0:00:03 – Speaker 1
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0:00:37 – Speaker 1
You know, i’ve been asked a lot lately from parents. My kids have been spending all this time on screens but they’re not reporting things to me. Should I be concerned? My answer to that is always oh, we need to set some boundaries, we need to set some guidelines, because what’s most likely happening is the kids are probably seeing something, but they’re not quite sure they have to report it. So it’s not really like they’re being sneaky or hiding it, it’s just everything is snap, posted and shared. So what do I tell mom about? What do I tell dad about?
0:01:07 – Speaker 2
Absolutely, I’m having the same experience. A lot of my friends who have actually had these conversations with their kids in the past haven’t circled back to it for a while And so the kids have kind of gotten out of the loop with all the changes and schedule and schooling And they are on screens more, but they’re not reporting because they haven’t reminded them or gotten back to hey, remember, these are the things I want reported. So I think there’s two sides to that. Either there’s not clarity or they haven’t talked about it for a while and the kids have gotten out of practice.
0:01:35 – Speaker 1
So what we need to do is circle back and really be clear about what we want them to report to us. This is why this is so important. Sometimes our kids see things on a screen and it’s almost like a slow drip of ingraining different beliefs and ideas and concepts into our child’s head, And if they’re not talking to us about it years down the road it could really affect them. So recently I was playing Among Us with my son and all these ads popped up and they were lesbian type ads, And so this was a perfect example. If you would have had an elementary age kid seeing this and never having any sexuality conversations with their parents, it could cause confusion. We did a whole podcast over at nextTalk on Among Us. If you want to go, take a listen to that. But that’s a perfect example of why we want to set up clear guidelines on what you need to tell me what you’re seeing on that screen.
0:02:33 – Speaker 2
Now I also want to talk to the parents who are thinking well, i can tune out because my kid doesn’t game or they’re not online a lot. I have noticed over the past few years a lot of shows on regular television, or even if you’re watching apps on your TV, really have a lot of different sexuality scenarios that you need to be addressing with your kid or asking them to report. We watch a lot of those cookie baking shows, different things that in the past I didn’t really have to worry about, but the last few years there’s always different types of couples and conversations happening that I would want my kid to report. So, regardless of what type of technology your kid has, this show is important for you to hear.
0:03:13 – Speaker 1
So what do you do? What do you do with all this? You’re probably thinking, yeah, this may be happening, my kid may be exposed to things and not telling me. So how do I get them to tell me Without completely being a helicopter parent and continually watching over them all the time when they’re on screens, which nobody has time for that, nobody has time to monitor them 24 seven when they’re on screens. So what we’re going to do is give you a list of certain guidelines that we have in our home that have caught a lot of stuff that our kids are seeing on the screen. But I want to caution you.
The first thing I want you to do is talk this over with your spouse, make sure that your list are the same. And then, when you’re doing a family activity, it may be you’re having dinner together or you’re going on a family walk, or maybe you’re all riding in the car getting ready to go to a national park for a hike or something, something when you’re all together and you’re just doing something, so it’s a little less awkward And then you need to start having conversations about Hey, you’re on a screen a lot and you haven’t been reporting a lot of things to me. I wasn’t clear about what I wanted reported to you. I’m so sorry about that. That’s on me. I just didn’t know I needed to do that.
But now, going forward, i want to set some parameters, so I’m going to give you some examples of what you could maybe see online And those are the things that I want you to report to me. And, as we’re going through this list, if something has popped up on a screen that you’ve been exposed to, i want you to tell me. And you’re not going to get in trouble. You’re not going to lose your phone, you’re not going to lose your iPad or whatever it is. But let’s talk about it as we go through these guidelines.
0:04:55 – Speaker 2
You will be surprised how well your kid will probably receive that. First, the humility that you’re presenting of saying, hey, it’s on me, i’m sorry I didn’t make this clear. And then, hey, you’re not going to get in trouble, but I really want to know what you’re seeing so I can walk you through it. And a lot of times when you start this conversation and you’re going through the list, they are going to bring up a story Oh yeah, i saw this. Or oh yeah, i saw that. And it gives you an awesome opportunity to have conversation about why it’s important for them to report that and what to do with that information when they see it.
0:05:27 – Speaker 1
So we’re going to give you this list of things we use in our own home with our own kids And we’re going to give you examples of things that’s caught, ok, so the first thing is anything about dating, kissing or marriage. Now, this guideline that I had in place. It would have caught the among us ads Because there was kissing involved between two females, so this would have caught it. They would have come to me. It has caught other things.
One time years ago, a mama contacted me and she had this implemented in her home because it was something we recommended at nextTalk, and she said my daughter was playing a four plus app and it was like all teddy bears And you could pick out which teddy bears were marrying each other. And so they had like two female and a male teddy bear marrying each other. And so it’s that slow ingraining that that’s OK that two females and a male could get married a polygamous relationship But the mom would have never have known. But she had this guideline in place anything dating, kissing or marriage And so the little girl brought it to her and then they had this beautiful conversation about it.
0:06:31 – Speaker 2
That’s exactly how you want it to work.
0:06:33 – Speaker 1
Absolutely. You get to point them to the truth of Jesus.
0:06:35 – Speaker 2
Next on the list anyone asking you for personal information like your name, address, school or where you go to church, or any stranger wanting to private message you. Now we had this guideline in place years and years ago and talk to our kids about it. My oldest was on the playground talking to a friend who was sharing a story about playing bro blocks and that someone in the game was asking him about where he went to school and for some personal information. And he was sharing that And my kid had the red flag alert and said you can’t share personal information with strangers. Are they your friend? Do you know them in person? And he said no And he said you’ve got to let your mom know. And do you know? he went home, he told his mom and they were able to report it together And it ended up being a scary situation that he was saved from.
0:07:17 – Speaker 1
So if you can put that idea in your kid’s head that they don’t share anything private and they don’t private message with strangers- I think that’s a great story, kim, because not only did it keep your kids safe, it kept another kid safe, because your kid was empowered to step up and teach his friends when he’s learning, and so see how this can. God can use all of this. God can use the conversations in our home to keep our neighbors kids safe. Number three anyone in a bathing suit or less. Now, when your kids are little, this is going to be your threshold. This doesn’t mean that I think all bathing suit pictures are bad, okay, and we cannot become judgmental and we cannot teach our kids to become judgmental, but when your kids are super little, that is just a really good threshold.
So one time my son was Googling some football scores and a picture popped up and it was a woman on a motorcycle and she had a thong on Well, a bathing suit or less.
My son was like mom, you know, and so it caught that. Now I don’t know if he would have told me before or not, but we had that guideline in place and we were clear about what we wanted him to tell us, and so he knew and we were able to have a conversation about it. Now, as your kids get older, if any parents are listening and they have teenagers and they’re like, oh my gosh, instagram teen, you’re going to be reporting bathing suit pictures all day. As they get older, this tweaks a little bit And you explain to them what a sexualized bathing suit picture is versus just a normal bathing suit picture of, like, a group of kids hanging out by the pool. That’s very different And they’re going to be able to discern what needs to be told to you. But when they’re little, just bathing suit or less, because it just gets them in the habit of reporting things on screens that they see.
0:09:06 – Speaker 2
Okay, moving on to number four, report any word you don’t know or any cuss word And this is great to start with, they’re little because this can work for on the playground to online. So you tell your kid if there is a word you don’t know or you’ve never heard or you have a question about, let me be your Google. You want them to come to you with those questions so you can give them the truth. Now you can’t sweep it under the rug or they’re not going to ask you again. They have to be able to trust that you’re going to answer their question. Now you can always say you know I want to answer that for you. Give me a minute to pray about it, but always circle back within 24 hours and get that answer to them.
0:09:41 – Speaker 1
This is really good for catching usernames as well.
0:09:46 – Speaker 2
It is because in a lot of games like Among Us, roblox, a lot of games that kids play, they get to choose their username And sometimes they choose things that aren’t very nice. They may not be cuss words, but they may be words you don’t want your kids seeing or repeating. They also may be cussing in the chat or using bad language, so that’s another way that it can catch those bad words.
0:10:07 – Speaker 1
Yeah, if you’ve instilled in your kid any word you don’t know any cuss word, anything like that don’t Google that. Come home and ask me and we’ll talk about it. Then you get to talk about maybe why your family doesn’t use that word or why you’re choosing not to use that word, and you get to explain it to them in age-appropriate terms. We want to emphasize age-appropriate. So one time my kindergartner he asked me what the F word meant, so how. I answered that because that was a new word to him And he literally said it at dinner and I thought my husband was going to spit his chicken out. I mean, it was crazy to look at my husband’s face. This is how we answered it. We said one.
It has two meanings. The first meaning is get away from here. I don’t like you, like you’re worthless, kind of you know. And I was kind of thinking about the middle finger, but I didn’t even say that because he hadn’t been exposed to that And I said that’s one way. And then the other way is something that I’m going to explain when you get older. And what I was thinking about that was it was the worldly way of saying sex, but we covered that three or four years later. But we use that basis. I said we will get to that when you get a little bit older. I just don’t want to scar you for life. Right now I only want to give you what you need. But it’s a word we don’t use in our family And so please don’t use that word. And if you hear somebody at school using that word, please tell your teacher or let me know, because it’s not okay. So again, it’s age appropriate. We’re giving them the information but we’re not overexposing them when we’re explaining it to them.
0:11:37 – Speaker 2
So number five any name calling or mean threatening or bullying language.
0:11:42 – Speaker 1
Yeah, this is important too. So one time my son was playing Fortnite and some kid was calling him stupid And it sounds like something so simple. But getting him in the habit of telling me these things when they are so simple is really important, because I don’t want to fast forward to 10 years when he’s a teenager and then he’s actually being bullied and made fun of And he’s not in the habit of confiding in me when things are hurting his feelings. So when this kid called him stupid, we reported it. We did. But I also said how does that make you feel And I’m so proud of you that you told me and it’s okay if it hurt your feelings like that’s all right to acknowledge that.
But then let’s also remember it’s some kid or an adult behind a screen. We don’t even know who they are. They may just be miserable and calling everybody stupid and so let’s not let that rain. You know we’re going our attitude and so just those little conversations. But anything mean threatening bullying. We want to make sure that our kids aren’t doing that to others, but that also they are not being bullied or made fun of so these are five guidelines that we use in our homes.
0:12:58 – Speaker 2
Talk it over with your spouse and decide what’s important your family, your choice. But be on the same page before you talk to your kids, like Mandy said earlier, do it during family activity together, so it’s more casual and comfortable. Hopefully your kids will open up and tell you about some things when you give them these guidelines that they’ve already seen, so you can already start discussing. But a super big part of this is how you respond when they do start coming to you. If they come to you after you’ve asked them to look for these things and report it, and they do, and then you freak out and go into crazy parent mode. They’re not going to tell you again. You have to remain calm.
0:13:37 – Speaker 1
Yeah, and you know if we start screaming, taking the app away, you know if it’s something on fortnight or something inappropriate and they can’t play it again because the username was really bad. You know they did nothing wrong. You’ve already allowed them to play fortnight, you vetted out the violence, you’re okay with it, and so one username is now going to cause them to lose it that they’ve been honest with you. So you know we stay calm, always start off with thank you so much for telling me. I’m so proud of you And, as you’re implementing these guidelines and you’re telling them and you’re being very specific, these are the things I want reported to you.
They need to know that if they’re not reporting these things to you and you find them, then they will lose screen time, because that is a clear consequence. Now I have apologized because I didn’t give you these clear guidelines and things that I want reported to you, but now I am. So this is like a reset. We’re doing a digital reset here. Now you know exactly what I want you to tell me about. So if you don’t, you’re going to lose screens or you’re going to lose Xbox time or whatever you’re going to take away from them because They need to get into the habit of reporting things to you. The younger you can implement this, the better it’s going to be when they get a cell phone. It’s still tough to parent a cell phone. I’m not saying it takes away all worries, but it is way easier when it’s standard operating procedure that they’re telling you these things.
0:15:03 – Speaker 2
We really hope these five guidelines give you a starting point to set up or revisit guidelines that maybe you’ve already established. as always, of course, it’s your family, your choice, but the important thing is, no matter what you decide, you want reported is clarity. kids really need to know exactly what you want, the why behind it and the consequences if they don’t follow through.
Transcribed by https://podium.page