Pastor Matt and Kendal are joined by Mandy Majors, founder and Executive Director of nextTalk, an organization that offers practical solutions to parents on how to navigate a tech-savvy world from a Christian vantage point. This organization offers tools to guard and guide your family in a digital age. The internet has changed parenting forever! Do you talk about it with your children? Parents, it’s important to come into agreement on how to handle digital media in your home. Creating a culture of open conversation is important. It arms your children with the knowledge of how to handle potentially life-altering situations, or situations that are inappropriate for their age. Communication is key.

the internet has changed parenting

forever and God’s word still continues

to hold up the standard by which we

should live our lives so what does the

Bible have to say about YouTube Facebook

and other Platforms in today’s episode

author and speaker Mandy Majors is here

to talk about raising our kids in a

digital world sure the enemy has his

schemes but God offers wisdom to all who

seek it stay where you are there’s a lot



welcome to the difference Kendall and I

are so pleased to welcome back Mandy

major she’s the founder and executive

director of next talk but more

importantly she’s a mother who’s had to

navigate how to parent in a cyber and

digital age Mandy in in one of our last

conversations you were talking about

your perspective versus your husband’s

perspective and and it made me think you

know how how important is it to come

into agreement because that’s something

that Kendall and I are always working

towards we’re not and the reason I say

we’re working towards it is because we

are seldom naturally in agreement you I

mean we both agree we need to be aware

of this or we got to do something but

we’re we’re very different in how we

approach it absolutely this is such an


question with us I remember taking Matt

the solution and said I found it and D

your hb’s name Matt

Matt thank you for clarifying I’m going

to tell you what a genius this husband

is I mean how could you argue with Matt

I know right I know Matt knows

everything sorry I I hadn’t shared his

name yet good um yeah so I I took this

information to Matt because we would

always pray at night you know we had

this ritual in our home pray with our

kids come to bed pray you know before we

went to bed whatever and and I was

telling him I found the solution I have

found it and I remember his immediate

response was you’re expecting me to talk

to our kindergartener boy about sex like

I don’t even know how to do that and and

I felt very deflated because I felt like

it was a holy spirit God was giving me a

solution to this whole problem we were

looking at and the next day he called me

on the way to work he is a long commute

and he was like I owe you an apology he

said I I saw your face and I saw that

you were really excited like this is the

solution God is giving us and he said I

just need to be honest with you we never

talked about these things and I don’t

know how to do it and he said you are

gifted in the sense of can sit down with

our kid and have a Kumbaya moment I’m

not that dude and so he’s like I don’t

know how to do it and he said but I give

you my blessing like try to create this

new culture that you’re talking about of

conversation in our home and just let me

know how it’s going so I’m with you I’m

I’m there but it’s just not well at

least he at least he was like I trust

you enough that God gave you this to do

it you know and I had his Blessing so I

did and every night we would pray with

our kids and I would report back to him

I would say oh my gosh I picked this kid

up from school today and they asked me

this and before I would have just swept

that under the road because it’s too

hard to answer but I actually answered

it and then this started happening and

then they started conf find and so he

could see my excitement and one day he

he had to take the kids to school one

morning be that’s normally my job but

but but I had a responsibility of

meeting and he called me and he said and

this was halfway through I was writing

my book he called me and he said it

works it works he doesn’t get excited so

I was like what are you talking about

he’s like this open communication thing

I was in the car 10 minutes with one kid

and we covered so much stuff and I was

like see it doesn’t have to be this 30

minute long conversation it can be like

a f minute car ride and it doesn’t

always have to be punitive yes you know

one of the things that that I learned as

a parent in in just having conversation

with my kids is that you can have

correction without punishment and and

all it is is just adjusting their

perspective okay I see how you saw that

but what if you looked at it this way

and suddenly they have this Eureka

moment where they’re like oh there’s

more than one way to approach something

and you know when you have that dialogue

not only with your spouse but also with

your children when do you take that

outside of your family Circle to help

other parents understand hey when my son

comes around your son these aren’t these

aren’t cool you know because that’s a

big part of it because you know when

kids know what’s not allowed in your

house they’ll try and find the house

where it is allowed just so they can go

see what it’s like absolutely well I

think it’s a conversation first for us

it was a conversation first with the

grandparents and we had to have that

conversation Oh you mean grandparents

will contradict parents the House of Yes

what was happening was one of the big

things that I saw right away was like

online predators and grooming and stuff

and they would always ask kids to keep

secrets like wear a red shirt today and

take a picture and don’t tell anybody

that’s our special secret and it seemed

like harmless little stuff listen to the

song don’t tell anybody and then let’s

discuss the lyrics and they were

building relationships with kids online

and so I told Matt let’s just have a no

secrets family policy like like you got

to tell us what’s going on so we started

that well one time they went to

grandparents for overnight sleepover and

they had like you know at popsicles for

breakfast and and that whole

conversation was don’t tell your parents

well my son got in the car and we had

just started this and he was like

fidgeting and I’m like what is wrong and

he’s like they told me to keep a secret

from you and I’m like what and he said I

had all these popsicles for breakfast

and it was in that moment I was like I

need to have a conversation with them

and so I told them I was like it’s fine

that he has eat popsicles for breakfast

like I don’t want that’s one of the

reasons he came I don’t want to take

away your fun spoil your grandkids but I

explained to them online predators and

the secrets and I said I’m trying to

figure out how to parent well in the

digital world and I need your help so

one thing that we cannot do as a family

is no secrets no SEC even if it’s

harmless and little because kids get

confused because the you know the online

Predator saying wear a red shirt and

take a picture and it’s our little that

seems harmless too so having those

conversations are really good and then

talking to your community and their

friends just you know I’ve this is

something new we’re trying how would you

feel if we all got on the same page here

one of the things I used to do when my

kids were little when we hosted

sleepovers or whatever phones are on the

kitchen counter we’re not going to have

any phones and I would let the moms know

ahead of time and then my kids got a

certain age and then they were

responsible for communicating it with

their with their friends you know Middle

School hit I’m like you’re responsible

send the gr text out and tell it’s

interesting because you know you will

have people in your friend Community or

in your school groups and things that

will try and justify why their child

requires what you prevent in your home

and you need to they have a phone in

fourth grade because or I need to reach

them but you don’t understand they call

me every night before they go to bed

that’s fine they can walk down in the

living room get their phone I’ll watch

them make the phone call and then I’m

taking the phone back yeah but what if

they miss me in the middle of the night

well then you can come pick them up at

2: a.m. you know you have to draw some

of those boundaries otherwise you know

the world is dictating to you what

happens in your home and I think parents

need to give themselves permission to be

in charge of what God has given them

control over you know I mean we have

we’re responsible we have been entrusted

with these little souls to Steward them

well and we that’s a great

responsibility as a parent and the other

thing is talk to your kids about

different house different rules like

other people see this differently right

and I respect them and that’s fine but

this is why I think it’s really

important to have the phones on the

kitchen counter like I would say well

our kids understand if you come over to

our house you will take your shoes off

at the back door yeah you know and when

their friends come over who wear their

shoes in the house they’re like uhuh no

yeah take those shoes off so if they can

learn that one they can learn the phone

one they can learn any of the other they

just pick and choose which ones they

like better than the others you when we

come back we’re going to continue this

very important conversation with Mandy

and give you some practical tips about

how you can get started in making sure

that your family has clear understanding

about the dos and don’ts of what happens

in a digital world in your


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storm welcome back to the difference Our

Guest is Mandy major and she is the

founder of next talk it’s a platform

where parents can understand more about

the things that their children are

exposed to in a digital and cyber world

and how to address them in their homes

in their relationships and create a

healthy and safe environment for their

entire family Mandy in your books and

and and much of your content you

discuss topics that most people would

rather not discuss and it’s not for

shock you know sometimes people say

things just to get the response you have

to discuss them because they’re very

very real and and most people would

prefer to be complacent apathetic or

ignorant because predators and sex

trafficking and the the dark world that

is utilizing technology to recruit

children into this lifestyle they’re

very real and they’re out there H how do

you come up with the courage to do that

and why well Satan wants us to say

silent and I think I saw that in a lot

of parents contacting me you know I’ve

learned a lot in the space and I I talk

with a lot of parents about what’s

happening in their homes and I kept


this same thing happening when they were

afraid to talk that’s when the kids were

going down a bad path almost always and

so Having the courage to just be like

God has me there had been times when I

didn’t know what I was going to say or

how I was going to answer their

questions and I would pray about it I

would talk to a mentor I would read the

word of God I can’t tell you how many

times God has awakened me in the middle

of the night and said this is what your

kid needs in this space you know because

each kid is different but the Holy

Spirit like God knows that he’s Creator

he knit them together and so allowing

that to be a part of this and I it

sounds so cliche but it’s so true like

God will equip you as a parent now in

that moment of being equipped I think

it’s also fair to state that sometimes

when God gives you that Insight you

don’t have this Fairy Godmother moment

where you go thank you Jesus I so

appreciate you telling me when you hear

those things I know in my life when I

hear them I’m

like I have to go do this yes you know

it’s almost like you’re now burdened

with it until you actually take action

on it which I think there’s a lot of

parents who are watching and they feel

that burden yeah they know they have to

take action on this but it’s so

overwhelming it is it’s it’s like hey

I’ve already blown it I’ve given them

you know this resource and free reign

over it and I don’t even want to begin

to know where does that parent begin

well I think first of all just giving

yourself some Grace this whole thing has

blindsided everybody schools are

struggling churches are struggling

parents are struggl so first of all just

give yourself some Grace it’s okay and

second of all I think the conversation

should be with your kid so instead of

maybe guns blazing I’m taking away your

phone all social media is deleted and

they’ve done nothing wrong if you do

that that’s going to hurt your

relationship that’s the farthest thing

that I want from you Satan wants that

but that’s that’s not what God want

vision is his game absolutely it is so I

think the conversation becomes and I

always tell parents throw me under the

bus like when I when I’m at an

event said I’m meeting with somebody

today her name is Mandy and we’re going

to have some new boundaries when I come

home today okay so this is perfect so

that explains the attitude at breakfast

I was like why is everybody so mad this

morning I have some tips I’m okay but

but here’s here’s the thing you can say

to your kid I thought I was going to go

in and she was like boundaries

boundaries boundaries but what she told

me was I need to educate y’all on why we

need boundaries good so there are people

literally waiting to have a conversation

with you and one of the big things that

online strangers will say is they will

pit you against your parents I always

tell kids watch out for that if there’s

anybody online or in real life that is

like your parents don’t you know they’re

bad people or trying to get you to feel

like you don’t have a safe place at home

that’s a red flag alert that something

is very wrong the individuals who are

Bad actors the the groomers and and the

Predators they don’t start at level 10

no no know they don’t start by showing

you this graphic image and saying Hey

kid what do you think of this it would

be easy to identify them if that was the

case they start not even at level zero

they start below that and build layers

and levels of trust and then somewhere

along the way they they they start to

transition from wholesome and

appropriate to questionable and then

from questionable to concerning and then

from they just it’s kind of like the

frog in the pot they keep turning up the

heat until you’re boiling and you don’t

know how to jump out and and as a parent

you want your child to be able to

understand at any point you can come to

me yes I even as your kid gets older and

they’re more in the digital space I

always say even if you make a mistake

even if you find yourself doing

something that you were like whoa I

don’t can’t believe I got roped into

this but then they’re holding it over

your head and they’re saying if you

don’t do this more that is just a red

flag alert like I’m going to love you

the same I’m going to love you like God

loves you and that is

unconditional but but I will help you

figure it out like we’ll walk hand in

hand to try and figure this out I think

older kids sometimes just need to hear

that because they get into these online

relationships and it seems so sweet at

first we always use a scale of 0o to 10

10 is crisis mode you know 10 is your

kid is being sex trafficked I mean it’s

crisis mode but the over here at one two

and three what we’re trying to do as an

organization is prevent the 10 from

happening through the conversations and

through kids being able to identify the

red flag alerts the secrets the

pitting me against my parents you know

things like that that will just make

them be like something is really off

here because I say to my kids your

brain’s not fully developed yet I know


impulsive I was a teenager once I was a

horrible teenager like my kids know that

right and so if you ever find yourself

in a situation where you’re like Mom’s

going to be disappointed in me or Dad’s

I want you to know I’m going to love you

the same like we’re going to get through

it together as a family you can always

confide in me and I think that having

that safe place to land is just so good

for these kids because they’ve got so

much stuff coming at them so fast and

their little brains are trying to

process it and if they don’t have a safe

place to ask those questions they’re

going to drown so what about a parent

that’s watching they provided this safe

place they’ve tried the open

communication but they have a child

that’s just defiant doesn’t want to talk

just wants their phone wants to sit in

their room all day long what do you

suggest for parents that have opened

this communication but just doesn’t get

the same back you need to be completely

honest we need a reset this is not

working we’re trying it and we’re it

it’s it’s not working and so what am I

always say too ask your kid like what am

I doing wrong how can I be a better mom

how can I be let them talk first and

then hopefully they’ll reciprocate and

then you can say can we can you help me

here kind of meet in the middle

especially if you have an older kid you

know where they’ve already they have

yeah and you know you’re talking about 0

to 10 situations and and certainly in in

the space of you know harmful behaviors

10 is always the top if you’ve got a

level 10 issue in terms of defiance with

a kid I always tell parents if you’re

paying the bill you’re the thrill you

can shut it off just that fast because

this stuff isn’t free yes right so you

know if you need a reset and it’s got to

be a drastic one I think you know you

you hear about Rehabilitation and in

certain cases with extreme addiction you

have to be totally removed from the

environment well there are certain

situations where you need to totally

remove it from your environment for a

period of time to where everybody can

understand what healthy is and what

healthy is not and absolutely and

counselors that you trust and that have

been vetted you know psychologist EV

bring in everybody you need a village

you need a community if you are at a

level 10 for sure absolutely so we’re

talking a little bit about screen

addiction when we come back we’re going

to find out does your kid have it or do

you you’re watching the difference don’t



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partner welcome back to the difference

Mandy Majors is our guest Mandy you’ve

been helping Kendall and I even in this

conversation understand some things that

we need to go home and discuss with our

family um but sometimes when we get into

these conversations with our kids about

screen time

they turn the mirror back around look at

us and they say well you’re always on

your device now it’s easy for me to

justify will it’s work but what kind of

example does that set in this context

when everybody’s got their own

justification well this is where you got

to be a good role model yeah and you

know I know you can’t escape that one

absolutely and I think if we’re honest

we all kind of have our phones have a

stronghold on us I mean that’s what I

tell my kids and there is a difference I

believe between a stronghold and an

addiction and so I I’m always telling my

kids we have to be very careful with the

word Addiction because it is it is

reserved for severe cases we don’t want

to overuse it but let’s all be honest

and you know this is me talking to my

family our phones have a stronghold on

us so how are we going to hold each

other accountable so it doesn’t become

an addiction because over at over here

at addiction we see families roared we

see bad choices and we don’t want any of

that any of us so how do we hold each

other accountable and it’s a group

effort quite frankly um you know meals

are off limits for us with screens uh at

night you know I mention no phones in

bedrooms or bathrooms well my husband he

has a he has to have his phone for night

sometimes he gets calls in the middle of

the night we explain that to the kids

you know he’s not up scrolling Instagram

at 2: a.m it is over there just for work

emergencies and so that’s the difference

um and so just having that open

communication of we’re all learning and

and I let my kids call me out if that if

I’ve been on Facebook or Instagram a

little too much like they’re allowed to

call me out on it as long as I can do

that for you too like it’s an equal

accountability thing you know I think

you very practically established you

know a rule that kenel and I have is

dinner time sacred time yes and not only

is it a no digital thing but it’s also

um a moment where we want everyone to

share equally because you know we’ve got

four kids some personalities are

stronger than others some are talkative

some are listeners you know and if

you’re not careful you know it can

become imbalanced and and you get to

hear all about one person’s day and then

when they’re done talking they say

enough about me let you talk about me

you know and it’s like no you got to

pass this around and and it teaches

those equal values and I think those are

important places where you start to show

your child you know the the modern term

would be a moral compass but balance you

know how important is that in terms of

navigating this digital space because

you know you want your child to be able

to identify right from wrong and not

just gullibly walk into everything

having a moral compass is one of the key

things that we teach over at next talk

and you know we we speak to all parents

Christian and non-Christian and we say

no matter what it is they need to know

right from wrong for us as Christians

obviously the Bible is our moral compass

so I’m I’m thankful actually have to

come up with what’s right and wrong like

I don’t have to play those that that God

and so it is just constantly what does

the Bible say about this even from

little things your kid comes home and

you know they’re saying my friend has a

crush on soand so and they’ve asked me

to lie to the to the boy because I can’t

tell the boy well what what is lying is

lying okay so let’s go to scripture

let’s look at that and then we problem

Sol together okay so you don’t want to

lie because that is that’s not biblical

so what if you just say go ask him I’m

I’m out of it I’m not even gonna be a

part of this just go directly to this

person that way you’re not lying but

you’re also being a good confident you

know and so helping your kid navigate

that gray area through a moral compass

Through the Bible I think is really

important even with little issues

because if you do that with little

issues then when they get really big

issues you’re still sending them to

God’s word talk about deception how many

parents have filled in an inaccurate

birthday so that their child can get a

social media profile because you have to

have a minimum age requirement and the

kids under the age you’ve just taught

your child to be deceptive if if it gets

you what you want 100% 100% it’s the

role model yeah it’s the role model

situation so in the network of

counselors you have how many of those

counselors would tell you that America

has a screen addiction issue well

they’re all saying I’m seeing changes in

kids you know and and all the problems

that they’re navigating and we I think

we’re going to be studying this for

years and years but we already know the

more screen the more mental health like

we’re seeing the rise in that already

and and so across the board with

Christian and non-Christian families and

so we have to take note of that it’s

very important you got to make sure your

kid is mentally healthy if they’re not

they’re not ready for social media and

then as you’re implementing social media

you have to keep I I mean praying over

that kid and keeping like checking the

temperature I’m always like checking the

temperature of my mental health of each

kid to make sure we’re good and if I see

any red flags it’s you know I’m in the

phone I’m trying to figure out random

phone checks I’m all for that’s what I

was goingon to say because you have some

parents go well that’s their phone I’m

not going to get involved not going to

read messages when we gave phone that

was clear expectations and boundaries up

front when we gave phones I’m paying for

it I’m coming at anytime it is not a

diary if you want a diary go write go

write it in a because I will tell you

right now if there’s a murder the FBI is

going through your phone and they’re

they can get anything and everything I

have seen this on cases that we’ve

worked on so it’s not private your phone

is not a diary and you make sure the

kids give you their passwords you have

passwords of all their when they were

little absolutely obviously my

19-year-old she’s flying solo now my

16-year-old I still have many passwords

of his but he’s earning a little bit of

Freedom there yeah okay well and you

know you talk about mental health checks

and that’s a big word word these days

and a lot of people think that if you’re

doing a mental health check there must

be something wrong but I mean a health

check is a health check you go to the

doctor when you’re well for a physical

just to make sure you’re well what does

a mental health check from you know a

parent look like so that parents can

kind of understand this is a

conversation where you’re able to

identify those things well if you see

unlikely Behavior like all of a sudden

and there’s going to be some you know

when they start high school when they

start Middle School that transition the

first couple month you’re going to see

all sorts of things more anger you know

more sadness more overwhelming that’s

normal but if you see it continually

loss of appetite um they’re just

responding to you in ways that are very

unlike them and again teenagers they’re

going to start being shorter with their

answers they do so you just have to know

your kid I I know sometimes I’ll say to

my husband okay we got to watch this kid

there’s something going on and then I

give it a couple weeks to see and then

it’ll even out or it won’t and then I’m

like okay we need to go to a counselor

it be proactive don’t wait until the 10

is happening to get your kid to a

counselor or a truster professional yeah

well and and make sure that your child

understands that you have that and their

best interest at heart you know you’re

not doing this because something’s wrong

you’re doing this because we want you to

feel safe we want you to feel well we

want you to do the best that you can and

this is helping us to accomplish that

absolutely one of the things that I say

to my kids is you know I work with a lot

of families and I see kids cutting and

depressed and self Haring themselves

because they’re overwhelmed and they

have the St same stressors that you do

often they just haven’t learned to cope

with it in a healthy way and so

sometimes they don’t know how to express

those big emotions so they’ll end up

cutting themselves or pulling their hair

out because they’re just trying to

figure out how to deal with those big

emotions going on inside and so I’ll say

to my kids I don’t want that for you so

let’s talk about it and anytime you’re

laying your head on the pillow and

something keeps in your head bothering

you that is something Satan wants you to

not tell anybody about that that is what

you need to tell me the most because

whatever is bugging you and maybe it’s a

bully maybe it’s I feel awkward because

of this this and this whatever it is if

you if it keeps coming back like we need

to have a conversation about that well

if you’d like to find out more about

Mandy’s organization next talk online is

the best way to do it nextt

and I encourage you to start

conversations with your children to find

out where they’re at and where you as a

parent need to be to support them it’s a

digital age it’s not going to be

something you can escape or eliminate

but it is something you can navigate

with good principles God’s word and

great help Mandy thank you for being

that help thank you so much for having

me Kendall and I are so glad that you’ve

joined us today God bless you and thank

you for watching the