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nextTalk, sponsored by nextTalk.org, contains content of a mature nature. Parental guidance is advised.
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Welcome to nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim every Saturday at 10 am on AM 630,. The word nextTalk Radio is brought to you by nextTalk, a nonprofit organization keeping kids safe online through cyber parenting and open communication. Find resources, videos and subscribe to our weekly podcast at nextTalk.org. Are you ready?
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for the nextTalk. Last week we discussed cyber strangers. We gave examples of how strangers try to make contact with kids online and gave you some conversation ideas on how to get this discussion started with your kids. We also shared a quote be armed, not alarmed, and we said that one of our nextTalk leaders uses that phrase often.
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It’s so much easier to be alarmed, but it is not the way to talk with your kids. When you hear new information, scary, new, difficult arm yourself and then have discussions with your kids.
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And today we have that nextTalk leader here with us. Her name is Holly and she helps us out with our high school and college stuff at nextTalk. So her kids are older, good morning everybody.
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Hi. Holly’s our heads up mama, and she walks a few years ahead of me yes, just a few and just a few more ahead of me, but she’s always got great wisdom. You have a good Instagram example.
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Well, yeah, I remember when Holly said to me my daughter was getting ready to go into middle school a couple years ago, and actually we had just met and Holly said be ready for Instagram. Like you got to learn Instagram because in middle school everybody has it and even if you’re not going to let your daughter have it, you need to walk her through these conversations of what she’s going to be seeing, you know, from other people’s phones. Absolutely.
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Yes, it’s. You know, you’ve got to get prepared for what’s coming at your kid. Yeah, it’s part of that arming yourself.
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So tell us a little bit about yourself, Holly. We need to know a little more about who Holly is.
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It’s so much fun. My husband and I have been married 23, almost 23 and a half years. I was a very proud military spouse for about 19 of that, and now we’re doing something rather different. We have two daughters. They are just at 21 and the youngest one is 16, and all that that entails God bless you.
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Oh, thank you. And when I’m not doing fun with nextTalk, I’m also a photographer and a traveler and a volunteer in other places, and I work a lot with teenage girls and their moms, so I’m in the middle of it all the time.
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You’re an amazing mentor to us. And I know, lots of mommas here.
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She’s a great resource for us. She’s when I’m in panic, freak out mode. I text Holly and she’s the one that tells me to breathe. This is normal, this happens and like then she’ll give me some talking points that I can go to my daughter and talk to calmly and not be crazy mom. She’s been a real asset to me. We don’t like crazy moms, no.
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Neither do your kids. No, your kids don’t like us.
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Well, we wanted to have Holly on the show today because she again has a little bit older kids Mandy’s in the tween and I’m in the little kids section and so we wanted to represent all the different ages and stages.
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As you’re going through this open communication process, yes, yes, you know, one thing that comes to mind right away are restrictions, how this looks differently for each of us. So I kind of wanted to talk about that. We did a previous show on like setting restrictions, monitoring, monitoring your kids phone, those kinds of things, and you know, we said all those things are great, but it really is about the relationship, and so I kind of wanted to go through like each age and stage, like Kim is gonna do like the six and younger, I’m gonna do like the seven to twelve age, and then Holly is, you know, thirteen plus really, and so let’s talk about what this looks like as far as restrictions go, and like doing random phone checks, things like that.
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Well, everything changes and a lot of times we talk about complacency and wanting to do what we know and what’s easy and sticking with what we’ve always done because it works.
But you can’t parent that way. It doesn’t work With my little ones. We need restrictions on, you know, our Netflix and on our tablets. We need to constantly be having that conversation with them about protecting their heart and about protecting their mind. It’s non-stop at this age because we’re planting those seeds and that’s why mamas with kids my age always feel like we’re harping or we’re constantly nagging, and it’s not so much that as it’s a constant reminder like you’re digging that soil deep. So you’re planting those seeds and it’s daily, all day long, but that changes as they get a little bit older.
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Yeah, yeah, and you know when they hit the tween years you know this seven to eight to twelve year time range. You know you talk with them a lot about protecting their heart and mind like it’s their responsibility and making sure that they’re getting that. You know, when my daughter we talked about in our previous show implementing a cell phone contract and then setting the restrictions, doing random phone checks, like I did all that in the very beginning, as we build the trust and as I know we’re talking, that happens less and less. You know she’s now thirteen years old and so, yes, I still do random phone checks, but they’re definitely not as frequent as when she first got her phone.
And so I’m seeing myself change in the season and I love that I have Holly to guide me on that, because I don’t think I would have changed. I think I would be smothering a little bit right now, as she’s thirteen, if I didn’t have Holly saying to me okay, you’ve taught her this for the last several years and you’ve had these conversations continually. And I love what Robert Emmett says, and we use this at nextTalk a lot. Robert Emmett used to be the pastor at Community Bible Church. He said you know, it’s like flying a kite, and when you can trust them, you let that kite string out a little bit more. Now, if there’s an issue, you reel it back, try to talk to them. So, holly for your age.
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Is there any kite string?
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You’ve got high school and college, so what is your?
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monitoring look like One of the things that I say a lot. Another one of my fabulous euphemisms is you trust what you’ve taught. You have to trust what you’ve taught, and if you’ve really been planting and you’ve done the work, then you let that kite string out. And our restrictions at our house are, especially on electronics at this point, are pretty minimal. If I feel like there’s something amiss I might need to check it, but that happens so rarely that that is her life and I trust her. My older one, who’s in college, almost twenty one, that’s not even a thought. That’s her job to manage that. That’s her job to manage that portion of her life.
Now, at this age, the restrictions are what time do you need to be home? What do you need to tell me about the people that you’re with? Those kind of things. I need to know where you’re at and with whom you are with, and you better be home on time. Those are the kinds of things. Those are the restrictions we’re setting now. Is that personal responsibility for your actual personage and being careful? And if you’re gonna drive someone home, I need to know who you are driving home. If you’re riding home with someone else, does there there’s an approval of all the parents Right and so.
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Yeah, it’s a funny thing how it goes from for us with the electronics and the standards and all of these things and the rules and all of that to this, easing into what we always go back to, which is the relationship.
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It’s got to come down to that every single time, no matter what part of life your parents is.
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And expectation. Yes, they need to know that they are expected. You have to set an expectation more than rules or these severe things. It’s expectation. I expect you to let me know these things. This is part of your responsibility of getting older.
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You know we refer to Deuteronomy 23.5. A lot at Next Top, you know the Lord, god turns the curse into a blessing. A lot of parents nowadays see technology as curses. But you know, in this conversation what I’m hearing is is that technology is kind of a blessing because it’s causing us, it’s forcing us, to have some conversations with our kids about protecting their heart and mind, about personal responsibility at a very young age, so that when we get to your age, holly, this technology conversation has kind of forced us into, when they’re out driving on their own, all of those things come into play for a circle moment.
0:09:05 – Speaker 1
Absolutely when it’s that personal responsibility that we begin teaching. When they’re little bitty About there, you have to know when your time is up and know how much is too much and know what is inappropriate and appropriate. You’ve got to build that in, and technology is so much a part of our lives that that is a beautiful teaching ground, if you will allow it to be. And then when they get older and they’re beginning to do the adulting things and they’re having that personal responsibility, they know.
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And that’s why we always say restrictions are great, but it goes back to the relationship.
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Building the relationship with your child. That’s what’s gonna carry you through all the ages and stages of parenting. Is that healthy dialogue between parent and child?
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If you’re just now tuning in, welcome to nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim. Every Saturday at 10 am on AM 630, the Word nextTalk Radio is brought to you by nextTalk, a nonprofit organization keeping kids safe online through cyber parenting and open communication. Find resources, videos and subscribe to our weekly podcast at nextTalk.org. Are you ready for the next?
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talk. Okay, so let’s talk about a different subject. We talked about restrictions and how that kind of looks different at the ages and stages. What about dating?
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Oh super fun.
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Ooh, it’s so much fun, so much fun. So you know how do we talk about dating at the different ages. So, kim, go right in there, so you’ve got young kids, I do. How do you set foundational truths about this even though they’re way far from dating right now?
0:10:40 – Speaker 2
For me, I really believe modeling is the key at this age.
They are not listening to all the details of a beautiful, lovely relationship when they’re five.
What they’re watching is how Daddy respects Mommy so good, how Mommy thinks I hear the door, my husband’s coming home and I drop everything to go greet him and tell him I love you, it’s been a great day, we missed you. They’re watching how Daddy opens the door for Mommy, how when we have a disagreement, we both share our feelings and then we come to a resolution and that Daddy’s not leaving and Mommy’s not running away. We’re choosing to stay and be in it and move forward. They’re watching all the modeling at this young age and I think it’s paramount that we let them see that so often we wanna go behind closed doors and not let them see us work through some challenging things or see the beauty of our relationship giving each other a kiss or a hug for no reason or all of those things. Modeling to me, setting those behaviors and standards by the way we treat each other in our friendships, marriage, all relationships, I feel is key at the junior stage so that they know what that looks like.
0:11:52 – Speaker 3
Yeah, yeah. And then when we move into the tween age, you know this eight, seven to eight to 12 age range, the relationship, or there’s topics that come up. You know you’ll have your kids come home and be like so-and-so is crushing on this person or so-and-so is crushing on this person. So it’s a great opportunity to talk about crushes and I, you know, I talk to my kids. I’m like you know, crushes are normal, they’re a part of life and so let’s talk about them. But again, we wanna go behind the why.
So if one of my kids is crushing on someone, I wanna know why are you crushing on this person? And you know I’m looking for things like they treat people nicely, they’re smart, they’re kind, you know not, they’re hot or they’re the most popular. And if those are the answers I’m getting, you know they’re cute or they’re popular or whatever, then I may say, well, are they kind or are they? You know to kind of interject that, but I try and stay away from. Well, this person doesn’t sound good, let’s stay away from that person, you know, because then it just sets up this like rebellion type, absolutely the wall that our kids are like. Oh, that’s bad.
So I wanna do that I mean I used to do that all the time, like when my mom was like, don’t do that, and I like did the opposite. It’s like dieting. You know what? I think I still do that. I think I still do that at 40. Like if my mom tells me to do something, like I still do the opposite.
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If I lock up the candy, I’m like, once everybody’s asleep, I’m opening those doors and looking for that candy because I feel I can’t have it. So it makes it even more desirable.
0:13:26 – Speaker 3
Yes. So when we talk about crushes, we talk about qualities, we talk about a balance. You know like, don’t be madly in love with someone when you’re 12. It’s okay to have feelings for someone. It’s okay to say, ooh, I like this person.
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I like their qualities.
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It’s normal, it’s normal. And so often times we are like don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t, and then we shut the conversation down. And so at this age, and we do talk about looking for a Christian to date, but we don’t wanna get caught up in that label. Right, that’s one thing that we talk about so much is that we look for the qualities, because what if somebody says they’re this, but then they don’t acts that way, or they don’t portray that in their life, but they just have that label. And that can apply to so much.
0:14:14 – Speaker 2
Yes, not the label, but the characteristics or the qualities. The characteristics the qualities yes. And again it goes back to you said that standard when they’re literate, so they see it. Then you put words when they’re in their tweens and real experiences, and then we shift into the yes, and they begin to really look for those and they begin to have some discretion.
0:14:35 – Speaker 1
But those conversations that you had when they were little and then they’re in their adoles, you know the younger adolescents. As they’re getting into high school, you’ve got to be able to talk. They’re going to not tell you as much, be prepared for that but they are going to still talk to you, some more than others. I know boys tend to be a little more quiet and you have to approach them more gently and just a little. You know, have to find your way down that river and with girls sometimes they’re going to tell you everything and not, but you have to be patient with that and wait on it and continue to be there and maintain that you are always there. You have to be their safe place. That is so important, but it does. It comes down to character and you see them beginning to make choices and they begin to sometimes get critical of their friends.
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I know that I don’t want them to be so hyper critical of their friends all the time and I’ll kind of ease over that.
But what’s clicking in my mind is they’re paying attention, they’re watching, because when they get into this adolescence and they move, begin to move to that 15, 16, 17 and their friends are having actual relationships, they’re in love, they’re doing things and they begin to see when it’s not healthy and they know that and they are having conversations back and forth, very serious conversations between these kiddos, and when one of mine comes and tells me and when we’ll say, should I tell her mom? It lets me know she’s learned she’s watching for things that aren’t healthy in a relationship, it’s like okay, she sees healthy, she knows. And we get questions, because we did a lot of work this last year with high school moms another person on our team, kim Nichols and I and we got a lot of questions from moms about these things. How far do you go in, how far do you not? And it’s just you go in as far as you can. You find the trust, you continue to have it, you stay there and stay consistent.
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So what if? Because I know we hear this a lot- here and say what if my kid wants to date someone that is not a Christian? What do I?
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do? What do I do? One of our biggest things is you know and you can tell this to anyone you’re going to like, who you’re going to like first and foremost, and that doesn’t have anything to do with it. But trust them a little bit, especially when they’re in middle school. You got to have them some. Give them some leeway, because they’re figuring things out. Give them a little space. You’re constantly looking for the character, the, you know all of those things, the morals that there’s a person who is one of character. You begin to look for that first, that cream will rise to the top.
My older daughter had a long, longer relationship. The young man wasn’t a Christian but he had great morals and great values and a wonderful, loving family. Ultimately, she got to the point in this relationship where his faith wasn’t there and it was a big, big, big contributor to the relationship ending because they weren’t moving in the same direction and she had prayed about it a lot and he just wasn’t making that choice. So that was part of the reason it ended. So you have to trust what you’ve taught.
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And you didn’t step in there and tell her. That’s the difference. I loved her through it.
0:17:53 – Speaker 3
I think that’s the key Holly is loving them through it, when you know you may have your reservations because of some issues, but if you would have said you’re absolutely not allowed to date this person, she may not have come to the conclusion that she did on her own, but you trusted God and the Holy Spirit to work through your child and to trust what you’ve taught over all these years.
0:18:17 – Speaker 1
Well, and I truly believe, when any child comes into your home, whether it’s a best friend or other friends, or your child is actually dating your job, when someone is brought into your home, you pour into them with love and example. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your kiddo. It can be this temporary partner your child has as you pour into them. You are there as an example of everything that we are taught to be. Yeah.
0:18:45 – Speaker 2
It’s so good. It’s good to also, whether it’s your child or these kids that are coming in do not dismiss their feelings. Do not dismiss what they are experiencing and seems very real to them in that moment and they feel in.
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we say they feel in HD.
0:19:02 – Speaker 2
Yes, that’s so true Feelings in HD I quote that in my book.
0:19:07 – Speaker 3
That’s another one of Holly. She comes out with these little sayings and we’re like I’m going to use that. I’m so gifted Feelings in HD.
0:19:13 – Speaker 1
They feel in HD and we forget that as we grow older and we kind of get a thicker skin. We get you? Yes, we do, but you also, as parents, you need to remember that you have a lot of maturity physical, emotional, mental on these babies and they don’t think like you do and when they feel, they feel it down to their toenails, they feel so big.
0:19:37 – Speaker 3
You know, and one thing that I’ve been really learning with these between teen years is, you know, as a child I always went with my feelings, always, and so I think I’ve swung the pendulum so far over to the other side that I’ve preached into my kids you can’t always trust your feelings, you have to respond in logic. But what I’m learning is, you know, I have to have a balance there and I have to rely on the Holy Spirit to keep me on point, because my kids do need to feel, they do need to feel brushes, they do need to feel qualities about what they’re looking for in someone, but being able to talk through that so they maintain a balance as well. So it’s they let them feel we don’t dismiss them, but at the same time we’re talking to them about the logic and the qualities and kind of wrapping that all together.
0:20:23 – Speaker 1
Yes, yes, they’ve got to feel, and it’s when they get to an extreme that you kind of have to throttle them back, either there or just way too down in the dumps or you know, they’ve let it go to extremes. It’s like, oh, let’s get it back in the center line here.
0:20:36 – Speaker 3
Yeah, okay. So pornography, you know we’ve got to let’s change this topic. Let’s change this topic because this is going really fast and I want to get to this as well and we’ve got so much we’re going to have to have Holly on again and to talk about so much.
0:20:52 – Speaker 1
Ten shows yes, Sign me up.
0:20:55 – Speaker 3
We’ve got we’ve got a series coming up that we’re getting ready to start on pornography, and you know, this looks different at different ages too. The conversation looks so different.
0:21:03 – Speaker 2
Well, as we’ve said before, you got to set that foundation. Again, same thing with protecting their heart, protecting their mind, talking to them about why we turn away. It’s more, a little bit more legalistic, and here’s how we handle it. We turn away, we step away, we talk to mom. It’s pretty simple at that age, but still starting the conversation.
0:21:21 – Speaker 3
Yeah, and in my age, the tween years, you know it’s preparing them for kids are going to start asking for nudes, like you’re going to see this in your, in your, in your schools, and so preparing them, go playing with them. It’s unfortunately become normal. How do I say no, yes, how do I say no, nicely, how do I not fall into that peer pressure? It’s okay to stand up. Those kinds of things are the conversations we have in the tween years about pornography, because I’ve already set the foundation of the. You know, teach them to guard their own heart and mind and turn away from the screens, but now it becomes like they’re sharing pornography with each other. Yes, so process that. So, holly, what does it look like in the teen and college?
0:21:58 – Speaker 1
years. It’s so prevalent and they have to. You have to have that foundation so they know what is good and what is not. And so many, especially young men I know, are really realizing that this is a problem. But that doesn’t matter. It’s still. Girls are struggling with being objectified and do they accept it. You know, teen, especially college age girls really struggle with that. It affects their body image, everything else, their dating, and a lot of these young men do it in private but then it kind of comes out in a dating relationship. So it’s still a problem. But you have to know I’m here, we can work through this. Let’s talk through this and giving them the information at a very adult level of how to talk to someone maybe their dating who is very much into has succumbed to this porn junk.
0:22:54 – Speaker 3
Yeah, it is junk. It’s that total conversation. And again, you’re their safe place. So if their boyfriend or girlfriend is struggling with it and they confide in your kid you talk through it.
0:23:04 – Speaker 2
They love it.
0:23:05 – Speaker 3
Yes, and talk through it and let’s get through this together. Let’s help if it’s really really bad. Exactly, but through the unconditional love and yeah.
0:23:14 – Speaker 2
For our wrap up segment today. We just want to remember a couple of points as always. Number one parenting changes through different ages and stages. Do not stay stuck. You’ve got to change as your kids change. For example, like we talked about the restrictions, let that kite string out as they get older. Number two conversations get more detailed as kids get older. Start talking early to lay that foundation. But it is never too late to start talking, please don’t forget that Never too late.
0:23:43 – Speaker 1
Don’t believe that lie.
0:23:44 – Speaker 2
And number three, one thing that never changes the importance of building a relationship with your child. It always comes back to that the relationship, relationship.
0:23:54 – Speaker 3
Yeah, you know the relationship with our child and with every topic we’ve covered here you can see how we are all parenting it a little differently. All goes back to the relationship, that healthy dialogue, and the teen years are gonna be a little easier if you’ve been talking since they’re in kindergarten, because you’ve created that safe place. But we never wanna fall into the trap that it’s too late to start, because we serve a big God and even if you didn’t start when they were little, at any time God can restore and heal and create this open communication in your relationship with your child.
0:24:28 – Speaker 2
So good and so true, and thank you so much, holly, for being here with us today. You brought the element that we needed for those kids as they get a little bit older. What does that look like?
0:24:39 – Speaker 1
Mom and dad. Hang in there. You’re gonna get a reward when they get a little bit older and you’re gonna love the fact you have these wonderful people who know how to communicate with you.
0:24:48 – Speaker 2
Yes, yeah. You gotta keep reminding us of that on the hard days.
0:24:50 – Speaker 3
I know you’ve said to me more than once that with your college kid, who’s older now, it’s such a beautiful relationship because you guys are. I mean you’ve moved into this really cool relationship. You’re right, we’re one, or two years old.
0:25:02 – Speaker 1
You know it’s like oh, she’s wonderful. Yes.
0:25:05 – Speaker 2
We do wanna remind you to coming up. We’re gonna be starting our pornography series, which we’re gonna address it from all different standpoints, with professionals, counselors, authors of books that are relevant to this subject. It’s important and it’s at an epidemic level, so please make sure to tune in, either online or here on the radio, for our series Starting with our next show.
0:25:27 – Speaker 3
you don’t want to miss it. Good stuff. Thanks for joining us on the nextTalk Radio show today with Mandy and Cam. We’re here every Saturday at 10 am on AM 630, the Word nextTalk Radio is brought to you by nextTalk, a nonprofit organization keeping kids safe online through cyber parenting and open communication. Find resources, videos and subscribe to our weekly podcast at nextTalk.org. Are you ready for the nextTalk? We’ll be right back.
Transcribed by https://podium.page