Using YouTube to Get Your Teenagers Talking

Last week my girls spontaneously engaged in a pleasant conversation with me about guidelines, expectations, and my parenting. It was an amazing talk! It probably lasted 30 to 40 minutes. It all started with a question I asked them when I had them both in the car:

“Did you guys see the YouTube video of the redneck dad who got mad at his daughter’s disrespectful Facebook post, so he posted his own video blowing holes her laptop with his 45?”

They both smiled real big and begged, “Can we see it! Please! Let’s see it on your iPhone right now!”

After watching the video, laughing, clicking on a few of the follow-up videos and laughing some more… we talked…. and talked… and talked.

Thanks YouTube!

Kids are becoming more and more “connected” to Facebook, music and internet video. Parents and adult role models can either fight this trend…. or use it.

I don’t know about your teenagers, but my kids love YouTube. Often when I pick up my 14-year-old from school, the first thing out of her mouth will be something like, “Dad, did you see the YouTube video with the monkey riding on the pig’s back?”

Yes… very intelligent, high quality stuff! I assure you.

The fact is, our kids love YouTube. This can be scary at times because YouTube has some racy stuff. But parents shouldn’t be afraid to use it, especially when they are making efforts to find that delicate balance of teaching their kids discernment, using guardrails, and at the same time allowing their kids to fail while still in the nest. (And no, I’m not suggesting you give your kids free reign to browse whatever they want on YouTube. Rather than me re-iterating past blogs about “setting guidelines,” etc., I encourage you to click the three hyperlinks in this paragraph where I go into great detail on the subject.)

So, if your kids are like mine, use a YouTube video to jump-start discussion. (We actually have an entire page of YouTube discussion starters on our youth ministry site, complete with scriptures and small group discussion questions.) Give it a try. Show them the video of angry redneck dad shooting his girl’s laptop and then ask your kids…

  1. Was the girl right to post these complaint’s on Facebook?
  2. Even though she used an unhealthy way of expressing her feelings, do you think this girl’s parents should listen to some of what this girl is feeling?
  3. How should have the father responded to this girl?
  4. If you were to post an angry note about us (your parents) to your friends, what would it say?
  5. How should we respond to that?

How’s that for a conversation starter?

I’m embed that video here for your convenience:

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over a dozen books including the new Get Your Teenager Talking, The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket, The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenager, and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and the 10-Minute Talks series. Jonathan speaks and trains at conferences, churches and events across North America, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan and his wife Lori, and their three teenagers Alec, Alyssa and Ashley live in California.
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2 Responses to Using YouTube to Get Your Teenagers Talking

  1. Aiza Castillo-Domingo says:

    Hello Jonathan,

    I just want to thank and praise God for this amazing website of yours and the topics are really helpful and relevant in teaching and ministering to the youth. I am a volunteer youth worker in our church and I’m really so blessed to have encountered this website. Our church is in Dubai, UAE by the way. Keep posting and may God bless you and your family richly.

    -Aiza

    PS. the video about the the dad shooting the laptop is one incredible conversation starter. thank you so much.

  2. Pingback: Book Giveaway: When Your Teenager’s Silent

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