Asking Right Questions… the Wrong Way

Posted on: 04/29/14 3:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

parents-listeningDo your kids open up or clam up when you ask questions?

Think about that for a second. Because chances are, you ask questions one of two ways. One approach gets young people talking. The other tactic… they look for the nearest exit.

Last weekend I taught two workshops in Wisconsin, one to parents and anther to youth workers. One of the common denominators in that teaching was encouraging each of these groups to truly “get to know their kids.” In the parenting workshop I actually gave them a homework assignment:

“Connect with your kid this week and see if you can discover something about them you never knew before.”

I qualified that assignment by warning them Continue reading “Asking Right Questions… the Wrong Way” »

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The Social Media Irony

Posted on: 04/24/14 3:20 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Millennial watching laptop(and 5 Ideas to “Socialize”
the Socially Isolated)

In a world where 4 out of 5 teenagers are social media users, you’d think young people would be growing more… social?

Sadly, no.

In fact, most research is revealing quite the opposite. The reality is, the more time a young person spends dialoguing with people through screens, the fewer close friends they have, and the more difficult it becomes for them to actually communicate with people face to face.

Let’s break that down, and then I’ll provide 5 ideas to help you “socialize” a generation who have socially isolated themselves Continue reading “The Social Media Irony” »

Brutally Honest Advice to Today’s Guys

Posted on: 04/22/14 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Teen-Boy-TodayA bunch of people have been asking me the story behind my brand new book of brutally honest advice to today’s guys. The truth is… I almost didn’t write it.

Last summer my agent called me and said, “I’ve got a book for you to write.” I thought, No way. Already swamped. I was wrapping up my Zombie book, and halfway through writing Get Your Teenagers Talking, all this on top of all my speaking and training for our ministry… but then he told me what the publisher wanted:

“It’s a book that will provide candid advise to teenage guys.”

He hooked me. I couldn’t say no. Next thing I knew, I was writing The Guys Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket.

I sent out texts to my friends and family and asked them this question Continue reading “Brutally Honest Advice to Today’s Guys” »

My Favorite Easter Clip

Posted on: 04/17/14 3:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Ben-Hur-meets-JesusEaster is just around the corner… some of you are still preparing lessons or discussions, or even looking for ways to engage in meaningful conversations with our kids about the amazing sacrifice Jesus paid for us.

Year after year I return to this clip from the Academy Award winning movie Ben Hur.

I love the mystery and power of Jesus they created in this scene Continue reading “My Favorite Easter Clip” »

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Bonding or Boundaries PART 2

Posted on: 04/15/14 6:56 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Bonding-Boundaries-SignLast week I wrote a post discussing the two vital ingredients in parenting: bonding and boundaries. Bonding is the side with nurturing and play, where boundaries is structure and discipline.

In many parent child relationships, parents seems to sway toward one over the other, despite the fact that both elements are necessary. I asked you to comment and see which side you seem to “err” toward and which side you see more Continue reading “Bonding or Boundaries PART 2” »

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Shy, Teased, Isolated…Teen Killer?

Posted on: 04/10/14 8:32 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Alex-Hribal-school-stabbingWhy?

It’s the one question no one can really answer at this moment describing the rampage 16-year-old Alex Hribal embarked on yesterday at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, PA. One can only speculate.

His attorney is saying he is just a normal kid. Most are saying he was “shy”, “quiet” and “small.” Some are already using words like “bullied” and “teased.” Like Alex’s classmate who described the teasing as “relentless” at times.

“They just said things. They’d ride him and ride him, and today was the day that he snapped.”

I felt a unique twinge in my spine when I read that quote… because I remember that feeling. I know that emotional state well, not from studying youth culture, or writing and speaking about bullying, but from hearing the jeers and pokes from my classmates in my early teen years Continue reading “Shy, Teased, Isolated…Teen Killer?” »

Bonding or Boundaries

Posted on: 04/8/14 3:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Bonding-Boundaries-SignParenting is hard!

I study and write about youth culture and parenting almost every day. It seems so nice and simple when I’m reading articles and typing words on the screen… then my 16-year-old gets home from school!

Huge difference between theory and practice.

I have never… emphasis on neverContinue reading “Bonding or Boundaries” »

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Tim Hawkins Greatest Bits

Posted on: 04/7/14 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Christian Comedian Tim Hawkins kills me!

I first heard him at an event we spoke at together. He had the crowd rolling on the floor! Tim’s really good at helping us laugh at ourselves. Hilarious.

In December he put out a greatest hits DVD… the first 6 minutes are on YouTube. I couldn’t resist sharing this with you.

(Click here for the video if you can’t see it embedded)

He has the DVD available on his site.

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5 Days of Get Your Teenager Talking- DAY 5

Posted on: 04/4/14 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

talking-with-teensEach day in my blog this week I have given you a little somethin’ you can use to provoke meaningful conversations with young people. (Click here for Monday’s, Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s, or Thursday’s.) My brand new book, Get Your Teenager Talking has 180 conversation springboards that “get teenagers talking”… I thought I’d share some with you. Here’s one more:

Conversation Springboard No. 5:

Which kids are happier: those who eat whatever they want, drink alcohol, and smoke, or those who eat healthy foods and live a healthier lifestyle?

A recent study suggests an unhealthy lifestyle is linked to unhappiness. In fact, in their analysis of five thousand young people between the ages of ten and fifteen, researchers discovered Continue reading “5 Days of Get Your Teenager Talking- DAY 5” »

5 Days of Get Your Teenager Talking- DAY 4

Posted on: 04/3/14 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

talking-with-teensEach day in my blog this week I’m going to give you a little somethin’ you can use to provoke meaningful conversations with young people. (Click here for Monday’s, Tuesday’s, or Wednesday’s.) My brand new book, Get Your Teenager Talking has 180 conversation springboards that “get teenagers talking”… I thought I’d share some with you. Here’s another one:

Conversation Springboard No. 4:

What makes someone popular at your school? Continue reading “5 Days of Get Your Teenager Talking- DAY 4” »

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