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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0:00:36 – Speaker 1
I was recently a guest on a Christian podcast and I got asked this question. Kim, it was a good question Why do you think, as Christians, we often go into overprotective mode?
0:00:49 – Speaker 2
Oh, goodness, let me start the very long list.
0:00:53 – Speaker 1
I mean, I could so relate because my whole parenting tactic was to overprotect the shelter and bubble wrap and all that.
0:01:00 – Speaker 2
Well, yeah, it’s our little people and the world just seems so crazy that that’s like your go-to right. You want to keep your kids safe.
0:01:08 – Speaker 1
And it’s still my default. I still find myself going into overprotective mode and then having to rethink it, like, okay, what is this going to accomplish? Is this really going to do what I want it to do, or is it going to, you know, backfire on me? because I think it backfires a lot, yes, for sure. So on this show, i kind of want to talk about three little mess ups that immediately came to my mind when the question was asked And they’re parts of my story that a lot of you guys know. But again, it was that default of overprotectiveness. And then I want to talk about some reasons and examples at the end about why overprotecting doesn’t work. Bring in some other people’s stories and that sort of thing.
0:01:48 – Speaker 2
You know, in the beginning of our nextTalk journey it did feel like a lot And I wanted to overprotect my kids all the time. And I still go there too, and even my husband, you know, has a dad. I think it’s a lot of times different because that’s that part of their like job description. As a dad, i got to protect my family, and so it is a lot of conversations, it is a lot of like oh, this is what I want to do, and then hold on a minute Is this what’s really going to help my kids? So I think we can all relate to this.
0:02:17 – Speaker 1
Well, and I think too can, because your kids are younger, it’s easier to go into overprotective mode. I mean, now with an 18 and 14 year old, there’s not much they don’t know about. So at this point I’m like, okay, we’ll watch whatever, because then talk about it, right, But you’re still in this. Well, when is when is the time where I can loosen a little bit and not be as what? and I’m talking about like what they’re watching on TV, what they’re seeing on their screens? you’re still trying to protect them a little bit because of their ages, and I think that is completely normal.
0:02:48 – Speaker 2
Yeah, it is a balance between the physical protection and the emotional and mental protection. That is a daily conversation in my head with Jesus, like every day, all day long.
0:03:00 – Speaker 1
Help guide me. Help guide me. Okay, parenting story number one. Y’all know this. it’s what led to the start of nextTalk. But you know, my original plan was not to give my kid a phone until she was 30. Well, yeah, in my mind I just don’t have to deal with all this online crap that’s happening. And I was just so naive because I thought I could protect her from the overexposure that happens with technology. And y’all know the story she was exposed to porn even without a phone. And you know, that was when I learned you can delay the phone, but you just can’t delay the conversations. Yeah, it’s a hard lesson, you know, kim. that’s when I realized the solution to all of this was not to just bubble wrap, because bubble wrapping didn’t protect her. Not giving her a phone, not giving her access, that didn’t protect her. She was still exposed.
0:03:52 – Speaker 2
Well, years ago, when we were talking about this, god gave me this image of like unwrapping the bubble wrap from my kids and still having it, but laying it down and me becoming the safe place for them to land, like I am the bubble wrap because they can ask me anything hard questions. Here’s what I saw. What does this mean? I become the safe place to land and their source for information, and so it’s important that we unwrap that bubble wrap because they are going to be exposed to things and see things, but also give them the safe place to land to process it.
0:04:25 – Speaker 1
Well, and the other thing with that, you know you’re talking about that safe place to land and the safe place to ask awkward questions. You know, when we were growing up there was no Google. So if we had a question about oral sex or you know whatever, we got wrong information from our friends. We looked it up in the encyclopedia.
Oh my gosh, i’m all like it’s so old The encyclopedia Wow, does that word even exist anymore? Right, but now they can Google it. And if they Google oral sex or a sling word for oral sex or anything like that, they’re going to be exposed to 4k high definition videos of boys and girls, and boys and boys, i mean.
And girls and girls of all things in between with relating to oral sex, and so I know sometimes their questions scare you. But think about it like this If they can ask you and you can be that bubble wrap and be that safe place right, then you literally will save them from pornography when they have these questions, because they’re going to ask you instead of googling it, and then you’ve protected them. So it’s almost like the enemy has manipulated us into thinking don’t talk about it, sweep it under the rug, and then you’re protecting them. But actually bringing it out into the light, addressing their questions, actually is what protects them from things like pornography and items like that, because we’re the Google.
0:06:02 – Speaker 2
It’s a huge shift in thinking, but it changes everything.
It really does And you know, we’ve seen it time again in our families, so we know that it works and it’s not easy, but you will see the difference when you become the safe place for your kid. When you lay that bubble wrap down, you’ll see this shift in their little faces And you know, and as they get older you’ll see this like light bulb moment, like oh, i really can talk to mom, i really can trust them to tell me the truth, and that is a gift, that’s what you want into your household. The world is just waiting, waiting, and I feel like sometimes they’re standing outside my door, bringing the doorbell like ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, trying to get to my kids, to tell them everything that the world wants them to believe in. So much of it is lies and so much of it is hurts and so much of it is distorted. And I’m like standing in front of the door. Look, i will tell you kids, just don’t answer that door. Let me answer the questions.
0:07:03 – Speaker 1
Well, and I think one of the shifts that I’m seeing and I see it a lot on social media too is this notion of that your parents are mean and abusive and narcissistic. And these big terms that should mean big things when we use them, but they’re thrown around like nothing. You know, if your parents don’t 100% agree with everything that you think and believe, then they’re abusive and they’re not such a stick And you know the world is waiting for that And so and it’s Satan, it is literally Satan manipulating our relationships, trying to dismantle our family unit. I mean all of that right. The more we can show our kids we understand the culture, we see the culture and we’re not afraid of it, like let’s talk about it, the more it loses its power and it’s it’s like secrecy over what is this kind of world out there that I’m not allowed to experience, kind of Yeah exactly.
Okay, so you know, my first parenting story was overprotective. First step was I just wasn’t going to give her a phone, going to avoid all technology. I realized that in work right, and it was not going to work out the way I thought. So she gets a phone, she earns a phone, right. And I say earn, there’s a whole lot of things within that little word. They don’t just turn of a certain age and they get a phone. This needs to be a process of building trust and communication and talking about all the things. But she earned a phone. And then, kim, i literally went into and this is parenting story number two I went into full blown helicopter, lawn mower type, crazy, yeah, because then it was like give me all the parental content, let’s just lock this phone down. I’m not going to be those other parents where they’re porn and you know all the things, sure. And so I went crazy And I was so naive, i was sweet Mandy, she meant well, but I was crazy.
You know, the problem is there’s no app that monitors everything you need it to. There’s none. There’s none on the market And even if there was, like you could mirror their phone and you get everything. I mean they text 800 million emojis a day. They text abbreviations you don’t know right, because they have their own language. And the other thing is there’s privacy laws that are literally in intact. That you can’t access certain things on a phone like Apple, with Instagram direct messages, for example, that’s a perfect thing. It falls within a privacy laws. Even if you’re paying for a subscription like that, you’re not getting everything.
0:09:44 – Speaker 2
Well, and even if you work it and everything, are you going to quit your job or stop interacting with people so you can literally sit home and monitor a phone all day, Like no, nobody has time for that?
0:09:55 – Speaker 1
Well, and also, even if they get this figured out like, say, the privacy laws go away. Say, an app developer is a genius and they can mirror everything on the phone, i mean, here’s the thing your kids know they’re monitoring your, their phone. They’re just going to go to school and use a friend’s phone. I mean, that’s what they do. I see it all the time. Parents are like, well, on my kid’s Instagram account, it’s fine, and you see the profile picture and it’s you know the peace sign, john 316. I love peace sign. And then, and then the secret account that’s on their phone that the parents aren’t monitoring. That’s where all the sexual photos are in, the all the you know the test words and the memes that you don’t want to see. All that that is there.
And so there’s always a loophole. There’s always a loophole. So when we go into overprotective mode and we lock it down, we try to lock it down. Oftentimes, what it creates is like this sneaky environment of how can I get around it? And I think this is just extremely important to talk about, because my default is to lock it down. Well, but then we have the again Satan’s kind of manipulating it, and then we have this rebellious nature that comes out of our kids.
0:11:10 – Speaker 2
You told me about this pastor on Twitter and it was so good. He said overprotective parents raise really great liars. Oh girl, just let that sink in.
0:11:22 – Speaker 1
You know, and I I do have to say it Many times I will work with families and they’ll say you know, my kid is 16 or 17 and never had social media and not allowed to have it. You know, at that age they probably have it, you just don’t know about it. And I hate to say that, i hate to burst your bubble, but it’s true. This is where all of their communication is happening with their friends And you have been given a beautiful window, you know, probably. You know I say the window it depends on your kid, but I mean between 14 and 17, you have this beautiful window to teach them how to use social media And sometimes we miss it because we’re being overprotective.
And then what happens is if they have created a fake account on their friend’s phone and they’re communicating with people, if they get into a situation where it’s an online grooming you know, maybe it’s gotten a little weird and photos are being exchanged not okay photos or personal information is being they can’t tell you because they’re still stuck on. Mom or dad would kill me if they knew I had Instagram. So you see how that overprotective Satan uses that. It makes us feel like we’re protecting them, but it’s sending them in the wrong direction. It’s sending them into secrecy and hide things and don’t tell them. And then, when they do, end up in a situation they have nowhere to turn. So true, and then these sex traffickers are ready to pick up our kids from school and be gone with them.
0:12:56 – Speaker 2
Well, let’s, you know, go the other way just for a minute. Let’s say your kid does not have social media, like a hidden social media account. Let’s just go there. You know I know there’s some of you listening that are saying, no, no, my kid does not have it. You know we use the phone for texting only and they don’t have it on a friend’s phone. Let’s just say that is the case.
So your kid graduates from high school and moves away to go to college or start a job or start their life as an adult. I just want you for a minute to imagine how difficult it will be for them to manage the polls and the strain and the hardship that comes from the online world if we haven’t walked them through what it looks like to have a healthy relationship with social media. It’s going to be in their face suddenly, when they’re not under your roof, to talk to you about it and to learn new ways and to process. That is going to be so hard. It’s literally like handing them the keys at 18 to a car and saying figure it out on your own. Good luck out there on 281, or good luck out there on Route 66, whatever That. just nobody would do that because they’re going to crash and burn. And so, even if they don’t have social media, even if your kid isn’t hiding things from you, are we still not setting them up for a really bad situation?
0:14:17 – Speaker 1
I mean, i keep saying it I got a kid leaving for college in four months little over four months, right, and I cannot imagine sending her. I am already a nervous wreck and I’m thinking what did I forget? What did I forget to cover? So we’re covering spiked drinks and all the date rape, all the kind of stuff that I have to dig in there and think about college. What is this going to entail?
And so I’m covering these things that we haven’t yet had to cover yet, just because she hasn’t been a big partier and I wasn’t either, until a certain moment, and then it just happened for me. So I’ve got that baggage in my head. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh. Right, so I’m covering all that. I can’t even imagine if she’s been driving for a year and a half. I can’t imagine had we not started that yet. And then I can’t imagine her walking out and thinking, okay, now she’s got to learn how to drive, navigate college and learn social media all at once. It’s a lot, it’s a lot. So at least with the driving things done, we’ve taught her how to use a debit card, a credit card, finances, all that kind of stuff is done. And now I feel like I can focus and we’ve taught her social media, we’ve taught her digital parenting stuff, and so now I feel like I can focus on the college stuff because all that other stuff is.
We’ve spent years doing it all, but I think for a lot of parents they’re like I’m just not exposing my kids to that And I hate it. It’s the world we live in. I wish we could go back. I wish we could put it all back in the can, and nobody has social media. I wish that were the case, but that’s not real world, And so we have to deal with the culture at hand and prepare them for it And that’s why with over protecting, specifically with this, it does not work.
0:16:11 – Speaker 2
It can make things worse.
0:16:14 – Speaker 1
And in relation to this, you know, helicoptering, lawnmowering, locking the phone down once they get it. You know, one of the things I’ve learned is this if you and this was me, this was me, so I’m preaching to myself here This is a mistake that I made If you’re spending more time researching Wi-Fi routers than you are actually talking with your kid about real world issues, it should raise a red flag in your life. And I’m not saying don’t research the Wi-Fi routers, but again, it’s that lockdown over protective mode that we all go to And they’re just going on 5G and doing everything they need to do.
0:16:53 – Speaker 2
The Wi-Fi router is irrelevant. It really is. It really is And it’s hard, for change is hard. You know. We parent the way we were parented in some degrees, or we go the complete opposite And here we are in this new world of parenting where we don’t really have a template to follow, with social media and all these different polls in the online world, and maybe we’ve just been thinking about it the wrong way and this is difficult, it’s difficult to hear, it’s difficult to change, but it’s important because this idea that we can protect our kids from everything it’s safe in our minds and may give us temporary peace in our heads, but eventually it will cause huge turmoil in our house And nobody wants that. Nobody wants that And we want to focus out on the relationship with our kids when we parent from that place of fear.
0:17:42 – Speaker 1
So good, kim, and you know, parenting story one and two were really when I got it wrong. I got it so wrong and I learned from it. Parenting three story was I caught myself before I got it wrong because I had been on the journey long enough. I saw. I saw how over protecting wasn’t the solution. And so parenting story number three and if you’ve read my books you know this story or you’ve been to an event My kid had earned her first social media platform.
Again I say earn. And again I say one social media platform at a time that you’re teaching them. It’s a process like teaching them how to drive a car right, it’s not a free for all. My daughter had earned Instagram and she walked around the corner one day and she had her phone in her hand And I just knew by the look on her face we were. It was getting ready to be a moment. You know it was getting ready to be a moment And she said mom, these friends of ours went to a wedding this weekend. They posted a beautiful picture And in the post it said hashtag wedding And I clicked on that because I wanted to see more pictures of dresses, right? But she said instead, this popped up. She showed me her screen. It was naked women. They’re weird positions. I mean, it was definitely pornography, right, i’m definitely pornography.
And so old, overprotective Mandy would have literally this is how I would have responded I would have opened the trash can up. You know I have a slider, so I would have slid the cabinet open for my trash can. I would have thrown the phone away and I would have said you know what? I tried to be cool InstaMom, but this is from Sighton. No, no, no, no, no, no. Everybody’s like what. That’s not how we were supposed to do that. Okay, i’m gonna get there. I’m gonna get there.
As to why New Mandy had been on the journey long enough and I saw my errors in overprotecting on the parenting stories one and two. So by the time I got here, i was like I’m doing this differently. I am committed, i’m changing this up in my home, right. And so New Mandy laid the phone on the counter so my son couldn’t see, and I look at her and I say thank you so much for telling me. Satan wanted you to see that and get curious and click and click and end up in a really dark space. But you told me. And so, because you told me you knew exactly what to do. You get a new app today, so tell me what you want, i’ll research it, make sure it’s kid friendly and you get a new app today. Now, in the moment and how I responded, i wasn’t sure what this actually accomplished. But now, years later, i see what it accomplished And this is what I kind of wanna share with you guys.
Old Mandy, overprotective throw away the phone in the trash, take away the app because there was something bad on it. Mandy was actually teaching my kids to hide it from me. Lie, lie, lie, because if you tell them, you’re gonna lose the phone, lose the iPad or lose the app. So you gotta lie about it. Old Mandy was playing into exactly what Satan wanted. Keep it in the dark and then I can manipulate your kid and tell them whatever. New Mandy, on the other hand, created an environment think the Lord that he showed me this where I’m positively reinforcing you, telling me. I’m saying, if you tell me, you get more freedom, if you tell me, you get more phone, if you tell so, i’m creating this environment.
The other thing New Mandy did that night I reported all the images to Instagram and there were more than she actually saw.
And I crawled in bed with her that night and I said to her this “‘Are you okay’.
“‘because I’m processing those images that I saw, “‘and I’m struggling'”.
Right, that led into a long conversation.
I mean I don’t remember how long, but it was a long conversation that evening about how porn is bad for our brain, how it causes us to see people differently, how we could be walking down the hallway at school and we see friends in cute outfits, like on a normal kid brain, but a brain on porn, we see butts and body parts and objectification, and not like their gifts or their personality or their unique way God made them.
We see body parts and it’s just not okay to think of people like that. That’s not what God intended. So do you think, old Mandy, in my shh shh, that’s awful, that shameful hide it, throw it away. Versus let’s talk about why it’s bad for your brain? What do you think’s gonna be better at making sure my kid responds to porn in a healthy way? Which is gonna be better? And, parents, you get to decide this If you’re gonna be Old, overprotective Mandy or you’re gonna be New Mandy. Who’s willing to talk about it, willing to talk about why it makes us feel icky and why I don’t want this for your heart and mind, but it’s your choice. Like I’m not always gonna be there, you’re gonna have to make this decision for yourself.
0:23:12 – Speaker 2
Well, and this has always been such a powerful part of your book and story and presentation because it really shows that shift so clearly with this story. And it’s interesting we’re doing this show now because just recently, in the past few weeks, the Lord gave me this other layer that I’m seeing in a lot of nextTalk families that are trying to do this well but they’re missing the conversation piece because they respond well in the moment And just saying maybe this is you, because this is something I struggled with In the moment when your kid shows you something or asks you a question and you’re like, okay, and you take the phone or you listen and then you don’t throw it in the trash can and you don’t overreact, but you go into lecture mode. That’s the other layer that I see a lot of parents diverting to like, oh okay, I’m gonna create open communication, We’re gonna talk about it right now And we’re gonna go take this moment over to the couch or we’re gonna stand here and I’m gonna tell them all the Bible verses and what their friend is doing wrong and why this is horrible And 30 to 40 minutes later, whoo, we’ve had great conversation and everything’s different and I’m their safe place. I wanna encourage you. If that’s what’s happening in your house and you feel like You know this is I’m doing the right thing here, but you feel like your kids aren’t really coming to you anymore.
It’s not about a lecture, It’s not a sit down on the couch conversation, It’s on the go relationship, talking about these hard things. It’s giving your kid time to process it on their own first, so that later you can come back and bring it up and process together. We’re missing that two on that level because we think, OK, I’m not doing the crazy parent mode, but then we’re missing the follow up because we’re going to lecture mode. And so I want to present that too, because I think I’ve seen that with a lot of Nextalk families lately coming to me like what am I doing wrong? I think that’s something that we all struggle with. But it doesn’t create conversation, It creates a classroom, And this is a home, not a classroom.
0:25:29 – Speaker 1
Man. That’s a great point, kim. You know I’m not going to say that. You know, sometimes the Holy Spirit will equip you in the moment to open up the conversation With me. I’m not that person. The Holy Spirit, i mean God knows me in my makeup And I need a minute because I’m mad and I’m processing And in that moment I needed a minute to process what just happened before I could open up a really good conversation. That wasn’t a lecture. I love how you said it’s a conversation, not a classroom. I think that’s a great quote that we need to get on social media right now.
Well by the great Keb Melrick. But you are right And you need to know. Can you respond in the moment? Because oftentimes in the moment when you’re kid, i mean, i had just seen Major Porn and so had my kid? there was no, i would have gone into lecture mode, i would have gone into this. World is awful, this is horrible. I needed a minute to decompress, to process, to pray and get my mind right with OK Lord, how does this become a teachable moment? now Show me how to do this. And it’s that prompting of the Holy Spirit. Crawl in bed with her And just be honest that you’re having trouble processing what you saw, and maybe that’ll open up some dialogue.
0:26:43 – Speaker 2
I’m glad you said that because I think it’s important to say here if the Holy Spirit speaks to you in that moment and gives you the words, it’s still not a lecture. You know what I mean? It’s still not a lecture And that’s the point I want you to take away from this. It’s, by all means, if the Holy Spirit tells you to say this or gives you the words, please don’t suppress that That is God speaking through you in that moment to make a point with your kid or to bring something into the light That’s so important. But it’s still not a lecture, It’s a conversation.
0:27:18 – Speaker 1
Yeah, in the moment when it happened we had no conversations about why Porn is bad for you, that Porn is bad, nothing. It was just processing, like we just needed to sit with it and process what had just happened. I think both of us really. I don’t think she would have been ready to hear anything either, because it was shocking, it was a lot, and the fact that then I had to realize that my little kid saw it, you know, i mean, and she was 13,. I mean she was old or old enough to have social, but you always see them as a little kid. I mean, i have an 18 year old. I still see her as a little kid.
0:27:54 – Speaker 2
Which babies? yes, my mom says that you know in my 40s.
0:27:58 – Speaker 1
So But I want to see, i want to clearly show you how overprotective responses often push things in silence, where kids then struggle and they get manipulated. And you’re not. You don’t have a voice to speak into it anymore, and I know that we don’t mean to do that. Our overprotective default is we want to help our kids, we want to shelter them, we don’t want them to see all the ugly. I get it, but there’s so much freedom too.
And in showing them the world, i’ve always thought about it. As you know, we implemented one social media platform at a time, and anytime we would start a new social media platform and we would and I would be teaching it and we would learn it together. I would think, ok, my kid’s going to get a little more dose of the world right now, and I’m ready for that. I’m ready for them to see a little bit more of the ugly, and then we’re going to talk about it And then show them a little bit more. And you know your kid, you know when they’re ready for it, you know when they’re ready for that next level of dose of the world. But then when they leave our home, they’re not so sheltered that they don’t know how to function. Yeah, i mean we don’t want that. And then they’re going to look at us and say why did you do that? Why did why? I mean they’re going to get mad at us when they’re grown up and they see the world and they see how we’ve overprotected and sheltered I mean. I see all sorts of college kids. The stats are through the roof.
We did a show with Jim Musser, the college pastor, about kids walking away from the faith in college And a lot of it is. They’re not having the real world conversations at home, they’re not prepared, and so they get out in the world and they’ve never wrestled with you know, what does God say about sexuality? or what does God say about you know, maybe I’m questioning my faith a little bit, maybe I need to work through this, and then they’re gone and they don’t have you to talk about it because you’ve never talked about anything, and so we lose them. It’s so sad to watch And it all starts a lot with being overprotective and not willing to engage with our kids and the culture that they’re living in And it’s hard.
0:30:12 – Speaker 2
You know, we know we’re not. We’re not coming at you here like just do it. We’re coming at you with it. We’re coming at you from a space of feeling the same way you do, like it is hard and it feels sometimes wrong when we are part of exposing our kids because, wait, let’s say we give them a phone or we let them watch YouTube or whatever it might be. But again, it is having the realization of what their life is going to look like after they leave our home and we have this window to walk through it with them so that they’re prepared for it. And so we do have to shift our thinking into how can I actually prepare my kid? and bubble wrapping is just not it.
0:30:57 – Speaker 1
Well, and we all know that famous quote that says rules without relationship equals rebellion.
And I mean, I relate to this with my own story of my relationship with Jesus. You know, when I looked at it like a set of rules that I had to follow, there was nothing. I walked away from it as a teenager, I was like I don’t need this in my life, Like I just want to have fun, right. But then when I, you know, met Matt and started actually studying scripture and getting in there and learning the character behind God and trusting him and seeing that, oh, if I trust this and I do this, oh, life’s a little easier. I mean life, life seems to start making sense a little bit more. You know, I’m not in this crazy bubble of what’s what’s happening, you know, of all these different opinions. And when you put that to the test and I saw God’s heart and character behind the scripture and why it was there, it was a whole new thing for me. There was no more rebellion, It was more of like, oh, this is what I need in my life.
0:31:59 – Speaker 2
You want to cultivate that relationship. You’re drawn to it because it creates meaning and safety and peace.
0:32:07 – Speaker 1
That’s what we want with our kids, with our kids in our home, to foster that healthy relationship. You know, i was recently doing an event in this, this dad, he had a great question. He said you know, i can’t remember the age of his kid, i think it was an elementary age kids. And he said all of her friends are watching this movie and they’re talking about it on the playground, at school and on the bus and all the things, because she knows a lot about the content already. And he’s like, you know, for me it’s not something that I would really want her to watch yet I think it was a PG 13, you know, movie. It wasn’t like a mature rated R or anything. But he was like I just it wouldn’t be something that I would think that I would let her watch, an elementary age kid. But here I am And she’s already knowing about it And I was like well, a couple of things. One you know your kid, you know you know your kid if they can take this in this content in. And I said the other thing is, you know, it’s not like it’s a rated R, it’s not a pornographic video. I mean, that would be a definite line in the sand, right, but look at it from this perspective. She probably already knows a lot of scenes and has had her friends takes on a lot of things. So what if you use it as an opportunity to PG 13,? it’s stretching it a little bit, but it’s, you know, it’s not like a crazy thing. So what if you watched it with her and then created conversation about it and then maybe even dug into scripture, if it came, if some issues came up that you were talking about theologically, that you wanted her to know about Jesus? you know what does God say about this? I said, what if you use that as an opportunity and then you get a voice in her life, in the lens that she sees that movie through?
And the look on his face, it was almost like here’s how he, i think he was feeling. He was feeling like am I caving to peer pressure? And he was like I’m not doing it, i’m not doing it, i’m not. But when he saw it from my perspective, yes, there are going to be some things that you do not cave to peer pressure from. You’re not going to let your elementary age kid watch a pornographic movie or probably, you know, maybe an even rated R. But there’s a gray area here that we need to look at, and we miss it sometimes just because we want to be the I’m not caving to peer pressure. I’m not caving to peer pressure And I’m all for that. I mean, don’t cave to peer pressure. But also, you got to look at the whole picture here. Your kid is already being exposed to this movie.
0:34:27 – Speaker 2
Well, I’ll tell you what. if you have any kind of streaming, or if you have That’s what he said.
0:34:34 – Speaker 1
We can’t watch it Really, man.
0:34:36 – Speaker 2
Like I. You know I have younger kids and shows that are curated for a five to seven year old now are going to introduce types of sexuality, different types of lifestyles, different words, different little side jokes that never were on the table when my 12 year old was that age, whereas I could put on a channel or a streaming network when my kid was little, my 12 year old was little and feel like basically the topics covered would be, quote, unquote, safe. That just doesn’t exist anymore. The little kids shows that my kids are watching are, i feel like, talking about the same things adult shows are. They just kind of fly it under the radar a little bit And if you’re not paying attention, your kid is seeing and hearing things that you would never imagine.
So having that perspective and realizing that they’re being exposed probably in your house and then at school or at youth group, it just really makes you have to shift. Like how, what can I do with that? You can process it with them, you can talk with them, you can. It’s not even about peer pressure anymore as to what’s going to help your kid, like just in your own family, what can I do? Who cares what everybody else is doing? I need to dig in here with my kid.
0:35:53 – Speaker 1
Well, and I know you know there’s probably some parents of younger kids that are hyperventilating right now. You know this show is easier as a mom of teens because they’ve seen it all, they’ve heard it all, we’ve talked about it all, and so I know me saying to you just get in there, you can do it. It hits different as a mom of a young kid and you’re like, oh my gosh, i cannot believe They can’t have a childhood. Everything has to be sexualized Like. And I want to say to you feel those feelings, process that grief. It is okay to be mad about it, but responding to digging in your heels like you’re going to ignore it or just over, protect or not live in reality that it’s actually happening, that’s not helping your kid, and that’s kind of what I want you to see Process those feelings. You can be bitter, you can be mad.
0:36:42 – Speaker 2
And I just want to say, as a parent of a seven year old, you know It is hard and it does hurt and it is angry, and everything that you’re saying is true, mandy, and I’ve always, you know, had the littlest ones on the team and it’s always been quite an emotional process to walk through. But I I do not just like you say, mandy, i don’t go to bed fearing the world for them. I mean, there are days when I’m like oh, but for the most part I’m like we got this, they’re gonna tell me, we’re gonna talk about it And that’s the best we can do. And so it is possible to move out of that anger into a place of Purposeful parenting that changes the culture of your home and doesn’t make you feel like everything is terrible. It is possible.
0:37:27 – Speaker 1
Well, and you bring up a good point. You know, looking back all those years when I responded with overprotection, it was out of fear. I mean, we’ve said that a couple times on this show, but we point it out again. You have to identify. Why am I Nagging, helicoptering, lawn mowing my kid right now? Why am I doing that? Why am I just? I can’t let it go. I got to do this, i got to do that. I’m, i’m anxious, i’m, i can’t let her go to this. Neighbors, i can’t, you know, letter all the things that you’re feeling. That up tightness, it’s out of fear. So if you can let go of that for a moment and Focus on the relationship with your kid, you’re gonna see how the relationship with your kid saves them. It saves them from all of that junk that you’re so afraid of Now. It doesn’t mean they’re not exposed. It doesn’t mean you’re not gonna have hard conversations But, like you said, kim, you’re in it and you’re empowered and you’re not afraid. Oh, they’re gonna see this and not help me, or they’re gonna struggle with this and not tell me. You’re just gonna work through it, you’re just gonna work through it. That’s where the fear kind of goes away.
The other thing too. I mean it’s been nine years for me now, right, nine years. I mean I feel like it was an experiment that could have turned out badly, but it turned out great. Right? my kids, the human yes, listen, there is a bond of trust That is built when your kid is allowed to see and experience the good, bad in the world and then talk with you about it. It’s a whole other level. And your kids? now We’re at the point where my kids will say to me well, they’re the type of Christian parents that they can’t talk to their parents, mom, so they’re coming to me. They see how I’m a different Christian parents than the typical Overprotective, sheltered parent, and they are so appreciative of it. Like, thank you for not being that mom.
I talked to a parent the other day and she was Describing to me a situation and all I could think about was this kid feels smothered. This kid feels smothered because they know your belief system, they know they hear it every day from you. Back away from that, they feel smothered. Just let them See the world for what it is and then let them come back and talk about it. And what I love about this is when we can be that safe place when we can be that bubble wrap that, as you describe, kim, we lay it flat and we’re the safe place to land. Right when we can be that we get a voice. And Parents hear me when I say I don’t want the voice to be yours Because you get it wrong all the time. I get it wrong all the time I mess up.
0:40:12 – Speaker 2
I’m human, i don’t know what’s going on right, but that voice we get the point them to Jesus and That right, there is discipleship in your home and you miss Discipleship when you’re being overprotective, because you’re never gonna be talking about real-world stuff and if you’re Christian and you’re thinking about all of this, i think that if we’re really honest about The most important thing we want to do as parents in our home, it’s leading our kids to Jesus, and We don’t want to miss that discipleship opportunity because we have fallen into into parenting from fear, and that’s really what this whole show is about is Let’s not miss the opportunity to disciple our kids Because we’re overprotective.
0:41:00 – Speaker 1
Well and dang, kim. Let me go one more step farther. For any of the parents out there that are still fearful, you know, looking back on all this, i Look back and think that My baby in the fourth grade getting exposed to porn with no screens even present, it was one of the best things that have ever happened to us, because it woke me up and broke me out of my overprotective state. It made me realize overprotecting and sheltering and bubble wrap It wasn’t cutting it.
I don’t know if I would have stayed in that overprotective mind. There’s no way our family would be where we are today, in how we are Healthy, in our dialogue. I mean, grant, we are not perfect, we make mistakes all the time, but we’re in it. You know, we’re in it. We’re doing the hard work, the messy, hard conversations that are real and raw, and there’s just so much Empowerment I get from knowing I’m in it, yeah, in it, i’m not sweeping it under the rug. And so you know, looking back and saying the porn I never dreamed in a million years, i would say yeah, for being exposed to porn was one of the best things that ever happened to us. But I want to end it with this because this verse just wraps it up for me. You know, if your kids are exposed, if your kids see something in a movie and you’re like I hate this world so much, think of this verse due to run a me 23 5. God turned the intended curse into a blessing Because he loves you.
Transcribed by https://podium.page