0:00:00 – Speaker 1
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0:00:10 – Speaker 2
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. Visit our free video series and subscribe to our weekly podcast at nextTalk.org. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
0:00:38 – Speaker 3
Welcome to nextTalk Radio. Today we have two guests in the studio. We are continuing our love and dating series and I think this could be a really long series. We’ve tried to limit it to three weeks, but we’re getting some good information. Holly Bristol and Kim Nichols is back with us today. They are our high school and college leaders at our nextTalk organization. Today we wanted to tackle some frequently asked questions. We get asked a lot. I want to start with this question. We talked a lot on the last two shows about creating open communication early. When you establish that safe place, the dating conversation is way easier because they’re used to coming and talking to you about things. We have families that have a 16 or 17 year old and they’ve never really talked about sex or sexuality or anything Love or so where do they start? Give us some pointers, like because you can’t just go in there and start lecturing, that’s not gonna work.
I’m lecturing never works yeah you can’t say come, come, sit on the couch and let’s talk.
0:01:44 – Speaker 4
And because no, you’re sending them off to like reform school and again.
0:01:50 – Speaker 3
This is why it’s important to start early, because you establish that this is how you do it.
0:01:54 – Speaker 4
But if you haven’t, give us some pointers there, and Kim and I know we have many peers that all of a sudden they’re there, especially when their kids hit about 14 and they’re starting high school. That first semester of high school, literally, parents just kind of lose their crackers and Wait, wait, because that’s a lot of times when social things really begin to happen more so far, more than middle school Everything from study groups to there’s more activities in high school.
They got prom, and well, that’s much later, but yeah, they’re trips there are like, you know, like high school, like band, or you’re going to football games and things, and so all the time, oh no, this is what’s happening. And so that’s when we begin to hear them say I really haven’t, we really haven’t talked about this.
0:02:46 – Speaker 1
I met. At that point it’s almost it’s awkward for the kiddo if you do call them in and try to sit them down. Have the conversation it’s really awkward for mom and dad because they haven’t done this before. I think, first to know You’re not alone, there are tons. Yes, so many tons of parents who have not started conversations in elementary school and middle school and Waited. They were terrified of middle school.
0:03:09 – Speaker 4
I think they were just terrified.
0:03:11 – Speaker 1
Yeah, don’t be afraid to jump in and start the open communication. Your kids will appreciate it once they get over the weird, awkward part of it. But I think, create a new norm, it’s it. Create a new normal for your family, because it’s much easier, because it feels weird and awkward to stick your head in the sand and put the blinders on and just hope that they’re gonna be okay, and I think that’s one of the biggest mistakes we can make it. Yeah, so Holly and I are kind of passionate about not sticking our heads in the sand and put in the blinders on, but having that awkward Communication, but making it not feel weird for your kid or for yourself by staying calm and Just talking and not getting weirded out by anything that they may say or bring up, and letting them know that it’s okay to bring up the weird, awkward, weird feeling, uncomfortable Topics that they’ve never talked to you about before when you said a keyword there, you said talk with them.
0:04:07 – Speaker 5
This is not a lecture. No, this is not like a sit down. Today’s topic is right talk with them, have a conversation. You know that maybe starts with something simple or a question like did you?
0:04:18 – Speaker 4
think that was weird. Cuz I thought that was weird. Yeah, I do just like how they often will ask you about their friends when they’re in middle school. Yeah, that’s we talked about in our last show that sometimes in middle school that’s how they want to test the waters. You can do the reverse and you can test the waters and go hey, did you think it was weird that So-and-so and so-and-so did that? Oh, I love that you know, what do you think of that?
You can get their take and maybe even sometimes laugh about things, or you know, there’s nothing like joining together in Weirdness that’s so true Everything.
0:04:56 – Speaker 1
And car conversations when they don’t have to look you in the eye. Yeah, it’s not a lecture, you’re just having a conversation and they don’t have to give you eye contact right works great. I can’t remember get away from you and run to their room or the bathroom.
0:05:08 – Speaker 4
Yeah, oh yeah, it’s so true. Or look at their filing yes.
0:05:12 – Speaker 5
There is a statistic I don’t remember the number that my husband and I were teaching on recently about. It was huge, like 80 something percent or 90 percent something percent. Of kids will open More if you sit next to them versus across from right so they can’t see your eyes. They just they’re willing to open up in those situations. Some you know it can be anything you could be.
0:05:33 – Speaker 4
you know, if you’re a mom and you’re making dinner and you’re just looking down, it’s while you’re chopping an onion or something or you’re unloading groceries, there are all kinds of things that you can do and pretend like you’re kind of distracted While they’re in the room, mm-hmm, and so that’s a lot less intimidating, other than, you know, pointing a finger.
0:05:50 – Speaker 5
It’s so you know, dude, what do you think? What?
0:05:52 – Speaker 4
do you think of this?
0:05:53 – Speaker 5
We went Um. Recently. I had a date with my son to go see a movie and I purposely went early. I am always late, so he was like what is going on? We are here before the previews. But that was a great talk time because it’s just those, not the movie previews. It’s like before that, where they just show little snippets of things and the music and yeah, music, and the lights are low and he was just talking up a storm because we weren’t facing each other and it was just downtime. There’s nothing else to do. So finding little times like that where you can just connect.
0:06:25 – Speaker 4
Often times, when they’re freshmen, they haven’t figured, they haven’t started figuring out where things are yet. So you can take a long way home and they don’t have glue.
0:06:34 – Speaker 3
Yeah, let’s take a drive, do not have a clue that’s a mom hack right there it is.
0:06:38 – Speaker 4
That’s a mom hack. That is totally a mom hack, that is.
0:06:41 – Speaker 3
I loved what Kim said about remaining calm, you know, I would add, don’t ever be shocked.
No so if they talk about nude photos, whatever they, somebody’s having sex don’t be shocked. You know you have to use that parent filter. What I’ve learned to do is just you may be sweating, screaming on the inside, but you got to be calm on the outside and you can have time to process it. And you know later that night just you and your husband or whatever, and how you’re going to follow back up with that conversation. So you don’t like jump in there and start lecturing or being judgmental or whatever. But don’t be shocked because that shuts it down.
0:07:17 – Speaker 4
Now, if they come to you and they’re shocked, you can respond with a wow or yes.
0:07:21 – Speaker 5
That’s crazy. Be in it with them.
0:07:24 – Speaker 2
Be in it with them.
0:07:25 – Speaker 4
If they’re a little surprised at something, wow, that’s, you know. Kind of validates their feelings yeah, it does and lets them know that you are still safe. Yes, and you’re still safe.
0:07:35 – Speaker 3
Well, and what about just having an honest conversation with them, you know, in the car or whatever, not like a sit down, but just a real casual conversation and saying you know, I probably should have been talking to you about some of these things.
0:07:47 – Speaker 4
I’m sorry that I didn’t. No, I would actually know.
0:07:49 – Speaker 3
Yeah, no, I would say never admit your vulnerability. Yeah Now if they come to you. It may work with some kids, though, if they come to you with something really big that you haven’t covered.
0:08:01 – Speaker 4
At that point I think you can say you know, I’m sorry, we haven’t broached this yet, but that’s normally if they bring you something big, then I think it’s really good to say you know, I’m sorry, because that admits that you know we’re on a level playing field and we both mess up.
0:08:15 – Speaker 3
Or maybe, just maybe, not even saying you’re sorry, but saying you know, we didn’t set these guidelines for you and we should have.
0:08:20 – Speaker 4
Yeah, I’m not, yeah, I’m sorry, we’re going to fix that.
0:08:23 – Speaker 3
We’re going to fix that. It’s always prepared. Now we need to have some guidelines, yeah.
0:08:26 – Speaker 4
And that makes you kind of a team yeah.
0:08:28 – Speaker 3
Yes, you’re doing it together.
0:08:30 – Speaker 4
Exactly, exactly, and they get a little empowered, yeah, yeah.
0:08:35 – Speaker 5
Well, you know, yeah, and it’s going back to what we were talking about a little bit earlier, is? You know, starting these conversations early is great, but not everybody has done that. The majority of people are waiting until it’s happening and they’re like, oh, we haven’t covered that. So what are some of the things that you would say are most important to start talking to your kids about? Whether it’s early or late In terms of dating and relationships?
0:08:57 – Speaker 3
Yeah, like, maybe I’m thinking boundaries- is one of those that we really need to talk about. Yeah, boundaries is my top pick.
0:09:03 – Speaker 1
Yeah, and I’ll leave that to you.
0:09:05 – Speaker 4
This is a life skill. That has been a huge deal.
0:09:08 – Speaker 3
Even past love and dating in boundaries.
0:09:10 – Speaker 4
It’s everything, it’s life, and it starts early, absolutely.
0:09:13 – Speaker 1
Well, I think in all relationships you need boundaries for yourself, and that’s emotional and physical boundaries.
But explaining that to your kiddo, no matter what age they are, that it’s not just about love and dating type relationships, it’s about all relationships, yes, the friend relationships that they have, neighbors, family members, everybody Knowing how to set a boundary for themself and how to respectfully stand up for that boundary should it be crossed.
I did a lot of talking with my kiddos I guess they were probably early middle school, both my girls talking about boundaries and how they could politely and respectfully tell someone this isn’t okay, without it becoming a dramatic fighting I don’t wanna be your friend anymore, girl drama kind of thing. But I think boundaries is just such a huge part of who we are as people, even into adulthood, and if they’ve already learned to navigate that for themselves before they get to a dating place, then it just becomes second nature to them and it’s not a new thing that we’re talking about in terms of a dating type relationship. If they’ve learned to stand up to a friend in the sixth, seventh or eighth grade and say, hey, this isn’t okay, I still wanna be your friend, but I don’t like what you’re doing here. Yes or disengage from a relationship that isn’t healthy. It’s important to empower them to be able to recognize an unhealthy relationship and disengage from it in a respectful manner early on, so that, if that becomes the case in a dating relationship, they’ve already got those skills. They already know how to do that.
0:10:58 – Speaker 5
I think these are those skills that are. They’re building blocks and they start small. Yes, what has really helped in our family? We started early with hugs or high fives or nothing at all. Those are your choices With everybody grandma, the neighbor and they get a choice because at first, when our kids were little, we were saying, oh, hug, grandma, goodbye, or hug so and so, and I could tell they were uncomfortable.
And then I heard this person say hugs or high fives and that has been great, because most of the time my kids are like yeah, high five, they don’t wanna hug this person that I barely know, not comfortable with it, and that has taught them that they have a choice when it comes to physical touch especially. And then the other side of that too is walking them through, like you said, middle school, knowing how to disengage from a relationship. We start with something very simple with the young ones, which is no, thank you, I’m not comfortable with that. And so I hear my kids say that outside with the neighbor kids when they’re playing ball and it gets too rough or no, thank you, I’m not comfortable with that, and they’ll walk out of there and come in the house.
0:11:58 – Speaker 4
And it’s amazing how many of their peers will respond to that. Just fine, yes, they’re fine. They have no issue with it. They’re not gonna come back at them with it Even when they get into high school if they say no, thank you. I’m not into that. Most kids will back off really quickly and not punish them and not make fun of them. It’s like, okay, we’re good, we’re good.
0:12:17 – Speaker 3
So let’s talk about this for a minute, cause we get a question. This is a question we got asked in an event recently that I thought was a great question, and it was from a mom who said you know, these promposals are really big and they get recorded and they’re outlandish or whatever, and a lot of times the person who’s on the receiving end, the one being asked, feels pressure to say yes because of all the social media that is getting posted on and all the you know, right, yeah, and what happens is they’ll say yes and then they’ll go to the dance this is according to this mom and then they’ll go to the prom or whatever, and then they’ll totally leave their date and the date will be crushed, like I just spent all this money on you, but it all reverted back to. This person didn’t want to go in the beginning, but they didn’t know how to say no, right, which is. And so let’s talk about this Like teaching our kids to say no is a big thing.
0:13:08 – Speaker 4
Well, we’ve actually talked about this a lot, because you see it with homecomings as well as proms and it’s a thing, and there’s a couple of different aspects to this. We’re going to kind of cover a couple and they’re all boundaries. Yeah, one of the things is, the difference between middle school and high school is like a massive chasm.
It’s just huge emotionally and everything else. And sometimes we see with younger kids parents get so excited about their kids doing these kinds of things that they start a little too early and they don’t cover all the bases. That’s such a good point and so they’re not teaching their young men to find out if this girl, this, is going to be a guaranteed yes.
0:13:46 – Speaker 3
0:13:47 – Speaker 4
And so they’re putting themselves in a really vulnerable place and they’re putting these young ladies in a very precarious situation.
0:13:55 – Speaker 3
And the other part of that. That’s kind of where social media is good, because they can talk about it. I know you said to me one time you know snapchat. Sometimes boys like to ask girls, you know, to go out or go on a date or go to prom on snapchat because it’s private and if they get turned down it’s less a hit. I mean, it’s hard to be rejected in front of everyone and so that may be a positive thing about social media that we’re seeing here.
0:14:23 – Speaker 4
It’s absolutely I mean, it can be, but with these things it’s preparing your kids for this, it’s setting their boundaries. It’s allowing your daughter that, if this happens, that she has the strength and the like you know, she can even text you. Oh my gosh, mom, this just happened Just to politely take him aside and say this isn’t going to work, like I’m your friend, but I’m not.
You know every situation because sometimes you know guys get these things in their hand. They’re going to ask this girl I don’t even know, yeah, and that happens and it’s like I would explain that to my son.
0:14:57 – Speaker 1
from the aspect of it would be like an adult man going, oh she’s kind of cute, I’m going to ask her to marry me. And going through a big, grand gesture of a proposal to a woman he barely knows.
0:15:07 – Speaker 4
0:15:07 – Speaker 1
That’s the same thing, that I think what started out as the grand gesture of the proposal may be in high school between boyfriend, girlfriend who had dated a long time and he did this huge sign or whatever. Trickle down into middle school, into this oh, let’s do this neat thing and make it a big deal to ask this little girl to a dance. But we don’t really know each other that well, we haven’t navigated this dating world yet. We’ve snapped a couple of times, you know they, and that’s where the let down and the hurt feelings occur, because they don’t know each other that well and they’re going into some grand gesture with each other.
0:15:43 – Speaker 4
Mamas, get real into this.
0:15:46 – Speaker 3
0:15:47 – Speaker 4
It’s like contacting the other parent and getting involved that way, it’s very moms back off. This is not about you, please. If he’s excited and asks you for help or you can even say if you need any help, I will be there for you, but please don’t take that on. Please don’t live vicariously through them with these things, please. That’s a boundary thing that is massive. That we often don’t talk about is our kiddos and those boundaries.
0:16:16 – Speaker 5
Yes, stepping out.
0:16:17 – Speaker 3
Letting them live their lives, please.
0:16:19 – Speaker 5
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0:16:37 – Speaker 3
I know we were just talking about saying no to people and being able to politely say no. We were contacted one time by a parent to a girl was asking another girl to the prom and the girl who was being asked was not gay. I mean, she was like I’m not gay, but she felt like she couldn’t say no because then she would bash people and people would think she was, and there was this whole conversation that needed to be had.
0:17:01 – Speaker 4
You can say no, it’s okay, you can say no to anyone at any time and you honestly don’t have to have a reason.
0:17:07 – Speaker 5
Yes, and you don’t have to explain yourself.
0:17:09 – Speaker 4
But we live in a society that sometimes wants to jump on things and they get a little judgy. Yes, we don’t like that and it’s like no, I just don’t want to.
0:17:19 – Speaker 3
I mean teaching, no, I mean I’ve seen it in the middle school world. You know people getting hurt at dances because they can’t say no, just what Kim was saying. And they haven’t learned that skill yet. And so now I think if you see that happening, you can have conversations with your kids and say, okay, we got to stop it before it gets to this point.
0:17:39 – Speaker 4
It gets to this point.
0:17:40 – Speaker 3
Yes, this is going to continue to spiral until you say no, yes, and I think that’s the same thing with sex, like if you’re dating someone and they continually try and go to the next level, go to the next level, go to the next level. You’ve got to learn to say this is my boundary.
0:17:57 – Speaker 1
That’s why I jumped in there, guys, before to learn back when you were talking about saying no to going to the dance or saying those.
0:18:04 – Speaker 5
0:18:04 – Speaker 1
I think not getting tripped up on I’ve been raised to be polite and have nice manners and not hurt people’s feelings doesn’t mean you can’t say no to someone in a polite, respectful manner without hurting their feelings, but not saying yes to something that you’re uncomfortable with. I think that’s where we get caught up.
0:18:25 – Speaker 4
And a lot of time around dances and things. Boy girls can get squirmy because they start to hear rumors that so-and-so and you’re like and they get I mean. The best word is squirmy.
0:18:36 – Speaker 5
0:18:36 – Speaker 4
Because they’re like, not him, him or you know, and it’s a thing, but you have to learn, they have to voice things. But please, if you are a parent of a boy and you are guiding him, please make sure he has a. He’s already has a, you know, below the level. Yes, this is confirmed. She is going she’s looking forward to this. She’s excited about being asked whether it’s a poster or whether it’s a billboard. Yes, and it’s. You know, she’s excited.
0:19:07 – Speaker 5
Well, I think this goes back to you know kind of what you were talking about a little bit before, which is having these conversations. Whether early or late, we just need to have them. Just have them. It’s important and it doesn’t need to be a sit-down serious thing. It’s ongoing all the time.
0:19:22 – Speaker 3
Okay, a couple other questions we talked about. You know I want to talk about ranging hormones and a question we get asked Ranging or just mildly lower Well you know, and I think this I think this also ties into another question we get asked a lot is you know what are the boundaries with bedrooms when you’re, when you have an older?
0:19:38 – Speaker 4
And oh, by the way, no.
0:19:40 – Speaker 3
So so in your house, Holly, if you’ve got a 17 year old dating, still no, no going in bed, If I have a 21 year old dating no going in bed.
0:19:50 – Speaker 4
There’s no. That is, that is no. That is our rule in our home that that is not appropriate.
0:19:55 – Speaker 3
Okay, so let me ask you this what does the conversation look like when they go to college and they’re going to visit at dorm rooms and they’re and do you have a conversation to prepare them for that? Because they’ve never been sitting on a bed next to each other. They’ve never been, you know, laying on a bed next to each other.
0:20:11 – Speaker 4
Kim and I have talked, when you’re dating in high school and you’re have a serious boyfriend or girlfriend. We know we have certain rules in our home, but most of these kids have access to money or vehicles or whatever. So if they’re going to want to do it. If they want to have sex, they’re going to have sex.
0:20:26 – Speaker 5
0:20:27 – Speaker 4
But in our home that’s not going to occur. Yeah, and that is another. That’s, that’s one of our boundaries.
0:20:32 – Speaker 3
So what does that conversation look like, with the raging hormones and you, you, you can. I mean, do you say to your kid you may want to have sex, you may get caught up in the moment, and so what do you do? You got, you can’t be caught off guard.
0:20:42 – Speaker 4
One of the things that you have to. This is one of those conversations you have to begin in late elementary school and in middle school. They will not understand it until late middle school, early high school or even beyond. In that time you can talk about you’re going to feel things, and they’re things you can’t understand right now. And they look at you and roll their eyes a little bit and kind of snicker starting to see this.
Um, when they begin a relationship, whether it’s just a really deep crush or a flirtation, and they begin to have that burst, those chemical changes, those flush of hormones, that is when you begin to talk about purity, because you cannot understand purity, you cannot understand what that is. Until you felt it it does not make sense. You can talk about it in your head, but until you feel it physically that is different. And so it’s controlling those, it’s balancing, like anything else, like you really want some sugar, you really want caffeine, you know you really want junk food, you know fast food it’s. You have to learn to curb that and to hold it.
0:21:43 – Speaker 3
It’s self-control. We’ve got to teach our kids self-control.
0:21:47 – Speaker 4
We were designed with these things and they are of God and they are beautiful. It’s just using them in the correct context. Yes, so good, Holly. The correct context is everything, but you have to start that. I remember having the conversation with my older daughter when she was in sixth grade, like you’re going to feel these things not yet, but when it happens you’ll know and we had that conversation about four years later or five, and she’s like it was like I was able to say and how are you doing with this?
And she’s, sometimes it’s really tough, mom, because I really love him Like absolutely.
0:22:27 – Speaker 3
But how amazing that she can be honest with you Sometimes too. There can never be too honest, but when?
0:22:36 – Speaker 4
you’re in college, that is, you have to have everything in place, because it’s their decision. Yeah, you don’t let them do that. I mean, and that’s not for me, that’s her.
0:22:44 – Speaker 1
So at the point you’ve already had that conversation of I get. Now you’re going to be in this space and I’m not there to monitor that, whether it’s in the bedroom or whatever. But I tell mine, it’s between you and Jesus when you leave your head on the pillow every night the choices you’ve made with your body. I can tell you my hopes, my desires, my dreams and my experiences, but at the end of the day, it’s your choice of what you do with your body and it’s between you and Jesus.
And I’m going to love you, no matter what yes Like, like like what you chew, I’m not going to.
0:23:17 – Speaker 3
I always say that to my kid, even at a young age. I mean they’re not even dating yet. But I always say you know, even if you choose something that I totally don’t agree with, I’m going to love you because, God loves me when I don’t, when I mess up all the time, and so my love for you is not dependent on that.
And that’s, I think, what we were talking about earlier. We don’t want them to feel trapped, like they can’t come to us if they choose or if they mess up. Right, yes, if they met, if they’re caught up in the moment and they weren’t ready for it and something happens, and that’s with a whole lot of things.
0:23:43 – Speaker 1
Yeah, and I just tell you that’s that’s, oh, it’s, honey, it’s, it’s just trust it’s if they break your trust and they’re going to make mistakes.
0:23:52 – Speaker 4
Yes, they’re teenagers, they’re going to make mistakes. They’re kids and we often don’t remember the kids.
0:23:56 – Speaker 1
We forget that we have to love the fact that they’re this age and they’re going through these experiences, and just love them all the way through it, knowing that we were not perfect teenagers. They are not going to be perfect teenagers. They’re going to make mistakes, they’re going to break our trust and that doesn’t mean end of the world, end of the race relationship, no more open communication and honesty. But now we’re rebuilding, yeah, and we’re starting over and we’re going to do this and we’re going to try again.
0:24:24 – Speaker 5
And all this we’re talking about, as hard as it is boundaries, balance, all of that you have to model it. You’ve got to model it. They don’t see you having boundaries and balance in your life and they see the fruit of that, but that’s what you’re showing them. Life is. You’re modeling that.
0:24:40 – Speaker 4
So when you screw up, that’s a good time to say ooh, I’m sorry.
0:24:43 – Speaker 5
I messed this up.
0:24:44 – Speaker 2
I messed this up and I am sorry.
0:24:45 – Speaker 5
Right when it happens. That’s the good apology.
0:24:47 – Speaker 4
That is when we apologize, yeah absolutely.
0:24:50 – Speaker 3
And a lot of these things are Holy spirit moments. You I mean, because every kid is different sister, every kid is different. Every family is different. You got to pray through this. You know, sometimes God will be prompting you to apologize.
0:25:01 – Speaker 2
Sometimes, they won’t.
0:25:02 – Speaker 4
Sometimes you just need to be the authority in their life and that’s what you have to remember is, especially in middle school and high school, you are the authority, yes. Then there’s a transition that occurs, yeah, but you’re not ready for that. Well, that’s, that’s, that’s a whole other show. This is typically iceberg stuff. We’ve got lots.
0:25:18 – Speaker 3
I always love spending time with you guys. Now I have a couple of things that I want to go home and talk to my middle school. So thank y’all for being here. You are such a blessing and we’ll have you back very soon. See you, guys.
0:25:29 – Speaker 2
Thanks for your time. Ladies. Thanks for joining us on nextTalk radio with Mandy and Kim every Saturday at 10 am on AM 6. 30. 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 nextTalk Dot org. Are you ready for the next time?
Transcribed by https://podium.page