0:00:00 – Speaker 1
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0:00:31 – Speaker 3
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0:00:35 – Speaker 1
Today we’re doing a show on taking your kids to protect their own heart and mind, which I think is a bit distinction there, because we talk all the time about protecting your heart and mind and helping your kids navigate through all the crazy and weird things that they’re seeing and hearing. There’s a point where we need to transfer that responsibility to them, and that’s what we want to focus on today.
0:00:55 – Speaker 2
Absolutely. When I first started building open communication with my kids, we did have this little phrase Protect Your Heart and Mind. And I distinctly remember one time, you know, we had poured this into our daughter, Like protect your heart and mind, You’re responsible. And I remember we were watching the Super Bowl and an ad came on And it was an inappropriate ad And I remember my daughter just launching in front of my son, my younger son, And she’s screaming Protect Your Heart and Mind, Bubba, Protect Your Heart and Mind. And so this is the picture in my brain when I hear the phrase Protect Your Heart and Mind Is her launching over the couch to protect Bubby’s heart and mind?
0:01:38 – Speaker 1
I think if you have more than one kid then you know that first born. If you can, give them a job and they get to be in charge. Somehow it’s like they embrace that 110% Like what To help protect their heart and mind too, not just my own, i’m on it.
0:01:53 – Speaker 2
Well, they become little leaders, you know, and we’re teaching them, and then they want to model it, and it’s so cool to see. Really It’s so cool with those older siblings. I have so many stories that I could share with Protect Your Heart and Mind. One of the most recent, though, you know the Super Bowl, and was a while back. One of the more recent ones, though, is a big one, and we have a mature audience warning at the beginning of this podcast, but if you are listening in the car with little ones, you may want to just be careful right now, because I’m getting ready to be real honest with what I’m getting ready to say.
I remember fifth grade. My son and I were. He got in the car after school, and before we were even out of the school parking lot, he said Mom, there is this thing happening at a popsicle today at lunch, and people were talking about, like blowjobs and all this stuff. So they weren’t saying oral sex, they didn’t really know that was the definition, but they were using these slang words and talking about popsicles and what it could represent and putting your mouth on, like all the things right. So he was like Mom, explain, like I need help, like what’s going on, you know, like he’s like help me. I mean, we are literally just getting ready to turn the corner of the school parking lot. He jumped in the car and he had just saved this for me, you know. And so I was ready, because I was like okay, we’ve talked about how a baby is formed, we’ve talked about, you know, sperm and egg, and so I always like that to be like our foundational conversation about sex, and we have a whole show on sex if you want to go listen to that. But we had already covered that. And so I was like okay, you know, now’s about the time when I do have to start going into different types of sex, you know. And so I was ready, and so I started having a conversation with him And I was trying to explain it in as kid appropriate terms as you can explain that right, all of a sudden he shouts out and he puts his hand up in my face Stop.
And I’m like what? what’s wrong, bubba? And he’s like I want to protect my heart and mind from this. Like I don’t think I need to know this just yet. And I’ll never forget that moment when I was like oh my gosh, this works Right, because here I am, i’m ready to be completely honest with him and he’s like I’m not ready to visualize that yet, i don’t want it in my heart and mind, and he’s like protecting himself. And I got real excited about this Ho Con set when that happened, because I just knew that he was advocating for himself and he knew what he could and could not handle and I just loved it.
0:04:21 – Speaker 1
Well, and then you know, like you’ve always said, the old Mandy would have tried to bubble, wrap him, you know, and create a space where you are the one protecting his heart and mind, and don’t talk about it and not all that kind of stuff. but, new Mandy, like you, like you said, you’re teaching them how to advocate for themselves and how to stand up for the things that are important to them and wait until they’re actually ready to hear them. And that’s such a good feeling. I mean, it’s really like turning a corner for them and for you.
0:04:48 – Speaker 2
It really is the difference between making rules versus relationship. It really is, because with rules I was all about don’t talk about that, you’re not old enough, you know like just kind of barking out orders. But now we had moved into this kind of relationship Like you bring me your questions and we’ll talk it through. And then he was learning to advocate okay, i’m not ready for that yet, mom and I loved that. I felt like it was a sign of maturity, like I just saw so much growth in that and I loved it. I loved that, that example and that whole thing. So the first thing we need to talk about is we need to teach our children to be responsible for what they allow in their own heart and mind. You know, like I’ve literally say to my kids it’s your heart and it’s your mind, like you are responsible for it. I’m not always going to be there, so you have got to monitor what you allow in.
0:05:38 – Speaker 1
Well, and you know, i think when you pass that baton to them, it gives them a little sense of ownership, and I think that’s very important because if we’re just spoon feeding them, like you said, the rules all the time, they never take that step and really thinking things through themselves while they’re still under their roof and they can discuss it with you.
And that’s kind of the space that we’re in. and I think this is an important thing to point out here is when you’re in this space and you have been creating these basic foundational rules or expectations of protecting your heart and mind for your kids and then they start to actually do it. It’s really important to encourage it, no matter what it is. and if you have younger kids like me, the first things that they’re going to protect their heart and mind against are going to be kind of silly and it’s very easy to dismiss that or to laugh it off, but they’re taking hold of this premise that you’ve established for them and making it their own. This is a great chance to encourage them that they’ve actually got it and even if it’s a silly little thing that they’re like oh, i decided not to watch that or not to do that, and I didn’t even have to come and ask you, mom, praise them for that and encourage them, because it is a really big step.
0:06:44 – Speaker 2
I love that you make this point and you know even something like a little cuss word. I remember my kids coming to me both of them have at younger ages and they would say I accidentally almost slipped and said this word. And I’ll say, well, why do you think that is? and they’ll be like, well, because my friend group is using it all the time. You know like a little cuss word. And then we’ll have a conversation about that and I’ll equate it to pornography.
I’ll be like, okay, you’ve got to protect your heart and mind from that language. Do you see how that seeps in? and you just automatically almost say it? The same thing with pornography. If you allow that in your heart and mind, then you see the objectification of women on the TV screen and you may be more apt to look at women, or boys too, in a degrading way. You may feel like you can slap their butt walking down the hallway when you can absolutely not do that right, but it seeps in. What you allow in affects your behavior, and so we talk a lot about that. But I think you’re exactly spot on with the small things with younger kids and not dismissing them. You got to find those moments when they’re really protecting their heart and mind and praise them.
0:07:53 – Speaker 1
And I will tell you, they’re easy to find when they’re young, because I feel like more than ever, almost every day we are, my kids are experiencing examples of things that are on the edge like borderline inappropriate. That could be like ha, that’s silly, potty humor, but could easily tumble into other places and become more of a habit and allow them to say, well, if this is okay, then maybe this is okay too. And as we’re navigating YouTube a lot more as my, my kiddo is becoming a tween or is a tween, there’s a lot of that like stuff that I find myself laughing at and then.
I’m like, oh, you know what? I think maybe we’ve we’ve crossed the line just a little bit, and so there’s a bazillion opportunities to talk to your kids about ways that they can protect their heart and mind, because it’s happening all day long.
0:08:43 – Speaker 2
Yeah, if your kid is playing Roblox or Fortnite or something and there may be, you know, it’s not porn but there’s a character that’s dressed very inappropriately, you know, and it’s a female, and I’ve seen these, i’ve seen these caricatures of you know, big breasts and whatever. You know my son, when he was little and he would play those games, he would come to me and he would be like, okay, i turned it off because I wanted to protect my heart and mind. And you’re right, i would be like, oh my gosh, that’s really not a whole lot, But in my mind I would say that, but I wouldn’t say that. I would be like I’m so proud of you, that’s so great that you’re recognizing that. you know, this may change how you look at girls, and so thank you for doing that. And the finding those moments are really, really important.
One of the things we talk about, like when you know, we want them to have responsibility. One of the things I think about is you know, my son now is in middle school he’s getting much older where he’s hearing a lot of stuff about hey, go watch this video. hey, this girl is hot. you know, are you down with a pH, which that means porn hub. That’s what that stands for.
So he’s hearing all these kinds of things right, and one of the things that I keep thinking about about this protecting his heart and mind and about it being his responsibility is, when a situation like that arises, i don’t want him to think, oh my gosh, mom or dad will kill me if I go to porn hub. I don’t want him to think that. I actually want him to think in his head and in his brain is this healthy for me, is this okay, is this all right with God? And again, when we put it on them, it becomes. then we’re empowering them to make healthy decisions, versus just lining up and following rules that we’re giving them, and I think this is just so powerful for kids.
0:10:41 – Speaker 1
Well, and it gives you the opportunity again as you’re helping them navigate this, explaining the why behind, why it’s not a good idea and why would God not want this for your heart and mind, And you explain that to them, and when they can grasp that and when they can make that decision on their own, it completes a full circle for them in their faith, life and in their maturity And I think it’s just it’s kind of exciting to see them start to embrace that. You see their little minds growing in their hearts all at one time and it’s like okay, that’s one for the team, Like we won one for the team there, because they can make that decision and understand why it’s important.
0:11:19 – Speaker 2
Absolutely, and I wanna encourage parents of young kids or even older kids out there and you’re like, oh my gosh, my kid may have brought something to me And I was like, oh, that’s nothing And it actually I should have probably encouraged like circle back to that moment and tell them, say, you know, i didn’t realize you were protecting your heart and mind. I’m so proud of you. Can we talk about this some more? Because there’s a lot of visuals being thrown at our kids whether billboards, online, whatever and they need help processing it, and so we wanna be that place.
0:11:50 – Speaker 1
Oh, and if you know me then this will be no surprise. But you may not have said anything, but my face tells the story and I don’t even realize it. People know when Kim’s not happy or when I know, i know, i know, yes, and the more you know me, the more you know my subtle, like facial expression.
0:12:11 – Speaker 2
Oh, man, those eyes, those eyes, i think I’m being real, like on the down low, and it’s great.
0:12:19 – Speaker 1
Yeah, the last year tells the true story. Yeah, my husband’s like what do you mean? Everybody knows you don’t like something And I’m like, oh my gosh.
But my kids, like I realize most of the time I can actually hold it together and not say anything in front of them about like how I disapprove of something or I react wrong, but my face tells a different story And so a lot of times I’ll kind of follow their lead And if I can tell that they think I’m disappointed in a decision they’ve made or whatever it is, i circle back and I’m like, hey, it’s not about you, it’s about all the yucky stuff that you’re having to deal with out there. And so I think just being really aware of your verbal things that you’re saying and also their cues that they’re giving you, gives you that idea of when it’s important to circle back. If you’re just now tuning in, this is nextTalk Radio at 2 pm on AM 630, the word nextTalk Radio is sponsored in part by the PAX Financial Group and listeners just like you. Everything we do at our nonprofit to keep kids safe online is accomplished through your donations To support our organization. Go to NextTalkorg and click on GIP.
0:13:23 – Speaker 3
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0:13:48 – Speaker 2
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0:13:54 – Speaker 1
And the first part of the show. we talked a little bit about encouraging your kids to learn how to protect their own heart and mind, And a big part of that is teaching them the why behind the reason they wanna do that. Not just telling them to do it, but the why.
0:14:08 – Speaker 2
Yeah, I think this is a big part of the conversation, because when we say, hey, don’t look at porn or don’t let the cuss words in or things like that, we have to explain why we’re encouraging that behavior. Right, Why are we telling you to guard your heart and mind from this? And so one of the things that we always tell our kids and it’s such an important life lesson is what we allow in will shape who we are. Rick Warren has a great quote on this. He says your life is shaped by your thoughts, And it’s scriptural. It comes straight from scripture.
James 1, 15 says desires give birth to sinful actions, And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. So these desires, these sinful things that creep in, this is what kind of determined the course of our life, And I think our kids really need to realize that every decision they make, whether they’re alone in a game room, on an Xbox, talking to a stranger or looking at a phone or a friend’s phone all of those choices that they make in those little moments start to define their life course, start to define the things they struggle with, the things they think about all the time, who they are as a person.
0:15:27 – Speaker 1
You know, when we started talking about this to our kids, which is at a very young age, we have to break that down even more Because you know, the younger they are, the more basic you have to make it so that they really grasp it. And then the conversations are easier as they get older, because you’ve set that foundation. And I remember one of the things that really helped my kids when I shared that verse with them. They’re like so if we have sin, we’re going to die tomorrow. I was like here we go. Yes, i need to break this down.
And I remember helping them understand it in a way of talking about the things that they love. And first, like they love their relationship with mom and dad. They love the fun memories and experiences they have with their friends. You know they love their teacher. You know, whatever it is, things are important to them And we talked about how sin takes away the joy and the love of the things that are important to us.
It steals away the good parts of us And that feels like death on earth And they were like that sounds terrible. And I was like it is Walking around with relationships that are not healthy and are not safe and being a part of a friendship. that causes pain and hurt. That’s like walking around dead And then they were like, oh man, i don’t want to do that. So I think we just have such a great opportunity, when we’re talking about this in particular, this kind of groundwork of nextTalk, protecting the heart and mind and groundwork of the Bible really in breaking it down for our kids in a way that they can really grasp onto so it becomes a part of their DNA.
0:17:03 – Speaker 2
I love that. I love how you broke it down for them what death looks like. I love how you say like relationships, that I actually, when you were talking, i was thinking about John 1010, like things that come to still kill and destroy. You know, relationships that are not fruitful, that are hurtful. That is Satan coming to still kill and destroy and we have to protect our heart and mind from that. The other thing we do, too, with older kids. You know you always talk from a younger perspective with older kids.
We find a lot of these conversations can happen while we’re watching TV or Netflix And there may be a premarital sex scene and maybe it’s not very graphic or whatever you know, but you’ve fallen in love with this man woman character and you’re like they spent the night together but it doesn’t show a ton, you know. So you’re like not hiding the eyes, but it’s almost like after we turn that off, we’re like, man, that film kind of made you want them to spend the night together, like they’re so compatible and they’re so sweet and what a great couple, right, and it’s that slow and graining of that, that’s okay. And so we create a lot of conversation in our home because, quite honestly, now I have a 16 year old and I can’t shield her from a lot. I mean, i really can’t shield her from anything. She’s watching stuff on Netflix that doesn’t line up with our values and we talk about it Like we talk about that slow and graining. But to be in the culture it’s almost like you need to know a certain amount of stuff.
Things are trending on Twitter. What does this mean? What does that mean? So let’s go research it or let’s go watch this show And then, but then we have a lot of conversations about how we really need to protect our heart and mind. Okay, so now she’s older and she may be letting some of it in. She may be watching some of it, but how is that affecting her beliefs? You know what I mean? So it kind of evolves as they get older and they’re exposed to more stuff.
0:19:09 – Speaker 1
Absolutely, and I think one of the hard things that I’ve really realized over the past few years and I think I would say this goes for young kids and older kids is some of the behavior that we bring into the household Because we’re quote-unquote I’m doing the air quotes older and wiser and we can handle it. We don’t realize how much of an impression that makes on our kids, or we do realize, but we are willing to change it And that’s a hard thing to look in the mirror and think okay, i do want my kid to protect their heart and mind and I do want them to understand truth and I do want them to know that what they let in shapes who they are. But maybe I’m part of the problem or maybe I need to discuss some of those things, and a big one for me. In the last few years I’ve had some huge surgeries and that has resulted in me having to take different kinds of pills that other people wouldn’t normally have to take, thank the Lord. And so my kids see me taking certain medications for these issues, and it’s come and gone at different times, but I’ve never hidden those things.
But I’ve realized that I needed to talk them through it Because if I’m not telling them here’s the why behind I’m doing this behavior, then it normalizes it for them, just like watching the shows where a girl and a guy who aren’t married are sleeping together or cussing amongst your friends. When you see something regularly, especially from your trusted mom and dad, it normalizes it. And so a part of this conversation I think is important to address is that we may be playing a role in that we don’t even realize And it’s okay not easy, but it’s okay to say hey, i do this because not to justify it. But if you’re doing something that’s not illegal, you know you’re doing something that’s okay but may be twisted. Satan can use anything to trip up your kid. So please take the time to look at yourself in the mirror and think is there anything I need to explain to my kid that might help them to protect their own part of life?
0:21:13 – Speaker 2
So I love this example. So when you’re taking your medication you’re giving, you’re talking about things like, hey, you only do this If a doctor prescribes it for you and for this amount of time, and these things can be addictive and people can use these in bad ways and you have to guard your heart and mind from that. So you’re using these teachable everyday moments to have your guard up with your kids. Yeah, absolutely Yeah, one of the I like that. Go ahead.
Well, i was going to say, you know, speaking of drugs, it just triggered my mind. There’s so many marijuana is fine kind of thing And that’s a whole. That’s a whole debate that you know, whatever or not going to get into that. But we have conversations in our home about how you know whether you believe that’s okay or not, and I think medical marijuana is very different from, like you know, recreational use, obviously, and that’s all again a whole different subject. But we have a lot of conversations about how some people see that marijuana is okay and they think it’s all right, and then that could be the gateway to other drugs And you know that’s nothing new, but actually having the conversations with my kids about it has been enlightening to me Because there’s so much on social media about marijuana and, you know, weed and I mean everything It’s out there.
And so having those conversations about how okay, well, if you tried that, what if you became addicted to it? Why would you even start something that could become an addiction? And then there’s harder, you know more hardcore drugs that could literally run your life. You know there’s lots of different things out there that you can talk about, but it just triggered my mind when you said that about prescription drugs. You know about how we’re talking about guarding our heart and mind from drugs and alcohol as my kids get older.
0:23:01 – Speaker 1
Yeah, absolutely, and we have to be realistic that our kids are human and Satan is prowling all the time, like we just talked about, and he knows our triggers. He knows the things that will trip up our kids and us. And our kids are going to make mistakes or they’re going to see things that aren’t even a mistake, like they are doing the right thing, and they get exposed to something. And it’s really important to let our kids share those struggles. When something bad gets in their heart and mind, we don’t want to shame them, we want to empower them to bring it into the light.
0:23:36 – Speaker 2
Yeah, i think this is an important step, you know, if we’ve done the groundwork of telling them to protect their heart and mind when they’re little. And then we have these ongoing conversations about how your thoughts, you know, make you the kind of person you want to be. And then as they get older, especially I mean as they get older let me tell you they’re going to come to you if you’ve created that safe place, and they’re going to say, hey, i said this word today, or I almost said this, or my friends were doing this and I kind of wanted to and then I stopped myself. Or they may say I did that, i did that and I shouldn’t have, and now I feel bad about it. You have to be that place where you’re like thank you for telling me, and you have to love them through it. One thing that we go over and over again when my kids come to me and they tell me I’m struggling with not saying the F word because I hear it all day long or whatever, whatever the case may be, i listen. I listen so much And maybe the next day or a couple hours later I may go back and then talk about taking every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.
That’s a Bible verse and we talk about it a lot. But when they’re first confessing to me, i don’t pull that out. I first say, oh, i understand that. Oh, yeah, yeah, when I’m around people that cause, i can almost slip too. You know I relate to them. But then later I go back with hey, i was thinking about a conversation earlier and you know that Bible verse came to mind take every thought captive, and you know that’s what I really try to do when I’m in that situation. And so give them practical ways to kind of manage that.
0:25:17 – Speaker 1
So, just to recap today, teach your kids that they’re responsible for what they allow into their hearts and minds. Recognize that what we allow in will shape who we are, and let your kids share their struggles when something bad gets in their heart and mind.
0:25:33 – Speaker 3
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? Out30.com.
Transcribed by https://podium.page