NOTE: In case you missed the inaugural launch of The Jeffrey Dean Show, you can download the podcast now.
Each week, I will also include condensed notes from the show here. You can listen each week to The Jeffrey Dean Show from 9-11 pm CST on Nashville’s Super Talk 99.7 WTN.
HOUR 1: SEGMENT 1
Good evening. It’s 9 pm in Music City and this is The Jeffrey Dean Show.
I’m your host Jeffrey Dean. And, I want to welcome you to the inaugural show.
The show that is helping build strong families.
I’ve often been asked – how do you get a room full of teens to listen to you? For many years of working with teens, I often wondered the same thing. I’ve stood in the middle of gymnasium floors all over America during school-wide assemblies and looked around at 700, 1,000, or 1,200 teens looking at me and, for many years, I would wonder, “Why in the world are they actually listening to me?”
And then, one day, several years ago, while speaking in public schools in Tupelo, MS, I had just finished speaking at Tupelo High, a high school junior approached me and said, “I just need to tell you. We have assemblies all the time, and usually no one pays attention. But with you, everyone did. No one has ever talked to us the way you just did. It is obvious you aren’t here to entertain us. You’re here for more.”
And his words really were a light bulb moment for me – a moment to clearly understand that I, and weas adults – parents – have to be about “the more” when it comes to leading this generation, specifically, our own kids.
I have two teen daughters at home, Bailey and Brynnan – and I know they need “more” from Amy and me. They need more of my time, they need more than, as the junior in Mississippi reminded me, entertainment from me – – they need morethan what the world is offering them.
They need more truth, more involvement, more focus…they need more of me.
And, this is why this show should matter to you – why it needs to matter to you.
DEEP DIVE SEGMENT
– 11% of young people have an eating disorder
– Over 3,000 children/teens a day see their parents’ marriage end in divorce.
– Parents spend 40% less time with their children than they did a generation ago.
– Young adults watch on average, 5 hours of TV a day.
– Tonight, 40% of the kids in America will go to bed in a house w/no father.
– 8,000 teens will contract a STD today, totaling over 2.5 million each year.
– 38% of all eighth graders have experimented with drugs.
– 33 million teens admit to being binge drinkers.
– 80% of today’s graduating seniors have used alcohol
– 42% have used marihuana.
– 52% have used illicit drugs.
– An estimated 270,000 guns are carried to school each day.
Let me ask you to answer this question. Ask yourself: “Can I do more?”
Can I do more to help make my family stronger?
Can I give more of my time?
Can I spend less time on Facebook and more time face to face with my kids?
Can I focus less on my short game and more on the short 17-18 years I have with my child or children before they graduate?
If your family is important to you, this show needs to matter to you. If you have kids, it’s a no brainer. You need this show.
Specifically, if you have a teen, you can’t afford not to listen. If you’re a newlywed, work with students, are a teacher, pastor, grandparent, single, divorced…okay if you’re breathing you need this show.
As I tell people all over the country: Each of us impacts the life of another in some way every day!
As we raise them, as we lead them, as we influence them and as we treat them – – this determines the future of our nation.
And this why I’ve come to radio – for 2 ½ decades I’ve had an amazing platform to listen as people, specifically students, have shared their stories with me. And now I want to be able to bring my experiences of working with teens to this microphone and to remind us all of the responsibility we have to shape the next generation of leaders in a way that strengthens the family…and in doing so, makes for a stronger America!
HOUR 1: SEGMENT 2
We talked suicide earlier in the show – often hear of the link between suicide and depression.
Studies show 1 in 3 teens deals with depression.
Suicide – the second leading cause of death for 13-21 yr olds. And, many teens with whom I’ve counseled tell me that at one point or another they’ve considered ending it all.
That’s the topic in tonight’s: TEEN TO DEAN!
Kallie is a girl I met recently. She is popular at her high school and also with students in her youth group. However, recently she started dating a guy and has allowed this relationship to blur the lines between right and wrong. I was saddened to hear this story from a friend of hers who recently borrowed Kallie’s phone to make a call. Her friend told me that, while using Kallie’s phone, “I saw naked pics of Kallie and evidence that she had sent some of these to her boyfriend.”
When her friend asked Kallie about the pictures, Kallie confessed to her that, after several requests from her boyfriend, she eventually chose to give him what he wanted.
This is the new culture cool among millennials – taking off your clothes, snapping a picture and hitting send. I will discuss this in detail later this summer. For now, I will say this: If you believe your teen is immune to such temptations and choices, you are wrong! A so-called “good girl” who knows better chose to give her boyfriend what he wanted, and now images that should only be reserved for Kallie’s future husband are now on her boyfriend’s phone and potentially other’s too! I’ve got to tell you – this stuff is everywhere. There is rarely a place I go today where I don’t have someone talk to me about this – principals, pastors, parents – – everyone is telling me stories similar to Kallie’s story!
Here’s the fact: Kallie could have been anyone’s child. She is just one of countless millennials who now believe that sending nude pictures to someone is the modern equivalent of an innocent love letter. More importantly, she is from a generation of teens bombarded by lies, hungry for help, and desperate for truth.
This uphill battle for our kids is about a tsunami of information, communication, anything-goes ethics, and the inevitable moral experimentation that results. The world of today’s teen moves at a pace you and I would never have dreamed of when we were teens.
Weekly, teens write to me about addictions to drugs, social media, video games, pornography, and more. I meet just as many teens and families who tell me they know a friend, family member, or classmate who is an addict of prescription drugs. By the time they graduate from high school, most seniors tell me they have consumed alcohol and been offered drugs. Some states have legalized the use of recreational marijuana, and more appear to be following their lead. Legal or not, most teens say that marijuana is easily accessible.
Additionally, several states have approved providing people with a third sex option on their birth certificates and state documents. More states will soon follow, allowing anyone to change their current “male” or “female” designations to “X.”
Just this week I’ve had conversations with people about issues over sexual identity, pornography, failed relationships, suicide, divorce, depression, and sexting. I cannot remember a time like the present; one that seems as though there are no longer any boundaries when it comes to how far this generation will go to fulfill their desires, needs and curiosity.
HOUR 1 SEGMENT 3
In honor of Father’s Day this month, talk about dad’s a little. I want to offer 5 thoughts:
1. Work to be present.
Life is busy! My daughter’s lives are busy. I have to work to be present
2. Handle the hot moments wisely.
A wise man once write, “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” This wise man reminds all fathers of the power of our words. As dads, our words matter. I remember several years ago getting into a heated conversation with Amy on Christmas day. I don’t remember what the fight was over, but Bailey and Brynnan have never forgotten that day. Numerous times since, both girls have reminded me of “that Christmas day” they never want to remember again. Of course, no family can completely avoid heated moments. Even the best of families do not agree on everything all of the time. When a conflict in the homes arises, the goal for you and me as dads should be to quickly admit, “It’s all my fault!” Okay, maybe that’s not the right approach, though if I’m being honest, I do stupid often! But seriously, our goal should be to handle the hot moments wisely, looking for a peaceful resolution whatever the situation.
The wisest man ever to live wrote this. By the way, this man had over 700 wives and 300 concubines. He offers us dads the answer to staying out of trouble. Listen to this wisdom:
“ Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.”
3. Speak love.
I have seen the impact speaking love to my girls has on how they view themselves. As a father, one of the most powerful attributes you possess is your influence over your kids. When you choose to say uplifting and encouraging words to your children, you are helping them develop confidence and self-worth.
At some point everyday, I try to say these words to my girls:
You are beautiful.
You can do anything you set your mind to.
I am so proud of you.
I love you.
So dads…wherever your kids are tonight, they are probably only a phone call away. When was the last time you said: “I love you!”
Work hard to speak love to your children and help shape their beliefs, convictions, and self-worth in profound ways.
4. Establish the right atmosphere.
Amy and I work hard to create a family-focused atmosphere in our home. Game nights & movie and popcorn nights are all a part of our game plan to maintain a close relationship with our teens. Yes, the older they get, the more challenging this is. For our family, Sunday nights have become a regular Netflix and popcorn night – – we’ve been watching the NBA playoffs together; my girls love The Flash on the WB. We all look forward to this night. Every family member works hard to clear their schedule knowing that this is a non-negotiable night for just the four of us!
5. Ask: “How can I do more?”
Remember the “more” challenge I gave at the top of the show tonight? This can be a pretty tough question to ask because you don’t where the answer might take you. It could be that the answer will take you to a really good place. Sometimes answers from our kids are like “traveling to vacation.” You know – you gotta pack, fly – arrive at the airport, check-in, go through security, those tight plane seats, a bag of peanuts and a small cup of a soft drink…but once you get to where you are going – the trip getting you there was totally worth it
Ask a question like “how can I do more as a parent,” and you may not like the answer you get, but it’s an answer that begins a journey that’s worth taking to get your relationship to a really good place. This very well could be the question your teen is dying to answer.
HOUR 1 SEGMENT 4
Email from a dad:
One dad told me, “We’ve failed to protect him from the outside world. I’ve tried over and again to keep him away from anything that would mislead him or promote impure thoughts in his mind or tempt him. But it hasn’t worked.”
I appreciate the pain this father is feeling, but I want to point out what I believe is an error in something he said. If parents believe their sole mission is to protect their teens from the outside world, they will always fail.
Let me explain – First, we live in a fallen world. Trouble is rampant. So unless you’re going to keep your teen under lock and key and hidden away in the basement until they are twenty, this approach won’t work. The world is waiting, and one day you’re going to have to set them free.
Second, even if you unplugged the TV, smashed their cell phone, set the computer on fire, destroyed their iPad, and unsubscribed to Netflix, your teen would still be impacted by the madness. The madness is everywhere. Your mission cannot be to keep them completely sheltered from the media’s influence; this is impossible. Even with the best of intentions, you will fail.
As mentioned above, your real mission is not to hide the world from them. It is to help them filter the messages of the world through character-focused lenses. Or to put it another way, it’s to teach them discernment—the ability to distinguish good from evil, to categorize what’s helpful and what’s harmful, and to make decisions that lead to a life of walking the right way, regardlessof the popular path taken by the world.
How do you do that? It’s important in this area to hear what this generation is saying. When you know what their needs are, you can offer them what they need to help them succeed. So, here’s a quick quiz.
Answer these 5 questions:
What is my daughter’s favorite song?
What video game does my son play the most?
What are the last four movies my child watched?
What concert is my teen wanting to attend this year?
What is the #1 teen series right now on Netflix?
Your answers to these five questions speak volumes about your knowledge of your kid’s life. As parents, we must remain students of our kids’ lives. Staying aware of the madness isn’t an easy task, but it’s a necessary one that requires understanding that your teens aren’t the only students in the home. Simply stated, to understand the subculture that caters to teens means that you need to become a student of their subculture. If you want to know what’s truly going on in their world, you must strive to keep up with what’s up.
HOUR 2 SEGMENT 1
A few years ago, Bailey came into my office, closed the door, and proceeded to tell me that she needed to ask me a very serious question. With a very focused face you asked, “Is it true that guys think about sex every seventeen seconds?” You can imagine my shock, and the focus it took me to contain my laughter! “What?” I asked. She then asked the question again! I told her that I wasn’t sure of the answer, even though in my mind I was thinking, “it’s probably more like every ten seconds!” Of course, I wasn’t going to tell her that. I then asked her to explain where she heard such information. “The Internet!” she replied. She explained that she had been online researching for a school paper and upon accessing the Safari home page, which auto-directs to MSN, an ad populated on her screen displaying the statistic. I’ve laughed often through the years as I’ve recalled that story. This story also serves as a warning to me as a parent that I have to be involved in my teen’s digital life.
I write a lot about what I call the media madness.Social media, movies, music, TV, commercials, magazines, the Internet, video games – what madness it can be! The harmful messages being perpetrated by today’s media are real and frightening. Above all, these messages are filled with lies.
EMAIL OF THE NIGHT
Thank you for everything you said to us as Chillipepper. I agreed with a lot of it! One thing I want to point out was from your Sunday morning message when you challenged us to be careful with what we listen to and watch. I agree! I’ll admit that I’m pretty obsessed with Thirteen Reasons – – and I know the language is pretty bad. I’ve never said the “F” word before, but I have been lately. You are so right – what I watch has a huge impact on what I do and what I say.” – – Kelley
On mainstream TV, the madness is brought right into your home during prime time. Each year, it seems, this industry tries to push the boundaries further. Today’s TV shows offer (and often glamorize) every dirty joke you could possibly dream of, partial nudity, flamboyant pro-homosexual messages, anti-Christian sentiment, and a consistent overall absence of respect for life, mom and dad, committed relationships, the family, marriage, and God.
Or consider popular teen magazines. Articles and ads send the message to teen girls that how they look is their only ticket to security. Teen boys are told that if they drink the right beer, own expensive cars, and wear the right body spray, women will fall all over them.
Then there is world wildweb, the big daddy of them all. As you know, the Internet is here to stay. And, along with its many benefits and conveniences, it brings with it an incessant and pervasive message that anything goes!
What I find from talking to teens today is that this generation has become accepting of almost anything, especially when it comes to morality and spirituality. Even if teens don’t take part in immoral acts the scary truth is that many don’t see anything wrong with these harmful things. When your teen ingests a steady diet of entertainment that promotes violence, illicit sexual activity, rebellion, hatred, conceit, and other forms of worldly excess, this spills over into their behavior. It’s the old “garbage in, garbage out” adage from work. Or, at the very least, they eventually become desensitized to these things.
It’s important to understand that what they read, watch, and listen to is much more than entertainment. This onslaught of media messages affects how your son or daughter thinks, acts, makes choices, and ultimately lives life. As adults, we’ve already formed our worldviews, but your teen is forming their belief system right now. Without the maturity or life experience necessary to filter this madness, they need you. It’s your right and, more importantly, your responsibility to help your child recognize this massive deception for what it is.
Parent, please hear this: your real mission is not to hide the world from your teen; it is to help them filterthe messages of the world through character-focused lenses.
So, does this mean that you throw caution to the wind and just hope they get it right at some point? Absolutely not! You can have tremendous influence over the madness. But this will require that you do your part. You will need a plan, a strategy, a mission. With a little work and creativity, you can become a media-wise parent and teach them to discern truth from lies, meaning from madness.
HOUR 2 SEGMENT 2
We’re talking about the Media Madnessright now.
It’s not easy and it takes time, but I keep tabs on all the social media that my daughters use. If your teen is on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat – then you need to be on the same social media. You need to view their pages, posts, tweets, pins, and streaks regularly. You need to talk regularly with them about their accounts, who they follow, their posts, tweets, pins, and more. You also need to know their streaks
Use the Apps They Use
One way that Amy and I stay connected with our girls while also remaining socially relevant and media savvy is by using the apps our daughter’s use. Not only does this help keep us stay in the know of teen culture, it also provides a commonality with which we can discuss photos, news, the arts, and more with our girls. For instance, our older daughter Bailey loves sports. She has the WatchESPN app. It pushesher notifications on the latest scores, trends, and news in sports. I also have the app. I get the same notifications. This often provides for engaging conversations we have over news stories like who won in the playoffs last night, which player was traded to another team, or who’s shot made it to ESPN’s Top 10the night before.
Brynnan, Bailey, and I have the Grow On App.
This has provided for many conversations over the app’s content as it relates to topics and scriptures the app sends. Using the apps my girls use gives me another opportunity to keep up with what’s important to them while also providing me with conversation-starting content.
Get a Music Streaming Subscription
Apple Music, Amazon Music, iHeart Radio, and Spotifyare just a few of the latest music streaming services available. We chose to subscribe to a music streaming service because we love music! Selfishly, the service has also provided for many dance-off family moments in our living room. Sure, it’s not cheap! But, this is one of those choices Amy and I have made to spend money believing that the payoff is greater than the pay. Did I already say that we love music? We really do! And, having this in common gives us another opportunity to connect with our girls about something they love too. Just last night, we had a conversation about a new song release from a country artist we all love. We each downloaded the song via Apple Musicto our phones. This promoted a really good conversation about music. I love these moments, again, being able to connect with our daughters about something important to them, while also sending them the message that “what is important to you is important to me!”
Help Them Discern What Music Makes Their Playlist
I did a quick search of Top Albums on iTunes today. Half (five out of ten) of the Top Albums this week have the “explicit” notification (the red E next to the name of the album)! It is your responsibility as a parent to be aware of the music your teen is downloading into their mind and spirit.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid drawing battle lines based on your own musical taste or genre. Lyrics, not genres, are important. Research the various bands and artists important to them. iTunes, Google Play, and just about any music streaming service offers ratings and reviews and makes it super easy to research lyrics of bands and artists. Do your research and then sit down and talk with your teen about them. Lead them in making wise decisions about the music the listen to.
Believe it or not teens still read magazines! Periodically pick up several teen magazines and read through them. You’re not reading them for entertainment; you’re reading them to learn about the culture. Read the articles. Look at the advertisements. Get a taste of the worldview being depicted in each. If your teen is up for it, allow him or her to browse through them with you, and then ask your teen some specific questions about a particular article or advertisement and how it aligns the values of your family.
HOUR 2 SEGMENT 3
Before the break, I gave you 5 steps to help safeguard your family from what I call the Media Madness. Here are a few more:
Protect Your Netflix Nights
Last hour I mentioned that Sunday nights have become a regular Netflix and popcorn night for our family. We all look forward to this night. I hope you have a family night you also work hard to protect that involves your family’s favorite TV shows, movies, game night, and or course, your snack of choice!
One way of keeping tabs on your teen’s movie and TV show favorites is by asking them what they watch. Or, better yet, login and see what they are watching. The cool thing about Netflix is that the subscription allows you to set-up users. We have users for each family member in our home. At any time, I can view the history of each user.
Knowing that millions of families have Netflix in their homes, I decided to explore Netlfix. Do you have Netflix in your home? If so, you need to spend a little time exploring Netflix too. You just might be surprised at the content your family has access to that’s only a click away. After only a few minutes perusing the app, I found over twenty movies under the Independent and International genres that I would label as porn.
There were multiple movies highlighting gay relationships, same-sex nude love scenes, as well as three (that I found) with an emphasis on bondage and S & M.
Setting parental controls must be a non-negotiable in your home. Even the tech-challenged parent can easily navigate to these internal controls. It’s as simple as logging in to app (or Netflix.com), choosing the profile you want to manage, clicking the username and password, and choosing parental controls. You can also search for “how to set-up Netflix Parental Controls” online for more help.
As a family, take an inventory of your teens viewing selections. Pay close attention to the language and the show’s attitude toward parents, dating, sex, and so on. Discuss beforehand that the goal of the eye night is for each family member to watchwith an eye to discernment. Afterward, spend time talking about the movie, the worldview depicted, and the spiritual significance, or lack thereof. Such an exercise will not only make for a great family night; it will also help them begin to think about cultural messages and the importance of using discernment when making movie and entertainment choices in the future.
As a parent, you must continue to see yourself as a student of culture. It’s important you realize this and that you look for moments of opportunity to learn about the latest trends and thoughts potentially shaping your family’s worldview. The next time you are online checking the scores of your favorite team or downloading the recipe for the best chocolate-chip cookies on the planet,go to a search engine and enter such words as “teen Web sites,” “teen trends,” or “most popular teen video games,” and do some research. Additionally, check out the many online networking communities available for teens. Ask your teen what their favorite online sites are.
By surfing a few teen sites, you’ll learn a lot about what they are absorbing online.
Hang Out at the Brick-and-Mortar School
Amy and I are at our daughters’ school all the time. We realized early on that a great way to keep up with what’s happening in campus life is to serve, volunteer, and help with activities or projects at their school. Go, and keep your eyes and ears open. Hear what kids are saying to one another. Notice what they’re wearing. Observe how they interact with teachers and other parents. You’ll pick up a lot.
Or, volunteer to go to a student conference, concert, field trip, mission trip, weekend conference, or summer camp with their class or youth group. Spend a weekend or week with teens, and you’re bound to learn a lot…and lose some serious sleep!
Make a Contract
A contract can be a powerful tool for establishing standards and boundaries within the home. I recommend that you make an agreement with your teen for the time they are allowed to spend watching TV, playing video games, and listening to music, as well as outlining content that is acceptable. Designate a specific and reasonable amount of time each day or week that you will allow them to engage in these activities. Any media restrictions you have established need to be documented in your agreement. Give them a hand in creating the document, then have them sign the document at the bottom.
What’s feasible in a contract? Well, it depends on your home, your teen, and your temperament. A contract might stipulate issues surrounding:
Length of time:
“You are allowed to watch TV each school night or play video games for a total of two hours (three hours per day on weekends). You are allowed to watch two movies per week. You are allowed to be online up to 10 p.m.”
“You are allowed to watch G- and PG-rated movies. PG-13- and R-rated movies are generally not allowed, but we may make certain exceptions if you discuss the movie with us first (for example, The Passion of the Christand Schindler’s Listwere both rated R but may be worth watching). You are allowed to play video games from a list that we as parents have preapproved.”
Plan of Punishment:
Creating a contract that really works requires that you be creative in how you design it, flexible in how you implement it. If something isn’t working, you may need to revise the contract, and faithful in making sure your teen adheres to its stipulations, with negative consequences built in, that is, a privilege is removed if the contract is not kept.
HOUR 2 SEGMENT 4
Foundational Truths for The Jeffrey Dean Show
You are the most influential person in your teen’s life.
More than any friend, coach, teacher, pastor, boyfriend, girlfriend, jock star, or pop star, teens overwhelming tell me ‘mom and dad are the greatest influence in my life.
Your teen wants you to be involved.
Your kids want you to be an involved parent.
You must know that culture’s cool never trump’s God’s truths.
No matter what is culturally accepted, culturally relevant, or culturally cool, nothing trumps the truth of God’s Word. And, it is up to you to communicate His truths to your family.
You are a parent, not a pal.
Your teen doesn’t need you to be their friend. They need you to be their parent.
You have to be willing to go there!
Whatever the topic and no matter the fallout, you have to be a parent willing to go there when it comes to the difficult, or potentially awkward, topics of conversation.
Parenting is likely the toughest job you will ever have. Don’t assume that your teen is exempt from any issue we will discuss on this show. At some point, on some level, every teen will encounter every issue we will tackle. As a parent, you need to be equipped.
It is my hope that this show will be a powerful resource you use as you work to be the parent you have been called to be.