Just do you

Posted on: 07/12/18 6:35 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Next week I’ll be at a conference speaking to young people about deciphering truth in the midst of lies. We’ll be looking at several influences like social media, music and other entertainment media, observing the subtle messages they communicate.

Let’s try one.

Here’s a Diet Coke commercial you may have seen– I saw it in a movie theater before the most recent Avengers movie:

Some interesting advice:

It makes me feel good.

Life is short.

Just do you… whatever that is.

And then of course the slogan:

Because I can.

(I can’t figure out if that slogan sounds more like the answer a kindergartner responds when asked, “Why did you break all your friends crayons?” or the answer a serial killer provides.)

What did you get from this?

How do these messages compare with what we’re seeing in our culture right now?

The CDC, teen risks, and who is vulnerable

Posted on: 06/19/18 3:40 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Fewer high school students are drinking, having sex and using drugs… but the CDC still says the findings of their most recent teen risk assessment “leaves room for concern.”

And please don’t undervalue my use of the word “fewer.” I really mean “a whole bunch!” We’re not talking a few percentage points. For example, in 1997 a whopping 37% of kids “currently” smoked cigarettes (in the 30 days prior to the survey). In 2017 only 8% “currently” smoke cigarettes. That’s a huge decrease!

Why is this? Why the overwhelming decrease in the number of kids engaging in many of these risky behaviors, and what are these concerns the CDC is referencing about their new survey results?

Let me give you the quick answers:

Why are today’s kids engaging in less sex, taking less drugs… even smoking less marijuana (yes, really) …than kids in years prior? A few months ago Continue reading “The CDC, teen risks, and who is vulnerable” »

Does Google and Apple care about your kids’ digital addiction?

Posted on: 06/5/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Yes and finally yes? (It’s about time!)

We’ve all heard stories of tech companies concocting evil plans to launch new gadgets and apps addicting children to their devices. Sound like a rumor? Sadly, these legends have proved to be true on many levels. Like when former Facebook president Sean Parker had second thoughts about what the social network was doing to our children’s brains and cast a little insight behind the scenes.

“It was developed to be addictive,” he admitted.

He wasn’t alone in his concerns. In fact a Continue reading “Does Google and Apple care about your kids’ digital addiction?” »

Everything’s different in just 5 years

Posted on: 05/29/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

A few months ago I was eating dinner with a couple who had been in youth ministry for several decades, took a 5 year break, and just began serving in youth ministry again this year. The husband leaned over to me and said, “Jonathan, everything’s different! I’ve got kids who say they’re ‘pan’ or ‘a-gender’. I’ve got a girl who doesn’t want to be a she or even a he… she wants to be a ‘they.'” Then he asked me, “What the heck has happened in the last 5 years?!!”

Great question. And I answered it in this quick little YouTube video

This is what prompted us to launch the Anchored Leadership Conference… check it out HERE! (One day early bird registration is this Thursday!)

Refreshingly brutal advice to young guys

Posted on: 04/24/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Today’s guys face a lot of distractions… a lot more than I faced as a young man.

Let’s be honest. When I was 13 in 1983 I had access to porn, drugs, and raunchy entertainment media.

  • But porn wasn’t just a click away in my pocket, it was in a magazine at my friend’s house if we dared to sneak into his dad’s bedroom.
  • Marijuana was available, but it wasn’t mainstream or encouraged… and it sure wasn’t legal.
  • I loved movies, music and television, but my house had one screen and a boombox. Now I have a dozen screens, and my entire entertainment media library is available in the cloud. Name a movie or music video. I can watch it within seconds, regardless of rating.

But I think the biggest difference between then and now is Continue reading “Refreshingly brutal advice to young guys” »

Lil Dicky gets a lil raunchy (and how parents should respond)

Posted on: 04/10/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

The song debuted in the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The music video is full of celebrity cameos and has already garnered over 100 million views. When I mentioned that particular song speaking at a church last Sunday morning, teens in the audience literally shouted, “Yeah!” in acclamation (and I mentioned about a dozen songs).

I’m talking about the brand new racy music video from Lil Dicky, Freaky Friday, where Lil Dicky wakes up as Chris Brown and Chris Brown as Lil Dicky. The music video is creative, kids think it’s hilarious, and it’s full of sexual references and imagery. Continue reading “Lil Dicky gets a lil raunchy (and how parents should respond)” »

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” »

Gunning Your Kids Down

Posted on: 02/26/18 6:48 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Today’s young people might be a little more familiar than you think with solving their problems with a gun… because they literally hear it all the time.

“Got an AK on my lap”

“Call up on an Uzi”

I find it intriguing that while the world is debating the gun issue, the majority of the musical “artists” in the top 10 right now have songs about revenge, “popping” people, or gunning you down… and I kid you not… some will even tell you what assault rifle and which high capacity clip they prefer Continue reading “Gunning Your Kids Down” »

Where to Get Practical Parenting Help

Posted on: 02/6/18 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

In two hours (at 9AM Pacific time) several thousand parents will receive our FREE “Parenting Help” email which always contains three helpful resources for today’s parents. Take a peek… because you might want to make sure this helpful resource is hitting your inbox twice a month:

  1. This “Parenting Help” email always includes our newest “Parenting Help” article, like the one I just wrote with three tools to engage your kids to not only remove their headphones… but tune you in. I always write these articles based on the biggest questions I’m hearing from parents online and at my parent workshops. We have an entire page of these articles that hopefully do exactly what the title implies… “help parents” with practical tools they need. Look at the last five articles I’ve written Continue reading “Where to Get Practical Parenting Help” »

The math behind 300 one night stands

Posted on: 01/31/18 2:13 PM | by Jonathan McKee

The song has been on the top of the charts for 20 weeks now peeking at No. 4, currently at No. 10. It’s called “No Limits”… and it truly lives up to the title. A song where the chorus simply repeats, “Ayy, yeah, f**k with me and get some money.”

The man behind the lyrics explains to Genius.com the chorus means he’s a cash cow. He’s so popular everything he touches turns to money. Sadly, I’m not sure he realizes quite how ironic his chorus is.

Allow me to explain… Continue reading “The math behind 300 one night stands” »