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

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

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Engaging Young People with Stranger Things

Young people love them some Netflix… and this week they’re especially buzzing about Stranger Things, because Season 2 will be premiering this Friday… and everybody’s talking about it!

That means literally millions of people won’t be going outdoors this weekend, because they will be at home binge-watching the entire season in one sitting! That also means that many are re-binging on Season One again this week to prep for the big premiere.

Did you know that we have free discussion starters for EVERY episode of Stranger Things on our

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Media Use by Kids Age Zero to Eight

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

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Posted in Entertainment Media, Internet, Music, Parenting, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Social Media, TV, Youth Culture | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Police Detective Interviews Me About Teen’s Most Pressing Risks

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

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STDs at an all time high… again

Last week it was all over the news, STDs at an all time high.

Again!

Yes… it was last November that the CDC first posted a press release revealing “STDs are at an unprecedented high.” (My post about this, and my theories as to why) Well… apparently the trend is only getting worse.

The timing is uncanny. Last Tuesday the CDC announced “the highest number of these sexually transmitted diseases ever reported,” literally 9 days after the Washington Post featured a story reprinted by newspapers globally about how teenagers weren’t drinking or driving or having sex, rather, they were… and I quote… “sticking to G-rated activities such as rock climbing or talking about books.”

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New sexually explicit cartoon on Netflix

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.)

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Is Snapchat and Snapmaps safe?

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?

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Coming to a city near you

Fall is always pretty busy with speaking, youth leader trainings and parent workshops. Take a peek at my upcoming schedule and see if I’m coming to a city near you:

THIS WEEKEND- Sept 23, 24, New Hope Assembly Church, Rogers, AR
Parenting workshop, preaching in morning services

October 15, Steel City Mennonite Brethren Church, Bethleham, PA
Preaching in morning services, Parenting workshop 6-8 PM

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The words I’ve been waiting for…

“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

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Stalking Your Daughter

Yesterday I told my friend Brian, “I hope you don’t mind, I stalked your daughter last week on her Instagram account to see if she was posting anything dangerous.”

Sound creepy? I guess it is. Good thing it was just me.

Brian knows I research this stuff all the time, and my new book helping teenagers “think before you post” is coming out next week (kinda cool, the publisher just told me the books are in and have already shipped to my website and Amazon). So last week his daughter was my guinea pig.

The good news: so far she was being really wise with her

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