Category Archives: Books

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Review: Our Last Option

Option 1: I’m right and you’re wrong and that’s that.

Option 2: We’re all right in our own opinion and that’s that, let’s just get along anyway.

These are the two options most of us see when engaging in our society. You’re either pro-choice or pro-life. You’re either anti-gun or pro-gun ownership. You’re for gay marriage or you’re against it. You’re either FoxNews or HufffPo.

It’s exhausting and most people seem to teeter-totter between engaging in the topic du jour and ignoring it. They are exhausted by it because it lacks productivity. Few people can argue another person into change. But we seem to live in an age where winning is more important than virtue.

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The Books I Read and the Power of Fear

I’m not a big book reader. Sure I read a ton every day. But I really struggle to sit down long enough to read a book. I’d rather do something. Kristen pokes fun at me because I had Master and Commander on my nightstand for almost three years before I finally mercifully finished it. Each night I’d read a paragraph or two before falling asleep. Meanwhile, she devours 4-5 books per week.

But this year I’ve found myself on a lot of planes and reading is a good way to pass the time. Consequently, I’ve read several books from cover-to-cover.

Here’s what I’ve read: (from most recent to furthest away)

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Book reviews for A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Social Media

I’ve enjoyed reading reviews of the new book posted to Amazon.

Here’s a sample of 5:

A Great Resource for Parents

This short book is crammed full of information on social media that every person should know! The chapter on Internet privacy was especially informative. It’s well worth the read!

I like it. A short book gets a short review.

Excellent Resource for all parents and teachers/youth workers

I am a parent of an 8yr old who very much wants to own an iPod touch so she can text me and play Words with Friends with her parents. And take pictures and videos that she can send to grandma, grandpa, and friends. My 5 yr old will be there soon enough, as well. This book gives me hope rather than fear and practical guidance for the conversations to come with my children about online responsibility. I appreciate that Adam and Marko refer to online gaming and cell phones as social media outlets, and they address national laws concerning age limits and such.

As a youth minister who daily connects with teens, parents, grandparents, and colleagues via Facebook, Twiiter, Instagram, and LinkedIn… This is a gold mine of information to have in my back pocket (or rather on my Kindle app!). I have already begun referring parents having teens & tech struggles.

This book is and was SO needed. Thank you for combining your wisdom and experiences in this easy to read book! Congrats on a job well done.

Thanks Leena. We were definitely hoping to alleviate fear by giving information and principles. Glad they work with all ages!

Great Guide for Lost Parents!

I would recommend this book to any parent. The younger your child is the better as we look at preparing for the world of Social Media. If your child is a preteen (4th-6th Grade) then you NEED to read it now. If your child is in Jr. High then you need to read it yesterday. Remember with all of this that prayer and God are your number one resource in raising children. Great book! Definitely 5 stars.

Bingo. The content of the book was guided by a parenting seminar I do. It’s not aimed at high-level professional social media types… we worked really hard to keep it approachable while pointing to the data, plus offering our best advice.

A Great Resource

I have to admit that I was not expecting to get too much from reading this book as I am already fairly in the know when it comes to technology. I was however pleasantly surprised and found myself recommending the book to a friend with a child in the pre-teen years shortly after finishing it. It is a quick read, but is actually a handy resource on what is happening on the internet and how to handle it with our kids. As a parent of kids just entering those years, I am sure I will refer back to this book as a resource from time to time.

Really humbled by this. I’m glad our experience is helping you and your friend.

A great guide for the experienced and the newbie

As a parent and a youth leader, I am very impressed with this book. It is short enough to not feel overwhelming; informative enough feel like I’m actually learning something; and practical enough for me to know I’m going to refer back to this book time and time again.

I feel like the intention of this book is to help parents who don’t know anything at all about social media. But I can say as an avid user of social media myself (very important in helping me connect with a lot of the teenagers I work with!), this was still a very helpful book! I can’t impose boundaries on kids that aren’t my own, but I can make suggestions, and help parents who need ideas. I can apply some of these very good guidelines to my own children when they become teenagers (which will be much sooner than I am ready for, I’m sure), knowing that by being involved in what they do, I am showing that I do care about them as a parent.

One of my favorite parts of the book seems to sum up the whole: “As parents of teenagers, we are trying to raise adults. We’re more interested in wisdom than compliance, more interested in responsibility than high walls of protection, and more interested in healthy parent/teen communication than maintaining a veneer of good appearances.” Amen and amen. Well done, Adam and Marko. I highly recommend to all parents of teenagers (and preteens).

That’s great feedback. I think I’ve learned that most adults, even avid users, are using social media… are even pretty savvy. But they haven’t taken the step back to think about their use… the UI of everything is so intuitive, it comes naturally. I’m glad the book helped frame some of that for you.

Wanna read it?

Available at Amazon in soft cover or Kindle. Also available at The Youth Cartel & Simply Youth MinistryOr learn how to get it for free.

Two deals on A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Social Media

The book I co-authored with Marko, A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Social Media, is starting to ship. I’d love to get this resource into the hands of as many youth workers and Christian parents as possible. Why? I believe it’s needed stuff!

Here’s two deals to help with that. 

  1. I’m reimbursing the first 25 people who post an honest review of the book on Amazon’s Kindle store. Here’s the details on that.
  2. If you order 10 or more copies from the Cartel store by December 15th, you’ll get free shipping on your entire order. Here’s details on that.

I’m thankful for Jim Burns endorsement of the book I co-authored with Marko. Jim is a youth ministry legend. His decades long ministry has impacted the lives of countless students, youth workers, and parents. I was humbled that he not only read the book and offered this endorsement, he also had me on his radio program. We recorded 2 segments last week that’ll air in January.

Is there a parent anywhere who hasn’t asked, “How do we create a media safe home for our kids?”  Adam McLane and Mark Oestreicher are two of America’s leading experts on teen culture and this book is a must read for parents who want to grasp just how the ever changing world of  social media is influencing their kids. This is my new “go to” book on the subject. 

Jim Burns, PhD

President, HomeWord

I’ll be on the HomeWord radio broadcast January 9th and 10th. Make sure to tune in.

Don’t forget, order 10 or more copies of the book before December 15th and get free shipping at the Cartel store.

This book started as a parent seminar. If you’re interested in having me teach at your church, please let me know.

A secret deal on my book

My new book, co-authored with Marko, comes out next week.

I’m very excited about it for two specific reasons.

  1. Parents of teenagers really need this book. The days of fighting or banning or trying to wall off kids from social media is over. Parents need to know how to help their child live a life that will increasingly be lived online. This book does that really well. It’s short, easy to understand, and very practical.
  2. I’m proud of how this turned out. Marko and I worked really hard on making a book that’ll last a few years. We focused on helping parents understand social media while avoiding all of the pitfalls of your typical Christian book about media– there’s nothing here that is alarmist. We aren’t trying to scare parents, we are providing tested principles that have worked for years, work today, and will work for years to come. Trust me, that wasn’t easy.

Here’s the Official Description

With each passing day, teenagers’ lives become increasingly intertwined with social media. How can you as a parent stay informed and involved in healthy ways? How can you help your son or daughter make wise decisions and remain safe online?

A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Social Media will equip you to have meaningful conversations with your teenager about the best, wisest ways to get connected while staying safe.

Your guides for this journey are Mark Oestreicher and Adam McLane, who draw from their own wells of experience as parents and youth workers. They’ll help you chart a course toward discovering and practicing wise family online activity.

My Secret Deal

I would love for you to get this book in the hands of all the parents in your ministry. Like the other books in this series, this would be great to use as the content of a parent meeting. In fact, the book is based on a short seminar I’ve done for parents of teenagers in a bunch of churches.

You can pre-order it on our site right now for $6.99.

If you buy 10 or more copies, you’ll automatically get free shipping on your entire order. (media mail, US addresses only) Check this out. Add whatever else you want to that same order, as long as you order 10 or more copies of the book, you’re getting free shipping.

If you buy 20 or more copies, I’ll still pick up the tab for shipping on your order, and I’ll start tossing goodies in the box.

This secret deal expires on December 15th.

p.s. If you don’t automatically get free shipping, apply coupon code SECRET62

How to talk to parents about parenting

Over the past year or so I’ve had the opportunity to lead an hour-long seminars for parents. In fact, earlier this year partnered with Simply Youth Ministry & Marko to turn the content of my seminar into a book that comes out in a few weeks, A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Social Media.

For me, this has meant going to churches and presenting content without knowing a thing about the context of the church. Sure, I can figure out some things just by driving around or overhearing small talk in the foyer.

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