Top TV in 2015

Families-Watch-Walking-DeadWhat are the top shows Americans are watching in 2015? Nielsen just cranked out the results.

But note that I said, “Americans” …not American teens or American families. That’s a huge difference, simply because Grandpa watches a whole lot more TV than my generation and my kids’ generation (today’s teens like screens, but primetime TV isn’t the top activity on their list). So don’t be surprised when you see Dancing with the Stars and NCIS on the list, and you don’t see The Voice (a teen favorite) on the list.

But Grandpa’s influence aside, you’ll still notice America’s love for Continue reading “Top TV in 2015” »

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Most-Popular-Word-2015Honestly, if I were to choose the word for this year, it would be “honestly.”

It’s been building momentum for years, but honestly, this year it seems to have hit dynamic equilibrium. The word has reached its maximum capacity. Honestly, this young generation couldn’t possibly use it more than they already do (It’s hardly even noticeable when I overuse the word, isn’t it? Some of you are thinking, “Honestly, it is.”)

Think about it. Teenagers today can’t answer a question without saying the word “honestly.” Try it. Go ask a teenager Continue reading “Honestly” »

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Want a Sneak Peak?

52-Ways-to-Connect-with-Smartphone-KidMany of you have been hearing the buzz about my upcoming book, 52 Ways to Connect With Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid: How to Engage with Kids Who Can’t Seem to Pry Their Eyes from Their Devices (coming next year).

Would you like a sneak peek?

It’s this simple: I’m looking for some parents and youth workers who are willing to take a peek at this book and give me their honest two cents. In return, I’ll give them a free copy of the book when it’s released.

The only catch: I need a one-week turnaround with your comments.

It’s a quick read. I’ve actually only got a little over 30 ways to connect so far… just wanted some feedback before I finish.

So if you’re interested in reading what I got so far and sending me your comments, all in a week’s time… email me at with the subject line: I’m in

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Teens’ Advice for Parents

talking-with-teens“Don’t yell as much.”

“Don’t stress over the little things.”

“Let me learn from my mistakes.”

From the mouths of babes.

I love hearing the teen perspective on parenting. And that’s exactly what Elise just received in 20/20.

Elise is a youth worker who just polled the teenagers in her class of middle and high school students about their relationship with their parents and where God fits into that relationship. She asked them Continue reading “Teens’ Advice for Parents” »

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Poor Leadership 101

No-KidsThe youth ministry was fizzling out and no one knew why.

It was as simple as this: kids weren’t meeting Jesus, and the ones that already knew Jesus weren’t growing. As a result the group had sputtered and was on the verge of dying.

If it were a horse it would have been put down.

This past year I have had the opportunity to spend time with Continue reading “Poor Leadership 101” »

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Inside My Teaching

Jonathan-McKee-TrainingThis week I flew to Kentucky to speak at four different venues: two venues for parents, an event for young people, and finally two workshops at the National Youth Workers Convention.

For those of you who are curious about my content, here’s a glimpse as well as some links for further reading:

All Pro Dad’s Breakfast—for Dad’s and Teens/Tweens
In this venue I basically raised the question to adults and kids alike if their phones helped or hindered their communication. I shared some basic research, then expanded on three thoughts Continue reading “Inside My Teaching” »

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What kids REALLY want

What Kids REALLY want from their parentsBlack Friday is just around the corner and parents are already thinking about what to buy their kids for Christmas. What do you think kids really want from their parents?

Ikea posted a poignant YouTube video of an experiment they did with 10 families interviewing young kids about what they really want for Christmas.

The results were both eyeopening and heartwarming.

First, they asked kids what they would ask the “three kings” for Christmas. The results were as expected: a guitar, a Wii, a game…

Then they asked the same kids Continue reading “What kids REALLY want” »

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A Free Book for Your Idea

52-Ways-to-Connect-with-Smartphone-KidI’m putting the finishing touches on my new parenting book this month, and I’d love your help! I’ll make it simple. If I use your idea, I’ll send you a FREE copy when this book is released.

BONUS: Even if I do NOT use your idea, I’ll randomly draw 3 names out of the comments below and send them a book! So don’t hesitate to send your best idea.

Many of you remember the title of this upcoming book because you voted on the best cover in September (the cover on the right won, hands down). The book is titled, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid: How to Engage with Kids Who Can’t Seem to Pry Their Eyes from Their Devices.

This book has been an intriguing project. I’m providing parents with tools to help them entice their kids to naturally set their phones aside and engage in rewarding face-to-face interaction. As you can imagine, this can be quite tricky, in a world where today’s teens spend Continue reading “A Free Book for Your Idea” »


Teen Media Consumption 2015

12yrgirlipadHow many hours per day do your kids digest entertainment media and technology?

Think about it for a moment. If you add up all the screen time, music, social media, video games, TV, mobile video… all of it! How many hours would it be?

Common Sense Media just did the math in their exhaustive study of thousands of teens (13-18) and tweens (8-12), and the total hours today’s young people spend soaking in media per day might surprise you Continue reading “Teen Media Consumption 2015” »

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The Math We Miss

Youth-Ministry-MathSome youth workers aren’t very good at math.

Let’s do a little simple math from my new SKINNY book about recruiting volunteers.

If you lead a youth ministry and you take an honest look at the time you spend with teenagers each week, you could go out on the front lines and spend 20 hours a week with students by yourself.

You put in 20 hours, and reap 20 hours of impact.

20 = 20

Or you could take that same block of time, spend 10 hours with students, and 10 hours a week developing Continue reading “The Math We Miss” »

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