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Welcome to the NextTalk podcast. We are passionate about keeping kids safe in an overexposed world.
It’s Mandy and Kim and we’re navigating tech, culture and faith with our kids.
We are back, baby. We’ve got new podcasts coming out, lots of new topics. We’ve got new groups coming out, starting in October. We’ve got new events that have already started. I get so fired up going to events because I get to meet parents one-on-one, I get to hug them, I get to cry. It’s my favorite thing, it’s the best One-on-one interaction with parents. So we got a lot of things happening, a lot of new partnerships, bringing up a bunch of cool new experts onto our advisory council. We have been very, very busy in the background of NextTalk this year.
We have this summer has been a whirlwind with NextTalk and I got to tell you you got to stay plugged in because things are changing daily and the best way to do that is to check out our website at NextTalk.org.
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So, ok, I think we should jump in here, because we’ve got a great topic today. Teen Boy Group Texts Dun dun dun.
Ok, so here’s the thing. We could cover a lot of things on this show, but I want to pinpoint the top two things that we think are a problem here.
Well, and the reason we’re doing this show is because I personally have been reached out to many times from parents and they’re just like what is going on with these group text threads, like what in the world? And so I think it’s kind of prevalent that there’s a couple of things, like you said, that I don’t know what the deal is, but it’s not just at one school, it’s all over.
Well, and we thought these two things were the most important issues that we’re seeing in these Teen Boy Group Texts. But we also pulled some people asked. Some people asked kids, asked some parents and they were saying the same things we were saying. I think we’re on the right track here. One of the things that I get asked a lot from parents and I love this question is I’m seeing this on my kids group chat and I don’t want to go crazy parent mode, but at the same time I don’t want to let it go if it deserves attention, and so I’m trying to figure out where not to be.
That naggy helicopter, upset about everything, mom versus oh my gosh, this is serious. We need to have a conversation here, and I think we’re kind of all in that space, because sometimes we want to nitpick about everything. But we have to be careful here, because if we nitpick about everything, they start to tune us out. So we really have to make our conversations count, the things that are very important to us and the things that we’re saying, hey, this is not OK that you’re doing. We need to limit those things so that it feels like not everything is off the table for them, because they’re just trying to navigate all this.
They are. They are, and I will tell you, as I was thinking about this show even just this morning, trying to figure out what’s the best way to understand what is happening in these group texts, it just came to me that it is literally like a virtual locker room. I love that. You know, if you think about it, we in the past have not been privy to the conversation in a boys or men’s locker room, but we hear about it from our husbands or our boys, or portrayed in movies, that all kinds of things happen in the locker room, everything under the sun, and they push the boundaries, they say inappropriate things, they do inappropriate things, but it’s always been in that space. Now that we’re able to read their text threads and check in on them, we’re like, oh my gosh, why are they saying this and why are they doing this, which really it’s been happening. We just didn’t see it up close and personal before, and so that really helped me to understand how to approach this conversation in this topic was OK. This is the virtual locker room for boys.
I’m laughing because, first of all, I love that God gave you this image, right, because that is so good. I think it’s so good and, honestly, what pops into my mind is just, you know, like a mom saying to me is it OK? They’re talking about itchy balls with a friend. Yeah, I don’t know, I don’t know, is it OK?
Gosh, they’re like hitting each other with a towel in the locker room and doing all the kind of talking about the balls. So of course they’re going to do it. They’re going to talk about all of it.
It’s a virtual locker room. I love how you are describing that. Ok, so the top two things we’re seeing in these group texts that we want to tackle on this show One racism and two nudes and potty language. We’re going to kind of group that together Body parts, though Body parts, body parts yeah. Body parts stuff. Right, and Kim, I think we need to address racism first and I want you to lead this portion because I think you have a lot of good insight here into this.
Well, I have a lot of different thoughts about this. I was trying to think where this started from and why it is so prevalent, and I’m just kind of thinking through cause and effect and why. Suddenly I feel like this is happening a lot, and the biggest change I see amongst teens in my world is that they live on YouTube, youtube and texturants, youtube and texturants, and so as I’m thinking about their videos and how this kind of snowballs, I think a lot of times they’ll see a funny video that maybe a guy is talking about as funny thing his dad does. He’s a Chinese guy. I’m going to tell this funny story about how my dad handled this situation and it’s funny, and so the kids share it in their group text and they laugh about it, and then they’re always one-upping, just like in the locker room. They’re one-upping each other.
So then they search funny Chinese videos and they share those, and then it’s another one and another one and all these funny little things that are happening in these videos. They pick up on them and they take the language from it and then they begin to insert it in their vocabulary and then they start using it in their text thread at school, in class, whatever, when they’re hanging out on the field and it sounds really racist, because you’re like why are they making these jokes about Chinese people? Well, it’s a snowball effect. It started as just a funny video and then it became part of their language. So that’s one thing I see a lot is that they’re doing what we’ve talked a lot about. They’re watching and they’re emulating. It’s funny. So I’m going to say it too. And they’re not making the connection that it’s not appropriate.
Okay, so I think there’s so much to dive into here. Okay, first of all, I think you know it’s different from an Asian kid making a Chinese joke, right, Instead of a white kid making a Chinese joke, and I think we need to talk about that because I do think there’s a disconnect, like our kids pick up that language and then it’s like wait a minute, that guy can say that you cannot, you don’t have that privilege. And I do want to clarify, when we say racism, like I also think we have to separate out what is ridiculous funny jokes versus what is true racism. I think this is a big conversation as well.
And this is something I had to wrestle with in my own house and I figured out racism versus ridiculous, and they live a lot in the ridiculous when they’re teenage boys. We all know that.
Okay, give us an example of that, because I’m hearing that with other moms and everything. Yes, give us an example of ridiculous.
Okay, ridiculous is someone says, like, what are you having for lunch today? And they’ll say I’m having ham and cheese on white bread. You’re so racist. Oh my gosh. Don’t say that, Because they say the word white and it’s constant. They’ll say any color that we’ve matched with a race and they call each other out as being racist, and it’s all the time. That’s not racist, that is just being ridiculous. And I don’t step into that conversation other than to say, okay, you’re being ridiculous, but you need to know when you’re crossing the line, when it crosses into racism and it goes too far. Then we need to have a conversation again and pull back. But right now I see that you’re just being ridiculous and that’s it.
Okay, I agree with that 100%. The other thing, I think the other layer that I add to that, is I’m constantly talking to my kids about saying that it’s racist, waters down when there’s truly a racist situation. Yes, and so I will say to them they don’t get in trouble for saying, okay, white piece of paper, oh, that’s so racist, something like that, because we’ve seen it, too, happen in our own homes. They don’t get in trouble for that. But I do talk to my kids about listen, I know that’s a joke in your culture and I know it’s like everybody does it, but I need you to understand my concern with that is there are truly racist situations and then sometimes, if we try to call them out, people think we’re joking now because we’ve used that word for everything and just pointing that out to them. Something to think about here.
Pointing out how easy it is to become desensitized, I think is super important, because they don’t think about that. They just say I’m depressed, you’re racist, I’m being bullied. They use those words all the time and they don’t realize that the words lose their power and then when they really need help, it’s like the boy who cried wolf Are you really depressed? Are you really whatever it is? So I’m glad that you mentioned that, because that is an important conversation.
Well, and one thing I’ve noticed in this teen culture when they see something serious happen and they know it’s crossed a line, I see less jokes about it, but they tend to. What I believe they’re doing is there’s so many big, major things they’re dealing with, so it’s racism, huge bullying, huge LGBTQ and navigating that and labels. That’s huge for them. So they’re having to deal with all these huge topics and sometimes I feel like they turn to joking as a coping mechanism, and I see that across the board with all these topics. You have to be careful of that, and I think that’s what you’re saying. Is this virtual locker room group guy text thing is spilling over into real life and then it’s like wait a minute, this does not sound okay.
This is not okay. It’s like their safe place and it’s a dangerous place all at the same time, because if they’re all doing it in the safe place, they start to think, well, it’s okay, so I can do it anywhere. And so that is a conversation too. Like, yes, joking around and repeating these things you’re seeing in a video or that your friend says, I get it. You need to be able to do that on some level, but you need to know where to draw the line, and so that’s kind of why I wanted to start with where they’re seeing some of this, and then the ridiculous versus actual racism, and then, when it does cross the line, what do we do then?
And I think personally, the racism conversation is essential in your home, like, if you have not talked about it, what it means to be racist, what’s not okay ever. That’s tonight, that is at the dinner table. You’ve got to have that conversation because, just like anything else that we’ve talked about here at Next Talk, sometimes they just don’t know how far is too far. You really do have to talk about it and let them ask questions, let them research with you and see what racism really looks like, because hearing about it one day or one month out of the year and stories that they’re so removed from in most cases so removed from is very hard for you to feel that something is life changing and can affect everything from your job to your relationships. So hard for them to get that if they’ve never felt any of that up close and personal.
It’s just a word If they’ve never experienced racism.
Yeah, it’s just a word to them and it’s our job to make that come alive and to help walk them through what’s okay and what’s not okay.
Absolutely. I think it’s the same way with bullying. You know your kids, they hear that word all the time, but until you experience it you don’t know the depth of how hard that is to walk through. And so I think that’s this is an important conversation to understand, like you don’t understand this if you haven’t experienced it, and that is why you need to be super careful in this space. I will tell you what has been so encouraging to me behind the scenes at NextTalk. You know we have a lot of parents contact us about group checks and I found this on my kids’ phone and helped me navigate this.
The one thing that I love is I do see parents that when there truly is a racist situation going on and it’s not the ridiculous that you’re talking about, but they literally see a line being crossed the parents know it is very serious.
And how do I have this conversation? Because I am super disappointed in my kid right now, or I am super disappointed in my kid’s friend right now. And I think what I have loved is parents care about this. They want to get the racism thing right and they want to say the right things and they want to make sure they’re educating their kids on this, and to me that has just been so hopeful, growing up in a world where I saw racism, and I saw it experienced to my friends, I saw it experienced to people I dated and so it is very important for me to see that awakening among parents. It warms my heart. Honestly, I think we’re moving in the right direction in some places. But then you add in this ridiculousness and I’m like, oh, I hate for this word to be overused. I hate it, but I can’t change teen culture. I know that. I can just have conversations with my kids about it and telling them my feelings about overusing that word.
And that’s all we can ever ask and what we always encourage is under your roof, is where you have the most power to have these conversations and the most influence to present these stories and these opportunities to talk about the hard stuff. So your kid has a place to work through it and to really learn how you feel but, more importantly, to develop within their faith how they feel and what they know is right and wrong. And so this is an area the racism conversation that you got to dig in, and it’s going to be awkward at times and uncomfortable, but it’s important. And one of the things I want to address that I hear often in this teen boy world is the N-word, and that’s something not just in the teen boy world, it’s across the board, and I want to say that this conversation is huge and there’s a lot of intricacies to it and it’s not something we’ll dive into in this show. But if your kid comes home and says I was given like the N-card or the N-word pass, you need to have the conversation with them, make sure they know what that means.
Number one that’s a black person saying to a non-black person you can use this word and it’s okay, and you need to decide as a family how you feel about that in our house. That’s never okay. It’s not okay, but that’s not the case in some of my friends’ houses who are black families. They’re like you know what. It depends on the situation, it depends on the circumstances, it depends on the friends. There’s intricacies even to that. Like, if you’re given the N-word pass, it’s never with the ER at the end. You can never use that. You have to know that. And so there’s just all these rules and things that we need to dive into with our kids that sometimes they don’t understand and they just think, oh, it’s something I heard in the rap song or it’s something all my friends are saying. It’s not. It’s a word that holds a lot of power and a lot of hurt.
Well, and I would just be honest in my house it’s a hard no. With the and I think we had a conversation to hear about this they will say you have a one-time use, or sometimes they will say you have unlimited use, like. I’ve seen that also and over here, how I am addressing that in my home is saying okay, that’s a hard no for us. We are white people, we don’t understand the power of that word and how much it hurts and so we don’t get to use it. And just because a black person may be using that in a song lyric or whatever, that’s very different than us using that word.
You know, I think a good example in addition to what you’re saying is something my sister and I were talking about the other day and she said it’s like the B-word Two women might say that to each other in a funny, certain circumstance, but a man saying that or calling a woman, that holds a totally different tone and feeling and meaning and it’s not okay. And so it matters who says the words, it just does. We have to have that conversation with our kid.
I think, too, when your kid picks up on something that’s not okay, that it’s crossed a line, and they bring it to you, I think talking through that is extremely important and also praising them for recognizing that this crossed a line, like that is not okay. Ever Just pointing that out to them. I’m glad you are recognizing that is not okay. I wonder how that made that person feel and what did you do to help this situation. And this is a situation where this kid needs to be educated.
Well, and you might be saying to yourself why is my kid not speaking out and speaking up? You know being a teen and you’re in these group threads. You don’t want to get kicked out. That’s part of it. They’re like, if I speak up and I’m like the mom or the dad of the group, I don’t want to get kicked out and then I don’t get a voice in it anyway. There’s different reasons why your kid may not say something. It just might make them nervous or feel uncomfortable to be the one to say something. This is a conversation with you and your kid and maybe at some point they’ll feel strong, brave or bold enough to speak up.
I really want to urge you. If there’s a line that has been crossed and you are like this is a serious situation If I don’t speak up, something may happen. That’s what I love about what I’m seeing at NextTalk is when parents and kids are seeing that a line has crossed and it’s not ridiculous anymore, like this is a serious situation that should not be happening. They’re waking up to okay, what do we do with this? And I think this is a very important conversation with your kid, because you need to talk it over with each other. Like, how can we help this situation? But at the same time, your kid is probably going to want to remain confidential because he doesn’t want to be the tattletale or known of the group, and that’s a real concern. I mean, you could be bullied because you’re telling on your friends.
So I think, find some creative ways that you and your kid can do together. Maybe it is. Can we email the counselor? I’ll let you proof the email before, but I will try and keep your name out of it. But we just need to report this so that something is being done about it. It’s just a way to tell your kid. Okay one, I’m super proud of you that you realize this is a serious situation and this is not a laughable, ridiculous kind of thing. It’s not a joke anymore. Or it has crossed the line where this is being very hurtful to someone, or this is racist for real and we have to use discernment here on how we’re going to approach this.
So, yeah, it is not an easy conversation. There’s all these different facets to it and conversation points that you need to talk through with your kid and give examples. I mean there’s so many ways that you can tackle this, but just don’t sweep it under the rug. Have the conversation, even if you haven’t seen this in their text threads or haven’t had any experience with it. Be proactive and talk about it with your family, talk about it with your kids and paint the picture of what you believe under your roof and in your family.
And man just bringing in that God vision of what he has in scripture, that everyone is created equally. I mean I love when it says every tribe, every nation will, you know, will worship the Lord. You know we honor our differences. But in scripture, if you read the Bible throughout, what you see is, especially in the New Testament, people are separated into two categories believers and non-believers. So we have all sorts of tribes and nations and races represented in both of those categories. But there’s only really two categories in the end and that’s do you believe in Jesus or do you not believe in Jesus?
And I think kinds of conversations like that bringing it back to how God loves everybody. He created everybody. He created different skin tones and people with different eye colors and people in the, and that is part of our unique differences. I mean I think it’s just so cool that God is the creator of that and he honors that and he wants us to be unique. But he also says at the end, we’re separating into believers and non-believers. So, like the bear, the foundation here is do you believe in Jesus or not? That’s what. That’s what matters in the end. Love your neighbor, people, love your neighbor. Okay. So racism a huge topic. We also did another show just on racism, so if you need help with that conversation, you may want to check that out.
You can search for it now on our website. It’ll be linked. It’ll be linked to the show too, so that’s cool, okay, so, so racism big deal, and I like how you can differentiate ridiculous from racism, true racism, and how to navigate that conversation with your kids. I think it’s super important. Okay, let’s talk about all things. Body part. We got nude. We got balls. We got sweaty balls.
And everything, just like how a piece of white paper is racist and everything is like phallic. I mean, like you, you post a picture of a pencil and they’re like oh, you know, it’s like they make a sexual joke or a body part joke about anything and everything Candle oh, I had a peach for lunch. Oh, my goodness, don’t ever say that, don’t ever text emojis.
It’s funny because like starting in middle school just do not pack your kid a banana or a hot dog, because don’t don’t do it, cause there will be all sorts of sexual jokes happening at the middle school lunch table about your kid. People will be taking pictures of them, making memes Like it’s just not a good situation. That’s a next talk pro tip right here. I really want to talk about this cause I think it’s, again, super important. Nudes have been normalized, body parts all over the place have been normalized, everything is sexualized, and so again, we have to differentiate the ridiculous from the very serious, and we’re navigating this. So I’ve got a couple of examples for you.
So we got pictures in there and these are situations that parents have contacted me about. If I’m sharing them on the air, I have asked permission to share them anonymously. I just want everybody to know if you ever contact next talk, if you ever talk to us about a situation, we may use it from a standpoint of a talking point anonymously, but we will ask you first. The only caveat to that is if we’ve been contacted by multiple people. So if there’s like four or five people that have contacted us about the same thing, we don’t ask all four or five people. We just say, okay, we’re seeing this, we need to address this, and so I just want to clarify that that’s kind of how we operate from a confidential standpoint.
So, group text the pictures of characters, anime coming through with large penises, so they’re nudes, but they’re not real people nudes, so they’re character nudes. So and your kid says to you what do I do with this? Oh, my gosh, I’m seeing penis. This is a great conversation, this is in. Your kid is not going to say I’m seeing penis.
I’m saying that your kid will never say that to you.
That is me paraphrasing your boy. Your boy will not say that to you. I don’t think you will. I don’t think you will. That’s Mandy paraphrase. So what do you do with that? I think that’s an amazing conversation. I think it’s first, thank you for telling me and second, it’s okay. This is a very serious conversation.
You need to know that right there. Yes, it desensitizes you to nude photos. It does, but that’s not illegal. I would literally say in this case, I would literally say if that was one of your friends, dick pics like that’s child pornography and that is illegal and you could be charged for it. So you need to know where the line is.
Do I like that your group text is including character penis pictures? I don’t like it. But I also know I can’t be on you about everything, but I will tell you this an actual dick pic? No, we’re not going to do that. And so that is something that you have to immediately address with me or dad, somebody to help you walk through that. And so again, it is taking. Because here’s the thing do I want character pictures with penises be shared in the group text? I don’t. I think it’s awful, I think it desensitizes our kids. But the thing is, if I overreact to that, then when I overreact to the nude, they don’t get the real severity of it, and so by changing up how I’m responding to that, they get the real severity of the child pornography nudes being shared.
Well, and it also gives you the opportunity to tell them. I know what happens in real life, I know that these pictures are being sent. I know the terminology, I know the consequence. They need to know that. They need to know that you are not over here like, oh, I don’t know what’s happening with these kids. Boys will be boys, no, no. They need to know that. You understand there is a space for them to be in this virtual locker room, but there is also a line and it’s very clear and you know what it is and you will call them to it when the time comes. And that gives you an opportunity to say that.
Okay, kim, those were really good points. You know their world by using the words, but don’t ever say to your kid I know your world because you really don’t. And then you always want to learn from your kid. So when they’re using new words, tell me what that means. I don’t know what that means. So you always want to be curious about their world. Prove that you’re in their world by saying their word. Yes.
One other thing I want to say about nudes. If an actual nude is shared in a group text, so you’re talking child pornography. It’s a girl or a boy, it is an actual nude photo shared in a group text. You need to equip your kid with what to do in that moment. Yeah, so the first thing is, even though it’s on a group text thread, you don’t say that to your phone and you do not show it to anyone. The reason I say this is because kids have gotten in trouble and we’ve worked cases like this because they’re shocked about it and then they say look at what just popped up on my phone. That automatically makes them a distributor of child pornography, even though they’re doing it in shock like, oh my gosh, look at this. That’s distribution of child porn. You cannot expose another kid, so it’s in your group text. You’re freaking out about it.
I think the number one thing to do is don’t engage and tell your mom and dad the next step and then help them navigate through that. It may be leaving the group chat. It may be reaching out to that kid, that one person who shared that and your kid saying one on one, you can’t share that. That’s not okay, like it is literally illegal. Maybe it’s doing some education, maybe it’s mom You’d call the other mom because I don’t want to have this conversation with my boy. Whatever it is, you and your kid kind of work out how that needs to be handled, so you make it educational and you make it so that everybody’s on the same page. We’re going to have this group chat and we can talk about all the things, but that’s a line we’re not going to cross in this group chat.
And then it’s really also important to understand that if someone in a group chat shares a nude and it’s been addressed and they continue to share nudes or it escalates and they’re not respecting or changing or acknowledging that it was wrong, then you need to find a way to come alongside with your kid and report it to the school and get some action behind it. Definitely leave the group chat. You don’t want to be associated with that, but we can’t let that just go on. It is distribution and so we need to report it and make it known by the proper authorities or people in charge. That can take it to the next step.
Absolutely. Again, every situation is different. Discern, pray, talk with your kid about how to approach it and work together as a team. And we say that because we don’t want you calling the counselor in the school and reporting it without your kid, because here’s what happens the counselor is going to call your kid down to the office and get a first hand account and then your kid is going to feel blindsided and they’re never going to tell you anything else again.
This was a mistake I made early on in my parenting, thinking I needed to report something to the school and I didn’t bring my kid into that process and then my kid felt blindsided when the counselor asked. So you need to make sure this is a conversation between you and your kid, like how are we going to figure this out? How are we going to get this kid the help they need? Because this is not okay. The other thing is you said, okay, we’re talking about virtual boys locker room. You said boys will be boys. So I write about this in talk. This is a phrase I hate really badly.
I hate it so bad because it my mind immediately goes to objectifying girls and being able to degrade girls. That is where my mind goes and I think in the locker room talk that I’m seeing that has kind of shifted in our culture and I want to talk about that a minute. It’s just my observation of you know. I have a teen boy and working with a lot of families, I think today boys will be boys to them means potty talk. Let me tell you what I mean by that. So I have permission to use this story.
I have a 16 year old boy and right now we’re kicking off all our fantasy football stuff. We are doing one league with parents and kids, which we’ve had for years and years and years. It’s a you know way that we used to bond with our kids and we’re still doing it. So we’re like, yeah, we’ll still do it, and we have a big you know fantasy kickoff party with the dads and the kids. I’m like the only girl that goes, but I love it because I love football and so that’s kind of weird, but I’m there. I’m there, you know, in that fantasy football league we have all normal names, you know, just touchdown, todd, lady lineback, whatever, just normal names. My son also joined a fantasy league with just his buddies, just his teen buddies, and he wanted to have a name. And I don’t even remember the name I’m going to butcher it, I don’t have it right but it was something about nuts or balls or these nuts or something. Yeah, and what was cool about it is he’s navigating what’s appropriate and not because we have these conversations all the time.
And so he came to me and he said do you think this is inappropriate? And first of all, I said okay, first of all, you’re a 16 year old boy asking my opinion. Like I feel super honored, thank you for asking me. And you know, of course he was like rolling his eyes, but I feel like they need to hear that. They hear it. Thank you for wanting my opinion on this. And, second of all, this is how I addressed it. Now, some people may not agree with how I addressed it, but this is what I said If there was a girl involved in this fantasy league, would you use that terminology?
And he said, oh my gosh, no, because of a respect thing. Yeah, I was like then it’s okay. Yeah, I mean, you understand the line, you understand the line here and that’s what I’m talking about, like with teen boys and objectification of girls. I mean, I know it still happens. But if you’re having the conversations about girls are to be respected, they are not a body, they are not a you know somebody walking down the hallway and you get to touch inappropriately. If you are having all of those conversations, from when they are five years old, when they’re 16, they get the line, they understand the line here and so. But it was cool because he thought, I think in his mind he thought I would never use this terminology with the family group chat.
So am I living a double life here? Am I being fake or weird? And so I was trying to help him navigate that You’re with your dudes and you know I don’t understand that culture. I don’t understand talking about your balls and D’s nuts and you know I don’t understand that. But you’re a dude. And when you’re with your guy friends, like, as long as you know the line, there are boundaries, you know with, with touching, you know all of that kind of stuff. But if you’re just like chatter, chatter, then to me that’s what I would deem appropriate locker room talk and we have a show on boundaries which would be great to go listen to as well as part of this conversation, because it’s a big part of teaching your kid to navigate a group text is the boundaries conversations Like what is okay and what is not okay.
Well, and one of the things I love about the group text is you’ve got this long thread of thought, you know, and it’s thoughtlessness, honestly, most of it, and it’s, and it’s excessive, stupid jokes.
Stupid jokes, it’s so excessive, it’s just craziness, but it allows me to create conversation so easily because I can say, hey, I was doing a phone check, tell me more about this. Instead of calling out, oh my gosh, I saw this thing. I’ll say see this portion right here, tell me more about this. And it gives my kid a chance to give me context, to explain something new that’s going on. So I’m learning about his world, to explain a new term that they’re using. So all of that is so helpful in teaching all of these things about boundaries and appropriate language and about who you’re talking to win and where, and also within the context of understanding their culture. So use the text thread and all its craziness as a conversation starter too, and it doesn’t always have to be bad.
I mean, we’re talking about two things that are issues that we see are prevalent right now in these teen boy threads, and they’re not great. They really aren’t. They are. They can be ridiculous and not super dangerous, but they can cross over. But there are some good things that might be happening in that thread too, and I do want to mention that. And it’s okay if you’re doing a phone check, it’s okay to point that out too and be like, yeah, that’s kind of good when they said that or did that in that thread, and so when you do these phone checks and you’re seeing what’s going on in here, make sure you’re praying through what to take with a grain of salt, what to ask about and dig more into and what you really need to like hold accountable, like we need to talk through this. This is a problem. You’ve crossed a line, and so I think there’s a lot that can come out of these weird and crazy text threads.
Well, and use your discernment. If you are thinking, oh my gosh, this is a big deal, it’s a big deal, yeah, it’s a big deal, yeah, and, and, and you know, if you’re thinking, oh my gosh, am I overreacting? You may be so. Talk it through with a trusted friend. Talk it through with your spouse. Send us a picture. You don’t, you have no idea.
So many pictures so many pictures.
Is this a good, is this a? Is this a bad thing or not? Like, how should I respond to this? And you know, we always say we’re not an expert on your kid, we’re not an expert on you. But if it were my kid and this was the picture in the group text, this is how I would handle it. This is what I would say in my own home and that’s kind of how we address things. So, teen boy group text they’re fun.
Never a dull moment with these guys. I tell you what.
I just feel like I’m learning a lot about boys. Yes, kind of the cool thing that I do. Like you said, kim, we’re getting a glimpse into that locker room in a way that we’ve never gotten before, and are there some bad things happening? Yeah, they’re absolutely. Are that we need to be addressed? But you know what, for the most part, these, these boys, they’re trying to become men and they’re trying to figure this out and it’s just kind of fun to see. It’s a fun space to be quite honestly, and there’s a lot of conversations here that are awesome, teachable moments, so don’t miss them. This podcast is ad free because of all the people who donate to our non-profit. Make a donation today at nextTalk.org.
This podcast is not intended to replace the advice of a trained healthcare or legal professional, or to diagnose, treat or otherwise render expert advice regarding any type of medical, psychological or legal problem. Listeners are advised to consult a qualified expert for treatment.
This podcast is not intended to replace the advice of a trained healthcare or legal professional, or to diagnose, treat, or otherwise render expert advice regarding any type of medical, psychological, or legal problem. Listeners are advised to consult a qualified expert for treatment.
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