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121: Parenting is NOT About the Latest Spyware

By June 30, 2020November 8th, 2023Mastermind Parenting Podcast
121: Parenting is NOT About the Latest Spyware

In this episode, I’m sharing a FB Live I made in my Mastermind where I candidly discuss talking to our young teenage boys about porn and sex.

Fun topic, right?!?

I mean, really…can you imagine a more uncomfortable topic between a mom and a encroaching puberty? Look, if you can talk about sex and porn with your developing kids, what can’t you talk about?

AND when we’re families that can have difficult conversations, our kids will be more likely to turn to us for support when they experience something scary or risky.

They need us during the teen years rather than teenagers educating teenagers about mature and often risky topics. This is such an important topic. We can’t be scared to learn and be prepared for the difficult conversations.

Our kids need us more than ever. So parent up! I got you.

As always, thanks for listening, and be sure and head over to Facebook and you can join my free group Mastermind Parenting Community, where we post tips and tools and do pop up Live conversations where I do extra teaching and coaching to support you in helping your strong-willed children so that they can FEEL better and DO better. If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it!

About Randi Rubenstein

Randi Rubenstein helps parents with a strong-willed kiddo become a happier family and enjoy the simple things again like bike rides and beach vacays.

She’s the founder of Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast, and author of The Parent Gap. Randi works with parents across the U.S.

At Mastermind Parenting, we believe every human deserves to have a family that gets along.

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0 (2s):
My name’s Randi Rubenstein and welcome to the Mastermind. Parenting Podcast where we believe when your thoughts grow the conversations in your home flow.

1 (15s):
If you’re listening to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode one 21. Hi guys. On today’s episode, I shared a clip from my mastermind group where I made them a Facebook live and yo, I think it was the first thing in the morning. So I think of like drinking coffee, you can hear a few sound’s in the background and my voice sounds a little more <inaudible> I’m not super like their might be a few more times in your nose because I just was speaking off the cuff, but basically I’d seen that there was a conversation going on where it was between a lot of the parents of teenagers in my group.

1 (56s):
And they were all comparing notes about what kind of Spyware, you know, parameters they had on their kids with all the technology, you know, what are you using to monitor them? And, Oh, they got around this and they got around that. And it was like, it was sort of like the Parenting Gestapo, which I’m all about having, you know, having tools in place. We used as a circle in our family, but we always start with these things. And then we eventually phase them out. Like when my daughter got her driver’s license, we had this thing that for some reason she’s not using it anymore, but she’s also been driving for almost three years, but we had for the first good two years on our car, this thing that was, we would get a text every time she took off in her car and it literally disabled her text.

1 (1m 50s):
And it would give us a, like a report, like a driving report of what she, like, what her mileage was in what, you know, she got a, she got a C minus. It was because she accelerated from this to this or whatever. And so we would get these reports on exactly how she was driving and, and it disabled her being able to use her, her cell phone or her, or be able to text and drive. And so she was telling us just the other day, she was like, yeah, what happened to that thing? She was like, I think that, I, I don’t know if it stopped working because I think I disabled it because it was messing up messing with me being able to play my music from my phone.

1 (2m 33s):
But it was just recently and we were talking about, I said, do you think it was a good thing to have? Like, what should we use it for Corey? Or should we look for a different, you know, a different program? And she was like, I think it was a great one, because honestly she said, I would never even consider texting and driving. Like it programmed me from the get-go she’s like, and then, you know, I just was, she goes, I think I figured out how to disable it this year because I needed to be able to play my music. And I knew that the portrait y’all talk to me about it so much. I knew the point of it was for me not to text and drive and it’s like, no, I would never, I would never consider doing it.

1 (3m 14s):
So y’all should for sure use it when Corey starts driving now. So I see. So we use Disney circle, but ultimately the goal is, yeah, we put this in place because we want you to be aware and not allow the minutes to become ours, to become days on the video games. But the real goal is for you to monitor yourself. So so all these parents that were putting these things in place, a lot of them were putting things in place because of their kids were really savvy and they have gotten around it. And I was like, Whoa, what are you guys? The point of all of these systems and protocols are to help your kids become conditioned to, to parameters around, around these different things and to learn the rules.

1 (4m 8s):
But we have to have a why underneath the rules. Like we have to real, the real goal is to be a family that has PRODUCTIVE conversations that can talk about anything and everything. And so, yeah, we’re going to put these systems in place, but really it’s just a condition You to make this the norm for you. It’s like my daughter with her, with that driving program, I wanted it, you know, once it was the norm, she knew, she was like, yeah, it was a pain and a button and it was messing with my music. But I, I knew the point of it because we had talked about it so often. And she was like, number one, I’m a great driver. I’m the best driver out of all my friends, I’m a great driver and it would never occur to me to text and drive.

1 (4m 51s):
So she was like, so I knew I was done with it. So that’s the goal, right? Like, like Disney circle. Yeah. We want to have, we don’t want you to be on video games for hours and hours, but really at the end of the day, we want you just to realize that we don’t want you sitting and running your brain for hours and hours and hours. So if you can set a timer on your phone, keep track of how much time you’re doing it. It’s sort of like, like, have you ever got, like, I know I can, I can fall into, if I’m watching a show or reading a book, a fiction book, or, you know, I can, I can fall into the binge. Like I’ve got a brain that is easy to go to the place of impulsivity.

1 (5m 35s):
And, and I, I, I cross over from something being a treat to something, being a numbing, a mind-numbing binge. So like for instance, reading, you know, a really good novel, a really good fiction, novel reading a chapter a day or night or whatever it feels in doubt, or even really in the middle of the day. Like that feels indulgent and amazing

2 (6m 6s):
And like a wonderful little delicious treat.

1 (6m 10s):
But for me, I can get so wrapped up that I ignore my, as I say, it would become a crack whore. Like I ignore everyone and that chapter turns into six chapters and I just can’t put it down. I literally don’t read fiction unless I’m on vacation because they become a crack whore and, and so on.

2 (6m 36s):
So I’ll never forget I was reading the Twilight series. They shouldn’t admit that when my kids were really little, when they think it had first come out was before any of the movies or whatever. And I really

1 (6m 44s):
Remember my husband coming home and usually in the afternoon, like from four until six, I’d be outside with the kids just because

2 (6m 53s):
Those were the witching hours. And if I was inside, it was always like moments until tears until Alex

1 (6m 58s):
Was going to kill every

2 (7m 0s):
Or whatever. So I would take them outside and we would be outside

1 (7m 4s):
And he comes in and I’m waiting on the couch and he was like, what’s what’s going on? And I was like, nothing like annoyed with them or nothing. It was like, wait, where’s the kids I’m like watching TV would be like, what what’s happening? What are we having for dinner? I was like, I, I don’t know. Just you’re like, what are you doing it? I was like, I’m, I’m just reading my book. Like I could not put it down. So anyway, my treat can quickly become a mind numbing, binge Fest, like I’m guilty of it. So a kid who’s like, who’s a teenager. Their brain is, you know, most impulsive time of their lives.

1 (7m 46s):
They can’t be trusted. You’ve got to put parameters around it. So, so that really is the goal is to teach our kids that there is nothing wrong with you. We’re just going to put Disney circle on it, just so that she can become conditioned. She just like with my daughters, we’re going to put This monitoring device and your car. So you could become conditioned that it’s not even an option to text and drive that you are really, you know, when you get home and you’ve accelerated to quickly or whatever, and you’d get a driving score of C minus and you get home, we’re going to be like, Ooh, driving score of C minus. You know, like if we’re going to have a conversation with you about it. And so you’re going to become conditioned to have parameters around that.

1 (8m 29s):
Like, that’s really the goal. And so its not to constantly look at B looking for the next latest and greatest thing. It’s lets look for, let’s put these systems in place. But ultimately our goal is to have a productive conversation and not necessarily to need these things anymore. So my conversation with the parents turned into, I was, I was really wanting to accomplish that, but somehow it turned into me saying it’s sort of like sex and porn and talking about sex and porn with your teenagers, especially your teenage boys. And when you first start talking about it with them and it’s like, yeah, we’re going to die.

1 (9m 13s):
You know, we’ve put all these parameters in place in terms of you not being able to visit these certain websites or for you to be safe from these certain websites, but you’re gonna get to a place where you’re going to have to monitor that your stuff yourself. And so I really basically want you to be conditioned to NOT, you know, to not go there, to not allow those, the, the different porn sites to come and lore you in because we have conditioned you to be on the lookout for it. So we are going to have certain blocks and things on and I need to arm you with the information.

1 (9m 54s):
So if this stuff were to come your way, you know, not to take the bait, like it’s a, it’s, it’s a conversation that I think most families are not having, especially moms with their teenage boys, which you may be like, it shouldn’t just follow up on the dad and whoever has this conversation or both of you guys. I mean, I think the goal is like were a family that can have difficult conversations. We can talk about hard things like this world is a complicated place. And unfortunately, I mean like somebody was telling me recently, no matter what you Google by the second page, you’re always going to be getting images of porn.

1 (10m 38s):
Like it’s everywhere. And to think that your kids are have a smartphone are going to have a smartphone and that they’re not going to be facing this, it’s literally ignorant. So don’t you wanna be the parent on top of these conversations who isn’t scared to have any conversation out there. And the goal really is to be talking about these things in a way where we don’t have to be scared of it yet, it’s going to be uncomfortable. Yeah. We can eat at an address that it’s uncomfortable and we can talk about anything we want. You’ve talked about sex in porn. You can easily talk about speeding and texting and driving and playing to many hours on Fortnite and protecting your brain and all of those things like it’s a lot.

1 (11m 24s):
So it’s like, it’s the same theme with all of it. We want to equip our kids to be able to protect themselves and their brains. And we can not be scared to talk about these topics. So that’s what I’ve got for you on the podcast this week enjoy where, when my son Corey was, I want to say 11. And I started talking to him about, you know, we have been poking

2 (11m 54s):
Around and, and asking him if he had ever seen it.

1 (11m 58s):
So, you know, images online that seemed kind of scary. That was the language that I used and I’m, and we just start and I, and I taught them about porn and which some people might be like, Oh, you think that it be 11? The average boy knows, learns his watch sees his first point in fourth grade, blah, blah, blah. Like I will say I was a lunatic About because I had early childhood sexual trauma. I that’s one of the areas that I have been super, super protective of my kids was about what they saw on screens and online. So they were always supervised.

1 (12m 42s):
They watched TV, plenty a TV. Let me tell ya Disney shows and what, or what have you, but sitting and, and, and surfing the net and all of that. Absolutely not. They don’t, they didn’t get a phone still in sixth grade. I’m just, just really, really hypervigilant about it because

2 (13m 2s):
I knew what it was like to have in my

1 (13m 5s):
Innocence taken away at a young age in. So that was sort of just my mind

2 (13m 12s):
Thing with them was that I wanted to keep their brains innocent.

1 (13m 16s):
And until I, until it was time not to. And so he was really just so sweet and innocent. And I started

2 (13m 27s):
To realize like, he’s in middle school.

1 (13m 29s):
I think it was, I want to say it.

2 (13m 31s):
And it was mainly towards the end of the sixth grade that you had this conversation. Eh, I think I was thinking,

1 (13m 36s):
So Barbara, it says coming next year, there’s there could be stuff that he sees it, bar mitzvah parties, like he’s going to start, you know, he was still up to that point. Like every Saturday night was hanging out with me in Scott and, and so on.

2 (13m 51s):
We knew that that was coming to an end. And I think I just wanted to have a conversation. So I talked to him about it,

1 (13m 58s):
You know, just kind of questioning. I will never forget when we were on a walk

2 (14m 1s):
And it was the whole peripheral vision, which is really great for PRODUCTIVE conversations, especially

1 (14m 7s):
With boys and teenagers just wear it.

2 (14m 11s):
So you’re in the car and your kind of, its just the peripheral vision are you’re on a walk and it’s the peripheral vision. And there’s something about that that is more conducive to a PRODUCTIVE right

1 (14m 19s):
Conversation because it doesn’t like when you’re facing someone in your eye to eye it’s things can get uncomfortable in your life. Where do I look? What do I do? And it can be on a primal level, seem almost predatory when somebody’s, when you’re uncomfortable in your body, it’s an uncomfortable or unfamiliar topic. Your brain can automatically start to go into a place of, of like a triggered response state of fight or flight type state. Like you’re starting to go there. And then when

2 (14m 52s):
Somebody is

1 (14m 53s):
Looking at you, head on that can, can make you feel even, you know,

2 (15m 0s):
Or, you know, kind of have more uncomfortable and a lot more to your emotional brain. And so we want them to be in their thinking brain when we’re having big conversations about things, because we want them to be able to take it all in and retain it and they are not able to, unless they were sort of in that calm, relaxed state in, in their thinking brain. So I think walking and talking or side-by-side in the car can be really great for PRODUCTIVE conversations. And

1 (15m 25s):
So, so

2 (15m 27s):
I, I, I started having that conversation with Corey and of course like anything with me, it wasn’t made really planned out, but I was really just kind of poking around to see like had, I must have heard about it. I think I heard a really scary interview from some lady basically making it sound like,

1 (15m 44s):
You know, all boys had seen it and they were going to become porn addict. And what was her name? Gail something Look she was

2 (15m 58s):
A wealth of knowledge and super scary statistics, but I, I just sorta started to freak out, but I also realize like, okay, I’ve protected my kids and now I have to have some hard conversations. So we started having some problems

1 (16m 12s):
About porn and,

2 (16m 15s):
And then I started it with, have you ever seen anything scary online and, and, and, and then it progressed. And,

1 (16m 21s):
And so, and so what this lady is saying is, you know, she’s like we started this, this is like a scaffolding, a, it’s not one conversation. It’s like a, a, a,

2 (16m 35s):
A scaffolding of having lots of conversations over the years about these topics and,

1 (16m 43s):
And, and just, you know, really putting yourself in a position of being the kind of a family that you have.

2 (16m 50s):
We are talking about it, anything and everything. She didn’t say it like that. Vince from my words, obviously, but M but I’ll turn it.

1 (16m 56s):
You, you know, when you are, when you are doing it, the Mastermind way, like Lindsey’s sun, who is 11 going to be 12 this summer, he’s started to ask her all kinds of questions about sex. And, and so, and so, you know, Lindsay we’ll share it, right.

2 (17m 17s):
Just give me a little updates. Like, you know, she’ll send me a Vox, like amazing. He just asked me to blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

1 (17m 23s):
And Lindsey’s husband who really hasn’t been on the Mastermind journey. He just has. Mmm. He’s just mostly kind of followed her lead on all of this. And he, he said, you know, I can not imagine talking about these things, these things with my mom as a, like a blossoming teenage boy. Right.

2 (17m 44s):
And, you know, he just sort of recognize and say it, and she doesn’t say it’s anything Mastermind. She is just like, I know amazing, but that’s kind of a goal. Like, I love it when she shares her stories with me. Cause that’s sort of a goal, like, like we want them to know that they can ask us anything. We can talk about anything. Now, listen, if you guys, I can only,

1 (18m 3s):
We are like that. Right.

2 (18m 6s):
You haven’t done it that way. Over the years, we haven’t had a lot of those little conversations. We haven’t, you know, I didn’t know how to talk about it. I didn’t scaffold it. And,

1 (18m 17s):
And now

2 (18m 17s):
We’re here and I don’t know what my kid is seeing and what they have not seen. And so,

1 (18m 23s):
So it don’t get mired down in that you guys, because of that, let me just say something,

2 (18m 30s):
If you’re there going, Oh no, I’m too late. And I didn’t and I should have been, I’d love to, but that’s actually a selfish response.

1 (18m 38s):
That’s You going to,

2 (18m 41s):
I might as well, not even try. I’ve already failed. I’m not a good parent. I didn’t come to this information

1 (18m 46s):
And early enough and you make it all about you and, and, and, and it was just not helpful or useful, and that’s not even true. Like you, you come to me

2 (18m 58s):
With the information at the right time because ’cause, you came to the eye because the only thing they have control over is the present moment. We can change the past and we can control the future. It is what it is. The moment is what it is. And you can argue with it and coulda, shoulda, woulda all day long.

1 (19m 15s):
And it’s going to do, you know, good. You come to information when it comes to information. So, yeah.

2 (19m 21s):
Well, if you’re here, now, your here now for a reason, and if you haven’t had the ongoing conversations and now your just sort of feeling behind the eight ball, it’s not too late to start having these conversations. And before you do so

1 (19m 36s):
Well, I think it’s important to, to, to see

2 (19m 40s):
Surround yourself with the right information in the right resource. So I know we can all go into that controlling place, which is how do I turn their stuff off and how do I do this now? What do I do that? What w and what tools do I use, and you tell me all the tools and, and those tools are important. And I think we should have a focus on those tools.

1 (19m 58s):
And I think if we could, it

2 (20m 0s):
Focus only on the tools and not on the underlying conversations

1 (20m 6s):
That that need to be had, and need to be had on an ongoing basis. It will just

2 (20m 14s):
Turn it into a power struggle, and it will become all about control. And you guys won’t be on the same team.

1 (20m 22s):
And, and as you know,

2 (20m 24s):
We all know there are way smarter, more techie then us, and they’ll just, it will become a lot

1 (20m 27s):
Game. And then they’ll just sneak around and Get find more ways to, to sneak these things behind your back. So I, I,

2 (20m 37s):
I just want us to miss that piece of the puzzle here. Okay. I don’t want to submiss these, the goal is, is the conversations, because cause ultimately for having lots of these conversations,

1 (20m 51s):
The kids eventually, what would be

2 (20m 53s):
You want them to do is we want them to manage themselves, you know, and they may not manage themselves in exactly the same way that we would hope that they would. I know my kids don’t,

1 (21m 3s):
You know, they all, they succumb to more

2 (21m 7s):
Screen time than I would like.

1 (21m 11s):

2 (21m 12s):
You know, it’s an ongoing conversation. The other thing that we want it to say is, is when I was having that conversation about the porn and all that with Corey and it was uncomfortable, he was like, how much longer to have this conversation is over. And I was just a few more minutes, but yeah.

1 (21m 26s):
And you just have to Hear this stuff so that it, so that your brain has heard.

2 (21m 30s):
Okay. And the first time that you hear about this stuff is not from another 11 or 12 years old, that’s just, you’re not going to get accurate information from an 11 or 12 years old. And, and so what, the way I really explained and described to porn and I go into depth on, on the podcast episode about this and don’t ask me what number it is. Cause I have no idea

1 (21m 52s):
It is. I said, you know,

2 (21m 55s):
And it works really hard all of these years to protect your brain. But yeah,

1 (22m 1s):
When you were a little kid and you get to imagine and play and do all these things like that,

2 (22m 9s):
That’s how you learn and that’s how your brain grows. And I’ve known that and it’s such a magical time to be a little kid. It goes way too fast. And so I’ve been super protective over that because I just wanted it to last as long as possible for you. And so I’ve done all this work to, to protect your brain and protect this beautiful time.

1 (22m 29s):
And, and now your growing up and I can’t be here

2 (22m 34s):
With you every second, protecting your brain, or know what you’re doing every second, protecting your brain

1 (22m 39s):
And, and there. And so now I need to pass the Baton to you

2 (22m 45s):
For you to protect your own brain.

1 (22m 47s):
And, and, and, and this is what it’s going to look like. You know, you are going to be giving social media before you know it and

2 (22m 57s):
You know, yeah. I like hell back on all that stuff.

1 (23m 0s):
And you’re going to get all of a sudden, there’s going to be this image and it’s going to pop up and it’s going to look really interesting and you’re going to click on it and you’re gonna see something that’s got to see. This is a bit scary, but also something about it is going to be sort of in training. And then there might be a messages or a message that said something like, are you man enough to, you know, to click here for, to do this? And it was like, wait, so what? And I was like, yeah, I was like, because these images, once you see him, you can’t unseat him. And so now the brain that I worked so hard to protect is being exposed to these images and these messages that are confusing to the brain and will be super interesting.

1 (23m 52s):
And you’ll be torn. It’ll be like, I shouldn’t click, but I know I’m not supposed to click, but I can’t help myself to something about it. It seems exciting. And then before you know it, you click and then you can’t stop looking and you see like a lot of sexual images, a lot of things that, you know, you should be seen that it’s things you’ve never seen before and your body starts feeling sensations and you can’t stop seeing it. But because we, you know, that this is that something that dad or I would approve of, or you feel bad and you feel ashamed about it, but then you can’t stop. And he goes, wait. So if you’re man enough, so they use peer pressure.

1 (24m 33s):
I was like, yeah, they use whatever they can because they know if they can get you to keep clicking before you know it, you can’t stop clicking. And then you’ve got shame and excitement all wrapped up in one. And now they started to get you addicted to this porn. And once they get you addicted, if you get addicted as a teenager, sort of like starting to smoke as a teenager, or it can be really hard to get unaddicted to things when you start doing, and as a teenager, if they can get you addicted to the porn as a 11, 12, 13, 14 year old man, they got, they got a porn addict for life, and these are bad guys. These are bad guys.

1 (25m 14s):
And it won’t start off that way. And so, you know, this is serious stuff, but this is scary stuff. And this is your brain, which is such this, this, this is beautiful, this beautiful part of you that is so worth protecting. And I worked so hard to protect, and now I need you to take over that job. And that’s why we have to talk about it.

0 (25m 37s):
So are you ready to start having PRODUCTIVE conversations if you’ve been listening to the Podcast for a while, and you hear me go through my three step PRODUCTIVE conversation processes to solve any problem and your thinking, how does she do that? Guess what? I made a really cool resource for you guys. I call it the problem solving one sheet, okay. It’s one sheet front and back. So, you know, take it with a grain of salt, but it will walk you through how to have productive conversations and you’ll practice. And before you know, it you’ll be having productive conversations all day, every day. It really is the solution to solve any problem. So you can download it at Mastermind Parenting dot com forward slash problem solving all one word that’s Mastermind Parenting dot com forward slash problem solving all one word.

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