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Adolescence Can Be a Funny Thing

Conversations, Youth Trends & Issues, Counsel & Commentary

The cartoonists behind Zits discuss their popular comic strip, the teen years and what parents can do to help the sometimes bitter pill of adolescence go down a little easier.

Authentic Relationships in an E-Culture

Youth Trends & Issues, Modern Technology, Counsel & Commentary

A minister to teen girls examines the pros and cons of social networking websites, and wonders if Facebook "friends" really qualify as a true sisterhood.

The Blasphemy Challenge

Youth Trends & Issues, Counsel & Commentary

What does it mean to blaspheme the Holy Spirit? An apologetics expert weighs in, explaining how atheists are using the Internet to provoke teens into the ultimate act of rebellion.

Breaking the Debt Cycle

Counsel & Commentary, Youth Trends & Issues, Conversations

In a scary economy, financial expert Dave Ramsey explains how we can learn from the recession and help teens slay monstrous cultural habits.

A Candid Conversation With Phil Vischer

Conversations, Youth Trends & Issues, Modern Technology

The VeggieTales creator explains how rapid growth and ambition cost him his company, humbled him before God and inspired a big idea for online children’s programming.

A Chat with Ben Stein

Youth Trends & Issues, Conversations, Counsel & Commentary

We talk with the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off actor about his clever documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which puts Darwin on trial and argues for intelligent design.

A Chat With NFL Punter Hunter Smith

Youth Trends & Issues, Conversations

What’s an NFL kicker to do after winning the Super Bowl? Release a worship CD as half of the duo Connersvine … and keep on ministering to teens.

A Chat With Pillar’s Rob Beckley

Youth Trends & Issues, Conversations

A godly rocker talks about his edgy style, reaching teens in pain, the need for authentic relationships, and what makes Christian music "Christian."

A Chat With Rebecca Hagelin

Media Discernment, Youth Trends & Issues, Conversations, Counsel & Commentary

A columnist/author’s helpful advice for parents struggling to protect their children against "cultural terrorism" as they set boundaries in an out-of-control, relativistic society.

A Chat With the Invincible Vince Papale

Youth Trends & Issues, Conversations

What’s it like to have a Disney movie made about your Cinderella-like rise from ordinary football fan to NFL athlete? We asked former Philadelphia Eagle walk-on Vince Papale.

Chatters Get More Than They Log On For

Media Discernment, Youth Trends & Issues, Modern Technology, Counsel & Commentary

Learn why, despite websites’ best attempts to protect children in chat rooms, online dialogues can rob children's innocence and introduce them to predators.

Choosing Their Religion

Youth Trends & Issues, Modern Technology, Counsel & Commentary

Rather than rejecting spiritual truth outright, many young people are naively trying to tailor those absolutes to accommodate individualistic, consumer-oriented, iPod lifestyles.

A Closer Look at Hinduism

Counsel & Commentary, Youth Trends & Issues

Despite Hinduism's idolatry, belief in multiple gods and self-deification, your teen's Christian faith may resemble this Eastern religion more than you realize.

A Closer Look at Satan … From a Safe Distance

Counsel & Commentary, Youth Trends & Issues

Children's natural curiosity about the devil is often fueled by pop culture's own dark fascinations, making it critical to have a biblical understanding of our adversary.

Confessions of a Big-Screen Bully

Conversations, Youth Trends & Issues

Best known as Back to the Future bad guy Biff Tannen, actor Tom Wilson talks about being bullied himself as a teen, and how those experiences prepared him for the years to come.

Confessions of a School Shooter

Conversations, Media Discernment, Youth Trends & Issues

On Nov. 15, 1995, a Tennesse high schooler opened fire on his teachers and classmates. We talk with Jamie Rouse about media choices that fueled his rage that fateful day.

Connected, Yet Alone

Conversations, Youth Trends & Issues, Modern Technology

Author and youth expert Andy Braner explains why Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are doing more to isolate our kids than create real community.

A Consultation with Dr. Ben Carson

Conversations, Youth Trends & Issues, Media Discernment

Convinced your child has ADD? Not so fast. A respected neurosurgeon discusses the impact of TV and video games on the minds and attention spans of young children.

Crucifying a Lustful Thought Life

Media Discernment, Youth Trends & Issues, Counsel & Commentary

Back on track with a renewed passion for purity, Dove Award-winning artist Clay Crosse explains how sensual entertainment shaped him at a young age.

The Divisive World of Pop Music

Media Discernment, Counsel & Commentary, Youth Trends & Issues

Understanding children’s ties to their favorite music can help parents build bridges rather than walls, leading to better communication and stronger families.

Does Your School Have a Video Policy?

Media Discernment, Youth Trends & Issues

If so, what are educators doing to protect students from indecent exposure? If not, here's what you can do to get the conversation started.

Don’t Take the Fun Out of Youth Ministry

Conversations, Youth Trends & Issues

As a teenager, Jaci Velasquez was among the hottest young voices in Christian music. She also had a strong sense of what youth leaders must do to reach her peers.

Emphasis on “Felt Needs” Hurts Teens

Youth Trends & Issues, Counsel & Commentary

Actor Kirk Cameron shares his concern that youth groups are becoming cool, cozy hangouts rather than a place of spiritual transformation where iron sharpens iron.

Encouraging the Uncool

Counsel & Commentary, Youth Trends & Issues

Based upon his self-deprecating ode to awkwardness "I’m Not Cool," Christian singer/songwriter Scott Krippayne offers hope to parents of disenfranchised adolescents.

Energy Drinks: Chasing the Best Boost

Youth Trends & Issues, Counsel & Commentary

As daily deadlines and life’s pressures mount, many teens are turning to canned, hyper-caffeinated pick-me-ups without understanding the health risks.

Entertainment’s Drug of Choice

Youth Trends & Issues

Movies, music and video games often make light of marijuana use, which is one of the reasons teenagers think this potential gateway drug is no big deal.

Falling Stars

Youth Trends & Issues, Counsel & Commentary

It’s the rare tween icon who doesn’t do something shocking in order to shed the "child star" label. So what can parents do when their children’s favorite role model stumbles?

Forgiving When It Hurts

Counsel & Commentary, Youth Trends & Issues

American Idol judge Simon Cowell spent years humiliating contestants on prime-time TV. Find out what happened when one of them took the hit and fired back … with grace.

A Former Cutter Speaks Out

Youth Trends & Issues

Cutting has been called "the new anorexia." But what inner turmoil causes young people to intentionally injure themselves, and how can they find healing?

Gambling With the Future

Youth Trends & Issues

We examine one professional athlete’s tragic fall from grace, and explore why parents need to discuss the dangers of gambling before their children are "all in."

Getting Teens Ready for Summer

Counsel & Commentary, Youth Trends & Issues

From jobs and friends to dating and time management, our counselors answer parents' burning questions about helping teenagers make the most of summer vacation.

The Guitar Hero Craze

Youth Trends & Issues, Modern Technology, Counsel & Commentary

Kids don’t need music lessons to rock like a pro, but what are parents supposed to think about popular rhythm video games such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero?

Heading Off Destructive Decisions

Youth Trends & Issues

Kids often act out to prove they’re grown up. A school psychologist recommends one simple way that parents can limit the allure of high-risk behavior.

Hitting the Books

Youth Trends & Issues

Is young-adult literature getting darker? And to what end? A dad curious about modern YA fiction delves into several titles popular with teen girls.

The Holy Growl

Youth Trends & Issues, Media Discernment

Christian metal continues to gain new fans, though its aggressive, grinding musical style and gutteral vocals often put parents and teens at odds. How should families respond?

Hooked: The Addictive Power of Video Games

Youth Trends & Issues, Conversations, Modern Technology

Are video games pushing your child's buttons? Authors Kurt and Olivia Bruner explain how their son fell prey to electronic games designed to become an obsession.

Is Average the New Ugly?

Media Discernment, Youth Trends & Issues, Counsel & Commentary

Learn how entertainment is shaping how young people perceive their value and attractiveness, as well as how parents can counter messages from our image-obsessed culture.

Is Facebook Changing How Kids Communicate?

Modern Technology, Youth Trends & Issues

How should parents respond to mounting evidence that Facebook and sites like it can retard the development of fundamental relational skills?

Facebook Blues

Modern Technology, Youth Trends & Issues

Being denied a Facebook account may leave kids glum. On the other hand, research shows that teens who have one are falling into a different kind of funk.

Is Your Teen Keeping Strange Company?

Media Discernment, Youth Trends & Issues, Counsel & Commentary

Young Christians may not realize it, but who they hang out with speaks volumes about their values. That includes the companions they choose in the form of entertainment.

Keep Cults From Recruiting Your Kids

Counsel & Commentary, Youth Trends & Issues

A father who lost his son to a Bible-based cult warns parents of the dangers, offers helpful advice, and even exposes some of the tactics cultists use to recruit teens.

Let’s Build Bridges, Not Walls, Between Generations

Youth Trends & Issues, Counsel & Commentary

One of Christian music’s most poetic songwriters worries that natural obstacles and media stereotypes are causing a rift between teens and their elders.

Like Father, Like Son

Conversations, Counsel & Commentary, Media Discernment, Youth Trends & Issues

We sit down with apologetics experts Josh and Sean McDowell to discuss parenting, the power of media and a particular movie that changed their relationship.

Looking Good at Any Cost

Youth Trends & Issues

From performance-enhancing drugs to risky surgeries, people nowadays go to extremes to create the illusion of perfection. How can we keep this trend from hurting our kids?

Mandy Moore's Role to Remember

Conversations, Media Discernment, Youth Trends & Issues

Fresh off her hit A Walk to Remember, the pop singer/actress talks about her virginal character and a song on her self-titled album that sends a very different message.

Mass-Producing the 10-Year-Old Teenager

Youth Trends & Issues, Media Discernment

With billions of dollars burning a hole in tweens' pockets, companies are eager to help them spend it. And some experts believe that's forcing our kids to grow up too fast.

The New Narcissism

Counsel & Commentary, Youth Trends & Issues

Find out how our culture and our children have become increasingly self-absorbed, and what parents can do to solve this spiritual problem.

Nurturing Artistic Teens

Youth Trends & Issues

Young artists are wired a little differently. Understanding and embracing that uniqueness is crucial if parents hope to raise well-rounded, spiritually grounded kids.

Online Piracy

Youth Trends & Issues, Modern Technology

With digital music easy to pilfer and consequences rare, adolescents have little incentive to pay for what they can get free. But "Thou shalt not steal" applies to downloading, too.

The Politics of Entertainment

Counsel & Commentary, Media Discernment, Youth Trends & Issues

Late-night monologues and sketch comedy can pique teens’ interest in the political process. So how can parents help their children see that voting is no laughing matter?

Portrait of a Bully

Modern Technology, Youth Trends & Issues

In the age of texting and online social networks, bullies come in all shapes and sizes. We look at the new abusers—and how families can cope with high-tech harassment.

Preparing Teens for Life's Second-Biggest Decision

Counsel & Commentary, Youth Trends & Issues

In a society (and entertainment culture) often dismissive of lifelong commitment, how can we help adolescents value marriage as much as God does?

Prescription Drug Abuse

Media Discernment, Youth Trends & Issues, Counsel & Commentary

The tragic death of actor Heath Ledger raises critical questions about teens’ (not to mention Hollywood’s) casual attitude toward prescription drug abuse.

Prescription for Disaster

Youth Trends & Issues

When it comes to substance abuse, today's adolescents have been labeled Generation Rx. So why have prescription meds replaced illicit street drugs as the greater threat to teens?

Purity: Looking for Moral Loopholes

Youth Trends & Issues, Counsel & Commentary

How does your teen define abstinence? Discover how Christian young people committed to delaying intercourse until marriage are still giving in to sexual pressure.

A Question of Ethics

Youth Trends & Issues, Counsel & Commentary

A rise in cheating—onscreen and off—signals that this generation is experiencing a significant ethical crisis. Can your motives pass our series of tests?

The Roots of Addiction

Youth Trends & Issues, Conversations

As a rebellious teenager, Christian recording artist Bruce Carroll let drugs get the better of him. That is until he discovered his true identity in Jesus Christ.

The Sleepover Dilemma

Media Discernment, Youth Trends & Issues

Whether parents are hosting a slumber party or granting permission for an overnight at someone else’s house, this primer will give them confidence to ask important questions.

Striking at the Heart of Lust

Youth Trends & Issues

The Bible says to flee youthful lust. But how? Here are tips for helping young men achieve victory in what author Mike Ross calls "a teen guy’s No. 1 battle."

Teaching Kids to Kill

Youth Trends & Issues, Media Discernment, Modern Technology

What do a 15-year-old chronic video gamer and a U.S. Marine have in common? More than you might think. Take a look into the mind of a first-person shooter.

Teen Magazines and the New Feminism

Youth Trends & Issues

More than just glossy monthlies quick to gush over the latest boy band, mags such as Seventeen and CosmoGirl! promote a form of girl power that's shaping teens' worldviews.

Teens Are Buying Now, Paying Later

Youth Trends & Issues, Counsel & Commentary

Discover how credit cards nearly ruined a college student's life, and why she desperately wants your children to learn from her mistakes.

That Was Then, This Is Now

Media Discernment, Youth Trends & Issues

Changes in entertainment have been both subtle and dramatic over the years, as evidenced by the titles of hit songs that test the bounds of decency.

Thrilled to Death

Conversations, Media Discernment, Youth Trends & Issues, Modern Technology

An army killologist explains how America's lust for violent entertainment is destroying our culture … and our kids. What can we do to keep our children from being desensitized?

The Truth About Teens and Steroids

Youth Trends & Issues

Young people who feel pressure to get a certain look or step up their game are relying on shortcuts with dangerous side effects. Do you know the warning signs?

The Truth About Unrated DVDs

Modern Technology, Media Discernment, Youth Trends & Issues

Discover why re-edited, repackaged PG-13 movies deserve an R rating, but aren't getting one. We expose yet another cheat in Hollywood's ratings game.

TV Poker Tutors Teens

Youth Trends & Issues

Poker has become all the rage with adolescents. But while televised tournaments teach adolescents when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em, they don't reveal where gambling can lead.

Twilight: The Vampire Gateway Drug

Youth Trends & Issues

Once the stuff of nightmares, nocturnal blood-suckers have become every girl's dream date. Why is that trend a little scary … and who's at risk?

The Underside of Skateboarding

Youth Trends & Issues

Elbow pads and helmets won't protect kids' hearts. Discover how a dicey subculture has turned a fun activity and growing sport into risky business for families.

Unmasking the White Witch

Youth Trends & Issues, Counsel & Commentary

A young woman who dabbled in the occult explains how Jesus pulled her out of darkness and inspired her to teach young people to recognize evil in entertainment.

Video Gambling Is a Bad Bet

Youth Trends & Issues, Modern Technology, Counsel & Commentary

With online gambling just a mouse click away, dealers and slot machines are as close as the nearest computer. And it’s even more addictive than casino gaming.

What I Learned From Cassie Bernall

Youth Trends & Issues, Counsel & Commentary

Youth pastor Dave McPherson remembers the courageous teen he lost during the Columbine tragedy … and how it changed his approach to ministry.

What’s Wrong With Homosexuality?

Counsel & Commentary, Youth Trends & Issues

What's Wrong With Homosexuality? ­ With the entertainment industry treating same-sex attraction as a civil rights issue, why should our children see it any differently in the age of tolerance?

What's Right With Teens

Youth Trends & Issues

We hear a lot about what's wrong with the younger generation. Meet seven unselfish teenagers who boldly changed their worlds for the better.

When Bullying Hits Home

Youth Trends & Issues, Counsel & Commentary

Discovering that a bully is targeting your child can create painful, helpless feelings. Learn how to help young victims weather the storm, and maybe even turn the tide.

When Virginity Breeds Contempt

Youth Trends & Issues

Our culture thinks abstinence is unrealistic. But even when Hollywood mocks sexual self-control, Christian teens willing to wait should know they're in good company.

Who Does Your Teen Wannabe?

Conversations, Counsel & Commentary, Media Discernment, Youth Trends & Issues

This generation faces an identity crisis. Discover how Royal Tailor's music—and lead singer—square off against a culture that wants our kids to settle for less than God's best.

Why Kids Beg … and What You Can Do About It

Counsel & Commentary, Youth Trends & Issues

Our materialistic culture sows seeds of discontent in children, blurring the line between "wants" and "needs." Tired of greedy pestering? Here's how to make it stop.

Why Profanity Matters

Youth Trends & Issues

In our coarsening culture, many Americans—including some Christians—believe swearing is no big deal anymore, in daily life or in our entertainment. Here's why they're wrong.

Why We Celebrate Life

Counsel & Commentary, Youth Trends & Issues

With their entertainment culture quick to celebrate death—from horror films and dark music to gory point-and-shoot video games—children need to know why life is precious.

You Expect Me to Say What?

Youth Trends & Issues

A young actor's foray into community theater leads to a tense encounter behind the scenes and a reminder that all of us have to play out our roles daily on various stages.