scriptures that we talk about in our house a lot and I have to remind myself of them Proverbs 12 26 the godly give advice to their friends, the wickedly demonstrate. Proverbs 13 20 walk with the wise and become wise. Associate with fools and get into trouble.
And so that discernment of choosing your friends and who you’re gonna spend your time with, who you’re gonna invest in, one of the things that Matt and I talk a lot about is are the people that we’re hanging out with? Do we want to be like that? Yeah, you know. Do they inspire us, do they challenge us in ways that make us better? And it may. It’s tough sometimes. It is especially like with the. You know the financial end of it and we see how certain people live and how. You know it’s not about the material things, but we want material things. Like we talk about that, you know, like let’s surround ourselves with people who get it like it’s not about the stuff.
0:11:30 – Speaker 2
Yeah, you know, that’s just one example, yeah, and you know, again, talking with your kids through that too, as you want people in your life that you feel okay With them, taught us speaking into your kids. That’s one of those filters that we talk about, like, would we want our kids to be around these adults and around these friends of ours? And If we say yes, then that for us is another green light, like, okay, this is someone that could be in our inner circle, because we’ve certainly had friends over the years that were like, hmm, you know, I’m not sure that we would want our kids to glean from this couple.
Yes from this person and so that’s a red flag, yeah and you know, a couple tips for you.
0:12:06 – Speaker 3
If you’re, if you’re listening to us and you’re, like I do, still feel alone, like we want to speak into that. First of all, nextTalk. You know the mission behind nextTalk is to get you talking to your families, creating this culture of conversation in your homes. But a byproduct is that of that is we envision this one large parenting community, that we have your back. Yeah, we support you. And so if you’re struggling, you know, reach out to us. We. We get messages, sometimes the time at 2 am, saying I have nobody else to talk to. Can you talk me through this? And we respond to those. We have an email address set up. You can do admin at nextTalk or you can DM us on our social media. We are constantly checking that.
0:12:49 – Speaker 2
And on top of that, and part of that too, and part of the model of nextTalk, and I’ve heard from a lot of mommas who said you know, I don’t really have a friend circle and I really wanted to go through your video series or your podcast or read Mandy’s book With someone and I asked my neighbors who I don’t really know that well, and they were very excited to do it and now, looking back, they’ve created these friendships. Yeah, on a shared subject. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your inner circle person to start a friendship, so at least you have some support when it comes to parenting, and so that has been a really great byproduct also is these small groups all over the country that have popped up doing our curriculum.
0:13:28 – Speaker 3
We got to do life together. We have to, and I will tell you there will be people in your inner circle that you may not see eye to eye on some stuff. That’s okay. It’s okay. You know, we’re gonna go through in a minute.
At the second part of the show we’re gonna talk about characteristics to look for in your tribe, certain traits that you need and in ages and stages that you need to have covered to help you in this journey, because you kind of need different types of mentors in today’s parenting world. I’m so glad you added that. The other thing is and I know this is not just just do this, this is a valid thing we want you to pray. Pray for God to bring people into your life, and that is not a cop-out Like. I want you to pray about this specific need. If your heart is empty and you’re like I need good friends, pray to God for that and pray for his discernment. Be in his word so that you can know his heart and therefore look for his heart in your friends. You know you can see God’s character in people as they have a parent, how they talk to people, how they treat people, and if you’re in the word, you’re more receptive to that.
0:14:36 – Speaker 2
Absolutely. And you know one of the things and I’m here, I’m speaking to myself when I say this, so please hear my heart when you’re praying. Remember that God’s going to bring whom he deems appropriate in your life and it’s not going to necessarily look the way you want him to send someone. So be open to God’s calling and God’s blessing and God’s provision. As it may be a surprise, Some of my closest friends are literally one of them. The first time I met her, I thought I could never be friends with this girl, and she’s one of my dearest friends. So you just never know how that’s going to look or how God’s going to provide for it. So be open to what he wants for you.
0:15:16 – Speaker 3
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0:15:36 – Speaker 2
Today we’re talking about creating an inner circle of parents to help you through this parenting journey. We all need it. We wanted to talk to you about some of those characteristics to look for in a healthy friendship, because the key in that phrase is healthy, and it’s important not just for you, but also you’re modeling it for your kids, so it really is a conversation that needs to be had.
0:15:56 – Speaker 3
Well, you know, kim, as I was writing my book and I saw this process play out in my life, where I went to having not an inner circle to a really good inner circle I saw I picked up on some traits and characteristics that I would look for in people and so I put those in my book and I kind of want to go over those today, because the first one family values are essential. Let me set up a situation for you. You call a close friend and you’re venting because your husband has irritated you again over something you know stupid. He left his socks out. He’s not cleaning his, you know he’s not helping around the house.
You know these little things that just irritate you about your husband, and we all have them, everybody, and they have them about us too, maybe. Yes, my husband gets mad at me when I hit the curb the way you drive the driving, drive to nuts.
Yes, anyway, okay, but when you know, when I, when I call my friend and I’m maybe venting more than I should because I’m just spent, that friend should not pile on my husband, I should not leave that call feeling worse about my husband, I should leave that call being reminded that he’s human, he makes mistakes, and what about all the reasons why you love him, you know.
0:17:10 – Speaker 2
So what I’m saying is your friends should help you build your family up Absolutely Always bringing things back together instead of helping you tear them down. Yes, like you don’t need someone who’s going to grab the shovel and the pickaxe and help you tear down your marriage. You can do that on your own. Satan can speak into that. You need someone who will lovingly and gently hear you out and then take those tools out of your hand and love you towards creating resolution with your husband. It’s so important that’s such a big one.
0:17:44 – Speaker 3
And now on the flip side of that, you know, if there’s emotional or physical abuse, that friend is going to need to speak truth into you Absolutely. And that’s going to be hard because God does not intend for us to be abused in any sort of manner and so that’s not okay. And so I don’t want you to think, oh well, your friend should be talking to your husband up, no matter what he’s doing. I’m talking about the little things, Right? If there’s emotional, physical you know, sexual abuse going on, that is not okay. God will not stand for that in your marriage and he does not want that for you.
0:18:16 – Speaker 2
Right. So definitely, family values are essential. The second one we want to talk about is aiming for different ages and stages. You need, like a heads up mama, this is a big one, yes, and what?
0:18:28 – Speaker 3
let’s talk about what we mean by heads up mama, because we use that phrase at nextTalk. Here’s what you need for moms you need a person who has kids, that it’s older, maybe one or two years. The reason you need this person now this wasn’t as important 30 years ago. You need a person now that you can identify because of the apps. So I have two really close friends that they are. Their daughters are a little bit older than my daughter, and when I have a snapchat question or Instagram or something where I know they are in that, they help me, they guide me.
One of them said to me when my daughter started middle school many years ago. She said to me you got to get on Instagram. Now Everybody’s going to have Instagram. You need to learn it. Well, I did. At that time, I didn’t even know what Instagram was Right, so it was. It’s giving me that heads up like this is big in middle school. This is big in high school. This is coming up for prom season. You need to be aware of this, like all those little heads ups that you can get.
0:19:33 – Speaker 2
Well, and you’re my heads up mama, because you’re much older than I am. Kim, I’m just kidding.
0:19:39 – Speaker 3
I’m just kidding, let’s just buy one year, guys. I’m older than her by one year.
0:19:48 – Speaker 2
It must be hard being mature. Anyway, your kids are a little bit older than mine and I’m not challenging you here, but I want to speak into that. Yes, the apps and all of that, the social media, that’s really huge and needing in your heads up mama, but also attitude and all those things that change what seems like overnight with your kids. That helps me so much to be able to say this is happening with my son, why is he acting like this? All of a sudden, you’re like, oh, you know, my son did this and this is, and so that I feel like I’m not alone, like okay, this is normal. Here’s some ideas, here’s some things that you can say and that’s so helpful for me and for all of us. We need that heads up mama, someone one step ahead of us, and then we need someone right there with us.
0:20:30 – Speaker 3
Yeah, and then you also need somebody wise, much older than you think of, like a mom or a grandparent. Someone who’s biblically sound would be amazing in this role. You know, maybe your heads up mama is biblically sound, maybe she’s not, but you need somebody for biblical advice and you’re going to go to them. When there’s really these life gut wrenching decisions that you have to make about your kids, big decisions where you’re seeking God’s wisdom, you’re going to really rely on those people.
0:21:00 – Speaker 2
I always see them as like your prayer, like your personal prayer warrior. They know you intimately, they know your family, they pour into you scripture and wisdom, like you said, and I think that’s so important and then again, like what we said to someone who’s at that same level, that you can be in it with, like we’re going through the same thing and you can relate. So important for mental health.
0:21:21 – Speaker 3
The other thing is you know character matters and this is a big one. The trustworthiness of your group is big time huge because this gets real serious, real fast. Say, you have an issue going on at your kid’s school and you need to seek out advice from your heads up mama or whoever and you text them or call them and seek advice. Well, if that person is not trustworthy and then tells their kids and then their kids knows your kids and then it gets back to your kids that you are telling their business, the confidence is broken. So everybody needs to understand this is serious stuff. Like when I call you and I need your advice, you can’t tell your kids, you can’t post this anywhere. This is trustworthy.
0:22:06 – Speaker 2
Yeah, character really doesn’t matter. You need someone who you’re not wondering if this is gonna come back to bite you.
0:22:12 – Speaker 3
They shouldn’t be gossiping. And I will say this they’re not gonna be perfect, they’re gonna make mistakes. We don’t expect perfection, but their walk should consistently match their talk. They’re gonna have mistakes and they’re gonna make mistakes, and they’re gonna know when they make mistakes. But again, that consistency of words matching up to actions.
0:22:36 – Speaker 2
Next on the list, which is very important. In our family we use a phrase called, sometimes, foods, and they are foods like donuts. They are foods like you know, things that are delicious and wonderful and great, but not all the time in your life. And when you’re thinking about your friends it should be the same thing. You have that inner circle which is, you know, your 2 am friend, your heads at mama, your peer and your mentor. Those are the ones that are really close and then defining that is different than your acquaintances, Keep your inner circle small.
Your acquaintances are more like donuts People that you see here and there and don’t share the deep stuff with, necessarily, but you enjoy having them in your life.
0:23:14 – Speaker 3
Well, and you know, the other thing is you need to recognize, no inner circle is gonna be like the same cookie cutter type thing, because that’s not how our God works and it may change over time and it may change. And the other thing is you don’t have to have three people and that’s your inner circle. You may have two people over in this friend group, or one person in this friend group, or one from you know, back in high school, absolutely, so you may have different. It doesn’t have to be a cohesive group. When we say this, absolutely, god can work.
I would say, though, you know, aim to keep it small. You know, and I just think about Jesus, as in his disciples, you know, there were 12 of them, and of those 12, he was closest to a few and he modeled that really well for us. And I guess the reason I say keep it small is is, you know, if you’re struggling with an issue with your kid or your marriage and you’re texting 20 people about it, it’s a little bit more like gossip. It’s not really more about getting confidence or getting a trusted vote of. Help me with this.
0:24:18 – Speaker 2
Yeah, well, and let’s just be practical here. Ain’t nobody got time for that? No?
0:24:22 – Speaker 3
You know, this is what we’re talking about here.
0:24:24 – Speaker 2
If you are going to have a deep, meaningful friendship with someone, it takes a lot of time and effort and you need to give what you want to get out of it. Invest Very important invest in them, and that doesn’t mean, like I said, a daily conversation, but it does mean meaningful conversations when you can.
0:24:42 – Speaker 3
And you know what we need to cover this really quickly. Your friend does not come before your husband yeah, thank you. Your friend does not come before your husband Okay, so it’s always God, and then your family, which means your husband and your kids, and then your. You know your work or your friendships go underneath that, and so always keep that perspective in order. Yes, we invest in our friends, but we don’t invest in them more than we invest in our husbands or our spouse, for our wrap up segment today, let’s remember a few things.
0:25:07 – Speaker 2
Number one you are not alone. We’re all trying to figure out how to parent in this new digital world. God created us for community. Jesus and the disciples modeled this for us. The Bible tells us to walk with the wise, so choose your friends wisely. Keep it small and invest in building different types of friends who make you better and do life together. Encourage and build each other up.
0:25:31 – Speaker 1
Thanks for joining us on nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim every Saturday at 10 am on AM 630, 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