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 nextTalk.org.
0:00:24 – Speaker 1
We’re your 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. So, kim, i was recently at an event and it was out of state, and a dad had a really great question.
0:00:44 – Speaker 2
Oh, I love it when the dads ask questions.
0:00:46 – Speaker 1
It’s so cool to see dads so engaged. I’m seeing more and more that the dads have more questions than the moms, which I love.
0:00:55 – Speaker 2
Yes, i mean not that we don’t want the mama questions too, but it’s cool to see them speak up and feel like nextTalk is not just for moms, this is a family organization.
0:01:05 – Speaker 1
Yes, And also I have to say this was the first NFL Sunday. this event was held on. And so dads were there and I was joking with them. I was like, if anybody is live streaming the game and the Cowboys get a touchdown, please let me know. I got a bunch of booze because we were not in Texas.
0:01:22 – Speaker 2
Oh booze. I thought you meant you brought a bunch of booze and I was like, what kind of event was this? Oh my goodness, We have chips and gears than I didn’t even know Booze and beer Booze B-O-O-S Got it Not here.
0:01:38 – Speaker 1
Don’t talk about the Cowboys here, anyway. Okay, so let me get on to the point. The question was this I understand I’m trying to get my kid to come home and tell me everything Got. That. Isn’t that kind of like gossip, though? Like what’s the difference? Great question. I’ve never had that question before. Out of all the issues of doing it, i’ve never had that question and I actually really liked it.
0:02:02 – Speaker 2
I like it too. I’ve had a few moms where we’ve discussed that, because their kids have actually brought that up to them. So I think that’s really cool to think of it from both angles. And how do we answer it?
0:02:13 – Speaker 1
Now let me say what I said on the spot. And then I’ve thought about it since then and there’s so much I want to add to it now, which is why we’re doing the podcast right. So on the spot, I mean I’m on stage. My immediate response was something like this, and I’m paraphrasing you know, home is different because home is the safe place. It’s where we talk about everything, It’s where my kids don’t have to have a filter, They don’t have to worry about is this gossip or not? You just bring to me what’s in your little heart and what’s in your little mind and what you’re trying to process, and I’m your little helper to walk you through that. So that was kind of. My response is oh, home is different than everywhere else because home is the safe place. And when I say home, I mean, you know, for our home it’s mom and dad, It’s that trusted family unit, a trusted adult where your kid can process what they’re hearing and what they’re seeing online.
0:03:06 – Speaker 2
Yeah, i think that’s good And you know, like you said, home really means the relationship, right, not the physical place, absolutely. And when I’ve talked about this with my kids and explained it to a few moms, the way that I describe it is intent. I say it really depends what your intent is. When your kid comes home, their intent is to process something with you, their safe place, to try to understand it, to ask questions, maybe to get help, if it’s something they’re involved with, or direction, if they’re concerned about a friend, if that’s their intent. That’s very different than talking to a friend or a neighbor or anyone else just to spread a story or to get a reaction out of someone. So that’s the place that I’ve always gone. What’s your intent here? If it’s to process with mom and dad in your safe place, then I don’t consider that gossip.
0:03:58 – Speaker 1
I think that’s excellent And being able to tell your kids okay, you processing with me is kind of different. Then you going to school and saying what you heard, that’s a very different space, because you’re telling me to ask what this is or process it. Maybe you know what it is, but it’s something shocking that you found out about your friend and you’re just trying to wrap your mind around the fact that this is happening, like friends are having sex or whatever. This is going to happen, this happens. Your kids are going to come home and they’re just processing this kind of thing. But here’s the thing that I thought about Kim, that I did not mention at the event.
That I think is really important, because I think what happens sometimes is our kids will come home and tell us something right, and they’re just processing and we tell them you know, you don’t need to talk to your friends about this, you don’t need to talk, you don’t need to tell anyone else, we’re going to process it right here in our family. But then what happens? kids will not do that, they will not talk about it. They will say, okay, i don’t want to gossip about my friend or what’s going on. But what do we do sometimes Text our friend group and say you’re not going to believe what my kid just told me. Yeah, so now we have entered gossip space with trusted information that our kid was trying to process with us. And I think this is the point. This is why I wanted to do this show, because the more I got to thinking about it, the more I was like how many times do we use this information that our kids are telling us to gossip? And it is wrong, wrong, okay.
0:05:34 – Speaker 2
I’m going to challenge you on this one, though I am Okay. We’re going to go For the very same thing that I tell my kids and I tell these moms who have asked me before intent. Now, if my seventh grader comes home and says, mom, these two kids at school are having sex and I, oh, my gosh Kim.
0:05:54 – Speaker 1
You went there at seven. Did you say seventh grade or seven years old?
0:05:57 – Speaker 2
No seventh grade.
0:05:59 – Speaker 1
Okay, yeah, that happens Still yeah, Like you said, seven years old.
0:06:04 – Speaker 2
I was like whoa no that’s a whole another show that involves police. But no, if he comes home and we process it and I say, yeah, okay, we talked through all the things and you know, don’t gossip Me, i am processing it as a mom And these are his friends and the age of his friends, so I then have to think, okay, if I need to process that, it needs to be with my husband or my one or two trusted friends who I know will not gossip about it, that are not in the circle of this experience. So, like you don’t go to the same school, you don’t have the same friend group, so I could process that with you. Like, what should I do here? What do you think, as a mom, would be best? And I feel like that wouldn’t be gossip. That would be my intent to make sure I’m handling the situation well.
0:06:51 – Speaker 1
Okay, I think we can meet in the middle on this one. I think you’re right. I think you’re right. What I’m envisioning of saying to our friends is we’re just texting our PTA group that we’re in. Oh yeah, oh my gosh, yeah, to me this is too much. This is too much, i agree, i agree.
But you are right, especially as your kids get older and they’re going to be confiding in you more and more. If you are a true nextTalk family and you have built a foundation of open communication, they’re going to be tell, you’re going to be know when all the stuff. Yeah, and it is a lot to process as a mom, even if your kid’s not dealing with it. It’s like you go to basketball games and football games and you look at everybody differently because you just know right And it’s hard to process that And you want to be loving and you don’t want to be judgmental, and so you’re just trying to figure out how to handle all this information that you’ve been given. So I hear you on that. It just has to be.
I think it goes back to what you said in the beginning of the show. It’s your intent. It’s not about spreading rumors. It’s not about oh my gosh, the shock value I got to tell this person, or this. It’s about can you please help me process this And did I have the right conversations with my kids? Do you have any other tips for me? Like, what else can I do? It’s that sort of thing.
0:08:03 – Speaker 2
And I think this is a great lesson for your kids outside. of gossip is just intent in general with their actions, with their words and lots of different situations, And this is a great way to introduce it with the topic of gossip because it’s something that starts at a really young age and it’s age appropriate to talk about, but it’s a good tool for them to apply in all kinds of situations.
0:08:27 – Speaker 1
One of the things that we always say at nextTalk, especially for us in our Christian homes, how we’re handling this stuff is why can’t we gossip? That goes back to the Bible, like what does the Bible say, and I love Proverbs 11, 13. It says a gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence. You’re a holder of the confidence of your kids’ lives in their friend groups and what’s going on. You’re a holder of that. Yes, are there some times that we need to report things? Absolutely? Are there some times we need to maybe make a call to another mom because you are literally concerned about the well-being of this person? Absolutely? But are we protecting that information and confidence and we’re not just blasting it on Facebook or texting?
0:09:15 – Speaker 2
you know 50 people about it, that’s not what we want to do here, and I think, too, it’s an important part of the conversation when you’re maybe walking through scripture with your kids and talking about why we don’t gossip, also sometimes our motivation for gossip we can get caught up in that really easy. And I think being real transparent with your kids like sometimes it’s nice to have maybe not nice, but sometimes it’s fun to have the best story or the juiciest news And I think kids can get caught up in that really easily, and so can we as adults. And so we’re drawn into that world of gossip because it’s fun to be the one with the information on the front end But on the back end then you become someone that’s not trustworthy, someone people don’t believe will hold their confidence or that they can share information with, and so you lose out on some of the gifts of friendship and relationship if you become a gossip. So there’s all these great conversations around this that you can have.
0:10:14 – Speaker 1
Absolutely. You know, i remember one time, a long time ago, my daughter came home and you know, her friend had confided in her that she was crushing on this boy. Well, the boy was asking my daughter, you know, does she like me? And this was, this was years ago, you know, sweet little innocent crush kind of thing.
And I remember my daughter came home and she said you know what should I say? Because I don’t want to lie, but I don’t at the same time, this is a confidence that my friend has given to me and I don’t want to gossip about it. And so I remember, right at that moment, sending her, i said, well, go go to the back of your Bible and look up some lying scriptures. And she did. And she’s like, yeah, i don’t think I can lie to him.
And then we, we looked up gossip and kind of went through that whole phase And then we started brainstorming and just coming up with some ideas of how she could handle it, because she was like I don’t want to lie and I don’t want to gossip, like I want to be a trusted friend that will keep a confidence right. And so our whole thing was the next time he asked, her response was going to be, and this is. We came up with this together. Her response was going to be listen, go ask her, like I don’t need to be involved in this, and so then I kind of simple, the fifth amendment, really.
I mean, she didn’t say that, but you know, just play the fifth, i’m not going to respond to, just go ask this person. That way you’re still a trusted source for your friend and you’re not going to gossip, and then you’re not also lying straight up to this person either. And so I think it’s so important in this example of sending your kids to scripture for truth, because this was such a little thing, right. But years later, when it’s everybody’s having sex or it feels like everybody’s have, okay, well, let’s go to scripture. What does God say? God knows better than us, instead of me just saying these are the rules, because that’s not going to fly, and so as much as we can get our kids back to scripture just for little things like gossip and lying and things like that, the better.
0:12:16 – Speaker 2
Let’s also kind of circle back to what you mentioned earlier about reporting, because socially and kids a lot of times will put reporting in the category of gossip And that’s not the case. Again, with intent. If you are reporting to keep someone safe or to get them the help that they need, then you’re doing the right thing. That’s not gossip. You’re not going around spreading information. You’re reporting to the right person who can help them in the right way without spreading their information. So there is definitely a line between reporting and gossip And I think it’s important we explain that to our kids so they don’t feel like they’re a snitch or that they’re gossiping about someone when they really need to help them.
0:12:57 – Speaker 1
Well, and snitches get stitches. I mean they will get bullied if they are continually reporting things to people. So you do have to be careful with this, but there are times when we cannot stay silent with the information from an integrity standpoint. So I’m talking about things like kids being really badly cyber bullied, kids cutting kids suicidal. You know we need to get a counselor involved, we need to get this kid help to make sure, and so parents, i do want to caution you though. So your kid comes home with something big like this and confides in you and they’re trying to process Again.
This isn’t a situation where you get on the phone with the school by yourself, without a conversation with your kid, and just start reporting, because what’s going to happen is counselors going to call your counselor is going to call your kid down to the office and say, okay, give me the rundown. And on the way to the office, your kid is in their mind, thinking I’m never telling mom anything again. I cannot believe she called the school on this. So it’s a conversation. Honey, i’m so proud that you told me this. What if we did nothing and your friend hurt themselves? We wouldn’t be able to live with ourselves. So we’ve got a couple options here. You know, i know some schools have an email where I can try and email the counselor and try and keep your name out of it, but I can’t promise anything. Or, you know, maybe I know the parent and I can I reach out. What can we do here?
Sometimes your kid will want to go and report it themselves. Sometimes your kid will say, will you please help me with this? And so again, it’s bringing them in. They’re part of the solution. It’s not just us out here texting a whole bunch of people getting things solved, where we’re the hero. That’s not what this is, and I think it goes back to what you say, kim, earlier. You know we want to be the hero, we want to be the one with all the details. We want to get all the glory like. Get that out of your mindset. This is about being a safe place in the background for your kid And then helping them navigate when to report, when to speak up and when to not gossip or spread rumors. 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.
0:15:12 – 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 nextTalk.org. We’d love to hear from you.
0:15:22 – Speaker 1
At nextTalk. We’re more than cyber parenting. It’s conversations to connect.
0:15:28 – Speaker 2
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.
0:15:37 – Speaker 1
Listeners are advised to consult a qualified expert for treatment.
Transcribed by https://podium.page