0:00:03 – Speaker 1
Hey, this is Mandy and Kim with nextTalk, where we are passionate about keeping kids safe in the digital world.
0:00:09 – Speaker 2
Did you know? we have tens of thousands of listeners in 60 countries. It’s truly amazing, crazy.
0:00:15 – Speaker 1
0:00:16 – Speaker 2
And, as a non-profit, everything we do at nextTalk is supported by people just like you.
0:00:21 – Speaker 1
Be a part of changing the culture of conversation in your home and around the globe by making a donation today.
0:00:28 – Speaker 2
Go to NextTalkorg and click on Give and check out our resources while you’re there.
0:00:32 – Speaker 1
More than cyber parenting conversations to connect.
0:00:36 – Speaker 2
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to moms and they’ve come up to me or called and said my kid came home and they had this look in their eyes of disappointment And how do I parent that? I even had one mom who specifically said how do I parent FOMO, which is the fear of missing out, and I really thought about that and how that’s happened under my roof, where my kids haven’t been able to do something or have something or go somewhere, whether it’s a game or sleepovers or a cell phone, whatever it might be, and they feel like they’re missing out on something that everybody else has. And so parenting it is definitely not easy.
0:01:14 – Speaker 1
We hear about FOMO a lot. It’s really overplayed and overused in our world now, but it’s a real thing. I think about it kind of in two ways. One is the FOMO that our kids experience because we have no control. That’s not getting invited to the party, not being included, that sort of thing. We have no control over that sometimes. However, on the other side of that, sometimes our kids experience FOMO because of our parenting decisions. So they don’t get a phone yet, they don’t get a social media platform yet, and those are really two different conversations.
0:01:54 – Speaker 2
Because I have the younger kids on the team.
I think a lot of the FOMO that happens in my house is because of rules or guidelines that we’ve had with our kids.
The things that my husband and I have determined are the best way to help our kids at their age protect their heart and mind, and those are conversations that we have with them about games and social media and places that they can go, and I think that’s very normal And it’s important to set up those guidelines because there are things that are not appropriate for their age And, as parents, that’s our job And, yes, in a lot of those situations they are going to experience FOMO, but I think the way that we parent it is really important, and so one of the things that I think is most important is empathy.
When they come home and they feel like they’ve missed out or been left out of seeing something or doing something, sometimes it’s easy to brush it under the rug or feel like it’s not important. But when we take a minute to empathize and explain, i felt that way too And I get it. It is frustrating, it is disappointing And I know it doesn’t feel good. That just sets them up for knowing that you are trying to understand where they’re coming from, and then you can move into the space of saying you know, i’ve experienced FOMO too. I get it.
0:03:07 – Speaker 1
I love that you introduced this empathy piece, kim, because I always like to put myself in my kid’s shoes And I picture myself, you know, going to lunch with a group of moms and they are talking about the latest Netflix show. Even though I may watch it and I may not like it, i like to be able to just see what all the hoopla is about, right Like I want to be able to check it out. I think sometimes, when our kids are feeling left out because maybe they don’t have social media or that video game, and we just shut it down and say you’re not getting it because I said so, it really creates a barrier in the relationship.
0:03:42 – Speaker 2
An example of that for us was the Among Us game. It seemed like everybody was playing it for my kids and they were like mom, we want to play it too. It’s so fun. Everybody’s talking about it. Why can’t we play it? And my initial thought was well, you know, we said no for these reasons, and here’s the why. but it’s a new game I don’t know about, so why don’t we sit down together, look at the game? we’ll play it together and then we can make a decision. And guess what? It turned out that the game was really age appropriate, really fun and something that I thought my kids were okay playing. So we were able to look at the pros and cons and come to a decision for our family.
0:04:20 – Speaker 1
Well, and I love that you played it together and we have a whole show on among us And there is some things you do need to be aware of, but for the most part I mean you’re killing people, so you gotta be careful and stuff, and the and the chat. The chat is always fun, right, and usernames, stuff like that. But I Have a similar experience.
You know, my kids are older now, but I remember one of them wanting snapchat in third grade. They didn’t even have a phone yet and they wanted snapchat. And I remember saying to them Listen, my job as a mom is to protect you. So that’s kind of the why that I was explaining. And you know, sometimes God Has guidelines for us to live our life and it’s not because he hates us, it’s because he loves us, he knows better and he wants to protect us And so for me, i’m not trying to make your life miserable, that I’m not gonna give you snapchat in third grade, but it is my job to protect you and I don’t know that your little heart and mind are ready for that yet. And our compromise was we put it on my phone, because really all they wanted in third grade was the cute filters, that’s all they wanted.
They didn’t really want to snap any of your friends at that point, you know, but they loved all the filters and so we would just play with them on my phone together And I got to learn the app and it was a great moment where I was empathetic, to be like okay, i hear you, i hear that you want snapchat, but my job is to protect your heart and mind and you’re not ready. So here’s the compromise.
0:05:49 – Speaker 2
The empathy thing is so important because it leads into the conversation of the why behind your decision. It’s not just a no, not just a because I said so. Like you said, mandy, it’s a. Here’s the reason why we don’t do these things or play these things or go to these places, so that they understand where you’re coming from and they’re part of that conversation. Empathy so important. Explaining the why is so important. Not shutting things down right away because it’s something new is important. But also we need to be clear that our job is to protect our kids heart and mind, and there are some things that kids are going to be doing, that our kids are going to hear about, that are a hard no, and we want to be clear to explain that, because not everything is a gray area.
0:06:33 – Speaker 1
There are some things that are black and white you know, i have older kids and so One of the things that I see a lot our kids watching pornography. And in our home I don’t care if you have a fear of missing out or not That’s not okay for your heart and mind ever right. That is a sacred thing that God gave to a marriage And we’re not going to watch it for entertainment and Cheapen it to that level, and so those are the conversations that we have about that, so that to us That’s a black and white issue. Right, that is a sin and that’s not okay. But there are lots of gray areas, and I think that’s what this is the show is really about. Are these gray areas of when to let your kid play fortnight, when to let them have a phone, when to let them have social media And all of these things will really depend to on your kid and when they earn the trust and when they’re Ready to handle these sorts of responsibilities.
0:07:30 – Speaker 2
Another thing I want to bring up here that I you know I’m speaking from the truth of something I have done many times, especially as my kids were a little bit younger is a lot of times we parent in Fear because we’re afraid of something that we don’t know. Our kid comes home and tells us about a new game or A new place they’re going or a new social media thing or a new app, and we know nothing about it. It just seems scary, so we just want to shut it down. I mean, it’s easy to go there because our job is to protect our kids and it is not our world as much as we need to Learn about it and know about it. The online world is very different for our digital native kids, so important when they come home and share something new. Take a breath, take a minute and think am I Immediately shutting this down because I’m afraid of it?
0:08:16 – Speaker 1
So we do have to ask ourselves am I just saying no out of fear, or do I have a valid reason here as to why I’m delaying this? And you know, your friend called it parenting, fomo, parenting this What I used to call it when my kids were little was mommy peer pressure, like I just felt all this peer pressure to conform, to conform, and I didn’t want to fall into the trap of not teaching my kids healthy screen habits. I want them to be able to navigate the digital world, but in a responsible and healthy way. But when were they ready? When were they ready to take that dive? And I found myself really struggling and really in a lot of prayer and getting to know each kid and what they can and cannot process in making these decisions.
0:09:09 – Speaker 2
One of the things I want to talk about here that’s very, very real I mean, i remember it growing up is peer pressure, and that really is the crux of the fear of missing out, wanting to do what everybody else wants to do, and that’s going to be a part of your kids’ life forever, and so it’s really important that we’re having these conversations with them about what that looks like and how to respond to it.
And you know, one of the things that I tell my kids a lot is you’re not going to be doing the same things as everybody else all the time, and that’s a good thing, and I know that’s hard to understand, but God has really set you apart for something so much better, and we want to focus on that because we don’t want to settle for the okay. We want to wait for the great that God has planned for us. And that’s not a preachy sit down conversation. It’s an on the go that I’ll mention and say as they’re walking through their life, because I really want them to capture that and hold that in their heart. They are set apart and they’re not going to conform to this world And they don’t need to do everything else that everyone else has done.
0:10:09 – Speaker 1
And on the flip side of that, that’s all 100 percent And you should not be giving your kid a phone or social media or anything unless they’ve proven themselves They don’t just get it because everybody else gets it. At a certain age You know that that would be conforming to peer pressure. But on the flip side of that, kim, we also cannot create in our kids an unrealistic view of the world. They have to know the world, they have to navigate the world, and so as our job as parents and I mean I’ve got a kid getting ready to move away to college next year I need her to be able to walk out of my home and survive in this world with everything coming at her technology, wise and other And so it’s our job to prepare them for that.
One of my concerns in doing this show is this I don’t ever want a parent just giving their kid a device or social media because everyone else is doing it, obviously. But at the same time, i see this a lot with parents. They dig their heels in the ground and they’re like we’re never conforming, we are never doing social media, and their kids move out of their house at 18 or 19 and they’re just swallowed up with all the opinions that they can see online And I don’t think that’s healthy as well. I think we are given a specific little time frame here And what I’m seeing in my home is it’s late middle school to you know about junior year, where you can really dig in and really teach them some core principles about how to navigate the digital world and, as they’re exposed to all these sorts of opinions, you can talk through the things. That has been such a blessing in our home with my older kids.
0:11:48 – Speaker 2
I’m so glad that you shared that perspective because that’s kind of the world that we’re entering into And you know, oftentimes you and I use the analogy of a car. You know, at 18, you wouldn’t hand your kid the car keys and say, ok, good luck with that, social media and the whole world that is available at their fingertips at all times. I can’t even imagine handing my kid a phone at 18 and saying, ok, good luck with that. So you’re right, it’s such a blessing, but also a very high calling to walk our kids through the things that they will be up against before they leave our home.
0:12:24 – Speaker 1
The key here is don’t cave too early, but also don’t miss your window. If you need help figuring out well, when is my window that I need to dive in there and let them have a little bit more freedom. We’ve got a couple of shows that can help you with that. One is when should I get my kid a phone? We have some guidelines on there. The other one is how can I get my kids to report things they’re seeing online? Listen, if your kids aren’t actively reporting things to you that their friends are telling them or that they’re being shown from other people’s phones, then they’re not ready for a phone yet. They’re not ready because they’re not telling you things, and oftentimes they’re not telling you because they don’t know that you want to know. We have to be very clear with our expectations And then, when they start reporting things to us, that builds trust. Then we can establish a relationship. We can let them have more freedom with technology and get to experience it, and then we move into these teachable conversations.
0:13:22 – Speaker 2
And just so you know that this show is for you too. If you have younger kids, this starts early with setting up guidelines that you want reported, and this applies to all things, not just phones, tv, tv, what’s happening on the playground. You want to tell your kids what you want reported early, so it becomes normal operating procedure, so they get used to telling you all the things, so you can help them process it. So as they get older and we’re getting into devices and games and all those things, they’re already used to telling you what they’re seeing and hearing.
0:13:53 – Speaker 1
This may look different for you and all your friends. For example, my kid, my son, was playing Fortnite in late elementary school. Kim’s is not. That does not mean either one of us is right or wrong. We’re figuring it out and figuring out what works with our family and figuring out each kid when they’re ready and when they’re not. And some of them won’t even show interest in it, like some kids don’t want social media. Don’t force it on them. There will come a day when they’ll be more interested in it because they realize that’s how people are communicating. But we don’t want to force them. If they’re saying I’m not ready for that, i don’t want that added stress. That’s great. That’s actually a parenting win. Yay for being so mature little kid.
0:14:35 – Speaker 2
One other thing I want to mention is it takes a lot of conversation and open communication in your home with your spouse to be on the same page about what you believe and why. And that’s an important conversation to have before your kid walks through the door and says why can’t I have this, why can’t I do this? Because if that’s not clear for you and your spouse, then you get into these awkward conversations And a lot of times we just shut things down because we don’t know. And so start those conversations with your spouse or whatever your situation is. know why you believe something is good or not for your kid. So you’re prepared for those conversations because I promise you they are coming.
0:15:12 – Speaker 1
Well, and I’m so glad you mentioned the spouse component, kim, because one of the things we’ve done you know Matt loves video games. I hate video games, so when my kids come home and want a new video game, one of the first things that always happens is dad plays it with him and checks it out. Same here, dad. Dad plays it first. Social media is my thing. Matt hates that. So same thing with me with social media. If a kid comes home and wants something, i’m on it, i’m learning it, i’m figuring it out. Whatever you’re good at or whatever you like, utilize that as you parent these things when they come home and ask for them.
0:15:46 – Speaker 2
So we spend a lot of time on the show talking about FOMO that’s created by the decisions we make as parents. But there is the other side of that. There’s going to be FOMO that comes out of like not being invited to a party.
0:15:59 – Speaker 1
Well, you know, we never want to see our baby hurting, but at the same time, in this tech world, we kind of always know when we’re left out or we’re not part of a certain group, and I think it’s almost like a skill set that we have to develop in our kids to be okay with that. One trend that I’m seeing with older kids is they will get on life 360, which, if you don’t know about that app, it’s a GPS tracking app. So if you have a kid who’s driving, you want that app. It tells you the miles per hour they’re going, you know where they are at all times, that sort of thing. But a lot of older kids will create their own life 360 group so that they can see where everybody is at a certain time.
Oh, my goodness, so if two people out of the 10 people group are always together, they’re going to know it And this is just like a common thing that they’re doing. They love to see where everybody is at all the times. But it’s almost good, because then they develop. Oh, it’s okay, i’m not left out, i’m just not invited to that thing. It really does help them kind of develop some thick skin in relation to FOMO.
0:17:10 – Speaker 2
That example makes the point of understanding their culture, and this is something we talk about all the time at nextTalk. It’s very hard and we’re never going to truly understand it, as I mentioned before, but to help them walk through this new, new, new, new, new, new, new, new world that they are a part of, these are the kind of conversations that we need to have. We need to prepare them for what’s coming and what they’re experiencing. that sometimes creates FOMO.
0:17:35 – Speaker 1
Well, and I’m so glad you said that, kim You know, one of the conversations we had about the life 360 thing was I said you can’t have anybody you don’t know tracking you Nobody. So these are close personal friends that you trust. Well, and when this whole thing came about with the whole life 360 thing, i was like what That’s so weird to me. But I listened and kind of understood And then we set up some clear guidelines Like, for example, it’s only people that you feel safe with, knowing your location. This can’t be just any person at school that’s added to this group chat on life 360.
0:18:09 – Speaker 2
Okay, i’m just going to tell you. when I think about that, this next word just comes alive for me. As I was researching FOMO, it said that there’s this new thing called Jomo the joy of missing out. I would like to miss out on someone knowing where I am at all times, like I was all about that. Like yes, Jomo, all the way Hide from everybody. Nobody finds me. We can focus on that.
0:18:35 – Speaker 1
Yes, We really hope this show helped you Listen, navigate through this, talk to your spouse and pray.
Transcribed by https://podium.page