Talking with teens about how they treat others

Posted on: 09/11/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

The same group of young people watches a boy get pushed around by a bully in gym class almost every day…

and they do nothing.

They merely “stand by.”

Some chuckle, some shake their heads. But no one does anything.

Are “bystanders” any better than the bully?

Ask the kid whose being harassed every day.

Many of you are aware that my first novel, Bystanders, just hit the shelves (in fact, you guys voted on the cover), and as promised, I just wrote a free 4 week curriculum to go with it.

The book is a sobering peek into a high school campus during a school shooting. A curious thing I’ve observed about school shootings –the dialogue that takes place as students and teachers barricade themselves in classrooms, closets etc. They don’t talk about music downloads or their favorite YouTube video. They talk about stuff that matters.

Like my Zombie book, this book uses a fictional premise to springboard meaningful conversation about real world struggles. In this case the story provokes discussion about faith, integrity… and most importantly… how we treat others.

Narratives often speak loudly to today’s young people. And this book isn’t afraid to ask some of the big questions.

The book is available on Amazon (print or Kindle) and we just posted the free discussion guide (complete with scripture and small group questions) HERE.

Helping Bullied, Bullies AND Bystanders

Posted on: 06/28/18 3:23 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Today I’m working on a brand new workshop for parents, teachers and youth workers helping kids experiencing bullying.

Notice I didn’t say “helping kids who are bullied.” This is where my training will immediately differ from others. I’m not just advocating help for kids who have been picked on, but help for the bullied, bullies and bystanders. After hundreds of interviews and 100+ hours of research for my upcoming book The Bullying Breakthrough… I found that most kids fall into one of three categories Continue reading “Helping Bullied, Bullies AND Bystanders” »

7 Facts Undercover Adults Discovered about Teenagers Today

Posted on: 03/5/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

I love it when research discovers something we’ve been telling parents for years. And for the last few weeks A& E show Undercover High has been revealing an eye-opening peek to many parents about the reality of what’s truly going on in the lives of the high school just down the street from you (and one of these “uncover adults” is a youth pastor).

The show unveiled quite a few realities about teen culture- seven, in fact.

1. The biggest surprise for these undercover adults was how much social media and smartphones had changed high school culture completely… and for some of these young adults, high school was only 5 years ago Continue reading “7 Facts Undercover Adults Discovered about Teenagers Today” »

I regret not saying anything

Posted on: 02/20/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

“This kid gets bullied a lot.”

I’m wrapping up my book to parents about bullying, and in the last few months it’s been literally insane how many times I’ve turned on the news to see exactly what I’m writing about played out on the screen… last week again with the shooting in Florida.

No, I’m not one of those guys who is putting full blame on “bullying” here. There were a lot of factors contributing to this tragedy… but again… one of the big ones was an ostracized kid ignored by bystanders every day.

Like the 17-year-old who admitted as much to the Miami Herald just a few days ago Continue reading “I regret not saying anything” »

voices unheard

Posted on: 01/18/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

An overweight boy called “lard-ass” daily.

A girl physically assaulted because she liked the wrong guy.

A crowd of kids taunting a kid with a prominent red birthmark on his face, “Hey Kool-Aid!”

An overweight girl named Carla heartlessly labeled Cowla, trying to simply navigate around campus without being mooed at day after day.

These are just some of the voices I’ve been hearing… and the common denominator I keep finding Continue reading “voices unheard” »

Do you have mean girls or mean boys?

Posted on: 11/29/17 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Every school has them, every church wishes they didn’t… mean girls, mean boys, using mean words to make themselves feel better. Sadly, there are a handful of young people who become perfect targets for these words… and I want to hear from them! I want to hear the voice of the bullied.

Can you introduce me to them?

I’m writing a book to parents about bullying… and how to help your kids who are bullied, bullies and even bystanders. I want to hear from as many young people as possible on this issue, asking them questions like Continue reading “Do you have mean girls or mean boys?” »

Mean girls, mean boys, mean words…

Posted on: 11/3/17 6:43 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Yesterday I was in Canada recording an interview on Canadian TV show 100 Huntley Street dialoguing about how we can help teens learn to think before they post (to be aired early next year). As I was there, host Maggie John and I talked off camera about bullying… and that word can be a little misleading… I’m not talking about a kid punching another kid and stealing his lunch money. I’m talking about the much more common bullying that takes place… mean words.

Two months ago Maggie Skyped me in on their show for a discussion about “cyberbullying” and the mean words kids are using on their devices. These words are often posted everywhere, for everyone to see… and they have devastating effects Continue reading “Mean girls, mean boys, mean words…” »

When teasing goes too far

Posted on: 05/16/17 3:14 AM | by Jonathan McKee

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 Continue reading “When teasing goes too far” »

Parenting Advice from Mom of Columbine Killer

Posted on: 02/12/16 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

InterviewTonight at 10PM ABC’s Diane Sawyer will be interviewing Sue Klebold, mother of Columbine killer Dylan Klebold. If you’re a parent, do not miss this interview.

I’m fascinated by this interview, not only as a student of youth culture whose done countless hours of research about school shootings (I’m finishing the final edit of my fictional book on the subject), bullying, and teen expressions of depression. But I’m also fascinated by this as a parent who looks back at my own parenting with a magnifying glass and asks, “What could I have done better?” Continue reading “Parenting Advice from Mom of Columbine Killer” »

3 Steps Preventing Bullying and Gossip

Posted on: 01/12/16 5:45 AM | by Jonathan McKee

CyberbullyingMOVING TEENS FROM COMPASSION TO ACTION- WITH A YOUTUBE VIDEO AND SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS YOU CAN USE!

“Lord, will you please help all the kids who are bullied around the world.”

That was my nephew’s prayer.

A few years ago I wrote a vulnerable article about bullying- Voices of the Bullied– sharing the story of my past and trying to garner some sense out of the experience. In that article I noted: there’s a lot of people talking about bullying… who haven’t been bullied. Continue reading “3 Steps Preventing Bullying and Gossip” »