377 | Parenting in the Social Media Age

This week’s podcast I dive into the reality of what our children are experiencing in social media, today.

We need to wake up, parents. These issues are incredibly chilling and our children need our help- they need us to protect them! This is not the easiest podcast to listen to but believe me when I say, it is one of the most important and crucial podcasts I have done.

 


 

For full transcript, continue reading:

Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show, where we discuss leadership and life, and discover that business is what you do, not who you are.

                                                                  The Dangers of Social Media

Welcome to the show folks. Hope you are having a fantastic day wherever you are. And thank you for joining us for a good and tough topic today. Today we were talking about parenting children in the social media age. So, I’m going to be honest up front. I’m going to tell you up front, this is going to be a tough episode. This is going to be a tough show. There’s going to be some great information for you as parents. I love that we have a lot of young folks that listen out there. I know we’ve got a lot of our parents that tell us, (or) adults that tell us that their kids listen to the show as well. And today is going to be one of those tough topics. We’re even going to hit some stuff in here that will probably turn your stomach.

But this is important. This is one of the things that just absolutely drives me nuts. This is something that is on my heart to constantly teach. We teach a lot about this in Next Level Life to parents. I try and talk about it when I can, but, we just decided this is something we’ve got to do. So I’m going to be talking to you about parenting in the social media age, next show, next week, I’m even going to have on Steph; Stephanie Hansen, who is one of our team members here, who does a lot of work with youth, a lot of work with college age kids as well, and have her perspective on what it was like growing up in the social media age. So, here’s some things that you’ve got to know. I’m going to run through some stats and it’s kind of important to understand what’s going on.

And the funny thing is, is that I may not be telling you anything that’s new to you, but when you hear all of this stuff together, I think it’s going to impact the way that you start looking at what you’re allowing inside of your home, looking at what you allow as a parent. So, there is more available today to do online obviously than ever before. And there’s more risk than ever before as well for you and your family online. Predators abound. So parents, you have to understand that your vigilance is required. Who is protecting your child from the predators that are online? That is just one aspect of what we’re going to talk about today. We’re going to talk about a lot of issues that come up with worth, a lot of issues of affirmation, a lot of stuff that goes into the area of pornography, pedophilia, all kinds of craziness that’s going on right now in our world.

And it’s happening online. With all this extra time online, we have some unwanted advances. People are always telling parents that you’re behind the times if you’re not modern, you’re a bad parent, if your kids aren’t up to speed. If you’re not allowing your kids to be online and do all the things, you’re a bad parent, because you’re holding your child back, right? So here’s the deal. Here’s the stats of what a modern family really looks like; one in five, US teenagers who regularly log onto the internet says they have received an unwanted sexual solicitation via the web. One in five have had an unwanted sexual solicitation. Guys that is just craziness. When you think about this, how in the world can one in five kids be experiencing this? Right now, that there’s that much disgust. It’s disgusting, whether it’s 1 in 500, right?

But it’s now at a point where one in five kids say that they’ve had an unsolicited, unwanted sexual solicitation. Solicitations were defined as requests to engage in sexual activities or sexual talk or give out personal sexual information. Only 25% of those told the parent. So here’s the deal: it’s highly likely that if you’ve got children, there is a possibility that there has been some sort of unwanted sexual solicitation to them. And if they don’t feel like they can talk to you about this, or if they’re scared to, or if they’re concerned about it, then guess what? They may not be talking to you. They might even be, they might even feel ashamed that it happened. So think about it this way: maybe you’re doing a great job, parenting your kids, but still there’s this shame factor that comes up, that something like this happened to them, because only one in four of those are talking to their parents about it.

There’s a possibility that your child might not be informing you about that. Important things to know. In 2015, 67% of teens aged 13 to 18 had their own smartphone by 2019, that number climbed to 84%. 84% of teens, 13 to 18 have their own smartphone. So we’re not talking about your old flip phone that just has the dial pad and allows you to take pictures. We’re talking about smartphones here. The average teenagers spent four hours and 44 minutes looking at screens each day in 2019. Guys that’s a lot of time. So, that’s just the beginning. We’re going to cover some more stats. We’re going to dive into this. We’re going to take a look at what this looks like. And then we’re going to talk a lot about what does it mean to parent your children in this social media age? So we’re going to talk about that when we come back right after this.

Next Level Life is our two day personal discovery experience, it’s a one on one personalized event where we guide you through a process to help you discover your root system, to get unstuck in life and to discover what’s holding you back from freedom and peace. Imagine this: what if you could wake up every morning with a clear purpose?What would it look like to have healthier relationships with less conflict? Where would you be in a few months, a year, five years, if you had clarity, purpose and peace? Probably a big difference from where you stand today. Now I know it’s possible, because I’ve been where you are asking myself, is there more? There is, and there is a better way. And it starts with next level life. You can go to chrislocurto.com/discover to take the next step. Now, if you’re struggling with discontentment, regret, or not feeling good enough, which most of you are, if you’re filled with anxiety, or your relationships are lacking, don’t keep going through the same motions. Every single day. Learn how to move past the things robbing you of peace. Go to chrislocurto.com/discover and take the next step.

                                                                Parenting & Social Media

All right, we are back and we are talking about parenting in the social media age. We shared some fun stats on the front side. I’ve got more, there’s more coming. So here we go. According to the New York times, stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, Americans have spent more of their lives online. How much exactly? Well, if we look at Forbes, they say that internet usage has surged upward by 70% in the US, and in countries like Italy, by 90%. So here in the US, while people have been shut down or at home, and a lot of folks are even working from home, right? We see that internet usage has surged by 70%. “Now, Chris, well, some of that could be them working.” Absostinkinlutely. It really could be, right? However, here’s the problem: internet usage is including what they do at work.

So this is on top of if you work, if you used to go to a brick and mortar, and you would use the internet there, then that internet usage has been recorded. So when you go home and it increases 70%, that’s not you working. That’s a whole lot of people spending a ton more time online, doing all kinds of other stuff. Now some of it may be absolutely innocent. Some of it may be perfectly fine. I may have shopped a little bit myself and Amazon has made more money off of me, but that’s not what we’re talking about today. We’re talking about what does this mean for your kids? What does this mean for you as parents? So we, we throw out a few stats. We’re going to hit a few more. Kids are receiving their first phone around the time they enter the stage of human development, where peer engagement is critical.

Now, guys, old time Chris here, right? Here comes my opinions when it comes to cell phones and your kids. I said, old time Chris, old fashioned Chris here, is going to speak to you about this. If I had a young teenager right now, there’s no way they’re getting a smartphone. There’s no way. You can judge the daylights out of me. But guess what? I could not care less about your judgment of my parenting. And here’s the reason why: those kids are our responsibility to God. He gave us those children. It’s our responsibility to lead those children well, and what we are being told and made to feel guilty about nowadays, is that if your kid doesn’t have a smartphone by age 12, you’re a horrible parent.

Let me tell you from the God perspective, if you were allowing your child the opportunity to go get instant affirmation from other 12 year olds to go get on social media and be cyber bullied or cyber bully, if you’re allowing your kid to be one of the insane numbers of young kids where, I’m talking about eight year olds that are posting videos online, asking people to tell them whether or not they’re pretty or they’re ugly. And the incredible horrid responses that are ending up on the comments. If you’re allowing your kids to do that, and you’re judging me because I would not do that, your judgment is the last thing I want. Your opinion is the last thing I want. Why? Because I still have to stand before my God. There’s plenty of you out there that are nonbelievers that follow us. And we’re glad that you guys follow us, but you still have to look at, even if you don’t look at it from a God perspective, look at it from the responsibility perspective, what are you doing allowing your child the opportunity to choose, to make decisions that are going to Jack up their worth, that are going to jack up their self-respect that is going to cause them to seek people, to tell them that they’re pretty, attractive, funny, intelligent, good enough.

Guys. Oh my gosh. Where are they learning it from? The parents! All the parents that are out there posting their 400 selfies today. What is the purpose of a selfie? Seriously? Let’s just, let’s just talk about that for a second. What is the purpose of a selfie? It is amazing to me, the number of- I’m not saying that you can’t post a selfie, but when you’ve posted your 42nd selfie this month, there’s a problem. When you continue to put out pictures of you. I have seen people take a picture of themselves, put a scripture verse in the comment part, or the post part, whatever the heck it is, as you can tell, I’m incredibly well versed when it comes to online social media, and it’s a picture of them looking attractive, and then a scripture verse that has absolutely nothing to do with it, nothing whatsoever.

What is the purpose of that picture? That picture is for affirmation. And as they start to get likes on their scripture verse, guess what they’re telling themselves inside? People like the way I look. Guys, it is as plain and simple as that. When you see more photos of somebody as a selfie than anything else on their social media, guess what? Their goal isn’t connecting with people. Their goal is affirmation. Their goal is “Tell me that I’m good enough. Tell me I’m worthy enough. Tell me I’m attractive enough.” These are the things that we’re looking for from society. Well, guess what? We’re teaching our kids that they need to go and do the same exact thing to the point that we have eight year olds posting videos online. And I’m saying eight because that’s of the younger area. There’s even younger than that. Believe it or not.

There’s a ton more North of eight that are doing this, that are posting videos online asking people to tell them if they’re ugly. “Do you think I’m ugly? Do you think I’m attractive?” And the responses are just absolutely disgusting. So here’s my question: why is that okay? Why is that allowed? For folks that come through Next Level Life we’ve done over 300 next level lives. Over 300. For folks that come through, the biggest struggles people are dealing with is their self worth. There’s not a single person who comes into our business, whether it’s through Next Level, Life, Stratplan, whether it’s through the Mastermind programs, none of this, there’s not a single person coming into our business, because there’s not a single person walking this earth, who’s not struggling with self-worth. Who isn’t discovering all kinds of issues that have happened in their life that are tied to their self worth, who isn’t discovering decisions that they’re making.

                                                              Affirmation Through Media 

So one of the things that we work through on Next Level Life is understanding your surface level responses, decisions you’re making, because of things you don’t understand about yourself worth. Because of things you don’t understand about how you are feeling not good enough, not worthy enough. Because you’ve had situations in your life that you don’t understand. You can’t explain. You kind of maybe understand it, but you still don’t really get it. And it creates this decision making process and a whole ton of negative self talk and a whole ton of lies. We’re going to talk about that as well. A lot of lies that we tell ourselves. “I only got 12 likes on my post today. People don’t like me. But tomorrow or two days ago, I got a hundred. So, man, two days ago I was worth something to people. But today, apparently I’m not worth anything because I’ve only got 12. So now I’ve got to go find a better post to try and get people to respond to me.”

Guys. Yes, I’m ranting on this because it’s this important to me. And I want you to get this. You should not be going after this online. What are you doing as a parent? When it comes to your child, are you protecting them? Your job is to protect them. Oh, but Chris, my kid tells me how I’m a horrible parent. If I don’t let them be on their phone, uh, you’re letting your child tell you about your parenting? That’s probably not the place to be looking. If you want to understand your parenting, go to somebody who is a very healthy parent. Go to somebody who understands what healthy parenting looks like, right? Go to somebody who’s raising phenomenal kids. And I’m not talking about just the pictures you see on social media, but that you actually see that they have kids having great decision making. Again. That’s why we’re going to have Stef on next week is because this is a young woman, who makes great decisions and she didn’t always like it. She didn’t like a lot of the processes that her parents put her through, but she is a fabulous young lady and she makes great decisions. You’re responsible for teaching your kids to make great decisions. Let’s hit more stats. Why not, right? Only half of parents with kids ages 5 to 15 use parental controls.

So we already have a ton of kids out there with this instant affirmation device to tell them that they’re not good enough, and they’re not worthy enough. We have insane numbers of predators out there coming after our kids. And to top it off, we have parents. Only half of them actually use parental controls to block this crap, right? To stop this from actually happening. Why, why, why, why? If you were going to give your child a smartphone, then at least put in a whole lot of controls to keep them from getting to things they shouldn’t be getting to. Cutting down their screen time, not allowing people to have access to them. And if you have not heard yet about Tik-Tock and I don’t know what the other one is, that actually gives predators their personal information, they have access to it. That has been a big thing that’s been happening lately is that predators actually have access through the app to see their information, Folks wake up. We’ve got to get to a place of understanding that. So, 93%, let me say this again. 93% of boys by the age of 11 are introduced to pornography. That’s according to a fight, the new drug, 93% by age 11.

Pornogrqaphy, Pedophiles and Parent’s Protections

Guys, this is becoming such a part of our society, that it is making it difficult for boys, young men. And it’s even happening with girls nowadays to even understand what’s real. What’s real when it comes to girls, women, what’s real when it comes to relationships. They’re being fed so much crap and so much disgusting filth. And I will tell you, before I started this business, I’ve had on my heart for a long time to try and help stop some of this crap. And so many years ago, I actually thought I was going to do part of that. And so I spent time interviewing folks that were helping to stop sex trafficking and helping to stop, you know, a bunch of the sex trade stuff. And I thought I was going to be busting down doors.

God changed that direction and made sure that I came here. So praise God, that’s exactly what his will has been. And this is where I am, but it has not changed my heart for what’s happening out there. It’s absolutely disgusting. So I spent time talking to people and you would be amazed at the percentage of people in pornography, people that are in strip clubs, women that are prostituted women, the percentage that are stolen and forced into what they’re experiencing. People think, you know, these 11 year olds or even 40 year olds are watching this pornography thinking that this is some gal who absolutely loves her life and loves doing what she’s doing. And doesn’t realize that this is somebody who has been forced beyond things that I’m going to talk about here on the show today, it’s just too much to share on the show.

93% of 11 year old boys are being exposed to that. What are we doing about it? How many of them are way too shamed to talk to their parents about this? How many of them, men, let me speak to you for a second. How many of your young sons can’t come and speak to you about something because of how shameful it is or because they know that you don’t know how to have the conversation with them, how to have the right heart and how to lead them incredibly well. And maybe it’s because they’ve seen, you’re struggling with this. I don’t know, but what are we going to do about this responsibility that we have in our lives? Half of children today use social media. That’s not surprising. And I’m actually surprised. I would assume that that number is actually considerably higher than, half on the social media side. But that’s the stats that we have from OFC. Another fun statistic, 500,000 predators are online every day. Guys, this blows me away. This blows me away because you just wouldn’t think that there was that many people online that are predators. That’s a whole lot of evil that’s happening, right? 50% of those victims to those predators are children from the ages of 12 to 15. And that’s according to Patch. 50% of the victims are from the ages 12 to 15.

These are kids that are spending a ton of time online, right? So I’m going to crank up the disgusting here. And this is my last piece of disgusting. Before I start talking about what we do about some of this, there’s an actual Ted talk. This, I, I don’t even know how to respond to the people who allow this to happen, but there’s an actual Ted talk out there. It’s called pedophilia is an unchangeable orientation.

Sorry, I’ve got to breathe for a second on this one because this one just jacks me up. And it is some, I think she’s a college age, a young woman who is talking about how pedophilia is something that should be allowed, that it is something that you can’t change. That it’s “by nature.” As I do my air quotes, it is so disgusting that this is even a thing. I didn’t even know this, this was introduced to me from my team. I didn’t even know this existed out there, but it gets worse. It gets worse than that. It’s not bad enough that people are saying that pedophilia should be okay. That it’s an orientation that should be accepted. It gets worse than that. There is actually a group out there. So here was somebody post and we had to actually go look this up because I’ve never even heard about this.

And this exists while we’re arguing over the efficacy of masks, a viral group of people are trying to make pedophilia a sexual orientation and believe it is 100% okay to be “age fluid.” This is their terminology that they use. And so what they’re saying is essentially this: being age fluid means that a full grown man could identify as an eight year old boy or an eight year old girl, if he’s also feeling “gender fluid” on any particular day. So if a 50 year old man identifies as an eight year old girl and is attracted to an eight year old boy, then these sickos feel it is natural and should be legal for him to act on his feelings.

It gets worse. If you’re not throwing up right now, like I want to, it gets stinking worse, people. There is an organization out there, ,and we actually went through this, looked it up, it exists. I told my my team. “I’m like guys, that can’t possibly be truth. Fact check that again because it can’t be true.” There is an organization “NAMBLA” the North American Boy Love Association. It’s a real pedophilia organization that wants pedophilia to be normalized. They think the- gosh, darn it, sorry, folks. This is so disgusting. They think the age of consent should be lowered to four years old.

I’m a little stuck. I’m at a little bit of a loss for words, even as I’m ranting about this with you right now, I’m so disgusted of the evil that exists. Now, I’m going to tell you that while I am pressing this hard, here’s what I want you to understand: there is a world of difference from the good and the love of God, and the evil of Satan. There is an enemy who is trying to steal, kill, and destroy. And he’s able to convince people of this disgustingness. And this is what you and your children are up against online. This is what’s out there right now. This is what is making up part of those disgusting predators that are coming after your kids. So we’re going to talk about this, but here’s what I want to leave you for just a second. It’s your responsibility to protect them. Are you listening to God or are you listening to bad parents who are telling you that you’re behind the times because you’re not allowing your kids to be in a position for these disgusting people to have access to them? I want you to think about that. We’re going to talk more about this right after this.

All right. We are back. And talking about such an exciting subject. It’s so, so fun. So good. Um, guys, again, this is something that is so strong in my heart that I just couldn’t wait anymore. I wanted to get this out on a show. And I, and I know that this is tough. I know a lot of you right now are probably like, man, I just don’t even want to think about this. I get that. But you got to, you have to, even if it’s just for yourself, if you’re somebody who spends a lot of time online, on social media, then you’ve got to be thinking through this kind of stuff, right? But especially you parents, this is something that has to be this important. So, we’re going to talk through the guilt side of this. Why do so many parents?-Because here’s what I know.

I know of parents. I’ve heard the conversations. I’ve heard the comments. I’ve heard the comments of parents saying, “yeah, I’m allowing my kid to partake in something that is probably going to end up filthy, disgusting something.”Right? Whether it is pornography, whether it is struggling with body image issues. And I know none of us adults struggle with that, right? There’s, there’s nobody out there that struggles with that. Whether it’s cyber bullying, being bullied, or bullying, whether it’s struggling with identity, whether it’s struggling with affirmation, self worth, self respect. So here’s the deal. A lot of that guilt is coming from, believe it or not, our root system. A lot of that guilt is coming from a place that if you’ve not been through Next Level Life, you don’t really understand it. You kind of get it. You kind of know pieces about it. Everybody kind of knows that there’s things back in their root system that they know is pointing at something, but they don’t know what to do with it.

They don’t know how to solve it. They don’t know how to shift it, change it. So the most that they do is compartmentalize it, because they don’t know how to deal with it. Right? So instead they think they aren’t dealing with something. And because of it, it’s causing decision-making that is not stepping up and being strong when it comes to parenting. And it’s guilt. And man, I said before, we have a lot of folks out there that are guilting people, telling people that they’re behind the times telling people that they’re holding their kids back, because you know, if you’re not allowing your child to have a smartphone, then what a horrible parent you are. And if you’re not allowing them to be on social media, what a horrible parent you are. For the love. Listen to me on this. You do not answer to those people. 

                                                             Don’t be your child’s’ Best Friend 

And why are you allowing such terrible influence in your life of somebody to tell you that you’re a horrible parent, because you’re not giving your child the opportunity to kick their self worth in the butt every single day? To get cyber bullied, to post online, asking other people, thinking that it’s kids, but it’s adults as well whether or not they think that they’re ugly or attractive? By getting online and, or not even online, just in texting with other kids. Now, this is probably six years ago. And the dad was telling me that the older daughter and the younger daughter would come in and the older sister’s just being a jerk. She’s just treating her younger sibling badly. And the dad sitting there going, “I don’t know why she’s doing this. I’m not understanding this.” Until one day. He realized every time she was doing that, she was on her phone.

And so he went and grabbed her phone up, put it in a basket on top of the countertop and said, when you come home, your phone goes in that basket. He said, he saw an immediate shift with the way his older daughter, treated her younger sibling that she started playing with her having good conversations. And that showed him something; his older daughter is stuck in bad conversations that she’s having crappy conversations with other teenagers or other kids her age that’s causing her to respond negatively. So it’s bad enough that she’s responding that negatively to her younger sister. Right. But what’s that doing inside of her head? Something is causing her to choose to treat somebody badly. So what do you think she’s telling her own self? How do you think she treats herself? How do you think she does with negative self talk, and lies and things like that?

She’s definitely got to be struggling with those. So that was a great indicator for that dad to see, “I can’t have this, I can’t allow this. I’ve got to do something about this.” That’s a dad who doesn’t care about other parents telling him that he’s a dad who’s behind the times. So this guilt comes from a lot of areas. But the biggest thing we’ve got to look at is all those things that we don’t understand. “Well, maybe I’m not a good parent. If I don’t let my kid do this or it helps me because I’m busy, and if my kid can be on that smartphone, then they’re occupied right there.” You know, as we read earlier, I think it was what four hours and 44 minutes or something like that of time that these kids are spending on online or on a device. Right? So sometimes it’s the guilt of, “well, I’ve got to work. I’ve got to put something in their hands or something to keep them busy.” Folks.

I grew up without a smartphone. I grew up with a phrase that my mother used to say, “go outside and use your imagination. Go play with your toys, go do something.” We didn’t sit there and make our mother feel guilty that she wasn’t attending to us every single second of the day. That did not happen in our household. Instead we lived in a household where it was like, “Hey, go do something. Be creative, go outside, go play, build a fort, go play in the snow. Play with your toys, play a game with your brother.” Which that really didn’t happen, so that wouldn’t work out well. I got too many beatings for my older brother. “Go do something.” You have to understand that if you feel the guilt that you must attend to your child every second, or you’re a bad parent, you’re reading the wrong books.

You’re listening to the wrong people. That is not healthy for you. And it’s surely not healthy for that child because what are you teaching that child? That everybody exists to take care of their every minute. That they can’t go do things and spend time playing on their own with healthy things, not a computer. Don’t drop them in front of a TV and put on the ridiculous cartoons for 27 hours a day. Help them to go experience life, help them to go have fun, help them to get outside and play. I love it. Some of my godchildren, Joel Fortiner, who his kids, their backyard, those kids are out there all day. And if they’re not outside, they’re at a kitchen table drawing. They’re playing, they’re doing crafts, they’re doing something. Joel and Mary Beth have done a phenomenal job.

As a matter of fact, I don’t even really think they watch barely any TV at all. The kids and the parents don’t watch that much TV, because they’re spending too much time being creative. And that’s what they know. They know that this is a good thing to do. They don’t know the opposite of sitting in front of a TV for seven hours a day and putting all types of crap in their brain. So back to the guilt piece, am I not a good parent because I’m not a modern parent? Well, we talked about a modern parent. The modern parent is allowing their kids all of this crap. So answer the question yourself. Are you a bad parent because you’re not allowing this? I am going to tell you every day and twice on Sunday, I know you are not, you’re not destroying your child.

And by the way, if you’re worried about your child’s self esteem, do yourself a favor, get over self esteem. Self esteem is not important. Self-esteem is saying, Oh, I’ve done something wrong, but I’m still a good person. Forget about self-esteem. That was something made up in the nineties because people wanted to be victims. Self-worth, what is my actual true worth? Not the work that human beings tell me. Not the worth that I get when I people please, when I make somebody laugh or somebody thinks I’m attractive. What’s my actual worth? And I’m going to tell you, your worth is in what God says your worth is. And he has a whole book lining out what your worth is. You should dig into that. I’m concerned about your self worth. And I’m concerned about your self respect. I could care less about your self esteem.

So if you’re one of folks that are saying, well, “I’m worried that I might not be a good parent because I’m not a modern parent. I’m not, you know, focusing on my child’s self esteem.” Don’t focus on your child’s self esteem, focus on their self worth, focus on their decision making. So for me, I believe your responsibility to God is not to raise children. I believe your responsibility to God is to guide them to Him as their ultimate parent and to raise adults, so that when they leave your house, they can make good decisions. I believe in fathers. Let me speak to you again, men, let me speak to you again. If you have fallen to this ridiculous, um, Western Christian concept that says that the man, the head of the household, is the one who tells everybody what to do and all that kind of crap.

You have misunderstood the scriptures. It’s your responsibility to God to make sure your family has a great relationship with him. No, it’s way bigger than you think it is. It’s a responsibility that you’re going to have to stand up for. What did you do with what I gave you? It’s my job to make sure my family has a great relationship with God. It’s my job to make sure my wife has a great relationship with God. That’s my job. And while they’re in your home as kids, the kids are your responsibility. Now, if you’ve done a great job raising them, then when they’re on their own, they don’t get far from the teaching, right? So that’s your responsibility. How to make great decisions, teaches their children what God says to doing what not to do, teaches them how to be obedient and submissive to God.

That’s the role. That’s what it should be. That’s your role. That’s what you should be doing as well. By the way, did you know that technology is much more addictive than playing games, being outside or being creative? No wonder why they can’t get away from that computer. Go look, this is how I should’ve pulled this up. I should have pulled this into this. Go look up what Paul Allen, Steve jobs, why they wouldn’t let their kids actually use the devices that they created to make, you know, billions of dollars. Go see why they wouldn’t because they knew the dangers of it. So the people who created a lot of this stuff, wouldn’t let their kids play with them. It’s there’s some actual, some great articles out there. Once again, a guilt piece is that time constraints. “Well I’ve got to work, I’m at home, I’ve got to work.”

You can solve this problem by setting other things up ahead of time. You can solve this problem by allowing them in timeframes to go and do something creative. And if they come back crying, you know, “Oh, I can’t think of anything.” Let them go back. It’s okay. You’re not a horrible parent. We didn’t get, we didn’t come to our mom and say, “We can’t think of anything creative.” We either did something creative with our own thought processes. Or we sat on our butt and sitting on our butt was just not good enough. So we were always doing something. We’re always figuring something out. And here’s another big piece of the guilt side that I want you to think about. Are you getting your worth from your children? Are you getting your worth from parenting your kids? Are you getting your worth from being in a relationship with your kids?

Guys, I’m going to tell you this. You can be your kid’s best friend, or you can be their parent, but you can’t be both. And anybody who tells you otherwise does not understand. You can’t be your child’s best friend, and it is not your job to be your child’s best friend. Your job is to, to raise a child into an adult. You have to raise an adult that can actually go out into this world and make great decisions. I am not saying that you can’t be friends. I am not saying that you can’t have phenomenal relationship, but there’s one thing they should know over everything. And that is when it comes to the parenting side. That is that you’re a parent first that they always know you’re a parent. First people always have this ridiculous concept that you can’t be a leader and a friend of your team members.

I work with most of my best friends on the planet. They have no problem knowing that I’m their leader. It’s not an issue because I lead them well. And we are best friends. We spend time together. We’ve been living life together for years. So yes, you can. You can parent really well and be a friend. As long as you understand that the friend side is not the important piece. So if you’re guilting yourself thinking that you need to be their best friend, I’m telling you, you were setting up things for some bad, bad experiences in the future. Because when you go to parent them, there’s no way they’re going to listen. There’s no way they’re going to follow you. Because you’ve been their friend this whole time. So who are you to start to parent? You have to choose what’s more important.

So parents, here’s what I want you to do: I want you to sit down. If you’re a single parent, if you’re a couple, I want you to sit down and I want you to line out priorities. When it comes to raising your kids in a social media world. What’s important?What’s not important? What should you be protecting them against? What should you be doing? List those priorities out. Then I want you to make a list of all the guilt that you experience when it comes to your kids and social media and smartphones and videos and cartoons and TVs and time that they’re spending on all of this crap, right? And guilt that has to do with people telling you that you’re not a good enough person, and you’re not in the good enough parent. List all of those things out and take a hard look at what’s driving your decision making process. Take a look at the things that you need to start scratching off the list, as far as what you care about.

Then a lot of you, I know so many folks are struggling with things in their root system that you don’t understand. You don’t know what to do about, get your butts in here for Next Level Life. Go to chrislocurto.com and click on Next Level Life, and get in here so we can work through those things. So you can go back and start putting in healthy boundaries. So you can go back and care about the right things. So you can go back and not worry about being a bad parent. So you can go back and do the things that you know are good and proper and right, and healthy for you, for your spouse, for your kids, for your family, whatever. Right? So make these lists and then start to make some decisions.

For those of you that are believers, if my responsibility to God is how I raise these children, then what do I want that to look like when I stand in front of him? What do I want to hear him say? And should I care anything about unhealthy influences, right? And unhealthy opinions and judgments. Should I care anything about that? If you’re not a believer, then I want you to ask yourself, what is my responsibility with these kids, period. If I am going to make them a healthy part of society, do I go by what society thinks is healthy? Now that everything is going 50 year olds too-gosh, I’m not even finishing the sentence. You know exactly where I was going with that. It’s just too disgusting to talk about. Do I think that’s healthy? So if you’re not a believer, my suggestion is talk to us.

We’d love to talk to you about it. We’d love to help you to see that there is actually a fantastic God, and that there’s somebody else who’s really driving a bad agenda. We’d love to talk to you about what it looks like to get away from the pain and suffering and the crap, right? But if that’s not what you’re into, then you need to make some decisions. What’s your responsibility with these kids? Ultimately, at the end of the day, you’ve got to get rid of the guilt. You have got to really truly understand the vulnerable situations that you’re putting your kids in. You’ve got to understand that other people’s opinions, if they are unhealthy, they do not matter. They do not matter. Do not listen to unhealthy parents, I hate to even call them parents. If they’re allowing their kids to go get caught up on all of this crap, don’t listen to that.

So you need healthy advice and you need to get somewhere to help you work through all of those things. If you can do those things, then you can make phenomenal decisions for your kids. Last piece, you guys have heard me talk about this before. You need to put choices and consequences in place for your kids. You need to teach your kids a decision making process. And we’ve talked about this many times before. If you choose to do bad, you get a bad consequence. If you choose to do good, you get a good consequence.It’s the same thing you do with your kids. It’s the same thing you do as leaders with your team members, choices and consequences, choose to do bad stuff, choose to talk back, choose to not go use your brain power to be creative, whatever it is. If you will put choices and consequences in place, that will be one of the best tools.

Now I’m going to tell you, the Bible is going to be the best tool, time with God is going to be the best tool, period. Spend more time, right? Seek God and his kingdom. And you’ll be amazed at how great of a parent you become. But on top of that, you’ve got to teach your kids what it looks like to make decisions. What are choices and consequences. If I choose something bad, I get a bad consequence that hurts. I don’t like that. So I’m going to choose against that. If I choose the good stuff and I get good consequences, I really enjoy that. The more you teach your kids about choices and consequences, the more you will be teaching them to make healthy decisions. So it’s a whole lot of stuff. I know. This is a tough, tough episode.

Look at where the world is going today. Make decisions. In fact, here’s what I want to tell you. Spend less time looking at where the world is going, and spend more time on God’s word. Seek his face, seek his kingdom, seek his righteousness, do those things, and you’ll be amazed at how much you do not spend time in anxiety and fear and crap. So while yes, I’m pushing the point on this really hard. I want it to be something that you focus on and you say, “I’ve got to do something different today.” Make a better choice. If you make better choices, you get better consequences as well. Well, hopefully this has helped you today. Please take this information and help your kids, help your spouse, help your friends. You know, parents who need to hear this episode, you know, all kinds of your kids probably need to listen to this stuff. You know, people who need to listen to this, get it out there, share it like crazy. Put it on your social media platforms, so it can be actually something good that’s out there on the social media world, help people to get to this information so they can start making better decisions as always take this information, change your business, change your leadership, change your life, change your kids’ lives and join us on the next episode.