A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Social Media

i’m really pleased with how the “Parent’s Guide” series i developed for Simply Youth Ministry is unfolding. three of the five titles have released previously:
A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Teenage Girls, which i co-authored with brooklyn lindsey
A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Teenage Guys, which i co-authored with brock morgan
A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Teenage Brains, which i wrote all by my big-boy self

and A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Sex & Dating (co-authored with joel mayward) should release around february 1, i think.

but the fourth book in the series just released, and i think it’s going to be very, very helpful to lots of moms and dads (and, youth workers, frankly). introducing: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Social Media (btw: there’s a free downloadable sample at that link). i co-authored this one with my partner in crime, adam mclane (and let’s be honest: you all know that with this topic, he did the heavy lifting in terms of writing. if i were writing a social media book all by myself, it would probably be called “how to offend people when you think you’re being mysterious online, how to host a twitter feed for facial hair, and how to blog about weird nativities, all to the glory of god, of course.”).

like all the books in this series, it’s very short and to the point. but don’t make the wrong assumption that the content must, therefore, be lightweight. this little baby is much more than “teenagers like to text” and “have you heard of facebook?” really, i learned SO much co-authoring this with adam because the dude knows his stuff. in other words, i think youth workers would benefit from this just as much as parents.

here’s the back cover copy:

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.

check out this nice amazon review that got posted by “tim” yesterday:

As someone in youth ministry who is fairly “connected” with social media, I started the book a bit skeptical of it teaching me anything new but read it to see if it would be good to pass on to the parents of teenagers I know. Not only would I recommend this book to all parents of teenagers, but I found myself learning things I didn’t know before and gaining new insights into the world of social media that not only relate to teens but my online activity as well.

A book about technology and what’s popular runs the risk of getting outdated quickly but the principles in this book can be applied to whatever is popular online at any time.


  • if you’re a parent, get a copy (and maybe another copy for a friend)
  • if you’re a youth worker, get a copy for yourself (there are very few youth workers who won’t learn something new in this)
  • or, if you’re a youth worker, consider getting a dozen or two (they’re SUPER cheap), and hosting a conversation with a group of parents in your church.

click here to see more, download the free sample, or order the physical or digital version.

3 thoughts on “A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Social Media”

  1. It really is amazing how much the youth culture is becoming reliant on social media. I feel like this book has got to be a useful tool for parents everywhere who are just looking to stay informed on their child’s life. Social media isn’t going to go away any time soon, so its better that parents adapt and learn how to keep their kids safe online.

  2. Yes please may I have one..appears to be an invaluable resource! Thanks for the heads up in so many ways ! Laurie

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