0:00:00 – Speaker 1
nextTalk contains content of a mature nature. Parental guidance is advised.
0:00:31 – Speaker 2
Are you ready for the nextTalk?
0:01:06 – Speaker 1
You’ve heard us talk about some of our key components to creating a culture of open communication. Over time, we bring it up, we give you different examples of how that works and even though we’re still in the middle of this pandemic, we’re like week six now. It’s crazy. These concepts, even though they’re going to look a little bit different, they’re still super-duper important and that’s kind of why we wanted to talk to you about it, because we’ve been focusing on meal planning, schedules, all these different things, Trying to make it work with all the changes. But we can’t completely take our hands off the wheel of some of these key components to creating this culture of open communication that we’ve all worked so hard on.
0:01:42 – Speaker 3
Well, and I think too, for us, the first several weeks were really rough. Rough Well, it’s survival mode, yeah, and now we’re finally settling into a routine where I have a minute to think about some of the bigger picture things that we need to be thinking about. But these aren’t going to be hard. I think these are just like simple little reminders that like I need for myself every day. So, number one you always hear us say, like avoid crazy parent mode. Right, like that’s our thing. And we always typically are saying that, like when your child shows you pornography or you find an inappropriate text on their phone, like avoid crazy parent mode. Right. But as with this pandemic, everything is upside down and twisted and turned and like we need to kind of tweak this a little bit. So the other day I’m standing on my island and I literally like the anger and irritation because, like my kids won’t stop dancing to all the TikTok videos, they like won’t stand still.
0:02:44 – Speaker 1
It’s funny that it’s your kids at your house. At my house it’s my husband.
0:02:50 – Speaker 3
Well, now they’ve got my husband in on it. They were teaching me a TikTok dance the other day and everybody could do it. Like my husband was really good, I was horrible, like they were like mom. No comment, man, you’ve seen me dance at that wedding that we went to before. Like not good, it’s not a good thing. Hey, we all have our gifts and our strengths and our major weaknesses.
0:03:17 – Speaker 1
That’s very true, that’s true.
0:03:20 – Speaker 3
So, anyway, everybody’s around the island and they’re TikToking and I am like, oh, like everybody just sat down and in my mind I kept thinking, oh my gosh, like I don’t want a moment of irritation to ruin all the hard work that I’ve poured into developing these strong family relationships over the last seven years that I’ve been in this journey. And it just hit me like avoid crazy. Parent mode means something else now. It means you know, it means not speaking when you’re irritated at your kids. It means that your family is going to get on your nerves and that’s okay, but you can’t let it affect your relationships.
0:04:08 – Speaker 1
Well, and I’m glad you said it is going to happen. It’s kind of like we say your child will see pornography. It’s not if it’s when it’s the same thing. We’re all confined in these small spaces, doing all these new things, trying to manage this whole new world. You are going to get irritated, you are going to be tired, you are going to be frustrated. So you know what’s going to happen. So maybe like plan ahead, because if you don’t, you’re going to explode. For me, I got to like run away. I have to like get out of the situation before I physically assault someone or yell or do something. I’m going to regret because it’s true Like sometimes the smallest thing will set you off and put you into crazy parent mode. My kids are still at that age where they still need a lot of help with everything and they’re like mama, mama, mama mama, mama mama, and then they overlap each other, so then it’s like three different voices.
0:04:59 – Speaker 3
It’s like harmonizing. They’re harmonizing.
0:05:02 – Speaker 1
Mama, mama, mama, stop Just meet low follow free and then, like from the other room, I hear my husband you know, kim, and it’s like I don’t want to hear my name ever again, like I am done, and so sometimes I have to just say I hear you, I cannot answer your question right now and I have to, like, walk out of the room and take a few breaths. And they’re not doing anything wrong and you know they’re not trying to make them crazy. It’s just sometimes it’s on my last nerve and so, to avoid crazy parent mode, I physically have to remove myself. So, whatever it is, I think the point is recognize it’s going to happen. Give yourself a little grace, like it’s okay. If every once in a while you lose it, you know, circle back and apologize, but just remember it’s going to happen. Step out of the room. Try not to ruin what you’ve built so hard to build or work so hard to build.
0:05:56 – Speaker 3
Well, and I would say, you know, have a conversation with your spouse so that y’all are on the same team. Maybe you have a look or you have like a one liner that you say that means I need to get out of here right now. I’m going to lose my mind.
0:06:08 – Speaker 1
Yeah, we say I got to tap out, you got to tap out, boxing and wrestling, that whole thing. We say I got to tap out. Okay, no question to ask.
0:06:16 – Speaker 3
The other night we were watching a family movie. And it was one of those nights that like I just wanted quiet and just turn on the TV and everybody chill right, because it had been a long day figuring everything out. And my kids were just in this giddy mood Like they were just laughing and joking and whispering to each other, you know, and just having a good old time. And I’m over here, like I’m 80, like please be quiet, like let me watch the movie. And so they kept going and they kept going and I just felt like I was going to lose it and, like you said, they weren’t doing anything wrong, it’s just I have been with them for six weeks now without a break. And so I looked at my husband and I set up and I said I have got to go to the bedroom right now, like I’m done. And he’s like I got it. You know, like yeah, he knew I was at the moment where it was like I got to get out of there. I’m going to say something really mean.
0:07:10 – Speaker 1
Yeah, I think you know, and that’s key is communicating. I’ve even told my kids that I’m like, listen, I love you and sometimes I don’t like you, but I love you and in these moments when I’m frustrated it’s not about you. I just need a minute to breathe and then I give them an example of when they’ve been frustrated. They’re like oh yeah, yeah, I get it. And so you know everybody’s really understanding. I think it helps more than anything if you can communicate that when you’re not frustrated, so it does happen, they’re like oh, this is what mom was talking about.
So all of the talking to prepare for these moments really does help everybody stay cool.
0:07:46 – Speaker 3
Yeah, and while you were just saying that, I remember a show we did like loving people when you don’t like them. I think that may be a good show for me to go listen to right now, because you know, I mean, we’re in this.
0:07:57 – Speaker 1
That is one of our most listened to shows, so you know struggle.
0:08:00 – Speaker 3
Okay, love. See, I didn’t even know that.
0:08:03 – Speaker 1
Love people you don’t like. Yeah, it’s rough.
0:08:06 – Speaker 3
Okay, so spouses help each other out, tag team this. But you got to walk away when you’re going to say something mean or obnoxious or tear down people, because we want our words to build up, not tear down, and so one avoid crazy parent mode with everybody getting on your nerves. That’s a little twist.
0:08:24 – Speaker 1
Okay, as we were talking, it reminded me of something I just want to say before we move on. You know, people always say you got to maintain your relationship, your marriage relationship, while your kids are under your house, because when they leave, you don’t want to be strangers.
0:08:39 – Speaker 3
0:08:40 – Speaker 1
And you don’t want to be trying to rebuild this whole new relationship. I think it’s the same thing this pandemic will come to an end and there will be a time when we kind of ease back into a new rhythm of being around other people and leaving the house and doing activities. We don’t want to ruin our relationships during this small season because eventually we’re going to be back into the regular routine and we don’t want to have to start over when we’re back there. This is just a short season, so if we can manage it well and work through it well, we’ll be in a good spot when we transition back to normal.
0:09:13 – Speaker 3
That’s a word. We don’t want to have to rebuild with our spouse or our kids because we we’ve all put a lot of work into getting them to talk to us and opening up to us and we don’t want to start building walls now. We do not want to do that. Yeah, okay, number two Managing screens.
0:09:30 – Speaker 1
What are the dance maybe? I mean, we talk about this all the time at nextTalk. We are always telling parents you gotta be clear with your kids about your expectations for screens, what you want reported, how much time is appropriate for their age or if they’re going to be self-monitoring. This is a common conversation for nextTalk, but it’s going to look different while you’re at home during this pandemic.
0:09:51 – Speaker 3
Yeah, I mean, I think the normal guidelines that we are under of a couple hours a day, I think those are out the window. You know, don’t be just self-up about that. My kid, I will tell you my son he’s playing Fortnite a lot because it’s like how he’s connecting with his friends from school, it’s how he’s staying in touch with them. You know, we’re just making sure that he is reminded of our guidelines of not talking to strangers, not communicating with anybody he doesn’t know in real life. I mean, those are the biggies for us. One of the things I wanted to address you know, we always recommend no phones in bedrooms or bathrooms and I still stand behind that recommendation of no phones in bathrooms. I just don’t think that we need it. But the bedroom thing may have changed a little bit because we’re all under the same roof, we’re all doing Zoom calls all at once. You know, there may be situations where your kids need to go into their room and I’ve kind of loosened up a little bit about this with my 16-year-old, not my 12-year-old. My 12-year-old is still not allowed to go into his bedroom with the screen, but my 16-year-old, I mean, she’s leaving, she’s gonna be moving out in two years probably more than likely and going. You know we’re looking at colleges now and so she’s gotta be ready for this. Like I have to think ahead and you know, for her what we’ve been doing is during the day she can take the laptop in there and her phone and she can do schoolwork and she sometimes streams Netflix if she gets her homework done, but she’ll tell me what she’s watching. You know, like we’re communicating about what she’s doing and when she’s doing it, most of the time her door stays open, but like when she’s on Zoom calls, like her Spanish Zoom call, like she needs to close that door because I don’t know anything why he wants and she needs to concentrate. Right, I walked in the other day when she was on the Spanish Zoom call and I looked at her. My eyes get big and I just walk out. I don’t even know what was being said.
I guess we wanted to bring this up because we’ve had some parents contacting us saying are you still not allowing phones in bathrooms or bedrooms? And we just kind of wanted to clarify. It’s going to look different for everyone and you’re going to have to figure this out. Like I trust her wholeheartedly with the screens. We’ve never had an issue I’ve never found anything on her phone. She hasn’t told me about. When I do random phone checks. You know we loosened our guidelines there. Now, with my 12 year old I mean, he’s just now starting to learn how to use a phone I don’t think it’s wise for me to let him go behind a bedroom door. He’s just not there yet. There’s things that I need to teach him and we need to learn together before he gets that privilege.
0:12:21 – Speaker 1
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0:12:42 – Speaker 2
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0:13:08 – Speaker 3
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0:13:13 – Speaker 1
So before the break we were talking about managing screens and how that’s going to look different. I just want to mention, you know, I have younger kids and they love playing video games. They love playing together, which is cool because it’s more social. They love playing with their friends, like you said, with your son and his buddies. It’s more like a play date. But also they love it so much that if I don’t remind them that there’s a world outside of video games, that’s all they would do all day with their free time. So I can’t just completely take my hands off the wheel and I just want to encourage you it’s okay if they’re playing more. Consider it like a play date, but also remind them like, hey, you’ve been on there for da-da-da-da-da. What about some Legos? What about you go and play that new game that we got from Grandma? What about you head outside and shoot some hoops? Like it’s important to remind them that they’ve got to have a little bit of variety, even though they love their video games.
0:14:02 – Speaker 3
I love that yeah.
0:14:04 – Speaker 1
Yeah, I mean, it’s just easy to get for them to get stuck in that, all right. Moving on to number three, pornography is still a problem.
0:14:11 – Speaker 3
Okay. So this is one that I hate to even bring up because it’s like we don’t need one more thing to handle, right? I mean, we’re maxed out, yeah, but I will tell you, I have been waking up in sweats in the middle of the night like afraid and praying that we’re going to come out of this with kids addicted to pornography, more kids addicted, and my heart weeps over that because I know the destruction that it can cause with kids. If you’ve been to our event, you hear me talk about this a lot.
Pornography what we grew up with has changed so drastically. You know, women have always been objects, but now boys are treated as objects. In 2019, some of the most searched terms on Pornhub were anal, threesome and lesbian, and so if you take that and you think about kids watching that and we’ve worked with families where we know pornography has caused them to be confused about their sexuality I’m not saying everyone who struggles with their sexuality has been exposed to pornography, but what I am saying pornography can, and we know of cases where it has caused confusion because kids have seen it and they don’t know what this is and they have never talked about sex with anyone.
0:15:28 – Speaker 1
Well, and if they have a physical response, which is normal, they’re thinking oh, I must be this, and so it’s very confusing, especially for young kids, and then they start to ask questions and lean towards that and they don’t even know what they’re talking about. And if we haven’t, like you said, had those conversations or created that space where they can ask questions, it can be a really big problem and inspire real quickly.
0:15:51 – Speaker 3
It is a serious problem and oftentimes and I know this is heavy, because you know we don’t want to hear it, but I it’s the same thing with what Kim said I don’t want us to come out of this and then have a whole new wave of problems to deal with because our kids are addicted to pornography and they’re seeing people as objects and they’re treating people differently and they’re confused. I just, I pray for this every night, that God would just block it from the kids, you know.
0:16:18 – Speaker 1
Well, and we know I mean, we’ve been watching it the traffic has increased in the US since the pandemic. It’s really hard to hear that, since everybody’s been at home. I mean it makes sense. They’re in their bedrooms, you know. They’re on their screens way more than ever, and we’re seeing these statistics like. This one is so alarming. Three am in the morning. There’s a 40 percent increase in hourly traffic on form as of March 17th, and that’s when all this started.
0:16:46 – Speaker 3
It’s hard to hear that, yeah, we’ve been watching these stats and you know that three am. You know, when we talked about managing screens, one thing that I didn’t say that we need to definitely include is this you need to have a start and end time each day for screens. So what that looks like in our family, you know, nobody can get up at five am and just start playing screens. Like that’s just not how we do it. We have to have breakfast first and then we all kind of talk about what we’re going to go do that kind of thing and then at the end of the day we pray, and once we pray and that’s normally about nine or nine thirty, after that my kids cannot have screens anymore. That’s like they’re cut. You know, they’re in time Now they’ll stay in their room and sometimes stay up till midnight, but they’re reading, they’re looking at their Bible, they’re they’re, they’re painting in their room. They can paint, they have these old things that they can do. But we need to give them a start in time because you know that saying nothing ever good happens after midnight, like we’re seeing that with these pornography stats three am, 40 percent increase. So we have to protect our kids.
Oftentimes the videos that they’re watching are rape or sex trafficking victims. I mean, it’s a lot of times it’s not even consensual sex that they’re watching, and so that that adds a whole new layer of problem. And we saw this before the pandemic. But I’m even more concerned about it now is you know kids abusing other kids? You know siblings abusing other siblings because they’re seeing these things on pornography and they’re holding up the video to little brother, little sister and say do this to me, like I want you to model what you’re seeing on the screen right now. And so I know this is so much and I have prayed about not mentioning this because it’s too it’s so much. But our kids are at risk and we need to have our guard up. We really do.
0:18:35 – Speaker 1
And with having our guard up. The two things that come along with that one is don’t go into crazy parent mode. Don’t finish listening to this and go and grab all your kids’ devices and yell at them and tell them all these stats and don’t freak out. That’s not going to help anybody. We want to equip you with the information so you can create a conversation with them Age appropriate conversation where you’re open and honest with them and talking to them about some of the things going on right now. If you have older kids, if you have kids younger, like I do, some great resources, good pictures, bad pictures to remind them what is OK and what’s not OK, what to report, what to do when they see things, and just having that awareness with them that they can come to you, they can come to you and talk about it and tell you what they’ve seen. That alone is what’s going to protect your kids more than anything else.
0:19:25 – Speaker 3
We have several pornography shows that you can also listen to. We did a five part series. We’ve got a lot of resources through our, through our podcast and also if for for moms and dads of older kids. If you find pornography on your kids’ phones, I want you to go listen to the show, where it’s five helpful steps when your kid messes up. That just walks you through, kind of like not going into crazy parent mode and loving them through it and building conversation instead of just going off and screaming at them right, like yeah, and so look at that, listen to that show and reach out to us. We have actually fielded a lot of calls and messages about parents finding pornography on their kids’ devices right now. So, and we always do that, but there’s there’s been a little bit of an increase, and so reach out to us. We’re here, you can message us, you can email admin at nextTalk dot org.
0:20:22 – Speaker 1
And always grab Mandy’s book. She’s got a great chapter in there about talking to your kids about pornography. It’s a great resource for every difficult subject, so keep that on your nightstand.
0:20:33 – Speaker 3
OK, number four Check in and listen. So again, if you’ve been to an event, you’ve heard me say you know we love Deuteronomy six and seven, where it’s talk when you’re going to bed, and we like to say, you know, crawl in bed with your kid and say, how am I doing as a mom, like, how are you doing? And Kim and I were talking about this show and she’s the one that said now’s the time we got to be crawling in bed with our kids and saying how are you doing? Like we got to check in with their little hearts. So right now it’s more about just checking in on our kids and making sure they’re processing. Okay, they may not be able to communicate what they’re actually feeling inside.
0:21:20 – Speaker 1
Well, and just like we always say, you know, with these big conversations, it’s not a one and done, it’s not a sit down lecture, it’s not here’s what’s happening in the world and you’re fine.
This is an ongoing thing, like for our family. About once a week we sit at the table because I feel like it’s twofold One. It’s that one on one crawling into bed or playing basketball or going for a walk or you know, whatever it might be for your kid where they open up saying, hey, how you doing? Now, what do you think about this? Have you heard anything new that you have questions about? But also that group conversation I find is really good, because when people feel like they’re not alone and when you are, people feel like they’re not alone and maybe someone else is feeling the same way that’s really helpful and you can encourage each other and come up with a plan together and talk through it, and so at dinner time once a week we say hey, how’s everybody doing? And then we start the conversation that way and that has been super helpful. So as long as this thing is going on, I think it’s important to be really aware of that need for a continual check-in with your people.
0:22:23 – Speaker 3
I love that and a couple of things that you said that I want to touch on, kim. One is you said you know it may be playing basketball, it may be going on a walk. You know, one thing we always tell you guys too, is find a time that your kid likes to talk and capitalize on that. I would caution you right now, because of everything changing, the time that your kid likes to talk has probably changed too. So you need to move and adjust and pivot with that okay, and find the time that your kid now likes to talk.
The other thing I wanted to mention was sometimes you may ask your kid how are they doing and they’re going to say fine, but then you notice that they’re angry or they’re irritable or they’re snapping off.
This happened with one of my kids. Like they were like, oh, I love this, this is great, I’m good, but then I would. I noticed the attitude was different and so you know I had to take that, that one aside and say, hey, I know you say you’re doing okay, but you know this is kind of happening and you’re kind of being a little bit of a bully to your sibling, and so I love you, but are you sure you’re okay, are you sure that you’re not in? You know? Then it came out with well, I’m kind of getting you guys are getting on my nerves. This is happening because, you know, just like they’re getting on our nerves, we’re getting on their nerves too. Oh yeah, oh yeah. And so giving them that space to kind of talk through that, I think, is important, that even if they’re saying they’re okay, the behavior may not show that. And then you got to dig a little deeper into that.
0:24:04 – Speaker 1
And use yourself as an example. That works with my little ones too. I’m struggling with this. How about you? Sometimes they just need a prompt, you know, and they need us to be real open. All right, number five default to love. That’s our big one, okay.
0:24:20 – Speaker 3
So, again, we always say this, like, if you find your kid watching pornography, default to love, like don’t scream it. Then you know, don’t build a wall, but this we’re tweaking, well, still do that too. Don’t scream it, your kid. But what we really mean here is look in the mirror and default to love. Give yourself grace right now and I think we’ve said that on every show since this whole thing started but it’s so important to realize that you are not going to get all this right. You are going to mess up every hour probably, we are messing up, and so you’ve got to give yourself grace.
0:25:01 – Speaker 1
Just you know, one of the things that I keep reminding myself is how does Jesus see me? Like he doesn’t see all my flaws, he doesn’t see all the ways I’m messing up. He adores me, he died for me, he loves me, he knows I’m not perfect, and we’ve got to see ourselves in the same light.
0:25:15 – Speaker 3
So, for our summary, avoid crazy parent mode. Don’t worry in the relationship you work so hard to build. Set new screen guidelines, talk about pornography, check in and listen to your kids and then look in the mirror and default to love. Give yourself grace.
Transcribed by https://podium.page