0:00:00 – Speaker 1
nextTalk, sponsored by nextTalk.org, contains content of a mature nature. Parental guidance is advised. Welcome to nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim every Saturday at 10 am on AM 630,. The word nextTalk Radio is brought to you by nextTalk, a non-profit organization keeping kids safe online through cyber-parenting and open communication. Find resources, videos and subscribe to our weekly podcast at nextTalk.org. Are you ready for the next talk?
0:00:32 – Speaker 2
Okay, over the last several weeks we’ve talked about some really challenging topics Sex, sexuality, masturbation, marriage.
0:00:43 – Speaker 1
0:00:44 – Speaker 2
All of those are tough. We’ve given you some different tips and ideas, conversation starters, things that really we need to bring up in our marriage, ways that we can approach that tone, timing, all kinds of great resources. Please check out our podcast if you did not hear those shows Today. We kind of wanted to move into something else. That’s another difficult but super duper important conversation Suicide. Sometimes our kids make mistakes or they begin to question their sexuality or that they feel like maybe there’s no way out and unfortunately, some kids will turn to suicide. How do we prevent that from happening? What do we do?
0:01:24 – Speaker 1
Yeah, this is a biggie, it’s huge. And I tell you what I was blindsided by this, as I was a lot of topics With my oldest. We didn’t really approach this until middle school because I thought I don’t want to put that in her head, like I don’t want to talk about suicide. We never had a situation happen in our family or our friends where we had to talk about it, so it just wasn’t a topic that I was crazy about approaching with her. But she came home from sixth grade one day and she said you know, there was a skit about not being suicidal at school, and I don’t even know what that means, and we had to have a conversation. Now it’s very different. Now I have a third grader. He’s going into fourth grade this year. I had to cover this with him in third grade because he had heard it on the playground and he came home asking about it, and so I just want you to realize how fast things are changing. And let me just plug this right here If you are a parent and there’s a span of age in between your parents even two or your kids, even two or three years your parenting styles have to change.
You have to constantly be changing. You can’t parent your 18 year old like your parenting your 10 year old, because everything’s changed, and so that’s this is a perfect example of that. But before we get going into what did this conversation look like? Because I want to share with you exactly what I told my daughter in the talking points that we had.
Let’s look at some statistics first, kim so according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, suicide is the second leading cause of deaths in kids from 10, ages 10 to 24.
It’s hard to hear that. I have a 10 year old, yeah, yeah, that’s so difficult. And so what we want to say before we start this conversation is if you have a suicidal child this is kind of not what this show is about so if you have a suicidal child, I need you to seek medical attention, absolutely. See a doctor, see a counselor, see a psychiatrist, talk to your pastor, like, reach out to any and all of those avenues. The school counselor you keep reaching out if your child is suicidal to try and get them the help they need. But this show is really about being proactive. So these are conversations to have before your kids would become suicidal, absolutely. So kind of creating that conversation around this because once again Satan comes to still kill and destroy and I think he’s getting into our kids heads and creating this thought of there’s no other way out and we got to take that out, we got to speak into that early?
0:03:50 – Speaker 2
We sure do, especially because, as we’ve talked about so much, the landscape of parenting has completely changed with this cyber world, and so not only is the conversation about suicide important and has always been important, but now we add in that extra layer that it is becoming part of social media. Yeah, it is becoming something that brings a lot of attention, and, unfortunately, it adds another element that we have to consider and why we have to talk about it so early.
0:04:20 – Speaker 1
Think about it too. I mean, we’ve got this cyberbullying stuff going on. Kids who are cyberbored are two times more likely to commit suicide. So we’ve got that element. Yep, we’ve also just got social media in general. You know a Snapchat, recently put on a snap map and what that does is you can see where your friends are at all the times and you can turn it to ghost mode, which I. My daughter has that in ghost mode. You should have it in ghost mode because you don’t want anybody and everybody knowing where the kid is. But most kids have it on.
Yeah, why is this important in this conversation? Because your kids always know when their friends are together and they’re not included, it’s immediate. They know exactly. This makes them feel bad about themselves. These are conversations that we need to start out. How does this make you feel? What do you think about this? You know there’s lots of conversations that I all have to have with my teen. You know well your friendship changed a couple years ago. Remember when you did this activity and they did that activity, and that’s why you guys aren’t as close anymore. And it wasn’t anything you guys did or nobody. Everybody still likes each other. It’s just your lives went in opposite directions, like having these conversations to kind of help them process, maybe why they’re not included in some things we have to walk them through that because their brains are not ready for it.
0:05:31 – Speaker 2
You know, I feel left out Absolutely At 40. Absolutely. We, you know, as adults, it’s difficult to process these things. So imagine our brains are fully formed. Yep, imagine these young kids. You know their frontal cortex. Their brains are not ready to process these feelings that are associated with what they’re seeing and hearing on social media, magnified to what, for them, feels like the entire universe on their shoulders.
0:05:56 – Speaker 1
Well, and they’re going through puberty, their body is changing, they’re insecure about what they look like because of all the changes We’ve. It is a whirlwind, and so we have got to speak into this early, early I’m not going to give you an exact age because I think this is a little bit going to look differently for everyone. It has to, yeah, and you may have situations come up in your life a family member or a friend where you have to speak into this earlier than you know. Some other of us I wouldn’t say before middle school, because my daughter started seeing that a lot in middle school the word suicide, and so you know early sixth grade or as they’re going into middle school, I would say would be the latest maybe that you need to have this conversation. But again, this is going to look differently for everybody. So what did I say? You know, when my daughter came to me, she was sixth grade at the time. Now she’s eighth grade. But what did I say?
And how did this conversation go about? Well, first of all, I want to say that a lot of prayer went into it. It was one of those things. I had a heads up mama in my life and they had said this is going to be a big deal in middle school. They’re going to hear this, and so you need to be praying about how you’re going to respond to it, and so that’s one thing. Absolutely A lot of prayer should go into this conversation, and you need to say Lord, give me the words. Let me be very clear to my kids.
The first talking point that I want to give you is this, and it’s so important no mistake or decision you make will ever cause me to love you less. So I said to my daughter I will never turn my back on you. You are going to make mistakes, big ones and little ones. The key is learning from them, and so I don’t want you to ever be afraid to tell me about your mistakes. I will always love you, and I go on to say if they don’t line up with my beliefs, if they don’t line up with God’s word, if you make a mistake outside of what God has designed for marriage, I still love you.
Yes, this is important, guys, and I want you to hear me on this parents, god doesn’t love you less when you mess up. He wants you to move from that mistake and learn from it and move into his will. He absolutely wants you to do that, but he still loves you. He still died on the cross for you. We cannot set this judgmental tone in our house, where it’s my way or the highway, you know. Yes, in still biblical times, still biblical truth. Yes, make sure they know what God’s word says. Have them point to that, but it is so important to speak into them that we’re going to love them, no matter what I need to add here, something that is happened in my home that I see with other parents.
0:08:30 – Speaker 2
We assume that our kids know this, this one in particular. So true. We think I love them so much. I tell them I love them all the time. I do all of this for them. You know, obviously we’ve prepared this place in our home where they feel safe and loved. My child knows this at their inner being. I’m guilty of it. I am guilty of it and I didn’t even realize it.
0:08:54 – Speaker 1
Satan uses this so much, even with pornography or sharing news. It’s like well, they know not to share a new. No, everybody’s doing it Like. These are intentional conversations that we have to have. You’re so spot on when you say that, kim.
0:09:06 – Speaker 2
Well, it’s because I’ve done it myself and I had to have this. I don’t even remember the reason behind it, but Recently something happened and someone told me have you taken a minute to just speak that into your child? And I thought, well, of course I do have a time.
0:09:21 – Speaker 1
They know that.
0:09:21 – Speaker 2
They know that, and it just the reminder came into my mind when we walked in the door from school this last week and my son was behind me and I just turned around out of the blue no sit down, no special occasion and I just grabbed his face and I spoke these words into him and he teared up and then I just felt so convicted like, oh my goodness, have I not said this before? We miss things? You know, I do tell them I love them all day long and I tell them how proud I am and all these things. But to really just take a moment and, for no reason at all, say no matter what you do from this moment on, no matter where you go, no matter what mistakes you make, I need you to know that mommy and daddy will love you.
0:10:01 – Speaker 1
Well, and also the fact that you’re gonna make mistakes, Like just speak that into them. Speak that into them.
They’re gonna make mistakes. I make mistakes every day. I have to go and ask my kids to forgive me, sometimes because of my tone or how I handle a situation. I mean, we are imperfect people and sometimes our kids are manipulated into thinking our parents are perfect and I’m not. And I can’t go to them with this Absolutely, because I’m gonna get judged. And so this is where we’ve gotta really have grace and really show our kids we love you through your mistakes, absolutely.
0:10:34 – Speaker 2
Yeah, be transparent.
0:10:35 – Speaker 1
Yeah, okay, another talking point I said to her if someone is mistreating you or being unkind and this is kind of the cyber-bullying thing that I wanted to speak into Satan wants you to keep it a secret from me. He wants you to suffer in silence. He wants to get inside your head and twist it so that he can make you feel defeated and worthless. But that is absolutely not what God’s word says. That is not truth. The God of the universe knows you. He created you, he knit you together in my womb. You’re a masterpiece and so by talking about the problem, you bring this into the light. You don’t let it stay inside your head, where Satan can keep it dark and twisted, but you bring it into the light so that I can help you, because I can’t help you if I don’t know. So that’s a talking point we had.
0:11:25 – Speaker 2
I was very intentional about saying this to her and we’ve all experienced that and I want you to tap into a memory for yourself of when you just felt overcome, overwhelmed, frustrated, defeated, and a friend or your spouse or situation presented where you were able to release that. You were able to bring that into the light.
0:11:45 – Speaker 1
Do you recall? Yeah, the safe zone.
0:11:47 – Speaker 2
Do you recall that feeling of I’m going to be OK, this is OK? We’ve got to tap into what that felt like for us and know that it’s magnified for our kids. It’s not the end of the world. It is not the end of the world. You will be OK. Tomorrow is a new day and it’s hard when you’re in the moment as adults to feel that way. So magnify that for your child and make sure they understand that you can relate to that and that you are their safe place and that you can help them release that pressure.
0:12:15 – Speaker 1
So important, and when they come to you and they admit a big mistake, it’s really important that you respond with grace, Absolutely. There will be conversations in the weeks ahead to talk about how to move towards God’s word more and how to get you know, learn from this mistake. But in that moment of just, I did this and I’m really sorry and I messed up. They need for you to love them. Yeah, they need for you to wrap their arms around and say I’ve messed up too. I’ve done this or I’ve done that. God still loves me. There’s still a purpose for my life?
0:12:48 – Speaker 2
Yes, absolutely. And that here’s another one Satan loves to twist in our minds. That love and that grace in that moment does not affirm their mistake. Yes, you need to hear that. Somebody needs to hear that, yeah, loving them and being gracious in the moment when they share their mistake with you does not say I validate, affirm or agree with what you’ve done.
0:13:09 – Speaker 1
Yes, and you can have conversations when emotions are out of it and people are thinking logically. But they just need you to love them in that moment of confession, when they come to you and confess, and then those conversations can be had and that’s something that you will pray about. Say God, give me the right timing. We talk a lot about timing that we can move into what we need to learn from this mistake. You know all those conversations Another talking point for you that I said to my sixth grader Suicide is never the solution to your problems.
Sometimes, when we feel like there’s no way out, we feel defeated and we feel like we don’t get to see the big picture. Everything just seems so magnified. And then I’ve said to my daughter I said I’ve had moments in my life where I’ve thought that life was over, that God couldn’t use me anymore because of the things I had done, but I don’t see the big picture. God’s ways are not my ways. God sees my whole life and he sees where he’s going to use this mistake to help other people. And I don’t see that in the moment. I just see my failures. And you know I’m having a pity party because I’ve messed up and so I love due to around I mean 23, five, and I share that with my kids.
Often it says God will turn the intended curse into a blessing because he loves you. You know, sometimes those curses are our mistakes. We bring it on ourselves. We bring the curses Not always. Sometimes, you know, bad things happen to us and it’s not our fault. But I know in my life a lot of mistakes that I’ve made. I created my own curses and I look back now and God is using it all for this ministry and it’s like 20 years ago things that I was doing. Now God’s using it to help people through next talk and God had this plan and I you would have never known, I would have never known.
0:14:56 – Speaker 2
Yeah, you know. This one in particular, suicide, is never the solution to your problems. It also is not the solution to your shame. I just want to throw that in there because I remember being a middle schooler. I remember awkward moments with boys or at school and feeling so embarrassed and shameful, like if I could just go away, everything will be okay, or then they’ll feel bad about it. I remember having that thought in middle school.
0:15:24 – Speaker 1
And they’ll finally get it.
0:15:25 – Speaker 2
They’ll finally get it. Yeah, it’s just awful, but it’s the truth. That’s me being transparent with you about a middle school mind, and our kids are going to feel that way too, and we’ve got to show them, like you said, the bigger picture. That shame the Lord can heal that, and that shame will not be fixed by suicide and our kids.
0:15:44 – Speaker 1
You know we struggled with that. That was before social media. Now they I mean they’ll text each other. Kys, if you don’t know what that means, it means kill yourself. It’s a funny thing. They do it in jest, they do it in jokingly. This has happened to my daughter. Yes, from good friends that they’re just kidding around and I will say that’s not okay, like we’re not going to say that, because you don’t know where the other person is emotionally and even though you’re joking, that may be the thing that sends them over the edge.
0:16:12 – Speaker 2
The last thing, the last, you know, the straw yeah.
0:16:15 – Speaker 1
And so we’re not going to use that kind of language. But that is a conversation Like. We just have to understand. If we can relate to the suicide message, it is magnified a thousand percent with social media and the access to everything Absolutely Okay. Another talking point that I had for her God has you here for a specific purpose. He has a plan for your life and you’re the only one who can fulfill it. He woke you up this morning breathing and ready to live. God says in Jeremiah 29, 11,. This is one of our favorite verses to talk about with our kids. I know the plans I have for you. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. So I will say to my kids even when you don’t know about your future, god knows it, god has it, it’s written out. God knows what he wants to use you for. Now the question is are you going to be obedient and move into that space and let God use you? Yeah, yeah.
0:17:11 – Speaker 2
Which is such an exciting thought, you know, as an adult thinking about that for my kids, I think, really sharing the vision of God’s plan, like you’re saying through scripture, that he has something just for you, and it’s beautiful and it’s important and that means you have to be willing to take that step, to trust and believe out of this moment of shame or embarrassment or sadness or defeat.
Trust that these feelings will move on, move it over to the thinking brain. If I can just step past this, then I can step into his will for my life, and that’s exciting. God has something cool and awesome and amazing just for you. But communicating that to our kids so that they believe it, that’s the hard part. That’s where the conversation comes in, the daily conversation.
0:17:54 – Speaker 1
You know, I mean a lot of kids. They roast. Now that’s a thing Like we’ve covered it at Next Talk. But first it was 2BH, which is a 2B Honest, and you just ask for it on social media, which is so crazy and it opens it up to negative feedback too. You mean just mean things, mean stuff. And so now it’s roast me, it’s hashtag roast me, and it’s just making fun of you or making fun of your features or how you talk, or it’s roasting Like they do with adults. Yeah, it’s the same and exactly like comedians do.
And so this is a thing that’s happening and so this requires daily conversation. You know one thing is the Bible verse that says we seek God’s approval, not man’s approval, not our friend’s approval, that it’s just a continual conversation about finding God’s path for your life and not seeking people’s. You know path. That continual, ok. Another talking point, this one, I think, is so important it is. This one is one of my favorite talking points. You’re not stuck at this school. You’re not trapped in your current surroundings. If we need to, we can look at other schools. There are always options. You have a way out. Yes, I mean I have said to my kids I will quit everything I’m doing in homeschool you, if I need to, we can go tour any other schools in our facility, like whatever. There is a way out. I will help you with this.
0:19:17 – Speaker 2
You know, in having all these conversations with your kids and talking about their future and talking about God’s plan for them and talking about all of these things and creating that safe place for them, this is kind of like the capstone, like I am your safe place to talk about it. But if we get to that point where you physically need a safe place, that’s me too. We will figure this out and I love that, because so many kids, I think, feel like they don’t have a way out. Like even if I tell my mom and dad and even if they talk me through it, they’re not going to move schools. There are no choices or options. So if you really know this and believe this to be true for your family, please tell them, please tell your kids. They need to know that and hear that Be very specific in it.
0:19:55 – Speaker 1
You have a way out. You know so many times when we’re trapped in our job or whatever, we want to look for another one. We see a way out, but our kids sometimes feel like mom and dad are making me go here and there’s no way out.
And we need to speak this into them. Yeah, the other thing, you know and I put this into the suicide talk because I think it’s an important topic to cover as well is running away. You know you might feel like running away instead of suicide. You know like I’m not going to commit suicide because I know that’s wrong and you know that’s not what God has for me. But I’m going to run away. I’m going to run away from my problems, run away from my family. So it kind of talk about this. You know, I say that never solves the problem, it only makes it worse, because then I can’t find you, I can’t help you, I don’t know what you’re struggling with, and so that’s another point of we’ll face it together.
And one thing that I want to point out Kim, on the last show you talked about one of your kids and a lunch request, and it seems so simple. Yeah, it seems so simple, but you heard his request. Yeah, here’s the thing those, these conversations, they won’t just happen at 13. If you start having them, this has to. I mean it’s God can do anything, he can create them, I mean he can speak it, but it is so much easier if you start at four and five, hearing their little, simple requests, and they know it’s important. Yes, and one day when, when Kim’s son is struggling with something big Like wanting to transfer or a bully approaching him online, he may go back to that moment where he were his mom honored that lunch request. You know just that she’s my safe place. She helps me figure things out, she walks me through things. That’s the kind of setup that we want to create for our kids.
0:21:35 – Speaker 2
That’s really the goal and, like you know, like we always say, it’s never too late to start the conversations. But if you can, if you have little ones you know I’m speaking to our next-talk junior moms right now please hear them, please take the time to sit and talk with them start these conversations early. I know it can feel scary because these issues are so big, like suicide, and you look at your sweet baby. I look at my five-year-old and his big brown eyes and I’m like I don’t want to talk to this kid about suicide and I don’t have to, but I have to create the space and the Pre-conversations, yeah, so that when the time comes we’re ready for it.
0:22:10 – Speaker 1
Yeah, I mean, you’re the conversation you shared about the lunch. It’s setting it up for the suicide conversation. Yes, you’re creating the safe zone. Yes, and that’s what’s so important to do early, and then, as they get older and things come up and they hear things, they’re gonna come right back to you and you’re gonna be that safe zone.
0:22:27 – Speaker 2
Yes, I want them and I want you guys, for your family, to have this feeling of we talk about everything. Yeah that should just be like when their friends ask them or what. Oh no, we will talk about everything. Yeah, that’s what we want. That’s the goal.
0:22:39 – Speaker 1
You know what’s been cool for me to see, because I had some anxiety about this conversation and you know I had it two years ago with my daughter with these talking points. What’s been really cool to see is to see her quoting Jeremiah 29, 11, over her friends, without being prompted. She will text it to them when she sees somebody being bullied or and she will speak these words into her friends or not even her friends, but people at school that she really doesn’t know but she will be like they’re having a bad day, people are making fun of them. I spoke this into them or I got the number and I texted her this verse.
They’re hearing what we’re saying and they’re modeling it, but we have to be intentional about saying it to them.
0:23:17 – Speaker 2
So what are some of the reasons that kids commit suicide? I think we just need to put that out there because you may not be thinking about it.
0:23:23 – Speaker 1
Yeah, not realize and I cover these all in my book. I have a whole chapter on suicide, depression, mental disorder, any kind of feeling of hopelessness, worth with worthlessness, sexual abuse, relationship problems, big one, rejection, isolation, bullying cyber bullying. We’re gonna have the next show coming up. We’re gonna have a feature on that. Substance abuse, addiction, parental divorce, family violence, self-esteem identity issues.
Think about adoption, sexuality, transgender, all of those things all of these are big things, and if they’re struggling with that and they think this doesn’t Align up with my parents beliefs, this is a big one, it’s huge, and so that’s where that conversation of I love you, no matter what, comes in they need to hear that from you. We don’t want to set up this situation where our kids feel like they have to test us Like will they love me if I do this? Will they love me if I go that far? That is a disaster, yeah. And so create this I love you, no matter what you know, to kind of get away from that rebellion, yeah kind of thing Absolutely.
0:24:22 – Speaker 2
I want to throw another one in here too. That is kind of recently just been on the news a little bit and something I’ve been talking with my husband a lot about because he has Been a coach for many years. We go back to the top with mental disorders or depression. We can also throw in there A concussion. This is a new one that has been in the news a little bit but they’re trying to keep it under wraps because it affects sports so much. But be aware if your child has had a concussion, talk to your health professional about it is. Sometimes that can create feelings of anxiety, depression or suicide mental.
It triggers Triggers and yes, and so be aware of that. If your child great point.
0:24:58 – Speaker 1
Great point loss and grief, stress and anxiety, you know, shame over past mistakes all of this goes on. We’re gonna. Two of the things that I cover in my suicide chapter that I think deserves its own show is Self-harming, which is cutting, and a lot of that comes out of the stress and anxiety, so we’re gonna talk a lot about that On a future show. And the cyber bullying it’s a huge issue, so we’re gonna do shows on both of those listen.
0:25:23 – Speaker 2
A couple of things. If you have a suicidal child, please seek medical medical attention right away. Be proactive in talking to your kids about suicide. Start the conversation early and make sure your kids know you love them, even when they mess up.
0:25:36 – Speaker 1
Thanks for joining us on next talk radio with Mandy and Kim every Saturday at 10 am On am 6 30. The word next talk radio is brought to you by next talk, a nonprofit Organization keeping kids safe online through cyber parenting and open communication. Find resources, videos and subscribe to our weekly podcast at next talk Dot org. Are you ready for the next talk?
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