5 Stars Out Of 5
Great Resource for Parents of Teens
April 18, 2014
Parents looking for ways to engage their teens in meaningful conversation will find a great new resource in youth expert Jonathan McKee's latest book, Get Your Teenager Talking: Everything You Need to Spark Meaningful Conversations, published by Bethany House.
McKee's goal is to get parents to think proactively about conversations with their kids and questions they can ask to spark those meaningful discussions. "If we're willing to put a little more thought into our questions, we might get a little more from their responses," McKee says.
He goes on to say, "The biggest reason we can't get our kids to talk is because we're asking them the wrong questions and we're not noticing opportunities for conversation."
So, McKee sets out to arms parents with some meaningful and helpful tools, including in his book "5 Tips to Get Your Teenager Talking" and "180 Conversation Springboards." The tips are practical and the conversation topics include a wide range of things, including addictions, choices, dating, drinking, faith, honesty, movies, music, priorities, social media, temptations, and much, much more. A topical index provides a handy way for parents to find just the right topic for just the right time.
Each "Conversation Springboard" in Get Your Teenager Talking includes an initial comment or question that serves as a jumping off point. There are additional "Follow-up Questions," a section on "Insight into the Question" for parents, and some "Quick Additions," questions that encourage further conversation. Some conversation topics even include scripture references.
Here are some sample "springboard" questions.
Ã¢â¬Â¢ If you could eliminate one evil in the world, what would you destroy, and why? (Springboard 2)
Ã¢â¬Â¢ What animal would describe the mood that you're in right now? Explain. (Springboard 57)
Ã¢â¬Â¢ Where do you realistically see yourself in ten years? (Springboard 82)
Ã¢â¬Â¢ What is one habit you wish you could break? (Springboard 135)
Get Your Teenager Talking is a great resource for parents. Personally, I have a preteen and a younger elementary-aged child, but I certainly see this new resource as one that will spark many lively family conversations. Additionally, I think it will prove to be a helpful resource as my husband and I work with the youth at our church. Not only that, but I think many of the topics would work as icebreakers and even discussion starters at a small group Bible study. All in all, author Jonathan McKee delivers exactly what he claims in this book. It's an amazing resource, and one I hope we'll see a follow-up volume of in the future.
About the Author
Jonathan McKee is an expert on youth culture and the author of more than a dozen books, including The Guy's Guide to God, Girls, and the Phone in Your Pocket and The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenagers. He has twenty years of youth-ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide. He also writes about parenting and youth culture while providing free resources at TheSource4Parents.com. Jonathan, his wife, Lori, and their three kids live in California.
*Note: I received a copy of the book from Bethany House Publishers for this review, but the opinions expressed in the review are my own.