I’m beginning to do a lot of radio interviews again with the release of my new book, and somehow this question always comes up:
What is the biggest issue parents are dealing with today?
I don’t even have to blink, because the answer is so apparent: smartphones and social media.
Yes, in a world where sexual fluidity, drug dependency and shrinking moral values are abundant, even those issues are being propagated through the medium of social media, primarily through that device in our kids’ pockets. And whenever our kids choose to rant, or feel confused and/or depressed…what is their go-to source for information as well as the platform they choose to express themselves?
Yeah…same place, same device.
Whenever parents approach me after a parent workshop with a question, I can almost count on the question beginning something like this…
So my daughter has this new app…
My kids are supposed to turn their phones off at night, but…
My kids have been asking for a phone since third grade…
My son has been playing Xbox Live and he met someone…
So where do parents go for these answers?
Here’s a nice little summary of some trusted resources and articles that have proved really helpful for a lot of parents. Feel free to pass these on to any parents you know whose kids have access to devices (so…pretty much all of them!).
Addicted: When the Smartphone Becomes an Obsession—Our brand-new Parenting Help article on TheSource4Parents.com unveiling what smartphone use looks like in the average American home…in the lives of both parents and kids!
52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid—My new book helping parents maximize venues where their kids naturally look up from their devices and engage in meaningful conversation.
Can I Have a Phone: Answering Every Kid’s Burning Question—Our newest Youth Culture Window article sharing the latest research and advice for parents whose kids are asking for a phone.
Are Smartphones and Social Media Too Dangerous for My Kids?—A Parenting Help article on TheSource4Parents.com providing five steps parents can take to help their kids learn to be responsible with their mobile devices.
The Smartphone: Today’s Conversation Killer—A Parenting Help article on TheSource4Parents.com providing the newest research on the effect this little device is having on young people’s ability to have conversations today.
Keeping Social Media Safe—A blog post I wrote two years ago comparing the research from all the experts about what guidelines actually work with today’s young people.
Should I Just Smash My Kid’s Phone?—A helpful workbook from Doug Fields and I helping parents empower their kids to make good choices and develop responsibility.
This article originally appeared here.
Jonathan McKee is the president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over a dozen books including the new Get Your Teenager Talking, The Guy’s Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket, The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenager, and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and the 10-Minute Talks series. Jonathan speaks and trains at conferences, churches and events across North America, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan and his wife, Lori, and their three teenagers, Alec, Alyssa and Ashley, live in California.