New sexually explicit cartoon on Netflix

Posted on: 09/28/17 10:56 AM | by Jonathan McKee

The show is called Big Mouth, and it’s premiering on Netflix this weekend. It’s a cartoon about teenagers whose lives have been upended by the wonders and horrors of puberty.

For those who think today’s young people aren’t exposed to sexual messages and imagery… think again.

Take a peek at the trailer here: (and WARNING: This YouTube trailer is very sexually explicit and contains foul language… and yeah… it’s available on your kid’s phone.) Continue reading “New sexually explicit cartoon on Netflix” »

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?” »

The words I’ve been waiting for…

Posted on: 09/18/17 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

“In stock”

I’ve had sooooooooo many parents asking me about this book for their teens/tweens… it’s so good to see it finally “in stock” ( over two weeks early). I received boxes of them Friday, and Amazon began shipping them Saturday.

Enjoy the book! Here’s what those who screened the book for me said about it:

“McKee’s best yet. This book will most definitely be the new ‘phone contract’ today’s parents use to engage their kids in meaningful conversation about their use of technology. Required reading for any teenager.”
—Doug Fields, Author of Speaking to Teenagers and 7 Ways to Be Her Hero Continue reading “The words I’ve been waiting for…” »

Does Sexy Music Really Affect Me?

Posted on: 08/30/17 1:30 PM | by Jonathan McKee

I guess it’s a good time to ask this question when the No. 1 song on the charts articulates, “I want to show my mouth your favorite places, let me trespass your danger zones until I make you scream.”

Whenever I speak to parents I tend to provide them with a glimpse into the world of youth culture: the apps young people frequent (on their smartphones at an average of 2 hours and 38 minutes a day), the games they’re playing (teen boys play an average of 56 minutes per day), and the music they’re soaking in (at an average of 1 hour and 54 minutes per day) (Media Use by Tweens and Teens, page 19 and 31). Sometime I even play YouTube videos or paste lyrics of the top dozen songs right on the screen for parents to see firsthand. The reaction is always the same:

“I didn’t know it was this bad!”

Well, I’ve been doing this two decades now… and I’ve never seen the top 12 songs this bad Continue reading “Does Sexy Music Really Affect Me?” »

Back to School Conversations

Posted on: 08/23/17 3:03 PM | by Jonathan McKee

If your kids aren’t already back to school, they’re headed there. Sure that means new classes, homework, and all that goes along with the academic aspects of school… but that also means navigating new and old friendships, trying to fit in, and wondering if everyone likes you, not just at school, but also on every app with a like button.

This is where you come in. The typical response from caring adults like parents, grandparents, coaches and youth pastors is to ask about school Continue reading “Back to School Conversations” »

What is your biggest concern with young people and mobile devices?

Posted on: 08/16/17 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Let’s have a little CONTEST!

I have 5 “Advanced Reader’s Copies” of my upcoming The Teens Guide to Social Media and Mobile Devices sitting right here on my desk… and I want to give them away. (I don’t know if you saw… for some reason Amazon is offering these right now as a pre-order for just $7 and change! Grab that price while you have the chance. Wow.)

Simple: post a comment in this blog post answering this question Continue reading “What is your biggest concern with young people and mobile devices?” »

Sex in the Top 10

Posted on: 07/18/17 6:32 AM | by Jonathan McKee

I’m always amazed how shocked parents are when I simply take them on a tour of the top 10 songs in the charts at any given time.

Many of you have heard me take parents on this tour (here’s me doing it in Amish PA). In a world where young people average 2 hours a day listening to music, it’s always wise to hear what messages they’re gleaning through their headphones. Today… that message happens to be pretty sexually charged.

David and I just did a quick review of the top 10 in this week’s YOUTH CULTURE WINDOW article. Take a peek at what our kids are hearing this summer and several free resources we provide to engage kids in meaningful conversation about these songs.

SEXY SONGS OF THE SUMMER

Talking with our kids about Katy Perry

Posted on: 06/19/17 10:34 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Katy Perry’s back on the charts with her brand new album, Witness, which will debut straight to No. 1 tomorrow on the Billboard 200 Album Chart.

What will our kids hear from Katy this time around? More importantly, how can you talk with them about what they hear?

In 2013 I asked the same question about her album Prism when I wrote the article, “Dad, Can I Download Katy Perry’s New Album?” In that album we saw Katy get honest and talk about fighting depression, but we also saw the typical themes of partying and sleeping around. This time expect a little more of the same—some vulnerability, and some DGAF mindset (don’t give a…).

For example, in her song Roulette we notice Continue reading “Talking with our kids about Katy Perry” »

When teens regret what they post

Posted on: 06/13/17 1:51 PM | by Jonathan McKee

Last month a youth pastor friend called and left me a message:

Jonathan, we have a teen who sent a naked pic of himself to some girls at his school (Christian school), and now everyone at the school has seen it. It’s all everyone’s talking about at youth group. How do I deal with this?

I wish I could say the situation is uncommon.

No, I’m not going to tell you that every kid with a phone is posting nudes, but we do live in a day where SEND NUDES is definitely “no big deal.” And even if kids aren’t sending nudes Continue reading “When teens regret what they post” »

Why 13 Reasons Why

Posted on: 05/1/17 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Suicide, upskirt photos, social media, bullying… it’s almost as if someone posted a hidden camera in the hallways of the high school down your street. The realism is a little too close to home, and parents are beginning to worry.

Should our kids be watching this?

If you have teenagers, work with teenagers or even have crossed paths with a teenager in the last month, you probably have heard them talking about 13 Reasons Why. It’s the newest bingeable series from Netflix touching on everything teenager Continue reading “Why 13 Reasons Why” »