0:00:00 – Speaker 1
nextTalk, sponsored by nextTalk.org, contains content of a mature nature. Parental guidance is advised. Today we’re talking about sexting versus sharing nudes, and yes, they’re different.
0:00:40 – Speaker 3
I have a strong opinion about this Girl. I know you do. You know sexting is a word that’s used in national media outlets and we see it all the time used by adults, but kids don’t really use the word anymore. It’s outdated. It’s outdated. And it’s outdated because sexting is something that happens in a text, but most kids I don’t want to say all, but most kids know that you’re monitoring their text and that they’re easily accessible. So if they’re going to share nudes or if they’re going to trade sexually explicit messages, they’re going to do it behind closed doors, which means they’re going to go within an app Like direct messaging, right Like direct messaging on Instagram, and if you want to know what that’s about, you can check out our Instagram show. But it’s just like a private. I know most kids don’t use Facebook, but that private message feature it’s like that in Instagram.
0:01:33 – Speaker 1
Now I know I’m just going to play the devil’s advocate here, I know there are people out there that are like why is that even important? Like what’s the big deal? It’s just a different way of saying the same thing.
0:01:42 – Speaker 3
Well, I think it’s important and this is where semantics matter to me, because when I first started this conversation with my daughter, this sharing nudes conversation in early middle school, when I asked her what sexting meant, she had no clue. She’s like I’ve never heard that word, I don’t know what that means. But when I said what does sharing nudes mean, she knew that word, she knew that phrase and immediately opened up some conversation because I was relevant to her.
0:02:09 – Speaker 1
That’s the key relevant.
0:02:10 – Speaker 3
And that is the key. And so you know, at nextTalk, we’re so committed to creating this culture in our homes of relevant and real conversation, and so we have to know their lingo. We have to know where they’re actually sharing nudes, and they’re normally not doing it on text anymore. Obviously, it’s within the direct messaging feature, within apps or within Snapchat where things disappear.
0:02:32 – Speaker 1
Now, if you have younger kids and you’re not understanding how important the relevant nature of your verbiage is, think of it this way If you know the characters in their show, or if you know the different names of their toys, they perk up and they listen and they’re like oh, mom knows what I’m into. It’s the same thing as they get older. You have to be relevant with the terminology they’re using, or they’re going to tune you out.
0:02:53 – Speaker 3
Yeah. So I recently went to a conference and I was telling people we don’t use that word sexting anymore in our nonprofit because it really is a hindrance to creating conversation at home. And you know, I would really like to see the shift in the news media make this also because sexting. I guess there an argument could be made that they do sext certain emojis. Okay, so you know the emojis that I’m talking about. If you guys don’t like the eggplant, Kim, you want to, what does that?
0:03:21 – Speaker 1
mean the eggplant is like the penis.
0:03:26 – Speaker 3
We do have our verbiage at the beginning of the show that this is not for kids.
0:03:30 – Speaker 1
Not for kids.
0:03:31 – Speaker 3
The peace sign, you know, because it’s like a V.
0:03:36 – Speaker 1
What does it mean? That’s the vagina. Yes, thanks for making me say the words.
0:03:40 – Speaker 3
I appreciate that it’s a little quiz happening here. And what about the peach?
0:03:43 – Speaker 1
What about the boute? I say it that way because somehow it’s less embarrassing.
0:03:49 – Speaker 3
I say all this because you know we can never say 100 percent. Kids communicate different ways, so they may be texting in code about sexually explicit stuff. I do think it’s rare that they would actually share a nude in text. I think they’re going to look for a more private way to do that and that’s going to be within the app, and so you know it’s not really sexting if they’re sharing within the app. You know that word sex plus text it really doesn’t work. So that’s why it’s a little old school and outdated.
0:04:17 – Speaker 1
Well, and it’s one of those things that you hope and pray that your child does not do. But it starts earlier than most people think. It is not something like high school college. They are starting in middle school, sixth and seventh grade.
0:04:31 – Speaker 3
Well, I have an eighth grader going into high school and I can tell you this is an issue I will never forget. You know, we started the conversation early middle school because I knew it was coming. My heads up mama’s told me that. But I will never forget the day she came home I think it was the towards the end of seventh grade, last semester of second grade seventh grade, not second she said to me oh my gosh, you were right. There’s talk Like people are really doing this, like there’s conversation about it now. So it’s a real thing.
0:05:00 – Speaker 1
Well, and my husband’s an assistant principal in a public school middle school and they are seeing it in sixth grade pretty prevalent across the board in middle school and he sees it every day. It’s not just a rare occasion. They are getting caught and getting brought in because they’re used a lot of times to blackmail each other, which is really sad. It’s really hard to hear that kids at that age are already learning that way of manipulation.
0:05:25 – Speaker 3
Well, you know, and there was. I mean, I’ve even heard of kids saying I will catch you doing something different, like vaping or something like that, and record it so that then I can ask you for a nude, or I’m gonna send that to your dad or your mom or whatever. So they’re learning that ways to get the nudes and they’re manipulating our kids, and so we need to know that culture so we can speak into it with our kids at home and prepare them.
0:05:50 – Speaker 1
And expanding on that a little bit, a new thing that I heard, because it’s so prevalent and because kids know that they’re being watched and caught. Lately I have heard that kids are saying I have a nude of you and I’m gonna use it to do this, when they really don’t. But the kid is thinking maybe I did send something, maybe I got caught, maybe it was in the locker room, and so they’re being manipulated without even doing something.
0:06:13 – Speaker 3
Well, and sometimes they will take the body and put the head. You know they will crop the pictures. They were edit the pictures and they will say this is, and they’ll use it as a cyber bullying method.
0:06:23 – Speaker 1
So and it’s not the person’s body, but everybody at school may think it is or that they actually sent a nude and so that person’s reputation is ruined, and you can see how this can spiral really fast and why this conversation is so important at a pretty young age because it does happen in different ways, different levels, and your kids need to really be aware of it and know that they can talk to you about it.
0:06:44 – Speaker 3
Well, and sometimes kids will airdrop the pictures. So not only will they like, they’ll get a nude and they’ll screenshot it and send it to their buddies or whatever. That happens a lot We’ve heard stories of them airdropping. So how this happens is, say, a dude gets a picture from a girlfriend it’s a nude photo. He’s with all of his other guy friends and he’s like oh my gosh, my girlfriend is so hot, Turn your airdrop on, I’m gonna send you this picture. They turn their airdrop on and the picture automatically goes to them. And then so all of these people now have that nude of that girl. This is a trend that we’re seeing, and so it’s something that we need to be aware of. That’s happening so we can talk to our kids.
0:07:22 – Speaker 1
And you’ve seen it on national media and maybe locally as well where whole teams, whole groups of kids, clubs, the kids are suspended or put into some kind of some kind of situation where they get reprimanded for their behavior because of sharing these nudes.
0:07:39 – Speaker 3
Well, yeah, sometimes you’ll see like 20 kids you know Whole team yeah it’s like a massive thing.
They missed this game because they’ve all been suspended. I mean, this is happening when I was writing this chapter in my book and talking about one of the terms they sometimes use is trading cards, like baseball cards, and they’re trading nudes, and that does not happen in every geographical location, but some kids do refer to them as trading cards and I did a lot of research for this in my book, kind of like what are the stats showing on this? You know I’m seeing it firsthand in my own home, but what are the statistics showing? Josh McDowell and the Barna Group did research on this and they gave me actually permission to use it in my book. I had to contact them.
It released January 2016. So it’s two and a half years outdated already. The report is called the Porn Phenomena the Explosive Growth of Pornography and how it’s Impacting your Church Life and Ministry. This is what they found. In 2016, 66% of teens and young adults have received a sexual explicit image and 41% have sent one. Now, those are high numbers. Those are really high numbers. I would argue that those are outdated because Technology is always moving faster than research can be done.
Yes, it is and like I said, I’m seeing this in my home firsthand. I know we are hearing from school teachers who are dealing with this. I mean, I have heard from counselors and teachers who are saying I can’t even teach anymore because I’m tracing down these photos or I’m dealing with a self-harming issue. Like I’m dealing with all this, I can’t really even do my job, that I used to do.
0:09:17 – Speaker 1
That seems to be the new phenomenon. I mean, it’s so sad to hear that, especially in our educational institutions, that they are struggling just to do their job because of technology, because of screens, because of these photos.
0:09:29 – Speaker 3
Well, awful, and we’re gonna you lose good teachers absolutely.
0:09:32 – Speaker 1
They’re burning out.
0:09:33 – Speaker 3
I mean, because it is. We’ve got to get a handle on this and I, you know it starts in the home, it starts right with us parents. We have got to have these tough conversations and get in there and really prepare them for what’s happening.
0:09:46 – Speaker 1
You’re on the front lines, which is you know. I think a lot about that. You hear these stories every day because of the age of your daughter, yeah, so what does she think about this? What is she saying?
0:09:56 – Speaker 3
Well, I mean, she’s hearing more and more about it and she’s really. We talk a lot about that manipulation, because I will even say, if somebody captures you in the locker room or bathroom and then they use that, you always have to come to me Like we can work through it together. Or if you, if you make a bad choice and you sin something bad, you know, and you just weren’t thinking yeah, I’m always gonna love you. Don’t sin more, you know, don’t get in a situation where you feel trapped, you know, because I’m always worried about kids feeling trapped and then in that, spiraling into suicidal thoughts and I don’t know what to do, and and so I am always really big on telling her you know, I’m gonna love you no matter what, you know, matter what. But then your life is gonna be way easier if you don’t do this.
You know you have to make a choice not to do this because there are a lot of consequences. This is gonna follow you for life. Mm-hmm, you know your college people. When you’re trying to get into college they can Google you and if those pictures are up there, they’re gonna see them.
0:10:53 – Speaker 1
It’s amazing how more and more that is becoming a part of the standard operating procedure for universities and colleges that you can expect them to look at your digital record, your social media record, as a part of your entrance and if you have a very flawed one, that will be taken into consideration.
0:11:10 – Speaker 3
Yeah, and you know, on a personal note, we talk about People that she’s gonna want to date like good people, good, good guys, you know, and how, if she puts that out there of herself, she’s kind of taken out all the good guys out of the picture because they’re gonna see that and they’re gonna be like that’s not what I’m looking for, and so I want her to think past the moment. Yeah, you know, I always try to get her to think past the moment, but it is definitely a normal topic of conversation. I have heard teen girls also say which really makes me sad they have said to me if you’re not asked by for a nude by 8th grade, that means you’re late. Yeah, and it kind of pushes, pushes teen girls into this corner of wanting to be asked for a nude, which is so messed up. But you can see Satan manipulating our young kids through this, absolutely the reality of what really needs to happen is skewed.
It’s really sad and John, you know John 1010. He comes to steal, kill and destroy. Yeah, we always say your families, your kids.
0:12:15 – Speaker 1
There is definitely manipulation going on with this sharing nudes thing if you’re just now tuning in, this is nextTalk radio at 2 pm On a m 6 30. The word nextTalk radio is listener supported. Everything we do at our nonprofit to keep kids safe online is accomplished through your donations To support our organization. Go to nextTalk org and click on give.
0:12:36 – Speaker 3
So we’ve established that there’s kind of a problem. We’ve established that kind of sexting is kind of outdated but sharing nudes is happening and it’s like a real thing, yeah, and so we want to spend, I think, the rest of the show kind of preparing you. So what does this conversation look like at different ages and stages?
0:12:52 – Speaker 1
Please don’t think that because you go to church or you’re a quote-unquote good family or you know, I think I talked to my kids and they know better. They know my kid would never send a nude. Please Don’t come from that perspective.
0:13:07 – Speaker 3
Don’t ever think my kid won’t do it, because they are in the online world where everything snap, recorded, posted and normalized.
Normalized and it’s really hard for understand, to really understand that a hundred percent. You know, we didn’t have to fear going to the bathroom and being recorded or going to the locker room and being recorded. Our kids now have to think about that all day long. Yeah, like they could be recorded, body shamed, snapchat to the entire student body before they’re even walking through the door, mm-hmm and all because some kid shared a nude photo of your kid in the locker room and your kid it wasn’t even your kids choice, absolutely so this can happen.
One thing I also tell families when they come to me because this is happening in good families, just like you said it. We are not excluded because we’re your Christian or you go to church. I Will always say to the family, you know, once they’ve contacted me and they’re like, oh my gosh, this happened, my kid shared a nude. One of my first things is you know, I always say you’re not alone and this is happening to good families. I remind them of that because it is, then that is completely the truth. But then I will follow up with once every everybody’s emotions are calmed down, I will say did you ever have a conversation with them about sharing a nude, yeah, and 99% of the time the response is I didn’t know, I had to Right, like that’s common sense. Okay, that tells me right there, we don’t get it. Like we are missing it and I missed it and that’s why I can speak into this. We are missing that. Their culture records everything we did not have that. It is a shift and we have to understand it.
0:14:40 – Speaker 1
And if we don’t, then we’re going to miss out on the conversations that actually protect our kids, and that’s what nextTalk is all about. We have to be very clear and we have to have these conversations early, and we have to create a culture where they can come to us to talk about anything. Yes, it was embarrassing for us to say eggplants are penises, but you’ve got to be able to do that. You’ve got to be able to have those candid conversations with them at the kitchen table.
0:15:03 – Speaker 3
Absolutely. So how do we start this? You know, when your kid is two and they are walking in the bathroom, because you get no privacy when they’re two.
Zero you don’t get to shower, you don’t get to go to the bathroom, you don’t get to change, and privacy, none of it. So when they’re walking in and they got their diaper and they got slobber hanging and they got a sippy cup in one hand and an iPad in the other and they walk in the bathroom and you’re changing or whatever, that is a perfect opportunity. You don’t have to get mad, you don’t have to yell, but you can get down on their level and you can say hey, see this iPad. We don’t bring this in the bathroom, because what happens if you accidentally take a picture of mommy I’m not dressed right now and we don’t. We don’t take pictures of anybody who’s naked. That conversation, right there, it’s not a scolding, it’s planting a seed and that will carry you. That is like your starter conversation. That can carry you through so many years of conversations as it gets more detailed.
0:16:03 – Speaker 1
You remember those things that your mom or dad said all the time, like money doesn’t grow on trees Like those kind of sayings. This is what we need to do now as a culture for the online world, with our kids, starting them at, you know, two and three years old with conversations like that, where we’re planting those seeds and building that foundation so that it becomes standard operating procedure. We say that all the time so that they just know it without even thinking it. It’s just normal for them.
0:16:26 – Speaker 3
I love that Money doesn’t grow on trees. Our new phrase is don’t take pictures of naked people.
0:16:31 – Speaker 1
Yes, and you know, having the youngest kids on the team, I have a lot of these types of conversations happening all the time, and one that we say every day, all day long, is you have to ask for a picture. And that’s not normal, because those of us who are adults that were introduced to the smartphone, we take pictures of everything. People are constantly taking pictures of their kids doing every single thing. You know every turn in the ballet recital. We’re filming it, we’re taking pictures, we’re snapping it, we’re sending it, we’re posting it, and so for us we’ve tried to shift that over to you have to request to take a picture because it is not your image to take. It is not my privilege to take someone else’s image. So I ask my kids, I say can I take your picture? And that just become normal in our house because I want them to ask the same of someone else when they get older and not just assume it’s okay to take a picture.
0:17:22 – Speaker 3
I love how you’re modeling that. You know that story, even if it’s, even though it’s of your young kids. It reminds me of the Playboy model who was in the gym working out. Do you remember?
0:17:33 – Speaker 1
0:17:33 – Speaker 3
This happened like maybe a year or two ago, and there was a grandma, sweet grandma, who was naked in the gym getting in the shower or something. She took a picture of the grandma, posted it on social media and said something like if I can’t unsee this, then you can either. That’s terrible.
0:17:52 – Speaker 1
I remember that you remember.
0:17:53 – Speaker 3
So charges were brought against her I mean she but okay, we have to raise kids that know that’s not okay. Like you can’t just take a picture of someone, especially when they’re naked. I mean that really heightens the whole thing. But the body shaming that went along with that, I mean it was just a horrible story. I’ve used that story with my older daughter, like I’ve told her about it and I’ve said she is facing charges now. I mean this like totally ruined her life because she made this bad choice of doing this and so she was under a media microscope for a while Absolutely, and you know that’s really great because it can roll into other conversations that are so helpful with your kids.
0:18:32 – Speaker 1
You know one of the things I tell them all the time when I ask them can I post this, I’d say, you know, I need to think about why I’m posting this, and I’ll say that just kind of off the cuff, as I’m posting something that they have said is okay, why am I posting this? And I need to filter myself. I’ll say that out loud sometimes. Do I really need to say this to the world? We don’t have to share every thought that comes through our mind. Guess what? It’s okay to take your thoughts captive, like it says in the Bible. You do not have to share them all, and so this is a great way to expand on the conversation, starting with the nudes talking about your motivation for posting things and also conversation about what you’re saying to people.
0:19:08 – Speaker 2
Can it just be something you?
0:19:09 – Speaker 1
share in your family. That really is okay. You don’t have to share every thought Absolutely.
0:19:13 – Speaker 3
And you know, going back to our, our restriction of no phones in bathrooms and we don’t take pictures in that intro conversation, you know, you got to model that and I’ll never forget my son. He was eight or nine at the time, it was a couple years ago, but he was having a bad day, anger issues, and he was just having a bad day. I was like I think we need a reset, you know, I think. And he was like well, what are some ways we can reset? You know, actually he was like yelling at that point.
0:19:39 – Speaker 2
I was like we got those days.
0:19:41 – Speaker 1
0:19:42 – Speaker 3
So we, I suggested a bubble bath. I was like sometimes I just need a bubble bath to reset when I’m struggling. I just need a minute Cal down. I need a minute Cal gone. Take me away. Yes, so he did a bubble bath in my bathtub. Well, he was completely covered up with bubbles, just his head. But it was such a cute picture that I was gonna take send it to daddy. Yes, and I took a picture and he got immediately mad at me. He was like you delete that right now, do not send that to dad. Like I am naked underneath here, mm-hmm. And I thought to myself he is getting it. Like I have started planting this seed and he’s getting it and I am the one breaking the rules. I’m like, well, there’s an exception, or there you and so I had to apologize for that. I will call you out. I deleted the picture. I did not even text it to daddy. I we had a conversation and I’m like you are right and I am wrong and but it was.
0:20:34 – Speaker 1
You know, we got to be accountable for that Absolutely and what about when they’re older, like with boys in particular, they’re gonna start noticing girls and things are gonna start changing. You can bring that into the conversation.
0:20:43 – Speaker 3
Absolutely. Now that he’s older, we have a lot of conversations because he notices girls who maybe aren’t dressed right or he, you know, when they bend over, he sees things and he will bring them to my attention. You know, in private, and one of the things that I’ve started saying to him is well, I always say it’s natural that you notice you’re a boy and we never shame the girl, no matter how she’s dressed, even if she’s naked. We don’t shame her, we don’t get to disrespect her. You know that’s her choice. Your choice is that you have to look away and be kind.
Yeah, right, but I also talk about how I will say when I talk about having respect for women. I will bring that into our conversation now. He doesn’t have a phone yet. He’s almost 11, he doesn’t have a phone yet, but I will say it’s never okay to take a picture of that, to ask for a picture where they’re showing your parts. You know I’ve weaved that into our conversation and he will park up and be like. People do that, you know, and I’m like. Unfortunately they do, and I need you to learn at a very young age that’s not okay to ever take pictures of people’s private parts or ask them for those pictures so you can see how it builds.
0:21:46 – Speaker 1
If you put those seeds when they’re young and you establish that so that it becomes a norm For them as they get a little older, then you bring it into the conversation about what people do with devices and why it’s not good. And then, as they’re getting older and you know, once they get social media and they have a phone, the conversation changes again it changes again.
0:22:05 – Speaker 3
And here is where you really want to talk about. Nothing ever really disappears on technology and they need to really know that you can be speaking that into them forever. You know, even as a young kid you can say that. But when they get social media, they really need to know even though it may disappear in snapchat or whatever, it doesn’t really ever disappear and anybody can screenshot that and send it wherever. So you never, you know.
I always tell my daughter your phone is not a diary, right, it’s not a diary. It’s not for your innermost one amazing, wonderful thoughts. That’s what a diary, written diary, is for. This is for you to communicate with the world. So you have to have online integrity and what are you presenting to the world, like, how are you presenting yourself to other people? Absolutely, and so that is a constant and I will tell you I know we’re talking about snapchat, but Instagram too. You need to go check out our show on that, because now the DMs and Instagram would disappear, right. So you know, everybody’s kind of moving to this disappearing thing. So that conversation of nothing is ever private, even if it disappears because it can be screenshot again has to be a continuous reminder.
0:23:14 – Speaker 1
Yes and again about being relevant to their world. I have spoken just this week with two moms who said we chose to give our kids snapchat first Because the DMs disappear and we thought it would be safer for them. You have to know what you’re doing. Before you give kids social media, you need to know the ins and outs of it. We’ve got great shows on it, but a lot of times we just hear things and we take that for its word or we think, oh okay, they disappear.
0:23:42 – Speaker 3
You’ve got to know that stuff because kids are always 10 steps ahead, and snapchat literally should be reserved for older kids who you trust. I mean it really should be. The discover section is full of sexual content, so there’s that too. There’s new stories, that sort of thing. So you have to really be careful of that and as the as your kids get older, and even when they’re little again, you can have this conversation as well.
The distribution of nudes is illegal, right, so they don’t really. In their language they think sharing nudes it’s so Normalized in their world they don’t think of it as pornography, right, it is child pornography. They need to know. If someone under 18 is sending a pic, a naked picture, it is child pornography. If you get that picture and then show it to anyone, you are a distributor of child pornography. You could have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.
Like this is serious business. It is illegal now state the laws Very depending by state, but in most states this can be prosecuted, and so you need to be having this conversation with your kid and you need to role play with them. If you receive a nude, what do you do? Absolutely you. You do not show it to anyone, you do not distribute it to anyone. You bring it to me and then we will work out a plan together. You know, are we going to contact this mom? Are we going to contact this child? What are we going to do with this? But it needs to be handled appropriately and not distributed.
0:25:11 – Speaker 1
To summarize, today, sexting is old school kids now share nudes within apps. Know the difference. Set clear guidelines about not sharing nudes and be the model and, whatever the age of your child, continually talk about not sharing nudes. We hope some of the combo starters here have helped you on your journey.
0:25:31 – Speaker 2
Thanks for joining us on nextTalk radio with Mandy and Kim on am 6 30 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 free video series and podcasts at nextTalk. Or are you ready for the nextTalk?
Transcribed by https://podium.page