Engaging kids in conversations about “Stranger Things”

I’m loving this new Netflix Discussion page!

Yeah! Using Stranger Things to discuss Luke Chapter 11. Whodathunkit?

A few months ago we announced a brand new resource on our TheSource4Parents.com page … our brand new Netflix Discussions page. The page gives parents ideas for dialoguing about what they watch with their kids on Netflix.

No, we don’t expect moms and dads to sit their kids down and teach them a lesson. Far from it. What we hope to provide parents with is a loose guide towards meaningful dialogue including sample questions they might ask.

Funny, I’ve already received feedback from youth workers letting me know they were excited about using this resource as well. I don’t blame them. Much like our youth ministry Music Discussions page and our YouTube Discussions page (both FREE resources on TheSource4YM.com) this brand new Netflix Discussions page uses entertainment media to engage young people into conversations about truth.

The page is still in its early stages, but we’ve already completed discussions of the entire first season of Stranger Things, all 8 episodes. These discussion guides were written by a school teacher and mom who has personally used Stranger Things to engage her own kids (8 and 11) in meaningful conversation. She gives us a peek at this in her discussion guide from Season 1, Episode 6: The Monster:

My 11-year-old son, Aidan, and I re-watched this episode together. Afterwards, he invited me out to the hot tub where I asked him who or what he thought the monster was in the movie. At first he looked at me and said quickly, “the monster Mom!” I stayed quiet and he started to talk, “Well, I guess it could be Steve and his friends – ’cause they’re always so mean… and I guess it could be the bullies that are always picking on Mike and the guys.” Our daughter, Elise, soon joined us and we started discussing friendships that they have at school. Inevitably, the conversation turned to bullying and bullies – what made them act the way they did. We talked about what monsters in our lives look like and decided that they are kind of like shape-shifters, changing over time. They can have faces just like us, and sometimes we ourselves become the monsters through our actions or even the thoughts that we have.

We live in a fallen world, a world full of visible and invisible monsters, literally. Children voice fears of monsters under their beds or lurking in their closets. But really, we encounter monsters every day…

In Season 1, Episode 8: The Upside Down, an episode that ends with an opportunity for a Gospel presentation, our discussion writer shares how much she enjoys the “messy” realism in the midst of a fictional premise:

As a Christian living in an imperfect world, I loved the loose ends and lack of neatness in this final episode. Life itself is often a messy version of what we want to portray in images or postings on Facebook. And the reality is, people are sinful and continue to mess up, especially when they are only looking to themselves and not trusting in the Lord. Is it possible that Hopper really made a horrible choice to sacrifice El in order to save Will? That idea is troubling to consider, but nevertheless, it happens in real life all the time. People that you expect to make good choices sometimes don’t – and sometimes they really don’t…

Enjoy all 8 episodes on our FREE Netflix Discussion page!

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Mom, is Chance the Rapper a Christian?

It’s not something anyone expected to see at the Grammys—a rapper leading worship.

As millions of Americans gathered around their flatscreens this week for one of the most anticipated award shows of the year, they had no idea what was about to take place. One moment Gaga was singing with Metallica. The next moment one of the countless young ladies with a distractingly plunging neckline introduced Chance the Rapper… and a hush fell over the crowd as an angelic voice began singing the words, “How Great is Our God.”

“Pinch me Mildred, but did someone just switch the channels?”

If you missed the moment, then you not only missed Chance the Rapper making history

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Posted in Entertainment Media, Music, Parenting, TV, Youth Culture | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Your stars

As one of my loyal blog readers, you know I love giving you free stuff and rarely ask you for anything in return.

Today I ask for one simple thing… your stars.

Okay… I guess I’m actually asking you to read my newest book (hundreds of you have already bought it), because that’s the only way you can give it five stars. I’m talking about my brand new parenting book, If I Had a Parenting Do Over. Amazon has it in stock now and I’m asking my readers to simply pop onto Amazon and post a quick review after you read the book.

Here’s what others are already saying about it

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Teens and Sleep Infographic

Did you know that kids using electronics during bedtime are 200% more likely to be excessively sleepy during the day?

Last month I just posted some eye-opening research about social media keeping teens awake, and now TeenSafe has created a nice little infographic on the subject. Take a peek

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26 years with this girl

Today Lori and I celebrate 26 years of marriage, and it’s kinda weird… but we still like each other!

We’ve taken a week off and today we are embarking on a dolphin zodiac excursion. The plan is to take a zodiac into the middle of the pacific and swim with Flipper and all his friends! (We’re pretty excited)

If you never hear from us again, that means we mistook sharks for dolphins. Oh well… at least we’ll go out together!

I love being with this girl!

Happy Anniversary, my love!

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Here’s my sex talk

In the youth ministry world, February is the time to talk about sex and dating. So I thought I’d give you the outline of one of my sex talks (or Download Youth Ministry put their professional flair on it HERE with readymade slides, the complete transcript and small group questions, all for just a few bucks. Those guys rock!)

In this talk I equip young people how to actually save sex in a world that exploits it. In other words, how can I “flee”? (This talk is drawn from chapter 2 in my book to teens, Sex Matters.)

TALK TITLE: What do you mean, “Flee”?

INTRODUCTION: I tell a story of a teenaged boy and his girlfriend going to her house after school. Her parents aren’t home, they go upstairs to her room “to talk”, begin kissing, the laying down… and next thing they know they end up having sex.

The young man goes to his youth pastor and tells him, “We didn’t intend to do it. It just happened. We couldn’t stop! Why?”

The youth pastor wisely responded, “Because you weren’t designed to stop

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Lady Gaga Super Bowl Performance

Hey… just wanted to hit you with a quick post in the middle of the game. Lady Gaga just performed what some are already calling a “mediocre” Super Bowl Halftime performance. A little harsh commentary, I think. If Gaga isn’t scandalous, they call her boring.

And you wonder why so many are trying scandalous.

Here’s a quick recap of her performance

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On FOCUS this Friday

Just a quick note to let you know that I’ll be on the FOCUS ON THE FAMILY daily broadcast again this Friday with Focus President Jim Daly and co-host John Fuller.

This time our topic is balancing bonding and boundaries as a parent, offering parents practical advice and encouragement in a discussion based off my brand new book If I Had a Parenting Do Over: 7 Vital Changes I’d Make.

You can listen to the broadcast on your local Christian radio, or use the link HERE online starting Friday.


Posted in Entertainment Media, Parenting, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Social Media, Speaking/Training | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Big Game QUIZ

It’s almost Super Bowl time… and that means our annual free BIG GAME Quiz!

For those of you have been following TheSource4YM.com for the past few years, you probably look forward to the fun little FREE resource we provide every year called the Super Bowl “BIG GAME Quiz!” (I just posted it HERE). This quiz is a fun little party game you can use at your Super Bowl party at your church or your home. People fill out the quiz as they enter your party, predicting scores, catches, runs, etc., then you fill out the results during the game and tally up the winner (and PLEASE… remember to tally up the answers during the game because that’s how the quiz works).

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Social Media Keeping Teens Awake

Exactly how much does social media entice today’s young people?

Enough to wake them up in the middle of the night just to check and see if they got any new Snaps?

A brand new study out of the UK revealed that one fifth of today’s young people are actually waking up at night just to check social media. Funny that this is a problem… when the American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents not to even allow phones in the bedrooms

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Posted in Parenting, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments