0:00:00 – Speaker 1
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0:01:00 – Speaker 2
10 is where the scary abuse happens, kim. I want to start with you, nichols, because we’ve shared your story and you’ve said this was tough to have these conversations as a survivor, because it’s a trigger point for you.
0:01:45 – Speaker 3
It brings back the thoughts of how you were great I had to get to a calm place, a healed place in myself. I think that’s important for people who have abuse in their past to get to that place of being able to handle it calmly. When you’re talking to your own children about this stuff And like you talked about grooming, it’s a manipulation and it’s a process. I taught my kids really early on to what manipulation looked like and we touched on this a little bit in the second show, when you were told your story, kim, but how to identify when they were being manipulated by anyone?
Because within the grooming process an abusive person who’s trying to groom a child for sexual abuse or something like that it starts out slow and they do see what they can get away with And see the child’s reaction. And if the child reacts in a way like wait a minute, then they’re going to back off a little bit and go a little slower. But if the child keeps the secret or doesn’t react, then they’re going to keep going and take another step and see how far that they can get. And because it’s so slow and it’s such a slow process, it’s very hard for a child to know what’s going on and see it for what it is, because it’s a slow, gradual process.
0:03:08 – Speaker 2
One of the things. when we talk about grooming in our home, when we talk about this step, i think one of the things, too, that we must point out to our kids, because sometimes they think we talked on this a little bit in show one abuse is violent, or that it’s awful.
I tell them groomers, look like me, they look like pastors, they look like coaches, they look like your teachers. They’re not going to be this big scary monster. And I think sometimes kids get in their image that only big scary monsters would try and touch them inappropriately where we need to be having these conversations, that these normal people can be groomers. normal looking people I’m using air quotes there Well in families. Well in events.
0:03:49 – Speaker 3
And that’s what we talk about. We talk about safe people and unsafe people. People who appear to be safe in the beginning. Your family members, your neighbors they may be playing at a neighbor’s house or their coaches, people you trust and feel safe with can do something and try to manipulate you, and that it may be completely innocent And it’s just, you know, a transactual relationship. If you do this, then you get this kind of a thing.
But If it’s someone actually trying to get them to do something that makes them uncomfortable, then you have to have the conversation with your child. That person we thought was a safe person but now they’re an unsafe person. That’s someone you can’t trust, like that’s something that I talked with my kids about when they were younger and going to neighbors’ houses to play. Well, we think that they’re nice and we talk to them out in the neighborhood, but we don’t really know what goes on in their home behind closed doors. We don’t really know those people. And so sometimes people that we think are one thing turn out to be something completely different And you can have those age-appropriate conversations as they get older. You’re not immediately going to start talking about grooming and explaining what that is. You’re just explaining that sometimes people that we think we can trust turn out that we can’t. But I want you to be able to identify when these things happen and immediately come and tell me.
0:05:08 – Speaker 4
And I like with the young ones too. I try to role play with my kids a lot because I have the youngest ones on our team. And a lot of times the words like as my kids get older, I’ll give them words, I’ll ask them how it feels when this happens.
But, we’ll role play a lot And I’ll just pretend to do something or say something or put them in a situation. I’m like how does that make you feel? What would you say if this happened? Because I want them to have the experience in an age-appropriate way, not a scary way of what that might look like, because a lot of times it’s unexpected. You know it’s unexpected how it feels.
0:05:40 – Speaker 1
And so then they don’t know what to do.
0:05:42 – Speaker 4
So I’ve tried, especially with some of these bigger things as they go outside of my door, which I want them to do, to equip them with knowing what it feels like and sometimes having a word for it in a role play situation.
0:05:54 – Speaker 3
Well, because if you’ve already had those conversations that’s why open communication is so important from all ages You’re not taking away their innocence, you’re empowering them with tools to protect themselves. But if you’ve already had that conversation with mom or dad and you’ve role played, some things that you could say to get out of an awkward situation, words you could use, or whatever when it happens in that moment and you’re kind of in that shock because children tend to freeze, to self-protect.
Yes, they don’t know what to say or do, so they just freeze in that moment. But if you’ve already talked to them about some of these things and given them some words and some actions, that’s what springs into their head And that’s what might save them from getting into something that they don’t need to be experiencing.
0:06:39 – Speaker 2
So I have an elementary age child and I have a high schooler. Well, my high schooler. We’ve talked about grooming. We’ve talked about the scale because I can’t talk about that.
0:06:47 – Speaker 3
You can talk about that.
0:06:48 – Speaker 2
With my son, though we haven’t got as detailed into that. But one thing that we’ve said to him is and we did this, starting in kindergarten, probably just because I was more aware with him, because I had missed it with my daughter was hey, if any adult or child asks you to keep a secret from us, that’s a red flag alert in your brain.
And I’ll never forget, like it’s just a conversation and a guideline we just created. I’ll never forget the first time he came to me It was years ago, i mean years ago and he said we did something in school today and it was no big deal what they were doing in school, like they took a nap, like a 10-minute nap or whatever. But the teacher said don’t tell your parents.
0:07:31 – Speaker 3
0:07:31 – Speaker 2
And he came home. I wasn’t mad about the nap, i was mad about the don’t tell your parents, right?
0:07:37 – Speaker 4
But they were probably just saying and passing.
0:07:38 – Speaker 2
It was a very like joke And I want to point that out because even like I’ve heard and we’ve had situations in my own family, grandparents you know- what happens at grandparents say at grandparents like phrases like that. Let’s think about that, because it’s teaching our kids to keep things from parents.
0:07:56 – Speaker 3
0:07:56 – Speaker 2
And kids get confused and if they’re undergoing trauma and then they’re hearing these like, do we have to tell our parents? What do we tell them? And you know we’re over here trying to create a culture of real honest conversation in our homes where they’re telling us everything. So let’s be careful of that and talk with our kids about secrets. Do you want to say something, too, about the safe secrets versus?
0:08:18 – Speaker 3
Well, i did the same thing with my kids from early on. I always told them if anyone ever says to you this is a secret or don’t tell mom and dad, that’s a big bread flag that goes off in your head And you immediately do come tell mom and dad. Whatever it is, and that person might be someone who’s no longer a safe person. That is what I was getting to. It may be completely innocent, like you’re talking about with grandparents and things, And we had those conversations.
but it might not be So. I want you to come talk to me about it so that we can talk through it and figure out. Is this just an innocent grandma said don’t tell mom and dad, or is this something that someone’s truly trying to keep you to keep a secret from mom and dad?
0:08:57 – Speaker 2
I was talking to a mom one time and she said we have a stoplight system. A red is. This person has been red flagged There. No, a yellow is. They’ve said something in passing that causes us to think what, but we think it’s just innocent and they just don’t realize it. And green is the shape person. And so we move people to yellow people. You know, when somebody comes home, a coach cusses and says don’t tell your parents.
And you know I’m thinking okay, the coach is probably fine, but we’re going to move this person to a yellow because they asked you to keep a secret.
0:09:29 – Speaker 3
But having that, kind of language that makes sense to your kids is the important part.
I used to always also have my kids check in with me regularly when they were little, before cell phones and all those things.
And I’m not talking about it Every 10 minutes you have to come home and tell me where you are, but every hour or so, like when they were out playing with neighbors it was just to come touch base with me or before you go into.
If you’re playing outside, that’s fine, but before you go into someone’s house, come tell me or ask me is it okay if I go into this house and what are we going to be doing? And then, within an hour or so playing, you need to come, touch base with me and go. Hey, we’re still playing this, whatever. When they got cell phones, then it was a text and it just became normal operating procedure for my family that, even as my daughters moved into high school and college like they would just hey, we’re leaving school now, going to go to Waterburger, leaving the restaurant now, headed to the movies, or I’m headed home now, just those kinds of things that became normal operating procedure, that we always checked in with each other And also that they always made me aware of anyone who tried to spend time with them alone without my permission.
0:10:40 – Speaker 2
That’s a good one.
0:10:40 – Speaker 3
Especially an older, like an adult or a child that’s older than them wants to spend time with you one on one, but you haven’t asked me or no one’s talked to me about it. I need to know that.
0:10:51 – Speaker 4
Yes, that’s good.
0:10:52 – Speaker 2
Well, and also you know trust that Holy Spirit, You know if you’ve got a freshman kid wanting to hang out with your third grader all the time? I mean, explore that.
0:11:02 – Speaker 3
That’s a little bit of a red flag.
0:11:03 – Speaker 2
Yes, And you know not that you have to be judgmental or be mean or confront, but you need to be aware and having the conversations with your kids.
0:11:11 – Speaker 3
Yeah, i always I tell now we can say the Holy Spirit. When they were really little. I would talk about that gut feeling, that feeling inside you that makes you feel like something’s just not right, something feels off. I said trust that. I want you to trust that gut feeling. If you’re even family members. If my kids are like I don’t, i don’t really like being around them or he makes me feel uncomfortable, that’s a big one for me.
I’m like well then, you have every right to say that’s making me uncomfortable. I don’t. I don’t feel comfortable with this, even later on in life with teachers, other adults that were in like a respectful position that asked them to do something that made them feel uncomfortable. I wanted them to know you have the right to say no, ma’am, or no, sir. I don’t feel comfortable with that. I’d like to call my mom or I’d like to call my dad and bring them into this meeting or talk about just letting them know that it’s okay to have those boundaries and to say those kinds of things, even to an adult or someone they’ve been taught that they’re supposed to respect or someone that’s older than them.
0:12:15 – Speaker 4
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0:12:41 – Speaker 1
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0:13:06 – Speaker 2
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0:13:12 – Speaker 4
Today we’re talking with Kim Nichols. Again, thank you for being back on the show, thank, you.
We’ve walked through her story, we’ve talked about what that looked like as a mom, as a parent, and now, on this fourth show in our series, we’re really delving into some of those conversations. To have that can protect your kids, you are giving them tools to literally protect them from abuse, and that’s why it’s so important for everyone to listen to this series, whether you have been abused or not. At the end of the day, we want to protect our kids And that’s what this is about, and it’s important to have those conversations with them early on.
0:13:45 – Speaker 3
so it just becomes so natural for them to talk to you about things like this, because I always say kids protect their parents, just like we, as parents, try to protect our kids.
I feel like that was part of why I didn’t say anything to my parents for so long. Once I did realize that I’d been a victim of something. I wanted to protect them. I didn’t want to upset them. I didn’t want to make them sad. Our kids try to protect us from things They don’t. Oh, that’s going to freak mom out or that’s going to really upset her. They don’t want to tell us those things. So we want that conversation to just be so normal and so calm, like we always talk about it. Next, talk about staying calm and don’t freak you out, no matter what they say. Let them know I’m going to love you, no matter what you tell me. That’s all part of the same communication.
0:14:30 – Speaker 2
I always tell my kids I don’t want you to suffer in silence. So, whatever is bothering you in that little brain of yours. I want you to speak it out loud, because when you don’t, sometimes Satan works in that, in those secrets, in the dark, in the isolation, and he will create things in your mind that aren’t true about yourself, like he’s going to tell you you’re bad, or you’re, you know, and so speaking that out loud.
So, anytime you’re trapped in, that thought of this is bothering me and I go back when I, when I have those conversations with my kids now, kim, about that, i actually visualize you and your friend on the playground and how you couldn’t go. You know there was just that barrier.
0:15:12 – Speaker 3
You weren’t sure that moment kind of got me stuck.
0:15:14 – Speaker 2
Yes yeah, and we want to be that for our kids when they’re trying to figure out if this is normal or not. Yes, like that’s the kind of culture we want in our home, that they can come and say this has bugged me, mom, help me figure this out. like is this, is this writer okay, or?
0:15:28 – Speaker 4
right, i really think too. you know something that you said a long time ago and I started saying this to my kids recently and I tapped into the feelings that I had as a kid of wanting to protect my mom. She was a single mom, she worked hard and I didn’t want to add.
0:15:44 – Speaker 3
Yes, add to the burden. I got this, you know.
0:15:47 – Speaker 4
So I’ve been telling my kids a lot this last year, like you can tell mom anything it’s not going to knock me over, it’s not going to crush me. I may be sad for a minute, but I’m in this with you, and sometimes they’ll be like, are you sure? Yes, i’m like tell, as if you feel like it might be something that makes me sad or mad? that’s probably the thing you need to tell me.
So, I’m trying to take every opportunity to let them know like I’m going to be okay, like this is about our relationship right and then the other thing with parents that has just been heavy on my heart lately is so often our own shame prevents us from protecting our kids. In other words, our kid might say I don’t really want to hang out with this boy or go to the neighbor’s house. Yes, you’re going to hurt their feelings. Or their mom is going to wonder why.
0:16:35 – Speaker 2
Or their are best friends Or they’re our best friends. We don’t do that Like making that relationship.
0:16:41 – Speaker 4
Yes, we’re so worried about creating an uncomfortable situation that we’re not really hearing our kids And so our own inability to protect our kids because we’re worried about the embarrassment.
0:16:51 – Speaker 3
We’re not worried to look awkward in front of whoever.
0:16:54 – Speaker 4
Yes, creates these situations sometimes where we’re putting our kids in danger.
0:16:58 – Speaker 1
So we’ve got to flip it.
0:16:59 – Speaker 4
I think we got to flip it, flip the switch. We’ve got to really think about our what’s more important here?
0:17:04 – Speaker 3
0:17:05 – Speaker 4
My kid or an awkward situation.
0:17:08 – Speaker 3
0:17:08 – Speaker 4
I’m hoping that all of us will say my kid, Oh yeah, You know. And so I think we really need to take a minute and analyze our motivations.
0:17:15 – Speaker 3
Yeah, definitely, and letting your kids know, like not suffering in silence, letting it out. It’s the same as those of us as who became adults and were holding on to this, like I talked about in the other show, about the open wound and not putting the bandage on it. When I finally had the realization. Like I talked about looking for the hero and someone to save me. I remember where I was sitting in church in a group where it became clear to me All of a sudden it was like a light bulb moment Jesus saved me.
0:17:46 – Speaker 4
Yes, jesus has been protecting me.
0:17:48 – Speaker 3
Yes, and I stopped asking or questioning why did God let this happen to me? And I started thinking how does God want me to use this? How can I help other people with this? What does God want me to do with it? And in talking and sharing my story, talking is so healing And we talked about in one of the other shows, about when you talk about it and another person says, oh my goodness, that happened to me too. There’s validation and there’s strength in that. So getting that clear to your children so that they don’t feel the need to stay quiet and suffer in silence, is so important Because I don’t want my children to become the adult that’s held on to something forever, because I see the effects of it.
0:18:36 – Speaker 2
And I would say parents, this starts out with little things. I mean little bitty things. I mean I’m like when your little kid comes home to you and says mom, i got hit with a ball on the face on the playground today and I’ve been embarrassed all day about it And I’m really struggling, like I’m talking about these moments. These are the moments where your kids are being vulnerable, they are frustrated, they are stressed, they are embarrassed and you don’t want them to suffer in silence. If you are there in those little moments, then it becomes standard operating procedure. And in the big moments, when somebody tries to touch them inappropriately or shows them something and tells them to keep it secret, then it’s going to be standard operating procedure to come to you. But we’ve got to catch the little moments.
0:19:18 – Speaker 3
And it’s sometimes hard not to brush their feelings off. When you’re busy and everything’s crazy in the house and they’re trying to tell you about something that’s upset them or made them angry or whatever. It’s hard I know I’ve struggled with this myself of going oh, that’s happened to everybody Like no and and kind of dismissing their feelings or minimalizing, which is what I talked about earlier.
0:19:41 – Speaker 2
We want to validate them and be like oh, i understand, i get it.
0:19:45 – Speaker 3
Just in all those little moments where they feel like, okay, mom’s really listening to me, or mom’s got my back so that they feel comfortable continuing to come with bigger things.
0:19:55 – Speaker 2
Well, in any time they come to me with some of those little things, i’ll finish the conversation by saying aren’t you glad you didn’t hold that in?
0:20:02 – Speaker 4
Yeah, so that’s good, do you?
0:20:03 – Speaker 2
feel better now And they’ll be like oh, i just wanted to walk through the door, get it off my chest, cry a little bit, and then I feel so much better And I’ll say that is why we say you don’t suffer in silence. So, anything that’s bugging you, anything that’s in that little head of yours that’s bothering you. that’s why we talk about it And because they feel better and you capitalize on that and remind them. This is why you feel better.
0:20:26 – Speaker 4
I think another point to add onto that is teaching your kids from a young age how and you mentioned this like appropriate boundaries and relationships with adults and I think part of that, too, is teaching them that it’s okay for them to have a voice with adults, and so that’s one of the things we’ve been working on. Like, if you, my son recently was upset with a teacher about some decisions that she had made and I thought they were semi-valid and my first thought was like I’m gonna go and talk to her about it.
0:20:53 – Speaker 2
Helicopter. Mom, that was your first thought.
0:20:54 – Speaker 4
Well, my first thought was like I’m gonna mention it to her because she might not see it from this perspective, not like stepping in, like oh you did this, but just like I’m just gonna mention it. And then I was like no, i want him to know how to appropriately and respectfully talk to adults. So when it is a bad situation, he’s used to being able to speak up, because I know a lot of kids who will shrink away when there’s adults in the room.
0:21:17 – Speaker 3
And that’s really hard for us as parents sometimes to not just automatically have that conversation and not even think about how valuable it could be to have the kid be a part of it. It’s just your natural instinct to well, i’ll talk to the adult.
0:21:29 – Speaker 2
I’ll just fix it.
0:21:30 – Speaker 3
I’ll go talk to them I’ll figure this out And not letting them step up and handle it, and it’s really important for them.
0:21:39 – Speaker 4
Yeah, i think all of these things are just part of training them with these tools that protect them as they get older, and then, when they are in a situation, they have all these tools that they can pull out of their tool belt. Not just one or none, in some cases Agree.
0:21:54 – Speaker 2
Parents, we are covering a lot of stuff here. We did put together some talking points for you. We wanted you to leave this series with a tangible thing that you could have in your hands. You can text the word sex abuse all one word to 44222. We put some talking points together for conversations to have with your kids. We did this in collaboration with the counselor that had joined us. You can get these emailed to you free. I wanted to get that in before we do closing remarks. But, kim, i want you to just jump in here. I just again want to say you’ve been so brave And it has been such an honor for our whole team walking through this journey with you to seeing what God is doing. I mean, i remember being in an event and a woman came up to me and we weren’t even talking about sex abuse And she said it’s affecting all my parenting. Like, she came up to me and I looked at her and I said you’re not alone.
0:22:54 – Speaker 3
Hold on, i have somebody for you to talk to, because I wasn’t that person, but I knew you were And that was such a precious, precious conversation that I had with that mom And it was really the moment that I went okay, god, i get it Like you’ve been poking me for a long time, i’m finally gonna. It was, oh, one of our friends said, the Holy Spirit’s neon sign flashing.
Yes, that’s what it was like It’s time it’s time, okay, stop trying to chicken out of this and just move in the way that God’s pushing you. So I think that’s what we’ve done, but I think it’s really important for parents. I want this whole series to be for parents both those who have abuse in their past and those who do not and how you have to kind of come together and figure out how to work it for your parenting, because, bottom line, we just wanna protect our kids. I just want to help as many parents walk through this journey as possible and help protect as many kids as possible.
0:23:49 – Speaker 2
Yeah, we want to help parents with that healing process if they need it. Yes. And then we have got to move in to these preventative conversations, because these numbers are crazy, these stats that we’ve shared. We have got to start preventing this and keeping our kids safe.
0:24:04 – Speaker 3
And that’s one of my biggest points is for parents that have had abuse in their past get to a healthy place for you.
0:24:11 – Speaker 1
0:24:12 – Speaker 3
So that you are better equipped to help your kids, Because if you’re trying to work from a, well, I’m already an adult and that’s in my past and you need to work through it and get a professional to help you walk through it and let your family know how to help you walk through it So you are equipped to handle those situations that spark you when your kids come in and tell you something that may be completely innocent.
0:24:33 – Speaker 4
0:24:34 – Speaker 3
Or it may not, but you handle it appropriately because you’ve healed and you’re ready to tackle parenting.
0:24:40 – Speaker 4
And within our series on our third show, we had Jamie Mershan. She’s a licensed therapist And you can find her at sa-counselorcom. She’s a great resource. Yes, if you are walking through this and you need a professional. Reach out to her. She is trauma specialized So she can help you walk through it and get to a healthy place, so you can be that resource for your kids And, like you said, that’s what this is all about at the end of the day.
0:25:05 – Speaker 3
0:25:06 – Speaker 4
And you’re willing to bring it into the light in all areas of your personal life. And then now, here on the show and moving forward with others is really what God is calling us to do, and you have done that and set such a beautiful example. Thank you for being willing to do that.
0:25:20 – Speaker 2
Thank you for having me And listeners. If you wanna share your stories, if you wanna reach out to us about this series, email us at admin at nexttalkorg or DMS on social media. Thanks for being on the show.
0:25:31 – Speaker 4
Kim, thanks for having me.
0:25:34 – Speaker 1
Thanks for joining us on nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim on AM 630, The Word. You are not alone trying to figure out how to parent in this digital world. We are here with practical solutions to help you. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Find our video series and podcast at nexttalkorg. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
Transcribed by https://podium.page