Talking with our kids about Katy Perry

Katy Perry’s back on the charts with her brand new album, Witness, which will debut straight to No. 1 tomorrow on the Billboard 200 Album Chart.

What will our kids hear from Katy this time around? More importantly, how can you talk with them about what they hear?

In 2013 I asked the same question about her album Prism when I wrote the article, “Dad, Can I Download Katy Perry’s New Album?” In that album we saw Katy get honest and talk about fighting depression, but we also saw the typical themes of partying and sleeping around. This time expect a little more of the same—some vulnerability, and some DGAF mindset (don’t give a…).

For example, in her song Roulette we notice

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When teens regret what they post

Last month a youth pastor friend called and left me a message:

Jonathan, we have a teen who sent a naked pic of himself to some girls at his school (Christian school), and now everyone at the school has seen it. It’s all everyone’s talking about at youth group. How do I deal with this?

I wish I could say the situation is uncommon.

No, I’m not going to tell you that every kid with a phone is posting nudes, but we do live in a day where SEND NUDES is definitely “no big deal.” And even if kids aren’t sending nudes

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Posted in Parenting, Sexuality, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Helpful new free resources

We have posted some really helpful free resources in the last month or two. I wanted to highlight a few in case you missed them.

NOTE: Whenever I meet any of you in person at conferences and events around the world, the one common statement I hear is, “Thanks for your web site.” Of which I always respond, “You welcome. What is it you use the most?” The responses are always intriguing. I think “games” is the most common response I hear from youth workers, and the “youth culture articles” is the second most common answer. “Parenting help articles” is by far the number one answer from parents.

I’m glad you like them… that’s why we keep them free.

Here’s a few you won’t want to miss

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Stop dwelling on past mistakes

This month I was interviewed by Host Maggie Johns on Canadian TV show 100 Huntley Street about my parenting mistakes… and what I’d do over.

The interview provides good news for parents. We’ve all made mistakes. Instead of beating yourself up, ask, “How can I learn from this? How can I make changes? Lets stop dwelling on the past and let’s look at the future.”

Here’s a six minute clip

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When teasing goes too far

Do your kids resonate with 13 Reasons Why?

Do they ever feel, or have any friends who feel bullied, teased, mocked, or pushed too far?

My longtime blog readers might remember me talking about a book I have been writing literally for years now—the story of a high school kid who was teased and mocked beyond the tipping point. I finished the book and hope to get it published this year.

That’s where you come in.

I never release a book until I’ve had a bunch of people preview it first and give me feedback

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Free 7-week Parenting Curriculum

Many of you have been asking me about the free 7-week parenting curriculum I announced on social media last month.

It’s here!

We just uploaded the first two videos to our “If I Had a Parenting Do Over” playlist on YouTube, and the remaining 5 are going up in the next 24 hours.

I actually got the idea during

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Why 13 Reasons Why

Suicide, upskirt photos, social media, bullying… it’s almost as if someone posted a hidden camera in the hallways of the high school down your street. The realism is a little too close to home, and parents are beginning to worry.

Should our kids be watching this?

If you have teenagers, work with teenagers or even have crossed paths with a teenager in the last month, you probably have heard them talking about 13 Reasons Why. It’s the newest bingeable series from Netflix touching on everything teenager

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Posted in Discussion Ideas, Entertainment Media, Internet, Movies, Parenting, Self Image, TV, Youth Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Alone

Yesterday I sat in a restaurant on my drive back from a speaking engagement and voices grew loud behind me.

“You don’t understand!”

“I understand perfectly. You’re failing.”

The voices were growing loud enough that people at other tables were pausing and awkwardly looking over at the commotion.

I snuck a glance. A teenage boy, probably 16 or 17-years-old, was typing on his phone, trying his best to ignore his mom while she sat across the table from him with her arms crossed

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Lost a friend

Youth Ministry lost a good friend this past weekend. My friend Rob Maxey, Executive Director of Youth for Christ here in Sacramento passed away Friday after a long battle with cancer.

Even if you didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Rob, many of you actually knew him by reputation. Rob is the friend I featured in my book CONNECT who literally taught me how to talk with kids on campus (the guy who said, “Hi, I’m his parole officer”). Rob is the friend whose stories I’ve used at countless youth ministry trainings and parent workshops because of his amazing grasp on how to connect with today’s young people

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Men really hate solitude

This week as I read about Jesus’ final hours, I can’t help but notice how often He went alone for some time of solitude to pray.

Men hate getting alone to just be quiet!

I think you’ll be surprised to discover exactly how much they hate it.

I’m co-writing a book right now with my friend Curt Steinhorst about capturing attention in a world full of distractions, and we devote an entire chapter to finding solitude, turning off the noise and actually allowing ourselves to process.

Men don’t do this naturally.

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