5 Days of Get Your Teenager Talking- DAY 5

Posted on: 04/4/14 3:30 AM | by Jonathan McKee

talking-with-teensEach day in my blog this week I have given you a little somethin’ you can use to provoke meaningful conversations with young people. (Click here for Monday’s, Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s, or Thursday’s.) My brand new book, Get Your Teenager Talking has 180 conversation springboards that “get teenagers talking”… I thought I’d share some with you. Here’s one more:

Conversation Springboard No. 5:

Which kids are happier: those who eat whatever they want, drink alcohol, and smoke, or those who eat healthy foods and live a healthier lifestyle?

A recent study suggests an unhealthy lifestyle is linked to unhappiness. In fact, in their analysis of five thousand young people between the ages of ten and fifteen, researchers discovered Continue reading “5 Days of Get Your Teenager Talking- DAY 5”

Instagram Contest

Posted on: 02/26/14 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Jonathan-McKee-InstagramWINNERS POSTED! (at bottom of post)

I feel like giving something away!

Last week in Chicago my 16-year-old got on my case for Tweeting and posting pics on my Pinterestbut not Instagram. So I finally caved in to her repeated onslaughts.

“Okay… I’ll get an Instagram. Shut up!”  (Isn’t that how loving father’s talk?)

So there it is. I just leapt onto the Instagram bandwagon, and thought it would be fun to have a little contest Continue reading “Instagram Contest”

On the Road with Mom and Dad

Posted on: 02/19/14 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Ashley Chicago BeanEleven days, ten nights… over a week on the road with Mom and Dad. Poor Ashley!

Ashley is my 16-year-old, and for the last six days, she’s been in five cars, one plane, four hotels and three states with Lori and I. And we’re only halfway into it.

It’s not torture for Ashley, but it’s not her first choice for her winter break. “All eleven days? I can’t hang with my friends for any of it?!!”

Her 18-year-old sister Alyssa thinks she’s nuts. “You’re stupid Ashley. You get to go to Continue reading “On the Road with Mom and Dad”

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Son of God Movie

Posted on: 12/30/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

son_of_god_movie_posterI usually try to keep up with upcoming films, but this one caught me off guard, a new film about the life of Jesus, coming to the theater this February.

The film is titled, Son of God. I saw the preview for the film when my family all went to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (really fun movie- worth seeing in the theater) the afternoon of it’s release. It was an interesting set of previews before the PG Mitty, with both Son of God and Noah (coming in March). It’s intriguing to see a surge of upcoming films telling Biblical stories (including one I’m a little nervous about).

Apparently Son of God is based on the History Channel’s miniseries Continue reading “Son of God Movie”

Lieutenant Colonel Christmas

Posted on: 12/18/13 4:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Ashley's-FeetMost people love Christmas, but in my house, Ashley LOVES Christmas… sometimes a little too much!

I know, I know… how could someone love it too much?

If you lived in my house in late November through the New Year, you would not meet that cute 16-year-old girl we all love named Ashley. Instead, you’d meet Lieutenant Colonel Christmas, who requires everything… just so.

The day after Thanksgiving, the Colonel arrives. She starts tossing pumpkins in the garbage can and pulling out the Christmas decorations. “When are we going to decorate? Huh? When? WHEN? Continue reading “Lieutenant Colonel Christmas”


Posted on: 11/25/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

One thing I really love about Thanksgiving is the fact that it triggers much of the country to stop and reflect about what they’re thankful for. Here’s the top 7 items on my “thankful for” this year:

  1. My 18-year-old daughter Alyssa came home from college for a week! (Man, we miss her!)
  2. My 16-year-old daughter Ashley Continue reading “Thankful”

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A Heart for the Unnoticed

Posted on: 11/20/13 10:43 AM | by Jonathan McKee

The-Way-Way-BackDo you notice that kid who seems to disappear under the radar?

In the shadow of a tragic teen suicide, and a weekend training youth workers to notice and connect with teenagers, I was pleasantly surprised by a film that, interestingly enough, has also slipped under the radar. This movie tugged at my heart for young people in a unique way and is no doubt the best film I’ve seen in literally years now.

The 2013 gem of a film is titled The Way Way Back, with Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph and Toni Collette, to name a few. This brilliantly written story introduces an awkwardly shy 14-year-old teen named Duncan whose single mom (Collette) has started dating an unfortunate choice in a boyfriend (Carell). The mismatched bunch go on summer vacation to a beach cabin where Duncan tries his best to escape each day. Duncan finds community in an unlikely place, the Water Wiz Water Park managed by Owen, a free spirited man who befriends Duncan.

This film captured the essence of parenting and youth ministry, specifically three elements Continue reading “A Heart for the Unnoticed”

Top 10 Zombie Apocalypse Survival Activities

Posted on: 10/15/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

The Walking Dead premiere broke all the records Sunday night, with 16.1 million total viewers, 10.4 million of those in the 18-49 demographic. That makes “Dead” the most-watched show in the demo on any channel, broadcast or cable, this fall, and that includes sports. No NFL game has drawn more viewers in that key age bracket this entire season.

Survival stories like this always stimulate creative conversations (that’s why I use the genre to provoke discussions with teenagers). What would you do if your water supply were shut off tomorrow? What if the grocery store shelves were empty? Where would you try to hole up and survive? Continue reading “Top 10 Zombie Apocalypse Survival Activities”

Proud Daddy

Posted on: 07/22/13 3:01 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Saturday was a fun day for me as a dad and a husband. I, once again, participated in Sacramento’s “no swim” triathlon called Eppie’s Great Race… but this time my wife and my daughter did it too.

My daughter Alyssa and I both did the “ironman” (run, bike, and kayak) and Lori ran with a team.

Both girls did better than they thought they’d do. They ran together, clocking roughly 8:30 minute/miles for the 5.82 mile run. Alyssa then hopped on her mountain bike for the 12.5 mile ride, averaging over 17mph (which is good for a mountain bike, especially after a run), then did the 6.35 mile paddle in about 57 minutes, for a total time of 2 hours and 33 minutes. She’s a stud!

My time was 3 minutes Continue reading “Proud Daddy”

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Experiencing New York City

Posted on: 07/17/13 10:23 AM | by Jonathan McKee

This past week I took my 15-year-old daughter Ashley on one of my speaking trips, speaking 8 times in three states… then two days in New York City just for fun!

Rather than blabbing all about it… here’s the picture highlights:

The flight out was very comfortable. It’s always nice when the person next to you doesn’t take up any of your elbow room at all Continue reading “Experiencing New York City”

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