Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders Answering the Top Questions From Today’s Parents, Part 1

Answering the Top Questions From Today’s Parents, Part 1

4. Is there a way to modify/filter the Story Periodicals on SnapChat?

Not yet, but I wish there was. Because as you saw in my parenting workshop, the online periodicals/magazines they can click on from the story feature are usually filled with some sexually charged content. Even if they just want to see their friend’s story, they have to ignore the article in their peripheral about the new “nearly nude Kardashian pics.”

It’s sad, many young people use SnapChat innocently, but it also offers quite a few distractions. It’s like your neighborhood quickie mart. Kids can innocently go in and buy a Slurpee, or they can buy beer and porn. Today’s kids are constantly faced with choices about where to click, even on Google images. But many of our kids use apps where they encounter these distractions more frequently. They obviously don’t know what “flee” means.

For Further Reading: The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, Chapter 4: The Whole Picture of Those Pictures, Chapter 10: Know the App Before You Snap

5. My husband and I were having a conversation about music last week. We were comparing our music growing up compared to today’s. How do you think it compares? Pour Some Sugar on Me vs. Cardi B of today. Is it worse?

Yeah…it’s absolutely worse, not so much in quality, but quantity. Back when Pour Some Sugar on Me was popular, groups like 2 Live Cru and NWA had some of the most vile filth to this day…but it wasn’t mainstream. By the ’90s we started to see Snoop Dog and some other pretty raunchy “artists” hit the Hot 100 charts (Snoop had a song go to No. 8)…but even then, it wasn’t the entire charts. Now the charts are much more potent with sensuality and bad language.

Take a peek at this article I just wrote about the content our kids encounter in the top songs in the recent charts and what experts are saying about the effects of this music: DOES SEXY MUSIC REALLY AFFECT ME?

The other difference is the AMOUNT of time people are listening to music because of the ACCESS to it. When moms and dads of yesterday used to listen to Def Leppard, we had to buy the tape or CD. The most mobile we got was a Walkman. Now young people have FREE access to everything, from the song on Spotify to the music video on YouTube just a click away on their device. And Mom and Dad don’t have to buy that “explicit” CD for their underage kid…so kids have access to a lot more of the “unedited” versions.

Here’s an article just last week from Nielsen about the increase of time listening to music each week because of the ease of access.

6. How do you overcome the tendency of teens to want to roll eyes and minimize information exchanged when you are trying to talk to them?

Great question, and you’re not alone. So many parents feel this struggle.

First, minimize “monologue” and maximize “dialogue.” Listen more than lecturing. Lecturing only guarantees eye-rolls. Moms and Dads need to learn to use questions. But how we ask questions is also important. I talk more about that in this article, WHICH LISTENER ARE YOU?

But even then we can get the occasional eye roll if we’re trying to “teach” them something or pass on an important value. That’s why it’s good to consider leading our kids toward discovery instead of just talking at them. More on this here: MOVING FROM YOU SHOULD TO SHOULD YOU? 

But sometimes it’s just hard to get our teenagers talking. How can we actually provoke conversations, not just asking the same question every day, “How was your day?” (Here’s an article about that.)


And finally…teens will just be teens. Don’t take it personally. Sometimes you need to just “let it go” (something I talked about on Jim Daly’s show on FOCUS ON FAMILY).