0:00:02 – Speaker 1
Welcome to the nextTalk podcast, where we share real stories and practical advice for parenting the digital world.
0:00:09 – Speaker 2
We’re your hosts, Mandy and Kim. Mandy is an award-winning author and the founder of nextTalk, and I’m the director of nextTalk, a nonprofit organization created to strengthen families through open communication. You can check out all of our resources at nextTalk.org.
0:00:24 – Speaker 1
We’re your wives, moms and friends, tackling culturally relevant topics from a Christian perspective. We’re sharing what we’ve learned and where we’ve failed. We’re so glad you’re here for this conversation.
0:00:37 – Speaker 2
Okay, here we go. We are entering our new season and we have some big topics to kick it off.
0:00:45 – Speaker 1
Year six baby. What in the world is happening?
0:00:49 – Speaker 2
I feel like it’s like parenting. You know, you’re like where did the time go? They were just born, We were just starting our radio show a minute ago and here we are entering our sixth season. How exciting.
0:01:00 – Speaker 1
Well, but if we go back and listen to those first shows, no, no, it’s like parenting.
0:01:05 – Speaker 2
It’s like parenting.
0:01:06 – Speaker 1
You look at it and you’re like I messed that up so bad.
0:01:10 – Speaker 2
You’re lucky, you’re a live child. Yes, we’re all in one piece. Thank the Lord Yes yes, yes, well, i’m excited for the season. We’ve got a lot planned. We’ve got lots of great things happening at nextTalk and it’s just going to be a good thing. We hope that you will plug in and all things nextTalk.
0:01:32 – Speaker 1
Absolutely. We got new groups, new events, all the stuff, so make sure you’re following us on social media and getting all those updates.
0:01:39 – Speaker 2
We even have new merchandise. I mean we got, it’s all the things.
0:01:42 – Speaker 1
We haven’t even announced that yet, sister. You just announced it.
0:01:46 – Speaker 2
Well, this is how I roll New merch. It’s called an accident, but I think that’s good. I think that’s good, it’s exciting and you’ll see some stuff announced soon. So get ready to see the new merchandise.
0:01:59 – Speaker 1
So one of the things that we wanted to hit the ground running with was a show that has really been on our heart for over a year, and it’s something we’ve been wanting to do. We almost did it last season, but we felt like the time wasn’t right. We needed to pray through some things and figure out exactly how the Lord wanted us to handle this topic, and so we’re ready. We’ve done all that We’ve prayed, we’ve researched, we’ve done all the things, and today we’re going to talk about pronouns.
0:02:27 – Speaker 2
Yeah, and you may be thinking immediately well, i have little kids, it’s okay, i don’t need to know about this or, you know, it’s not something on my radar. I just want to say for the moms of young kids I was recently at a children’s museum with all these little people and all of the badges had my preferred pronoun is for each worker there. So I want to give a little kids to. If you have adult children or you’re even single, this is a topic we need to dig into as Christians and as parents.
0:02:59 – Speaker 1
And you know, just a disclaimer, we always say your family, your choice here.
At nextTalk, we stand by that We’re not trying to tell you how to parent. What we’re here to tell you is we want to give you all the information, we want you to know what’s happening in the culture, and we want to put it through the lens of scripture and tell you okay, after studying this, after looking at this, after reading about it in the Bible, this is how we’re handling it in our homes. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to handle it the same way. We’re just using it as an example. This is how we parent it. This is what we say. These are the conversations we have.
0:03:32 – Speaker 2
It’s important for us to always be relevant and bring topics to you that are happening in front of us everywhere we go, so that not only you can process it but you can decide how you’re going to parent it. So we want to give you both sides and information so you can make those decisions. So I think we should dive in.
0:03:50 – Speaker 1
Yeah, the controversial. I liked what you said, like both sides, kim. That’s the other thing. I do think we’re going to probably offend everybody somewhere in this show, and so, again, we always just ask you to keep listening. We like to tell both opposite controversial hot takes, because that’s how you dig into really good conversations with your kids. You don’t want to just present them a one-sided point of something, because then they hear something else and they think that you’re irrelevant. So if they know that mom and dad see the big picture and see both sides of this and this is where I land on it it makes the conversations more relevant. So it’s very important that you don’t close your mind off and say I’m not even going to talk about this because I don’t agree with it. It’s very important we don’t shut down like that.
0:04:36 – Speaker 2
Also important to know what it is you’re talking about. A lot of times we’ll hear terms thrown out there or ideas, or we’ll just see a quick little video on TikTok or come up on our social media feed and we’ll think we know. That’s one of the things we want to encourage you is dig in for yourself so you actually do know which kind of is how we want to start here. Why in the world are people using different pronouns? anyway?
0:04:58 – Speaker 1
Yeah, let’s set a foundation here for what we’re talking about. So we’re all on the same page. Before we actually talk about in what scenarios do we use pronouns and in what situations do we not use pronouns? Okay, so, first of all, you have a biological sex. So that’s how you’re born male or female That’s a biological sex. A penis or a vagina right, that’s what you’re born with.
Now that there are a small percentage of people who are born intersex and I dive into that in my book We don’t have a lot of time to get into that today, but if you want to talk to me about it, you can reach out or read that chapter in my book. So you have that biological sex male, female Then you have gender. So that’s how a person can identify. Historically, people assumed that your biological sex and your gender are the same thing, other than those very limited cases of intersex individuals or gender dysphoric people. Okay, now, it is very commonplace for gender dysphoria people to present so that their sex, how they’re born male or female does not match how they’re feeling gender. Does that make sense, kim?
0:06:13 – Speaker 2
It does make sense And I think it’s important here to explain that gender dysphoria is in the DSM-5. And if you don’t know what that is, it is the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders that mental health professionals use in order to diagnose someone, and gender dysphoria is recognized as a psychological term that describes someone whose gender identity doesn’t match their biological sex. So in other words, your biological sex is in direct conflict with your gender. So, if you can imagine, this is something that within the clinical setting, people were diagnosed with on a small scale. It was rare And now we’ve seen this massive surge of it socially across the country and through social media, that now it’s not something that is on a small scale anymore, it’s huge.
0:07:03 – Speaker 1
Because of the surge. Now we’re seeing this push for pronouns everywhere you go, and I would say it’s become mainstream and even popular, and so this is a conversation that we have to have with our kids, and so hence why we’re doing this show.
0:07:20 – Speaker 2
So, to give you a practical approach of what this looks like, you might have a biological female who identifies as a male. So this person is going to ask you to use terms like he and him for their pronouns, and if people are unsure on how they want to identify, they often ask to be referred to as they, them, for their pronouns. Now, if you hear someone saying they want to use they and them as their pronouns a lot of times, it means they’re gender neutral or they’re gender fluid, and they use it because they’re still trying to figure it out. They don’t know, am I a he, him or her she, like? they’re still kind of back and forth.
0:07:56 – Speaker 1
Well and I haven’t seen anybody say this, but in my mind when I see a, they, them and it’s kind of like I’m just trying to figure it out, I’m not quite sure. I go back to middle school, when I saw this massive group of people identifying as bi, because they weren’t quite sure yet and it kind of kept their options open. So, as a I remember that.
Yeah, as a parent, that’s like where my mind goes, that they’re just struggling to figure it out and they, they do feel pressure to like check a box or check a label, and so a lot of these people can maybe sometimes end up with a they, them. One thing I wanted to point out that you said, um. Gender fluid means their gender identity changes. So they may be saying I’m not going to be um, you know, maybe I’m a he, him, today, tomorrow I’m going to be um, a she, her, and so that is like a fluid thing that can develop.
The other thing that I want to say in this, in this culture where pronouns has become a thing, i find it interesting that if your biological sex and gender match up, so that would be me, right. I, i’m born a female and I identify as a woman. What kind of whatever that means, i just feel like I am a woman. I don’t identify as a woman, i just am But, but. But using this terminology, i would be considered. There’s a name for me, even I would be considered cis, and this is this is an abbreviation for cisgender CIS G, e, n, d, e, r, but it’s cis. So if you hear people say I’m cis, that means that you don’t have gender dysphoria. So so cis is the opposite of trans, it’s the Antonin I think it helps.
0:09:38 – Speaker 2
For me, definitions really help, and so cis is Latin for on the same side, and trans is Latin for on the opposite side of well, look at you coming out here with your Latin.
0:09:50 – Speaker 1
Listen, girl, i did not know this about you. Look at you.
0:09:55 – Speaker 2
Hey, my kids had to take Latin because of the type of schooling we’re in. So anytime I’m like trying to figure out where did this come from? Like I bet you, it’s Latin and almost every time you can find the meaning. So there you go Interesting.
0:10:07 – Speaker 1
So we just kind of wanted to provide you these are just a few examples of the pronouns being used. There’s there’s lots. They get creative, they get very creative. There are more versions. It keeps evolving New pronouns, new gender identities every day. I did a quick Google search the other day like how many gender identities are there, and different websites had different things. I saw 58, 68, 72, there were numbers all over the place. So again, it’s an evolving thing. One of the first things we want to say to you as a parent is it seems complicated and unnecessary to us because we didn’t grow up with it. Because of that, a lot of times we will dismiss it in an eye roll and be like this is stupid, i’m not learning it. I’m going to kind of push back on that a little bit. This is the culture, so I want you to learn it and understand it, or you’re not going to be able to have real conversations with your kids about it. So that’s why we’re giving you definitions. We want you to understand it better.
0:11:07 – Speaker 2
Well, and I want to also say it’s okay to feel your feelings Like you can be, like this is stupid. I don’t understand it. It’s ridiculous. I am just me and you should just be you Like you can feel all of those things.
But if you want to be able to relate to your kid and dig in and have meaningful conversations that help them navigate all this, you have got to be willing to let your guard down and at least learn about it. It doesn’t mean you agree with it, it doesn’t mean you’re advocating for it, which we’re going to get into, but at least you know what they’re facing and what the conversation looks like with their peers and on social media. And as my husband and I would always say and I know this is such a sweet thing like we wish this was the biggest problem. In a real world we wouldn’t know the names of all the Pokemon, like we wouldn’t. That’s important to our kid. You know he loves it And so we dig in, we learn about it, we talk about with him And so he relates to us. Same thing We just got to grow with our kids.
0:12:01 – Speaker 1
And all the parents of older kids are like I’m so glad I’m past that.
0:12:04 – Speaker 2
0:12:08 – Speaker 1
They’re like I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with that anymore. Okay, so what we want to do on this show is we get asked some questions about pronouns, and these questions have happened with kids, they’ve happened at events, they’ve happened over coffee with parents that we get asked that we think are really good questions, and so we’re going to go through some of these questions and then give our answer of how we would respond. You are probably not going to agree with everything we said. Again, this is just to get your mind thinking about this so that you can have relevant conversations with your kids.
0:12:39 – Speaker 2
Okay, Question number one do you honor people’s pronouns? Now, this is your choice, but we’re going to share how we handle it. Go.
0:12:49 – Speaker 1
So I say yes, and I know that we’re going to have some people out there being like that’s it. I thought I knew. nextTalk, forget it.
0:12:59 – Speaker 2
Or the deep sigh, like what Okay?
0:13:02 – Speaker 1
Okay, hold on, hold on. I want to address this question because I have seen posts on social media and some things saying like, if somebody asked me to use their pronouns, i’m not going to do it because I don’t believe in gender ideology. I don’t believe in it, so I’m not going to honor that. I think that’s a very valid point. We’re going to get there in a minute, but hold on a second and hear us out. When I have a server at a restaurant or I go and have a tour guide somewhere, i don’t know this person from Adam. I don’t know this person. Their real name could be Susan, but they are asking me to call them Sally. I don’t know. I just honored what they asked me to do.
To me that is just being respectful And, honestly, the more I have respected using people’s pronouns in my home people that are visiting my home, in restaurants where we see people with pronouns on their name tag or whatever. It is such a great opportunity for my kids to see me loving people that they know I struggle with this whole gender ideology. We’re going to get to that in a minute because I do believe it’s harmful to little kids And we’re going to talk about that. So my kids know that I believe that, but they know that I’m not going to embarrass someone. I’m not going to call somebody out in public and be like I don’t agree with what you’re doing. I’m just going to be respectful. I don’t know this person. It would be different if it was a friend and they went to coffee with me and they’re like I really want to know your opinion on this. There would be a different answer. But listen, what if we use this opportunity to show the world that we love you, even though we may not agree with you?
0:14:44 – Speaker 2
Wow, let’s do that Absolutely, and I’m going to give you the warm up to that which I think for some Christians especially, it might be the step down from Mandy, who’s like, yes, if you need a warm up.
Okay, okay, i’m not Bye, I’m a version. My husband and I had this conversation once at a restaurant. In this situation that it’s very easy to be respectful without using any pronoun If they are asking you to use a pronoun, or if it says it on their name tag or whatever, there’s a way to be respectful and kind and loving to someone by using language that doesn’t call them out, nor does it include words that you’re uncomfortable with. That’s okay too. They won’t even notice. Even you’re not uncomfortable and you also haven’t offended that person. So if you need a little bit of a warm-up to the using the pronouns that maybe make you uncomfortable, that’s a way to do it and still be kind and respectful.
0:15:46 – Speaker 1
And just default to love. You don’t know this person’s story, you don’t know why they’re struggling with their gender identity. Don’t assume, just love, just love it in that moment, okay. So, kim, i want to point out here. You said do you honor people’s pronouns? And I said, yes, i have an exception.
If one of my children came to me out of the blue and wanted to switch their pronouns and start going by a different name and I had never thought this was going to be something, we would deal with it just like blindsided me. By the way, i’m saying this because this is the story I see all the time at nextTalk And parents are like I never thought I would be dealing with this. And my next question is have they been online? Oh yeah, they’ve been on YouTube the last six months or they just got social media or something right, we always see it. But if your kid comes to you out of the blue, that’s just not something you accept on a whim, because here’s the difference The waitress or the waiter, you don’t know that person. You don’t get to speak into that person’s life, your kid. You’ve parented this human from beginning. You’ve spoken into their life, you know them right And so you know their struggles.
And if this came out of the blue, it’s pause time. And why I say you don’t just automatically start using pronouns for your kid is that this is a big moment. How you respond here could literally determine which path they go down, and so it’s time to pause. get experts involved to help you. So a counselor, a pediatrician this is a big conversation. This isn’t just my kid asked me to use different pronouns And then the next day we just wake up and decide to do that. No, this is your kid, someone you have done life with. You know them on a much deeper level than you would know a stranger out in public.
0:17:45 – Speaker 2
Labels are hard to break from and they are so important And I cannot tell you how many times someone has been labeled something or called themselves something once and it’s stuck And getting away from that can be a lifelong process. So in that moment when your kid comes to you, it is not the time to say, okay, i mean, i guess it’s just words, it’s not a big deal. No, that is not the case. You listen, you gather information and then it’s time, like Mandy said, gather the people around your child to figure out what’s going on. It’s important to get a good counselor.
0:18:23 – Speaker 1
That’s so great that you said that, kim. And the other thing is and we did a show on this how to respond if your kid is questioning their sexuality or gender. You can go listen to that show that we you know this isn’t really what this show is about, but I do want to say this Love your kid. I mean no matter what. Love your kid, meet your kid in the moment. Don’t try to say, don’t feel this way. What you’re trying to do is understand. Where did this come from? Help me, i want to understand The other thing you need to be careful about.
There’s this thing called dead naming, and what that is is if. If so, say you got a kid named Mandy and they now identify as he him and goes by Marty, okay, and they’ve said I want you to call me Marty. If you continue using Mandy, the birth name, you are dead naming. It’s seen as being highly disrespectful. So that’s something that you need to be aware of. If your kid is struggling with this, or even your kid’s friends, you need to be aware of this, And this is a conversation. But we have to be careful with our own children about just going on a whim. We need to pause counseling pediatrician. This is a pivotal moment, so it’s important.
0:19:34 – Speaker 2
Next question that we’ve gotten here at nextTalk Do you identify as cis and do you include your pronouns in your social media bio and profile? And, if you remember, cis means that your gender and your sex match up, like you were born female and you identify as female. In other words, Mandy and I, like this, is just who we are right.
0:19:56 – Speaker 1
So now I’m going to find a whole different group of people. Here we go, we’re on a roll, we’re on a roll. No, no, i’m, i’m here’s the thing. I’m not going to include my pronouns in my bio because I believe this gender ideology movement, i believe it harms kids and I’m extremely concerned about it. I believe it pushes healthy kids toward surgeries that will remove healthy body parts.
To me, i feel like using pronouns in public is being respectful and loving. including my pronouns in my bio. In my mind, i feel like that’s me endorsing the movement And I’m not going to endorse a movement that I believe is harmful. Now, i do believe we need to be more aware of trans kids, and when I say trans kids, i’m talking about, like kids who are literally born intersex. It’s a small part of the population, but I believe gender ideology is really also hurting these kids. Because they are born this way, they struggle with having the proper genitals. I mean, there’s a biological situation going on here right that they’re born with And now I feel like they’re not even getting the love they need because now we’re all mad about it. We’re all mad about this pronoun thing. So if any kid identifies as trans, we roll our eyes and we don’t get to know this kid, because this kid could be really struggling with gender dysphoria. And then we’ve we’ve messed it up.
0:21:39 – Speaker 2
Socially. We have this thing that we do, that you know we’ve talked about so many times before with things like the words mattering with like bullying. When it becomes popular to use a term, that term becomes muted, it becomes watered down And then those who really need help don’t get the help they need. We’ve seen that with the term bully, we’ve seen that with gender dysphoria and with transgender. I mean even things like anxiety. I hear girls all the time, middle school girls oh, that’s my anxiety, that’s my anxiety. And then the kid who is really struggling with anxiety and need help people blow them off because they’re like they’ve all got anxiety. We have got to stop doing that. I mean I don’t want to get on a soapbox, but come on like we’ve got to stop doing that because we miss the kids and the people who need the real help.
0:22:27 – Speaker 1
Well, in Christian parents, this is what I want you to be so careful of, because, like me, you may be like, oh my gosh, this is really harmful to kids. But if a kid comes to you, you can’t just write them off and roll your eyes. What if this kid is truly struggling with their gender? we want them to be mentally healthy. We don’t want them to harm themselves. We don’t want them to do anything like they are a child loved by God, right, created by God, and so each person needs to be handled with very much care, and we need to stop putting these kids in boxes or dismissing them because they may identify this way. We have to be so careful of that.
0:23:09 – Speaker 2
We talk about all these things and we’re trying to explain socially what is happening, because your kids will know it and hear it before you.
And if you don’t understand this and you get into conversation with them, it can end up being a yelling match. You know they’re slamming doors, you’re not hearing each other, and then they think, well, you just don’t get it And you’re transphobic or whatever it is that they see, even if they don’t necessarily agree completely. If they see that you shut it down and you’re not willing to hear, then the conversation is dead And that is the last thing that we want. You can’t speak into your kid and give them nuggets of truth if the conversation is shut down. So if you can listen to their side, if you can understand that there are kids who are really struggling, if you can see that culturally this is a thing the pronouns, this is something that’s very normalized for our young kids, then you can speak into it and explain where you’re coming from, hear what they’re saying and maybe you agree to disagree, but at least you’re in conversation And maybe, just maybe, they’ll start to hear some of the truth that you’re sharing, because it’s been a respectful exchange.
0:24:23 – Speaker 1
Absolutely, and I think, specifically older kids, they see it differently than the parents see it because they see it as just part of speech And so if somebody asks me to call them something else, i will kind of like I see, you know the stranger in public And I see that side of it and I understand it. But I see it more as an agenda, as something to pull our kids, because I see it as a money making business. So we have, and just like the porn industry, when they pull kids into the porn industry, it was a billion dollar business. That is what this is becoming. When you have a kid transitioning, you are creating a lifelong patient that needs drugs and surgeries and medications, and that is what I don’t want. I don’t want this to be a marketing campaign to our kids, who aren’t really struggling And then they think they are because it’s so mainstream And that’s my biggest complaint about it.
We’re seeing this, you know, as far as the business model of trans surgeries and medical procedures on kids. We’re seeing this Planned Parenthood. It’s a new revenue stream for them. You know, puberty blockers and getting it for people, getting it for kids. The other thing is I’m monitoring this big. It’s a detrans movement, and these are kids who had surgical procedures under the age of 18. And some of them now are older And they’re like why did no one stop me?
Why did? now? I don’t have breast, i’ll never be able to breastfeed, or my penis was chopped off. I’ll never be able to conceive. Why did my parents not stop me? Why did counselors not stop me? Why they’re asking these questions? And so these are valid questions in mainstream media and things that are trending on social media. You’re not hearing these stories.
So I want you parents to become educated about it, because your kids are just seeing on social media be an ally, which is great We do need to love and support. I’m not saying we don’t, but they also need to see the kids who have regrets so that they can see the full magnitude of this picture of what they’re they’re labeling themselves as. Along these lines, there’s lots of people that you can follow. I found a group where I want you to get educated about this, parents. I want you to get educated, so I want you to go follow this group called Gaze Against Groomers.
Now these people are fearless on social media. They have been kicked off Twitter so many times and they’ll come back as like Gaze Against Groomers and then Gaze against something else, but these are people who are in the LGB community. They are, they are gay people and they are saying we worked hard just to be recognized as equal rights. All we wanted was equal rights, and now our movement has been hijacked and we’re taking advantage of young kids, and this is not okay, and so their whole mission is we’re going to stop this from within our own movement. And I’m over here just like cheering on the Gaze against Groomers, because they are raising a lot of awareness and they are saying things that I can’t say because I will be called homophobic and transphobic, and they are saying it, and so educate yourself.
Go follow them, learn from them. They’re sharing all sorts of detrans stories over there. It’s great stuff. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter.
0:27:53 – Speaker 2
Well, it’s really important too, because if your kids are on social media, they’re only getting the message of love, trans kids and being an ally, and all of this.
They, like you said, they don’t see this other side And so, if you can, what goes back? this goes back to what we were saying before if you can see the other side, then there may be an opportunity for you to share that at some point. If you’re able to have respectful conversation with your kids instead of just shutting things down And you can say, hey, i was, i was seeing this thing. I mean, of course, be careful, don’t have the over excited share That’s what we call it our house the over excited share where you’re like, oh my gosh, did you see this Then that also shuts things down. But if you are seeing another side of a topic that is being constantly thrown at our kids, there will be an opportunity, if your communication is open and healthy, where you can plant little seeds of hey, i saw this thing, what do you think about that? And that’s what you want to be able to do.
0:28:50 – Speaker 1
Absolutely, And when you do that, you’re showing your kids. I can see both sides of this. I can because I will say, the messages on social media about loving trans people and being an ally, that’s good stuff, But also you need to be aware of this. You also need to be aware of this flip side that nobody’s sharing. It’s not mainstream media And we need to get those detrans stories out there.
0:29:13 – Speaker 2
And let’s be clear when you’re saying messages about loving trans people and being kind, when you say that’s great, you’re not saying except in a firm you know socially, that’s not what you’re saying. You’re saying they’re people too and we need to love them. It doesn’t mean we agree with their lifestyle choice.
0:29:31 – Speaker 1
I mean. Jesus says treat each other the way you want to be treated, like common decency, human respect. Here is what I’m talking about. Just because I say love people doesn’t mean I say I agree with them. I mean I love a lot of my family members. I sometimes don’t agree with how they spend their money or what they do or all kinds of things you know, and so it is. The being kind to everyone is a good message. Don’t move away from that because because they’re not getting the other side, give them both sides. That’s what what I see happening. We got to start thinking about the kids who have regret. Like are we rushing kids into surgeries? And my thing is listen, i’ll tell you, i’m just not for kids having surgical procedures on healthy body parts under 18, i’m not for it. nextTalk here. We’re about protecting kids that are seeing stuff online, and so I got to speak out about it. This is a problem. Something is going on. We’ve got to arm our kids with real solutions and non transphobic conversations.
0:30:36 – Speaker 2
Yeah, Okay, so we’ve talked about a couple of questions that we get from moms and dads and and people that we meet through nextTalk, but we did get something coming from a church. We have an elementary age kid asking us to use different pronouns and names. How do we handle this with the parents? Oh, that’s a tough one.
0:30:54 – Speaker 1
So I will say churches, you need policies in place right now. If this isn’t a conversation on your staff, it needs to be how you’re going to handle this proper protocol, that kind of stuff.
0:31:04 – Speaker 2
And if you’re a parent, you can ask, say, Hey, do you guys have any protocols or any policies in place? And they may not have thought of it yet And you may get the ball rolling as a parent in a church.
0:31:15 – Speaker 1
So here’s a couple things that I said to this church. One is you have to be careful here, because if you tell these parents what’s going on, are they going to hurt this kid, are they going to abuse. That’s an awful thought to think, but we definitely don’t want this kid to be abused by these parents. Yeah, so I think how you communicate to the parents and phrase it is going to be extremely important. You know it’s almost like Hey, we realize this is almost a rite of passage that many go kids go through today, like they run through their brain. Do I struggle with this, do I not? And most kids really do. It’s like a thought process that has to happen because it’s so mainstream, right, and so I want you to love your kid And let’s just try and understand what’s going on in their little minds. And, by the way, here’s some counselors that we work with. We think it would be really great to get your kid into a counselor. Talk to your pediatrician like this is a pivotal moment. It’s extremely important that you love your kid right now, and you know, obviously, send them to our podcast that we did what to do if your child is questioning. You can have that as a resource as well. We talk about seeing a licensed counselor on there. If, in any way, shape or form, you have any signs of abuse going on the home, you’re legally required to report it, so make sure you do.
The other thing I want to say about this and I think a lot of church folk don’t understand this It is really a big no, no to out someone to anyone, but especially to someone’s parents, and this is really really important. It’s highly offensive And it creates a lot of walls in conversations. So you have to be aware of it. So a church, if you could approach these parents, as you know, really, we we really don’t want you going home and saying Why are you doing this at church. We want you realizing that this, your kid is struggling with this, but let your kid talk to you when they can talk to you about it.
Church needs to just come alongside of parents and kind of give a heads up. Hey, this is happening. They want to use different pronouns. Are you aware of this? You need to move in the direction at home to where your kid can confide in you about this, so that you can really speak into it. If you go to a kid and you’re just outing them, especially with older kids, that’s just. I mean they can’t even believe somebody would do that, because it’s their thing to say.
0:33:50 – Speaker 2
Yeah, I think the practical example of that is if the church comes to you and tells you what’s happening on Wednesday night in conversation and then Thursday, your kid comes home from school and they walk through the door and you say Why are you telling everybody your trans Like that?
they called me from youth group? I cannot believe this. That is going to create a wall between them and their trusted church community and perhaps injure, disrupt, even break down or deconstruct their faith journey, And that is the last thing we want. We also want to be able to walk alongside them so we can help steer them in the right direction. And if we attack them or out them or embarrass them, that’s not going to happen either. So suddenly, in one moment, the way we approach something, if it’s wrong, they can lose the two most important relationships in their life their church family and their family at home. So by making the decision to breathe, pray, ask God to create the space and then just start creating conversation, you may be able to keep both of those relationships intact and get your kid the help they actually need to get them on a path towards truth, And that’s what we really want.
0:35:06 – Speaker 1
Well said, and the conversations that you may start with probably will have nothing to do with gender. It’ll just be. You’ll realize, oh my gosh, my kid’s not confiding in me. I need to dig in here because I want my kid to be able to talk to me about this, and then I want to be able to help them process what’s happening.
0:35:22 – Speaker 2
We don’t want you to hear in what we’re saying that you shouldn’t know and the church should know. That’s not what we’re trying to say. What we’re trying to say is, in the way that you approach it, everyone who loves your kid can surround them and know in the right way and in the right time. That’s what we’re trying to say.
0:35:39 – Speaker 1
Absolutely. You know churches too. I would say to you you got to be a safe place for everyone, and that includes your LGBTQ kids. We are in a new culture And just because you’re helping these kids and loving them and making them feel accepted, that does not mean you have to compromise your biblical truth. You can do both, and I often talk to my kids about this tension of loving so well but standing for biblical truth. There’s always a little tension there. It’s the messy middle, and if you’re not experiencing it, then you’re not loving well or you’re not standing for truth. Something’s off, because, as a Christian living in this culture, there’s going to be that messy middle tension that you’re in sometimes with the difficult conversations.
0:36:27 – Speaker 2
Okay, well, that’s really good stuff. Let’s talk about what is your strongest talking point when discussing pronouns and gender identity with our kids.
0:36:38 – Speaker 1
So this is the best talking point that I think, aside from sharing the trans stories with your kids, i think that’s incredibly important. Pull up the articles, let them read it, let them watch a YouTube video of these D trans kids. That’s all very important So they see that side of it. But just getting them to think critically about gender identity, okay, and it follow me here Gender roles. So we’ve worked really hard as a world, as a society, right to make sure especially women aren’t labeled as they have to be home cooking. You know, they can be an astronaut, they can be the president, they can be. You know we’ve worked hard to get rid of those gender roles, right, but doesn’t this ideology kind of reinforce that? So here’s where I’m going with that. So you have a girl who doesn’t like dresses and doesn’t like pink? So be a tomboy, wear suits. Be a business entrepreneur woman who wears business suits every day and rocks it.
Why are we reinforcing gender stereotypes? So we’re telling kids who don’t who, little girls who don’t like dresses and don’t like pink, to be anything like you, have to be a boy now. So it’s. It’s reinforcing all of these boxes. Instead, why can’t we just say each person is uniquely Created and they don’t fit into a girl boy box. They’re a human and they have a biological sex and then they have gifts and talents. So if a boy wants to be a stay-at-home dad and cook great meals awesome, that’s great. That’s his unique gift that he gets to give to his family. Why do we have to keep reinforcing the gender stereotypes? That’s my biggest. I Just get so frustrated with it, you know.
0:38:36 – Speaker 2
Well, it’s kind of like a reverse What you’re saying. It’s like reverse of all the work that culturally we have done to make some things equal, because I do believe there are some gender Bents, if that makes sense. But as far as like colors and jobs and in things that you enjoy doing, in the way you dress and the way you do Your hair, like Why do we get hung up on that and who decided it You know that that’s a question my kids and I talk about. I had my son recently asked one of my sons Who said that pink is a girl color as it. You know that’s a great question. I have no idea, and so those kind of questions kind of sparked that conversation of we’re allowing Whoever said that this thing was meant for girl or boy to define our gender and that makes absolutely no sense.
0:39:29 – Speaker 1
Well, the other thing too. I always remind my kids There’s only one of you. You have a unique DNA Right, so you were born a biological male or female. You know I have one of each right and and You each are good at different things and and throughout their childhood, i’ve seen both of them play with toy trucks. I’ve seen both of them Like play in the toy kitchen that they loved, and make breakfast and have teeth both of them, and I never once thought, oh my gosh, does that mean they’re not, they don’t match up or they’re gonna struggle? I never put that label on them. I just let them be creative in who they are and loving them for them. Like I don’t need, you don’t need to change your gender, your name, your pronouns, anything to be you, and So having them just accept themselves, love themselves, love their unique gifts and talents for who they are, i just think is extremely important.
0:40:29 – Speaker 2
Well and you’ve heard us say this here so many times at nextTalk, the only label your child should ever give themselves as child of God, and we can reinforce that all the time as they grow up. Remind them that, give them examples, read them scripture. You are a son or daughter of the king. You are a child of God. God made you perfect in his image and you are unique and beautiful and created for a purpose.
0:40:53 – Speaker 1
That’s what we want our kids to focus on the other thing to a great talking point Tell your kids this all the time At some point you are gonna feel uncomfortable and weird and curious in your own body.
You’re gonna feel, you’re gonna feel weird about it and everybody got and you are gonna feel curious about Bodies like opposite sex and same sex, because I remember growing up in seventh grade Being very curious about the female body because my body was developing different than my friends And so it was a weird curiosity thing. Right Back then people probably would have labeled me something or I would have picked up a label, but but now it’s just like let kids have this awkward moment with their bodies. That’s called puberty. You know, there’s time. There’s time to figure out. If you want to change your body as you get older, then that’s your prerogative. But we don’t need to be pushing this on young kids who are going through puberty and it is so natural to not like your body and feel like. I remember feeling like as my body changed and developed, like, ooh, i don’t know that I like this kind of thing, right.
0:42:05 – Speaker 2
Well, and we’re all and unfortunately, you know, comparison is the thief of joy is awful, but that is a natural thing that kids do, we all do it. But in middle school, when so much is changing, your hormones are so weird. You’re thinking is this normal? and you look over at someone else and if it’s different than you, you might think, maybe that, maybe I’m not a girl, maybe I’m more a boy because I look more like a boy right now. And then if someone is validating that and saying, yeah, you’re a boy, and no one’s speaking into that, it’s so easy at that age to get confused and get off on the wrong path. It is. It’s just such a strange time. So we have to be in these conversations with our kids.
0:42:48 – Speaker 1
The other talking point is women in sports.
I mean this is a whole conversation that you need to have with your kids. You know we’re seeing this across the board. You’ve got these college girls who’ve worked their whole life to train and in you know, in place, and then you have a biological male who now identifies it as a female and has a Competitive edge over this. I mean that’s why we created women’s sports, because we’re there’s biological differences in our bodies, right, it wasn’t fair and equal. So we created women’s sports for that. And now you have biological males saying I identify as a woman and now I’m competing and taking away championships from these poor college girls that have that have trained their whole life, gotten up every day at 5 am To train for this, and so we created women’s sports for women to be equal, and now it’s being taken away. So that’s a whole other talking point to have with your kids because again, they’re just seeing love these people and they’re not seeing the full picture of what this gender ideology means. And so digging into these conversations is just crucial. It’s just so, so crucial.
0:43:58 – Speaker 2
No, your kids culture. It’s something we’ve always said. You’ve got to be in it. For the reason of it’s crucial to have these conversations and also if your kid thinks you’re out of touch and don’t know They’re never gonna come to you to talk about it, we’ve need to be one step ahead, or at least in stride with our kids, knowing what they’re facing, what they’re dealing with. The conversation is. It just is a part of parenting that is so hard but so important.
0:44:23 – Speaker 1
That’s really good, and you know we’re talking about these talking points at the end, too. I do want to say this because You know our big message here is default to love, Listen with any topic that we discuss. Please teach your kids to be kind to everyone, okay, just because we’re talking to them about the harmful effects of the gender ideology movement, we don’t want them to go to school and start being mean to kids who are struggling with gender identity. So you need to talk to them about loving and being nice and in Parents. If you see your friends Walking through this with their own kid and using different pronouns or using a different name, and you’re, you’re you don’t understand. Can you please not judge this parent like you haven’t walked this path. Take them to lunch, ask them how they’re doing.
I I am walking with parents going through this, okay, and even though they’re they’re trying their best to understand their kid and love their kid and Figure this out with their kid, you know, if you get them alone, just mom-to-mom, like they’re struggling, like be a good friend. Don’t judge the people sitting next to you in church that may be struggling with us. Please don’t. Please don’t judge. I mean, this is something that we all need to come together with as a society love better, but then also educate each other about what’s really happening out there.
0:45:52 – Speaker 2
Yeah, exactly, exactly. So this is a big topic pronouns We’ve covered a lot of things today, giving you some information, some things to think about, some even some places to dig in and do some research and, most importantly, we want you to be in the know so you can have good, good conversation with your kids and let me just add this is not screaming, fighting, combative, debative.
0:46:14 – Speaker 1
This is your kid explaining something to you and saying oh, i Didn’t understand it that way. I see that point, but have you ever thought about this? so it’s, it’s listening to understand, okay, but then it’s also listening To give your viewpoint as well. So it’s a dialogue. That’s a healthy dialogue. It’s not trying to scream at your kid and get them to believe a certain way. This is a learning experience for all of us. This is a learning conversation From each party. So we’re learning from our kids and they’re learning from us.
0:46:49 – Speaker 2
Curious and then be clear, and I think we can get a lot further that way. Hey, if today you’ve heard something that you have more questions about or you are thinking about something that we didn’t cover, you can go to our website at nextTalk org and look under parent support for podcast.
0:47:07 – Speaker 1
Thank you so much for joining us, listening and sharing our podcast. Because of you, this show is in the top 5% of over 2.9 million Podcasts we have lots of resources for you, from counseling to live events.
0:47:23 – Speaker 2
Or if you have a show, idea or question for our team, visit our website at nextTalk org. We’d love to hear from you at nextTalk.
0:47:31 – Speaker 1
We’re more than cyber parenting. It’s conversations to connect. This podcast is not intended to replace the advice of a trained health care or legal professional, or to diagnose, treat or otherwise render expert advice regarding any type of medical, psychological or legal problem.
0:47:45 – Speaker 2
Listeners are advised to consult a qualified expert for treatment.
Transcribed by https://podium.page