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Hey, this is Mandy and Kim with nextTalk, where we are passionate about keeping kids safe in the digital world.
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0:00:32 – Speaker 1
More than cyber parenting conversations to connect the look.
0:00:38 – Speaker 2
When I tell my family seriously, mandy, if it’s like months out, days out, it doesn’t matter If I’m like this person is coming or these people are coming over, that lovely spirit of joy and kindness, it just does not come out of them. I get the look of like no, they’re coming to dinner.
0:00:56 – Speaker 1
Seriously, I think we all can relate to this on some level, right, Whether it be our husband or our kids.
0:01:06 – Speaker 2
Like what they gotta come over and you feel bad because you’re like Jesus, wouldn’t say that.
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You immediately be like what am I raising our?
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kids about yes, right, we are not right over here.
0:01:20 – Speaker 1
But at the same time, we’re a nextTalk family and we’re honest about our feelings and we say it out loud in the walls of our own home, and so there’s that whole complex too.
0:01:31 – Speaker 2
Yes, we want people to tell us their honest feelings, so true, it’s important for them to be able to get it out so we can talk it through, and we decided to do this show around now because holidays are coming Thanksgiving, christmas, are any time of the year, quite frankly, when you have people over, even if it’s, let’s say, after church on a Sunday, and this is something that we need to talk through. How do we handle those emotions beyond just what we say in our four walls before the people get there?
0:01:59 – Speaker 1
Well, you know, Kim, I think Old Mandy would have probably rolled her eyes and said be nice, Like I cannot even believe this. That sounds so mean of you, you little brat.
0:02:10 – Speaker 2
I would have said get out your bracelet, the one that says WWJD. What would Jesus do?
0:02:16 – Speaker 1
What that was. Total Old Mandy.
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0:02:19 – Speaker 1
New Mandy man, I have learned so much on this next top journey that one thing that I have really learned is to not be dismissive of my kids when they’re telling me something, and so I guess New Mandy would listen a little more and engage in some conversation like well, why do you tell me, why you feel this way about that person?
0:02:42 – Speaker 2
That’s exactly right, because it’s easy to dismiss it, it’s easy to brush it under the rug or scold them. But what if there’s something really to their comments? What if we say, like you did, why do you feel this way? Or what’s going on when you think about this person? And there’s a couple of things that I think are important to consider here. If we dig into the conversation, we might find out that there’s a real concern. What if this person makes them uncomfortable?
0:03:08 – Speaker 1
Yeah, you know, I always go back. We have a sexual abuse survivor on our team and one of the things that she’s constantly saying to us is don’t make your kids hug people that they don’t want to hug. It’s such an important point and I think old Mandy, often, when we were leaving the home of a family member or whatever, I would say go hug so and so go hug uncle or aunts or whatever. But if they don’t want to, what am I saying to my kid? Making them have, you know, a physical touch, contact with somebody that makes them uncomfortable. It’s not really a great thing, but old Mandy didn’t realize she was doing that.
0:03:45 – Speaker 2
I think that’s just normal, that we grow up thinking that’s respectful to give a hug or some kind of a warm welcome or goodbye, and we just do what we know.
But in this day and age we also know that not everybody is a safe place, and so if our kid or our spouse is really concerned about someone coming over and we dig in and they’re like this person makes me uncomfortable, or they said this thing or they did this thing that I don’t really like, it’s important to pay attention to that and allow for boundaries. And so I love that you shared that example, because I have the youngest kids and I heard that from our team member when they were little. So we implemented the hug or high five rule. So anytime someone is coming or leaving our home or even out and about, when we see people and they’re leaving and they kind of lean in, I always say hug or high five and I give my kids the option and so they don’t have to have as much physical touch, but there can still be some kind of a appropriate gesture in the moment.
0:04:40 – Speaker 1
I love that practical example and I wish I would have had that tool when my kids were little. I think that’s awesome. Another thing that I have done in our home is say there’s a kid that makes them uncomfortable, like, oh, I don’t want this kid. And I’ve engaged in conversation and they’re just saying to me, well, they’re looking at things on their phone or whatever makes them uncomfortable, or words they’ve used. One of the things that we practice is okay, we won’t be behind closed doors with that person and, honestly, that’s an ongoing conversation. When my kids go anywhere is about being behind closed doors with anybody, one on one, and how that could lead to weird situations or them being in a situation where they don’t know how to respond, and I don’t want them to be caught off guard, especially if it’s somebody they love or somebody they respect, and so I feel like that’s an ongoing conversation too. But just, it’s almost like giving your kids permission. If this person pulls you into this room saying I want to play, it’s okay for you to say no.
0:05:40 – Speaker 2
Or let’s bring so and so along, or let’s go get mom or dad or whatever like giving role playing with them, giving them tools on how to respond Giving kids tools just helps them so much because they’re practical, they’re usually easy and it allows them to feel like they have some power over the situation. So I think that’s a great, great tip. You know, in that same regard, we often implement a time limit and some safe zones and so we’ll say listen, this is not going to be an all day thing. We’re going to say they’re coming at noon and we’re going to wrap things up and kind of give the signal at two o’clock. Now, listen, if the Holy Spirit moves and we’re praying or we’re talking.
There has to be some flexibility there. But the goal will be that there’s a start and an end time and that has helped my kids and my husband so much, because all of them are kind of like homebodies and so it helps them to know OK, I can look forward to this end time and I know things are going to wrap up. And then the safe zone we implement a room in our house where, if it’s too much, and a lot of times this has to do with kids. Have you ever been around one of those kids that just is like over the top and they drive you nuts.
0:06:46 – Speaker 1
We’re all thinking about that.
0:06:48 – Speaker 2
One kid that one kid Our kids are saying is this kid coming over?
Yes, we are always having that conversation, and so we have safe zones for our bodies and safe zone for our things, and what that means is most of my kids have one or two really special things that have been destroyed in the past by that kid, and so we put that special thing in a safe place and then we say, ok, mom’s bedroom is like a safe zone timeout. If you just need to get away for five minutes to take a breath, let me know and I’ll go with you, or I’ll arrange for dad to go with you so you can have a few minutes just to gather yourself, so you can handle that kid again.
0:07:29 – Speaker 1
Well, and you know, that kid I have found is typically a younger child. That is just being a younger child, yes, like my kids are older and they’re just not used to it. They don’t have little kids going through their things all the time, yes, and so they don’t know how to take it right and so typically that’s a simple conversation. The other thing that we have implemented and this is not just for when we host things, this is when we’re out in public. This is anywhere.
We have a little gesture that I’m not going to explain because I don’t want to change our gesture that we have when anybody is making my kids uncomfortable and we could be at a nextTalk speaking event and that my kids have gone with me and somebody’s making them I mean we could be in church. This has happened before where it’s just maybe that person’s asking some personal questions and they don’t mean anything by it, but they’re saying where do you go to school or do you have this teacher or whatever, and it’s getting a little personal for my kids and they don’t like that. They will give me the hand gesture and when I see that, I know to go intercept and you know, get in there and make sure my kids don’t have to answer the questions that are making them uncomfortable, or figure out a solution to kind of get them away from that person. I love that.
0:08:39 – Speaker 2
We kind of have something similar. It’s a word, but I think the gesture is a great idea because you can do it kind of undercover, so that’s a good tip on the flip side. So we kind of talked about taking care of our family and listening to them and supporting their awkward feelings and wanting to protect them. But on the other side, I think it’s also important to have the conversations about like perspective. Sometimes my kids are like, oh my gosh, I don’t want to do that, I don’t want to have them over, and so we do talk about the side that we just discussed how to make it OK for them but also remember who you are Like.
We are the Elarix and we represent Jesus to everyone everywhere we go or that comes into our home, and let’s honor these people, let’s bless them, let’s serve them, let’s make them feel welcome, let’s be Jesus to this person who’s difficult. We don’t know if they’re lonely, we don’t know if they’re going through something, we don’t know their circumstance and we have the opportunity to love them. It’s only a couple of hours and it’s going to be okay.
0:09:38 – Speaker 1
And here’s the thing I think through these conversations that you’re going to have with your kids and you’re not dismissing them, you’re going to understand if this is a safe person or not. Yep, and a lot of times what is revealed to me through the conversation is oh, it’s a safe person, but this person gets on my kids’ nerves because maybe they talk about politics too much or maybe they rant or do something that’s just irritable to my kids, right? Bad, bad brands.
0:10:04 – Speaker 2
What did you say? Bad, bad breath. That was one of the answers I got when we were preparing for the show. One of my kids is like wait, bad, bad breath.
0:10:14 – Speaker 1
I just can’t take it, that’s an example of a next-talk family right there.
We’re going to say it amongst ourselves this is our safe place.
But you know, I mean, if you are engaging in these conversations and you realize this may be an unsafe person, you know it may be a boundary we’re not going to have these people over or this is going to be a line. But I think what you’re talking about, kim, about embracing them and bringing them to our home is really this situation where we’ve worked through the conversations and it’s more about our kids just being irritated with this person’s personality or something they do or something they smell like, whatever that is, and then I think the conversation does shift too. We need to welcome these people. You know, one of the verses that pops out as me is treat each other the way you want to be treated, because I know we have irritating qualities that people that get on other people’s nerves too. But people still love us and people still respect us and people still treat us the way they want to be treated, and so that’s what we want our home of hospitality to be when we welcome people into it.
0:11:22 – Speaker 2
I like to share with my kids Colossians 312. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, close yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Patience for the people that are walking through our door that you want to run away from, and they laugh, but they get it. They get it.
0:11:41 – Speaker 1
Even that little kid that’s going to go in there and destroy all the little ones and mix them all up. Patience, jesus, give it to me. That’s a great verse. And then, you know what? Let’s also throw in this quote, because I love this quote from Bob Goff. It says love difficult people. You’re one of them.
0:12:01 – Speaker 2
That one has always spoken to me. I think that’s applicable to all of us, right? Yes, it is for you, for sure.
0:12:10 – Speaker 1
You just had to get that in there.
0:12:11 – Speaker 2
I couldn’t help myself. Just leave it in there. Just leave it in, don’t edit it out.
0:12:15 – Speaker 1
It’s fine, thank you. So just to wrap up this show, we just want to remind you if you’re inviting, if you’re hosting people, don’t dismiss your kids’ thoughts and feelings. Maybe there’s something to it. Maybe we need to declare somebody an unsafe person, maybe we need to create some more boundaries. But if we work through all that and we realize, oh, they’re just irritated about little things, maybe use it as an opportunity to teach them the love of Jesus. You, you, you, you, you, you, you.
Transcribed by https://podium.page