0:00:03 – Speaker 1
Hey, this is Mandy and Kim with nextTalk, where we are passionate about keeping kids safe in the digital world.
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Go to nextTalk.org and click on Give and check out our resources while you’re there, more than cyber parenting conversations to connect. We recently did a social media post talking about how we recommend random phone checks and there was a mom who just had a really, really great question as a comment. So I want to set this up for you. The post was about random phone checks and what we were recommending here is you know when your kids first get a cell phone, you’re going to check that phone often. You know. For me it was every night for like a week or two And then it transitioned into you know once a week.
Then it you know. Then it spaces out more. The more you don’t find that they’re hiding from you, the more you trust them. You know. Now I have a 17 year old and it’s it’s once every four or five, six months or something, unless I have attitude or something you know as a red flag that something’s going on. You know it’s just. Again, we use that analogy of like a kite string The more you trust them, the more they prove themselves. The more you don’t find anything on those random phone checks, the more freedom they get. So that was kind of the gist of the social media post.
0:01:34 – Speaker 2
So that was the post that we had on our social media You may have seen it And the mom commented that her 13 year old sees this you know, the random phone checks as an invasion of privacy, and he told her that he feels like she doesn’t give him enough room to prove he’s trustworthy And she asked if we had any suggestions on how to discuss this better with him. So, first off, the general idea you know, as far as I’m concerned, of kids feeling like you don’t trust them, is something that just starts to come with age Cause, as they get older and they’re maturing, they feel kind of like they know it all. Right, can I get an amen here?
0:02:09 – Speaker 1
I mean we’ve all heard it. Don’t you trust me, mom? Yeah, Don’t you trust me. I mean, I’m saying, I’m saying it in a weird way.
0:02:15 – Speaker 2
No, that’s the tone. It’s always in it, with an eye roll and that edge of an attitude.
Don’t you trust me, mom, it’s so true, our children are like I don’t sound like that, but truly, truly, it comes with age, as they do know more and we do give them more freedoms and they are having opinions and experiencing things phone or no phone, whatever it is, they feel like they know a lot and that we should trust them. Whatever the topic, most parents can relate to this struggle of letting their kids know they trust them but still having boundaries.
0:02:48 – Speaker 1
Well, yeah, I mean we’re talking about cell phones here, but I mean, Kim, with you, with younger kids, you probably get it with like sleepovers or going to this play date or hanging out with this friend, right, I mean it’s kind of always this concept of mom. well, why do you not trust me? Let me do this kind of thing.
What I loved about the mom’s question first of all, before we get into kind of some conversation starters that could maybe help with this is that she asked the question because she wanted to create a discussion with her kid.
She didn’t want to fall into the trap of saying, because I said so, or I’m the parent, you’re the child. This is just how it is, and I want to address that because we all kind of grew up hearing that. I’m not saying it’s not wrong in certain situations, but I will tell you this I feel like 99.9 percent of the time it shuts down all communication, and so it’s something in my home that I have just vowed to avoid Anytime. I in my mind wanna say because I said so, i don’t say it. Well, and I catch myself because it just sounds like a dictator, it doesn’t sound like a. Hey, i wanna hear you, i wanna talk through this. I want you to understand my heart as to the why behind these rules or these guidelines that I’m giving you. You know it just takes away all that kind of understanding and conversation.
0:04:07 – Speaker 2
And there’s two things that come to mind when you say that. One, i say that all the time to inside, kim, you know what I mean. Like, i say it all the time because I said so inside, so that I can process it and be frustrated with my inner voice. I get through it and then I do the. Let me explain it to you. Do you know what I mean? Like, sometimes we just gotta go there and get it out.
0:04:28 – Speaker 1
It’s your filter. It is your filter. It’s kind of like your filter in your mind, but you don’t say it audibly to your kids. You stop yourself. You filter yourself.
0:04:36 – Speaker 2
And that’s why it’s really good sometimes to say can you give me a minute and we’ll come back to this conversation, cause sometimes you need to have a little you know, break down with you and your inside voice and then come back with nice version of yourself. And then also it just creates a space where defenses go down. You know, when you can say to your kid, i understand why you’re frustrated or why you’d feel that way, it just brings those walls down immediately And we can all relate to that, like if someone says to you, because I said so, all those defenses go up and then there’s no sense of understanding. So I think, just on that basic level of wanting to have the walls come down so we can get to a space where we understand each other, it’s good not to say that.
0:05:16 – Speaker 1
Well, and that’s why I love this mom’s question, because she’s basically saying hey, i want to engage my kid in this conversation as to why I need to do random phone checks and make him understand And him not get defensive Can you help me with those conversations? And I just love the question. Fantastic, this is a parent who has a heart to have a healthy dialogue with her child And this is amazing. So let’s talk through what we responded back with, because these are some core nextTalk things that we talk about here. And so here’s the first thing And this is a quote from my book and we’ve been saying it for years and years and years and years and years Your phone is not your diary.
Your phone is not your diary. Here’s the thing. When I talk to my kids about their phone, i will say to them I want you to think, if there’s a police investigation Say there’s a robbery, a murder or something What is the first thing police officers do nowadays? They go through people’s phones. They go if they have a lead suspect or a person of interest. They’re gonna get that phone. They’re gonna go through it. They can get all the disappearing and deleted files that are on that phone.
And so this idea of having privacy on a phone, it’s really a false sense of security. We have no privacy. Absolutely Anything that we put through on technology can be pulled up, hacked, gotten into, and we all need to be aware of that. That is, this digital footprint thing is a real thing And so just phrasing it like that, my kids then automatically think okay, i don’t wanna hide anything on my phone. I have to remember. I always tell my kids hey, if you don’t want a pastor or a teacher or a parent seeing something on your phone, then you don’t text it, you don’t comment, you don’t send it, you don’t do it because anybody could see that And it could always be screenshot from someone and then shared with the world in a private text. So nothing is ever really private on a phone.
0:07:19 – Speaker 2
That’s so good And it’s not conspiracy theory stuff. Like truly, Mandy and I have been to conferences and spoken to people in law enforcement. You truly don’t have privacy and your kids need to understand that because hopefully it will give them pause before they do share something that is not private on their phone. So number one very important when it comes to cell phones that they know your phone is not a diary.
0:07:41 – Speaker 1
Yes, and this is so important. The other thing is this remind your kid you have a phone. I trust you enough to have a phone. This is a big responsibility, I know. A lot of times they want all these apps and they want you know all these social media platforms all at once, and we always recommend just one at a time so you can learn it together and walk through it a step by step process kind of thing. But when they’re asking for all this stuff, remind them hey, you already have a phone. I trust you enough to have a phone, And that says a lot about who you are, because if I thought you were lying to me, if I thought you were going to hide, if I thought you were being manipulative, you would not have a phone yet. And so encourage your kid to. I do trust you, I do trust you, You have your own device.
0:08:30 – Speaker 2
That’s one of my favorites And I think if you’ve been having conversations with your kids and if they are on the online world, like mine are in different ways, like YouTube and online gaming and different things like that you’ve been having these conversations about the dangers of the online world. So one of the things I plan to talk to my kid about when he’s ready for a phone is you know about all these dangers and I know even more about them, and yet I’m giving you a phone. That’s how much I trust you. So if they have kind of a frame of reference for how much is out there that they could be exposed to and yet you trust them, that might help them, too, to understand that you really do trust them when they have this question come up.
0:09:10 – Speaker 1
Well and that goes back to one of our previous shows, kim, i think it was when should my kid get a cell phone? or how do I get my kids to tell me what they’re seeing online? When you finally do make that decision to give your kid a phone, it needs to come off of something amazing that they’ve told you that they earned that phone. because it’s that positive reinforcement of you. keep telling me you get more freedom, but you need to not keep secrets from me and everything that’s happening in your online world or in person. you got to keep telling me and being honest. That’s how you earn more freedom. Listen, kids are always going to want you to put that kite string out faster and faster and faster Of course they want to grow up Our job as parents.
I mean, if you really think about it, i was thinking about this the other day when we went bowling and we put the gutter things up, you know, to make sure that we couldn’t have gutter balls, because we’re all bad, we’re all bad.
0:10:01 – Speaker 2
Don’t even make fun of us, kim, wait a minute, don’t even. You don’t have children anymore, you have young adults and you put up the pumpers.
0:10:09 – Speaker 1
I put the bumpers on for me. I put the bumpers on for me. I was thinking about this. I was like, as parents, that’s our job is to be those bumper rails. The kids, they went them off. They want the balls to go flying over all the other. My son would love it if he could just skip lanes and go to a strike and three lanes over. My job as a parent is to say hey, you got to. This path is the best for you, and it kind of helped them maneuver that. They’re always going to be wanting more freedom, faster and faster and faster. Our job is to let that kite string out, gently and at the right time, because we know they can handle it. That’s our job as parents And I think we have to really take this very seriously. I think it’s a very important in this fast-paced, over exposed world that we help them get little doses of the world at a time when they’re ready And this applies to everything.
0:11:08 – Speaker 2
Like we said before, in this case the mom asked the question about the phone, but, as you mentioned, in my world it’s sleepovers, it’s YouTube, it’s online gaming, it’s all these different things Friend groups, walking down the street to someone’s house or going somewhere without mom. Those are the things that we’re navigating with freedoms. And why don’t you trust me? And that analogy about the bowling is a perfect example of how that works for any situation, with trusting your kids. I mean, they need to know that if I just take those rails down, the things you’re exposed to you’re not ready for yet, and I love you so much that I want you to experience them one step at a time, so you learn how to navigate them while you’re under my roof. So when you’re ready to fly and make those decisions on your own, you really will be ready And I’ll be your number one cheerleader.
0:11:58 – Speaker 1
Amen, sister. Okay, so back to this mom’s question. Her kid is 13 years old. So we’ve talked about your phone is not a diary. Hey, i do trust you. You have a phone, look, look at all the freedom I’m already giving you at 13,. You know for you to have this, this is a big deal, that I trust you enough to give you a phone. The other thing that I really wanted to instill in her is this We need to make our kids understand there are bad people who misrepresent themselves online.
They will say they’re a 13 year old kid. They know how to talk like you and act like you and joke with you and, you know, make funny YouTube references to think that they’re a kid. They know they are experts at grooming and they take advantage of kids. And so, as parents, you know our job is to make sure that nobody takes advantage of you. Again, it’s that bumper rail mentality right. And so explain to your kid your prefrontal cortex in your brain it’s not fully developed until your mid 20s And that helps you determine judgment and that kind of thing. So, as you’re growing up as a kid, my job is to help you make sure nobody’s manipulating you, taking advantage of you or you’re getting sucked into something that’s really, really bad.
We did a grooming show that’s got a lot of details on this, like, specifically, how people groom in person and online, and we have another show called online manipulation that you can go listen to. It kind of takes a deeper, even stance into how people groom and manipulate our kids online, and so this is another example of why we have to be involved in their online world And we have to explain that to them And listen. If your kids are old enough to have a phone, they’re old enough to read some new stories about kids being sex trafficked or taken online. I do that with my kids. When I see a new story or we have a nextTalk family that we’re working with you know, i will say anonymously you know this happened today to this little kid And I want you guys to be aware of it, like I use real life examples So they know like good, smart, amazing kids are being manipulated online And so they can too. We can never think it can not happen to our own.
0:14:14 – Speaker 2
And I guess this message, now that you say that what I’m about to say is more for moms And I have been guilty of this myself where I say, well, that you know that wouldn’t happen to me or my kid. You know, we’ve all been there where we think that’s out there. That’s not here. And I will tell you firsthand my oldest is only 11 and he’s had many friends who have already been manipulated online And because we’ve been talking about it for so many years and preparing him in age appropriate terms, he’s been able to identify it on behalf of his friends and been able to say Hey, you know, maybe we can talk to your mom about this. Or Hey, i’m worried about your safety.
And I will tell you, these are things that seem like you said, these seem like kids, It seems safe, it seems okay And every time it has turned out to be a dangerous situation. So this message again from moms it can happen and will happen in your neighborhood, in your school, under your roof, so don’t dismiss it as an out there kind of thing. Be aware, talk to your kids about it and prepare them for the red flags and let them know. That’s part of the reason, a big part of the reason why you’re doing phone checks, so you can be a part of keeping them safe.
0:15:23 – Speaker 1
You know, a core value of ours is community, and this is this is why because we’ve got next-talk kids now identifying sex trafficking or grooming happening with their friends and then reporting it to an adult and like literally saving their peers from a sex trafficking situation. It takes a village. This is our community. This is this is what open communication can do and have a ripple effect, and I, kim, i loved what you said about how you know, none of us is untouchable, and this is one of the ways we talk about all the time, about how stranger danger has changed over the years. It used to be. We just had to be worried about our kids being kidnapped from the white van with the guy offering the candy. That’s not the case anymore. A stranger can be communicating with your kid on the Xbox and talking with them on the headset, and you have no idea, and so that’s why these conversations are so, so important.
0:16:18 – Speaker 2
You know this started with a question from a mom, which we love, and we love answering on social media, but we want to incorporate that more in our show. So if you have a question, we’d love to hear from you. Email us at admin at nextTalk.org, or you can message us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We want to answer your question on our show so that more people who probably have similar questions or the same one can get some help and resources. A couple of things that are really important and exciting. We have been on a hiatus taking care of our families and mental health during the summer, but starting on September 13th, we’re going to be launching new content, new shows for you. And guess what? This is year five that we’ve been doing our podcast and radio shows. Can you believe that Season?
0:17:01 – Speaker 1
five. We started in 2017 with this podcast. It’s crazy. It is great. We had a couple hundred listeners and now we’re like over a hundred thousand.
0:17:10 – Speaker 2
It’s so exciting to see what God is doing. It is exciting, And so we’d love for you to share our podcast, leave some reviews like it, subscribe, of course, But if you this is the time, like all the new parents, you’re meeting in your kids classroom, share our podcast with them. Tell them about it.
0:17:26 – Speaker 1
And we have a ton of events coming up. In September I get to travel to Alabama. I’m so excited I’ve got some church events coming up. If you would like to host us at your church, just go to nextTalk.org and click on events. There’s a form you can fill out and our event coordinator will get you all the information you need to plan an event.
0:17:45 – Speaker 2
We can also come to your school too. So we’d love to hear from you, we’d love to come and connect with you.
0:17:50 – Speaker 1
So last year, was it last year during COVID We did. we started doing online group and they were amazing. I have made so many close friends, This idea of the village being expanded through the online groups. like I’m so excited about it, I can’t wait to launch new groups this semester.
0:18:08 – Speaker 2
Yes, and so, if that’s something that you would like to do, be watching our social media. We’ll make announcements there about ways that you can be a part of one of our online groups. We’re expanding that to different age groups and multiple groups, and so watch for that there. But also text next, talk to 44222. So you can sign up for our newsletter. Well, we will also give you an opportunity to sign up for our online groups, which it’s a limited amount of people in each group, so you need to do it early and you need to be watching for that announcement.
0:18:39 – Speaker 1
Yeah, and I just want to say, when you get that newsletter, that September newsletter, and you want to be in the online groups, register that day, because we’re limiting it to 20 people just so it can be a safe place for moms to talk and open up, and so there’s limited space on those, but you need to register for that day. Everything is absolutely free. We have amazing donors who are giving to our organization, so this is a free resource for you these online groups.
0:19:05 – Speaker 2
And the newsletter is also really important because that always lists our events And if you’re able to register for them, you can register through there as well. So we really encourage you to do that.
0:19:14 – Speaker 1
You know, i just want to say thank you to our nextTalk listeners. We were worried about taking a break over the summer, and we actually heard positive feedback from moms and dads saying thank you for modeling for us what we need to do. We all need to step back when we get frazzled, and I’m telling you for my own mental health I don’t know, i could not have recorded a show every week, and so it has been life giving for me to take a minute with my family, and I’m so excited. We have all new topics. Our list is so long of things we want to do because our brain is like going so fast And we also want to hear from you like what do you want? So, again, reach out, let us know. We want to cover topics that you want and you need.
0:19:57 – Speaker 2
Yes, yes, you were crazy. I’m glad we took a break. Just kidding, definitely wasn’t me. I was crazy? Definitely wasn’t me. I was crazy, no, you added all the references.
0:20:08 – Speaker 1
They’re all of it.
0:20:10 – Speaker 2
All right, September 13th. We can’t wait to meet back with you here for new content, all new shows, and help is on the way. We’re in it together, folks.
0:20:18 – Speaker 1
Year five, season five let’s go.
0:20:20 – Speaker 2
See you crazy.
Transcribed by https://podium.page