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.
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0:00:36 – Speaker 1
I was recently speaking at an event and had another great question during the Q&A, And this was a mom of boys. I can’t remember if she had just a single son or multiple boys, but she was a boy, mom right, And this was her question. She said my son is growing up in such a sexualized culture. How do I talk with him about this? Are there specific things that I need to cover? because he’s a boy? And, oh my, my face is lit up.
0:01:07 – Speaker 2
I was like I love this question so much.
0:01:09 – Speaker 1
I love it because I’m raising a son And I’m over here learning. there are very specific things that we need to talk to our boys about that we may not need to cover with our girls.
0:01:20 – Speaker 2
Well, and probably a lot younger than we think in an age-appropriate way We can introduce and start these conversations. I know I have younger boys and we’re already talking about a lot of this because things have just gone crazy and things are so accessible to them, even in cartoons and YouTube videos. There is sexualized culture everywhere.
0:01:42 – Speaker 1
Absolutely, and I actually, when she asked me the question, i kind of had a flashback to a moment I had with my son years ago, and that’s kind of where I started answering this question, and so I kind of want to start with that story. He was in elementary school I can’t remember really specifically how old he was, but it was years ago And we had just started on this journey of trying to talk about everything, and so I would always say if a new thought or idea or something enters your mind, you know, come home and talk to me about it. And I was trying to get him to open up. And one day we were in HEB, which, for those of you not in Texas, you poor souls, you want to chime in with something.
0:02:28 – Speaker 2
Oh man, i did not realize how amazing HEB was until we started traveling and staying like in time shares where we’d grocery shop in other places And I’d go in and I’d be like what, what, like, how am I what I mean? HEB is incredible. It is just To give from heaven, give from heaven. Jesus is earthly, it is earthly home for produce.
0:02:52 – Speaker 1
It is restored, it is amazing Yes. It is. And so my son and I we were in there shopping and this was before curbside people. I mean, this is, this is an ancient story. So, so my me and my little boy were in HEB right, and I remember distinctly seeing this woman and she was dressed like you don’t want to judge people, right, but I mean, nothing was left to the imagination. So I knew the color of the thongs, i knew the color of the bra.
0:03:26 – Speaker 2
It was everybody’s getting vigilance. Thank you, Mandy.
0:03:30 – Speaker 1
You don’t want to be judgmental, but anyway. so I’m in HEB, i saw it, obviously didn’t say anything, you know, just going on my grocery shopping, da, da, da, da, da da We’re getting a car. My little boy who has been told, if you have a new thought or you happen, then you come home and ask me because I want to know what’s in your little brain. He says mama, um, that girl, her bra was this color It was. you didn’t say. he said underwear, i think your little string underwear was this. you know, he’s like telling me and I was like uh-oh, Here we go, teachable moment, teachable moment, right. So I started off. thank you so much for telling me. I’m so proud of you. This is exactly what I want you to do, right?
Second thing well, we can’t judge her, sweetie. You know, when mommy was little and I was a teenager, i didn’t dress very well either. I made bad choices. you know, we don’t even. we don’t know what’s going on. So we, we can’t, we don’t. this does not give us the right to judge her. Okay, so those are like the first two. Thank you so much for telling me. You don’t get a right to judge her.
Yeah, but then it evolved into all these amazing, wonderful conversations. So one of the first things I said to him after those getting those two out of the way was hey, honey, listen, as a boy, what I need you to know is that it’s so natural that you notice girls. because that is natural. You know, my husband always says guys are visual, and so I kind of use that to understand my son a little bit. right. But then I said it doesn’t matter how she was dressed or not dressed. I mean, if she was walking around naked in HEB, right, and I literally said that to him as a little kid Even if she were walking around naked, it doesn’t give you the right to ever disrespect her right Or that woman.
And I think he needed to hear that. you know, because, yes, you may see something and your thoughts may kind of spiral and you may get imaginative and, you know, be enjoying that visual. But it’s your job to take the thoughts captive like your self control. Just because she’s dressed that way, it doesn’t mean you can stare, disrespect, slap, touch, ask for a picture, take a picture. You know you can’t do any of it And I gave him all those scenarios. It gives you no excuse. You are responsible for your thoughts and your actions, so you have to learn self control.
0:06:08 – Speaker 2
Yep, it’s just an ongoing conversation. My boys are 12 and 10, and then I have a seven year old girl, and I feel like this is a weekly conversation at this point, because people just aren’t wearing a lot. I don’t know what happened. It’s not hot out.
0:06:26 – Speaker 1
We do live in the summers where it’s 118 degrees.
0:06:30 – Speaker 2
Not yet, you’re right.
I’m not really sure what’s going on, but even on TV and commercials, like I don’t know, people are just hot and I don’t mean like looks, like, they’re just like I need to take it all off and just walk around Everybody’s in Minamon, i don’t know.
I know we mentioned earlier that this is generally a conversation with our boys, because the sexualized culture and how they respond to it is really what we’re talking about here.
But I’ll tell you, it has given us great opportunity to talk about why people might be dressed that way and what to do with it, like you talked with your son about, and then also with my daughter, because she’s usually in the car with us too, saying, hey, you know, we don’t know her past, we don’t know why she might be dressed that way, why do you think she might be looking for or why do you think she might do that. And I am amazed that just my little girl six, seven years old she’s able to say maybe she’s wanting attention, and then we can talk about like where our value lies, what kind of attention is good attention, what kind is bad. And so we get to see both sides of that conversation in our car or in our house when we see people you know sexualized, and I think it’s just been so good, in an age appropriate way to start those conversations about value and self worth and how we treat others and how we treat our own bodies too.
0:07:50 – Speaker 1
I love your stories, kim, because I think sometimes our listeners are like well, mandy’s kids are older than mine, I don’t need to have that conversation, and I love how you always come in and give examples of how we’re having that conversation right now too. It just may look a little different, a little less detailed, but you’re planting these seeds. I think that is so important. You know, one of the main reasons and we kind of covered this on our Matthew West modesty show that we did, which, by the way, it’s been one of our most popular show You haven’t heard into that It was the whole controversy over his song Modesty is Hotest or Hotest is Modest. I can’t remember What was the hottest. I think It was the cutest little tune. It was the cutest.
Anyway, one of the reasons why we tackle this is because so many sexual abuse victims and I have talked with them personally have said you know, when I confided in my parents that I was sexually abused or confided in somebody, they made me feel like I was to blame, like it’s how I was dressed or what I said or whatever. And so I knew early on this was an issue that I wanted to address with my kids that no matter how somebody else is behaving or acting or dressing, it never gives you the right to change your behavior on how you would treat them. And so instilling these little seeds, planting this foundation, it’s just critical, i think. And also, you know, on the modesty topic, i mean modesty is biblical and I don’t single out my daughter just for that. I mean boy shorts have gotten way short, so we have a conversation. I mean junk is hanging out.
0:09:33 – Speaker 2
Hello, that modest conversation is going all over the place.
0:09:39 – Speaker 1
Yes, so you know, modesty is a value that all of us should enjoy. We should. you know the importance of maintaining that privacy. what’s meant for private within a marriage? what’s sacred? Those conversations are part of this discussion too.
0:09:59 – Speaker 2
Absolutely. I think it’s been really cool to talk to my kids about you know when they see something and they’re reacting. You know, like you said, talking about what’s natural, what our boundaries are, but also how does this?
0:10:13 – Speaker 1
make you feel.
0:10:14 – Speaker 2
Like how can you apply this to yourself And why would? maybe you want to make some different decisions or why not? And those are all good conversations that are ongoing and that increase in detail and increase in depth as they get older because their style is going to change. There will be a time like my daughter right now can’t imagine looking at a boy and finding him attractive, Like that’s just way out there for her. But starting those conversations now normalizes it. So when that time does come, we can talk about it and what’s appropriate. And the same with boys too.
0:10:47 – Speaker 1
Well, in raising a daughter too, i will tell you, there does come this conversation that happens as they get older about you feeling confident in what you’re wearing. Yes, and I think that’s a very healthy for a teenage girl to feel that way. But where is that boundary line? So how do you feel confident and maybe even sexy as they get? you know, 17, 18, 19, they need to start feeling that way. How do you feel that way with boundaries? And how do you feel that way in a way that is not too much And so all, and it looks differently for everyone. But these are good conversations. Boy moms, listen. Please be careful about shaming your kid. You don’t want to make your boy feel awful for noticing the female body, and you know that is natural. So make sure we’re not putting shame on here Like, oh my gosh, don’t look at her. Oh my gosh, turn your head. Oh my gosh, whatever You know. Yes, turn your head, but talk about the self-control thoughts. It’s so natural that you notice, but it’s your job to take control of your thoughts.
0:11:55 – Speaker 2
Okay, let me insert a little story here about my mom fail as a mom of boys in this area, just so you don’t feel alone. if you’ve done this, You know I thought I was doing a pretty good job, but I think I overly prepared them for like protecting their heart and mind in this area, because we got to a point where, especially my younger son, who I’d say at about age seven and eight, we’d be like in the Walmart walking through the underwear.
0:12:22 – Speaker 1
In the Walmart.
0:12:24 – Speaker 2
Walk in through the underwear And you know people wear all kind of crazy stuff at the Walmart. But we’d be walking through the underwear section and you know they have the pictures of women in underwear because it’s the underwear section, and he’d be like mom, mom, and cover his eyes Oh, my goodness, mom, they’re naked. And that gave me an indicator that, okay, we need to talk about appropriate clothes and appropriate things in appropriate places. It is the underwear section, like she’s not doing anything crazy. She’s just staying in there in the picture, letting you know this is where you can wear underwear, which is a normal function of everyday life, and so sometimes you just got to break it down for your kids. They go way out, you know, way far out there, like everything is bad. Reel them back in. This is okay, she’s not doing anything wrong. Yes, protect your heart and mind, But also let’s talk about the boundaries here.
0:13:19 – Speaker 1
Well, i love too that you didn’t just laugh off and dismiss it. You made it a teachable moment so he could understand. This is like marketing, like she’s not sexualized, bending over in a weird way. She’s just standing there showing how the underwear fit versus a different kind of ad that he may see in the picture. Yeah, so he could know the difference.
0:13:40 – Speaker 2
That’s key is are they sexualizing? We talk about this with swimsuits Are they, you know, sexualizing the swimsuit or are they just wearing it to swim Like? very important in this conversation.
0:13:52 – Speaker 1
Another element that kind of weaved into this conversation as we expanded it. I mean this you know it started at the HB moment, but I feel like it’s on been ongoing for years, right, and we’ve added layers to it and more detail and that sort of thing. You know, one of the things that I say to my kids is you know, one day when you get married, you get to enjoy the opposite sex body. You know that’s what God created marriage for, but it’s a sacred thing And it’s like Adam and Eve in the garden before they ate the forbidden fruit. It was totally okay to be naked, right, and so, using those examples of what they get to look forward to and why they’re waiting, why they’re protecting their body and not showing their private parts and that sort of thing. So all of these are like layers of this conversation.
But one thing that i think we need to be careful of is talking about, even when you get married, the consent that is needed within the marriage. So you still, even though you know you become one. The bible says man and woman become one when they get married. It’s a consensual thing, like both man and woman have to say yes if they want to engage in sex and i think that’s been missing from the church for a long time. You know, we just said once you get married, you get to do whatever you want to do, and i think the church needs to clarify that for kids and i think we have an opportunity here to come in and be the church, disciple our kids and really be very specific about these conversations. Consent is still huge and necessary within marriage, even though sex is allowed within marriage.
0:15:36 – Speaker 2
We have heard a lot of stories about rape culture and especially within relationships, over the years. you know, working in nextTalk, and Because that culture is on the rise, and especially on college campuses, it is critical that we have these conversations with our kids, with our Future husbands, future wives. like respect is on every level of your relationship, in the bedroom included, consent is imperative well, and you know, now i’ve got a kid getting ready to go to college.
0:16:07 – Speaker 1
so now the conversation has even shifted to And my son here’s. these conversations with my daughter about even if a person is impaired, like they’re drunk, they’re passed out there, whatever, again gives you no permission to touch that person, take a picture of that person, disrespect that person, and so it moved from just the way somebody’s dress to now we’re at a party and we have a person passed out and that self control is consistent in all those scenarios. And so and again, talking to my daughter about you could be easily taken advantage of the. these are moments that i need you to be careful, i need you to watch who gives you a drink and what they could put in it. You know all of those conversations wrapped up in there and my son, my fourteen year old son, is is hearing this and taking it all in and i’m kind of approaching it, approaching his side from the boy perspective.
0:17:00 – Speaker 2
Sure, yeah, that’s so and again. This is why it’s so important to have these layered conversations that grow with your kids. They grow in your family And because the world is changing quicker and kids are being exposed to younger. You know the conversation that you’re having now with your daughter. You’ll probably have a younger age with your son. You know you’re introducing it now, but it’s gonna speed up, and so it’s so good to be aware of culture and make sure you’re addressing it with your family.
0:17:28 – Speaker 1
Yeah, and you don’t have to over expose them. Planting seeds, it’s knowing what age appropriate, it’s, you know. Getting context, how do you feel about this, like what you were saying him? Okay, so that’s kind of like how i approach this question. At the event And we were kind of press for time and so i didn’t have a whole lot of. I couldn’t go into detail on some other things. But since that i’ve been thinking more about this question And one of the things that i wish i could have had time to address was this you know, we automatically think sexualized culture.
What conversations do we have to have with our boys? and we automatically go to boys respecting girls, and that’s good, that needed to happen and we definitely need to cover that 100%, everything we just said. But I think we also need to talk about something else that makes some of us uncomfortable, but it has to be said in the nextTalk. Here we are ripping the bandaid off every day, all day long. That’s what we do. That’s what we do.
Pornography, and the kind of pornography that kids are watching, has changed the objectification. So, yes, women are still objectified and obviously we covered all these talking points to make sure women are protected and consent is a huge conversation, right, but what we need to be aware of is one of the most searched terms on porn hub is anal, and because of that, boys are being sexualized. So we’re seeing boy on boy child abuse. You know, an older boy may show a younger boy a pornographic video and say do this to me. So the conversation, yes, needs to evolve around consent with women, but we also need to talk about any person, any person, trying to push you past a boundary see a private part, whatever. So we need to encompass all of the stuff that’s happening in culture, not just the traditional oh, respect girls. I mean it needs to be at both ends.
0:19:33 – Speaker 2
Yeah, absolutely. It’s funny because we just started these conversations at my house because of PE and one of my kids was like, oh my goodness Actually it was my youngest. She was like, oh my goodness, am I going to have to change in a room full of people for PE someday? And she was, you know, concerned about that. And it was great because all of my kids were there and I was able to say tell me how you feel about that, what do you think would be appropriate or inappropriate?
And we were able to start, start those conversations in an age appropriate way to get their little minds thinking about boundaries. And that’s as far as it needed to go, because as they get a little bit older, we’re going to talk about touching in the locker room, filming in the locker room. You know sports boys, you know they like to, you know, get rough and they like to slap each other’s butts and do different things. Where’s our boundary with that? And so starting the conversation when they’re young about what makes them comfortable and not, and planting those little seeds, allows for them to be prepared when the time comes, when they’re going to face these things. Absolutely.
0:20:36 – Speaker 1
See again, you took a really heavy topic and applied it to a younger scenario here on what this looks like with the boy. On boy stuff, though, i did want to say we are seeing this thing and it’s only in certain geographical areas, and I’m just going to say it. It may not be at your school, but mostly middle school boys they’re doing this thing called finger blasting And what it means is they’re walking down the hallway and maybe a boy behind him will take a pencil and kind of put it in your butt And I’m not saying they’re like going up, it’s not a salt, but it’s. It’s a boundary issue Like they think it’s okay to take a ruler and put it near a kid’s butt and like almost finger blasting, that’s what they call it. And so what a great opportunity, if that starts happening with your teen boy to have a conversation about boundaries.
Hey, you know all these conversations we’ve had about girls and respecting girls. This goes for boys too. This is not okay. This is. You know this could spiral into somebody literally getting sexually assaulted. So if your kid is talking about finger blasting, you know you may have to have a conversation with the administration. Do it with your kid’s permission. Make sure that you can have a. Hey, this is happening. I don’t think anybody’s crossed any lines yet, but this is a big red flag. This is a big, big, big red flag that we are heading towards a possible sexual assault situation And we need to stop it now.
0:22:10 – Speaker 2
You know, I came from Hawaii and everything happens like early.
0:22:15 – Speaker 1
Everybody’s touching, everybody, everybody’s touching everybody.
0:22:17 – Speaker 2
No, that’s bad. That’s bad. I do not mean to misrepresent Hawaii, but you always said I grew up super. It was much more liberal, much more People you know are just much more open with their bodies and a lot of culturally different things coming from there that I was exposed to at a young age And I will tell you when I was in middle school and high school we called it cash or credit And people were walking down the hallway and they’d say cash or credit and they’d swipe their hand down your butt, crack Like a credit card No.
0:22:45 – Speaker 1
Yes, kim Alvry no.
0:22:48 – Speaker 2
Yes, ma’am, that was a thing It never happened at my school.
0:22:51 – Speaker 1
I went to a public school. I was not a sheltered girl. Girl, and what Cash or credit.
0:22:56 – Speaker 2
You are cash or credit, somebody’s butt You are crediting I can’t even The heiny. It was a thing. It was a thing. And so my conversation I’ve already had this conversation with my little people Just, i told them the story and I was like nobody can have credit on your account And like we just, you know, no, we don’t do credit cards of any type, especially that kind. And so you know, if you’ve had an experience in the locker room or you went to a more liberal school, like I did, and you experienced weird things, you can, in an age appropriate way, you know, make it funny, like, oh, this happened, but it was not okay. It was not okay.
0:23:33 – Speaker 1
For these reasons, you bring a lot I do, you bring a lot I do Cash or credit?
So I’m telling you, all of this can be summed up by teaching our kids boundaries. They have to know, and there’s this line that kids walk especially I’ve seen it, especially with boy athletes, because there’s a lot of touching that goes on on the court, on the field. They’re physical, they’re wrestling, they’re taking each other down, and so sometimes they struggle with the boundaries and they start playing and joking And everybody’s doing it. That’s the thing, everybody’s doing it. And so here’s where we need to be different. We need to be salt and light, we need to be next-talk families and saying wait a minute, this is crossing and lying, and this could literally tell people that it’s okay to do this and it could move into a major problem.
0:24:24 – Speaker 2
So cash only.
0:24:26 – Speaker 1
See the, see the cash only.
0:24:29 – Speaker 2
Every time I swipe my credit card down, I’m going to get a view.
0:24:32 – Speaker 1
So we share this. Not to make anybody like squirm you know that’s not what we’re doing here But again, when this mom asked this question, i went to protecting girls in the event, and I think that’s where most of us go. But as I prayed through it and I’ve I thought through it, i thought, man, there’s a different layer And we have to talk about the boy on boy, respecting boy boundaries too, and so don’t leave that out of the conversation. You have such an opportunity here to see what’s happening in culture and then really get in there and create a good foundation for your kids, and so don’t miss it.
Transcribed by https://podium.page