What age should my kid be on social media?

Posted on: 03/16/18 10:21 AM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s one of the biggest questions I hear from parents at my workshops each month. “What age should I let my kids have a smartphone?” or “What age should I allow them to get SnapChat, Insta and all the other social media apps they want?”

We’ve posted some great resources on TheSource4Parents.com recently that will help answer that question, including a brand new article posted just this week titled, Parenting Middle Schoolers: More Than Just Surviving This Transitional Phase. But parents of high school students shouldn’t ignore that article, because in the early part of the article where I talk about “Delaying Social Media” I not only provide some brand new research about the undeniable connection from social media to the rise of depression in America, but I also provide some helpful questions you can ask your kids to engage them in meaningful conversation about this subject Continue reading “What age should my kid be on social media?” »

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” »

Answering top questions from today’s parents PART III

Posted on: 11/16/17 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

In PART I and PART II of this series we already tackled some of the big questions today’s parents are asking…

How do I regulate screen time with a high functioning autistic kid?

When your kids push you away and go silent, how do you reconnect?

Is there a way to receive your kids’ texts directly on your device?

These are just a few of the countless questions I just received from parents… and for three days I’ve been answering them in this blog. Each day I’m narrowing it down to the top 10.

Here are the final 10 answers to the last 10 questions… Continue reading “Answering top questions from today’s parents PART III” »

Answering top questions from today’s parents PART II

Posted on: 11/15/17 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Yesterday we already tackled some of the big ones…

What age do you recommend allowing children on social media?

Is there a way to filter the stories on SnapChat?

How do you prevent sexting?

These are just a few of the countless questions I just received from parents… and for three days I’m going to answer all of them in this blog. Each day I’m going to narrow it down to the top 10. (See yesterday’s 10 answers HERE.)

Here are today’s 10 answers to 10 questions… Continue reading “Answering top questions from today’s parents PART II” »

Answering top questions from today’s parents PART I

Posted on: 11/14/17 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

The questions began rolling in…

What age do you recommend giving our kids phones?

What is the easiest way to monitor a child’s online safety?

What are the dangers of the app Musical.ly?

These are just a few of the countless questions I just received from parents… and in the next three days I’m going to answer all of them in this blog. Each day I’m going to narrow it down to the top 10 Continue reading “Answering top questions from today’s parents PART I” »

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…” »

3 Reasons Why Today’s Teens are Depressed More Than Ever Before

Posted on: 10/31/17 11:33 AM | by Jonathan McKee

If you’ve picked up a newspaper in the last few months, you’ve probably noticed article upon article about the rise of teen anxiety, depression and suicide. It was just last year that suicide moved up to the second-leading cause of death among US teens.

The question everyone is wondering is why?

Experts are speculating, and most of their theories have one “device” in common: the smartphone.

I can’t say I disagree. In fact, I see 3 ingredients catalyzing this unprecedented increase in teen anxiety and depression Continue reading “3 Reasons Why Today’s Teens are Depressed More Than Ever Before” »

Media Use by Kids Age Zero to Eight

Posted on: 10/19/17 10:54 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Common Sense Media just released a brand new report about the evolution of media use by kids age eight and under.

Yes… eight and under!

If you found it difficult to believe that the average age today’s kids receive their first smartphone is 10 (yes… that’s just the average), then you’ll find it even more intriguing how much and what kinds of technology kids are using in the years prior.

I think parents are slowly realizing that kids are being inundated with entertainment media and technology at younger ages. In my parent workshops, churches no longer just market to Continue reading “Media Use by Kids Age Zero to Eight” »

Police Detective Interviews Me About Teen’s Most Pressing Risks

Posted on: 10/9/17 11:31 AM | by Jonathan McKee

This summer my friend Sean McDowell introduced me to a police detective at a recent conference we all spoke at, and the three of us got a chance to hang out and talk about engaging young people in today’s culture, and what that actually looks like. Fascinating conversation.

His name is J. Warner Wallace. He’s a homicide detective who cares about young people and wants them to know the truth in a world overflowing with lies. He’s written several books and speaks nationwide.

Jim (that’s his real name) read my new book to teens about wise posting in an insecure world, and interviewed me about the risks young people are taking with their devices Continue reading “Police Detective Interviews Me About Teen’s Most Pressing Risks” »

Is Snapchat and Snapmaps safe?

Posted on: 09/26/17 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

It’s the number one app kids use, and it’s the number one app parents ask me about at my parent workshops. I hear it all the time:

Is Snapchat bad?

Should I let my daughter use Snapchat?

Or more recently…

Is SnapMaps dangerous? Should I advise my daughter to go “Ghostmode”?

It’s something I’ve written articles about in detail, and something I always devote time to when I’m addressing students directly about wise posting in an insecure world. So what do Mom and Dad need to know about this app, especially with its fun new feature called “SnapMaps” where your Snap friends can see your exact locations on a map at all times? Continue reading “Is Snapchat and Snapmaps safe?” »