Gimme Your Sex Questions

between the sheetsFor the last few months I’ve been writing a book to parents encouraging and equipping them to have candid conversations with their kids about sex. In a world so full of explicit lies, today’s kids need parents who aren’t afraid to tell the explicit truth. This book will help parents create a climate of calm, continual conversations about sex.

But I need your help with chapter 12. I’m titling it, Tough Questions, and I want to equip parents with answers to some of the tough questions they will encounter from today’s young people about sex.

So don’t hold back! Hit me with the most common, and even the craziest questions you have heard from today’s young people. I’m writing the chapter this week!

Post the Q’s in my comments, and if I use your question Continue reading “Gimme Your Sex Questions” »

Posted in Books, Parenting, Sexuality | 37 Comments

Not My Kid

Teenagers-SmartphonesOn Saturday I showed parents a glimpse into the world of today’s youth culture… and on Sunday a mom pulled me aside. “I have to tell you a story.”

It’s funny, but whenever I spend a weekend teaching parents at a church, the same thing happens. As I show parents samples of pop culture media and discuss the attitudes and trends prominent in the lives of young people today, parents always seem to think, “This is interesting, but I’m glad my kids don’t do these things.”

Then in the next week they discover, “My kids do these things!”

It happened again yesterday Continue reading “Not My Kid” »

Posted in Parenting, Speaking/Training | Leave a comment


teenagers-listening-parentsI’m working on a brand new Parenting Help article that will be featured on the front page of next week. I thought I’d give you, my blog subscribers, a first peek at it and throw me some feedback.

Which do you think is a more effective way to teach today’s young people how to make good decisions?

“You should do this.”


“What do you think you should do?”

It’s funny how often parents, mentors, and youth pastors end up becoming the voice of “you should” or “you should not” in a young person’s life Continue reading “Moving from YOU SHOULD to SHOULD YOU?” »

Posted in Music, Parenting, Youth Culture, Youth Ministry Programming | 2 Comments

The Lonely Road of Doing Whatever You Want

Miley-do-what-you-wantThe following is an excerpt from my new book, The Guy’s Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. This is just one of the 101 pieces of advice I offer to young guys in that book.

In the summer of 2013, Miley Cyrus came out with a song with the following lyrics:

It’s our party we can do what we want
It’s our party we can say what we want
It’s our party we can love who we want

Repeated throughout the chorus is the line:

Doing whatever we want

Wouldn’t that be nice? I guess it’s possible . . . as long as Continue reading “The Lonely Road of Doing Whatever You Want” »

Posted in Books, Entertainment Media, Music, Youth Culture | 1 Comment

Asking Right Questions… the Wrong Way

parents-listeningDo your kids open up or clam up when you ask questions?

Think about that for a second. Because chances are, you ask questions one of two ways. One approach gets young people talking. The other tactic… they look for the nearest exit.

Last weekend I taught two workshops in Wisconsin, one to parents and anther to youth workers. One of the common denominators in that teaching was encouraging each of these groups to truly “get to know their kids.” In the parenting workshop I actually gave them a homework assignment:

“Connect with your kid this week and see if you can discover something about them you never knew before.”

I qualified that assignment by warning them Continue reading “Asking Right Questions… the Wrong Way” »

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The Social Media Irony

Millennial watching laptop(and 5 Ideas to “Socialize”
the Socially Isolated)

In a world where 4 out of 5 teenagers are social media users, you’d think young people would be growing more… social?

Sadly, no.

In fact, most research is revealing quite the opposite. The reality is, the more time a young person spends dialoguing with people through screens, the fewer close friends they have, and the more difficult it becomes for them to actually communicate with people face to face.

Let’s break that down, and then I’ll provide 5 ideas to help you “socialize” a generation who have socially isolated themselves Continue reading “The Social Media Irony” »

Posted in Entertainment Media, Internet, Jonathan's Rant, Movies, Music, Parenting, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Social Media, TV, Youth Culture | Leave a comment

Brutally Honest Advice to Today’s Guys

Teen-Boy-TodayA bunch of people have been asking me the story behind my brand new book of brutally honest advice to today’s guys. The truth is… I almost didn’t write it.

Last summer my agent called me and said, “I’ve got a book for you to write.” I thought, No way. Already swamped. I was wrapping up my Zombie book, and halfway through writing Get Your Teenagers Talking, all this on top of all my speaking and training for our ministry… but then he told me what the publisher wanted:

“It’s a book that will provide candid advise to teenage guys.”

He hooked me. I couldn’t say no. Next thing I knew, I was writing The Guys Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket.

I sent out texts to my friends and family and asked them this question Continue reading “Brutally Honest Advice to Today’s Guys” »

Posted in Books, Faith, Parenting, Sexuality, Smartphones/Cell Phones | 3 Comments

My Favorite Easter Clip

Ben-Hur-meets-JesusEaster is just around the corner… some of you are still preparing lessons or discussions, or even looking for ways to engage in meaningful conversations with our kids about the amazing sacrifice Jesus paid for us.

Year after year I return to this clip from the Academy Award winning movie Ben Hur.

I love the mystery and power of Jesus they created in this scene Continue reading “My Favorite Easter Clip” »

Posted in Faith, Movies | Comments Off

Bonding or Boundaries PART 2

Bonding-Boundaries-SignLast week I wrote a post discussing the two vital ingredients in parenting: bonding and boundaries. Bonding is the side with nurturing and play, where boundaries is structure and discipline.

In many parent child relationships, parents seems to sway toward one over the other, despite the fact that both elements are necessary. I asked you to comment and see which side you seem to “err” toward and which side you see more Continue reading “Bonding or Boundaries PART 2” »

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Shy, Teased, Isolated…Teen Killer?


It’s the one question no one can really answer at this moment describing the rampage 16-year-old Alex Hribal embarked on yesterday at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, PA. One can only speculate.

His attorney is saying he is just a normal kid. Most are saying he was “shy”, “quiet” and “small.” Some are already using words like “bullied” and “teased.” Like Alex’s classmate who described the teasing as “relentless” at times.

“They just said things. They’d ride him and ride him, and today was the day that he snapped.”

I felt a unique twinge in my spine when I read that quote… because I remember that feeling. I know that emotional state well, not from studying youth culture, or writing and speaking about bullying, but from hearing the jeers and pokes from my classmates in my early teen years Continue reading “Shy, Teased, Isolated…Teen Killer?” »

Posted in News, Youth Culture | 1 Comment