Sex in the Top 10

I’m always amazed how shocked parents are when I simply take them on a tour of the top 10 songs in the charts at any given time.

Many of you have heard me take parents on this tour (here’s me doing it in Amish PA). In a world where young people average 2 hours a day listening to music, it’s always wise to hear what messages they’re gleaning through their headphones. Today… that message happens to be pretty sexually charged.

David and I just did a quick review of the top 10 in this week’s YOUTH CULTURE WINDOW article. Take a peek at what our kids are hearing this summer and several free resources we provide to engage kids in meaningful conversation about these songs.

SEXY SONGS OF THE SUMMER

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“Here’s the passage”

I’m as type-A as you get. My wife says I’m borderline OCD. I don’t go on a picnic without exhaustive preparation and planning. That’s why Africa is always a stretch for me. Africa is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum.

“I’ll meet you at 9:00.”

That means maybe 9:00… or maybe 10:00. Depends on if something else comes up.

They call it Africa Time.

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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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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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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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