Focus on the Family Broadcast

Interfacing With Your Child Beyond the Screen (Part 2 of 2)

Interfacing With Your Child Beyond the Screen (Part 2 of 2)

In a discussion based on her book Screens and Teens, Dr. Kathy Koch offers parents practical advice for strengthening their relationship with their teenagers by helping them navigate the pitfalls of technology. (Part 2 of 2)



Dr. Kathy Koch: But as much as possible, reading together, exploring together, playing together – that’s when emotions connect. That’s when relationships build. And we can all do this.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Dr. Kathy Koch joins us again today on “Focus on the Family.” I’m John Fuller and your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly.

Jim Daly: John, it’s so great to have Dr. Kathy Koch back with us today. Her insights are so solid. And we’ll all benefit from it. I know you and I talked…

John: I was writing notes.

Jim: Yeah. We took the notes yesterday. And if you missed that program, get it. Get the download or get a hold of Focus here. We can get that to you some way. But we talked about technology. It’s a part of our world. And we have to contend with it as parents. And there’s a lot of ways to do that. One is to shut it all out and forget it. And then the other is to teach your children how to manage it. There are some benefits. We ended last time with this idea that kids can gain a lot of knowledge through technology today. Yes. There’s a huge risk connected to that, kind of the dark side of it. But when we have a solid connection with our children beyond on the screen, I think they’ll be in a good position to use it appropriately. We talked last time, also, about how abuse of technology, overuse, is rewiring our children’s brains, maybe even ours. And Kathy shared a couple of lies of technology that we’ll touch on again today. And then we’ll move through some other lies that we believe that are unhealthy.

John: Yeah. You’ll find Dr. Koch’s book, Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in A Wireless World, and also our free Parents Guide to Technology at Or call 1-800-232-6459.

Dr. Kathy Koch is the founder of Celebrate Kids, Inc. and has written a number of books. The one we’re going to dial into – I just mentioned – Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World, is an excellent resource. And we should note, Jim, that she was featured in the film, Connect, the documentary that Kirk Cameron produced.


Jim: Yeah. I haven’t seen it yet. But I’m looking forward to it. You can get that DVD through “Focus on the Family.” But Kathy, welcome back to Focus.

Kathy: Thank you. It’s an honor to be here.

Jim: Let me ask you this because I love it. You remember, Art Linkletter used to interview children?

Kathy: Yes.

Jim: And it was the darndest thing, I think he talked about. But what do you see when you interview, you know, children, teenagers and younger children? What do they say to you that really grabs your heart?

Kathy: Oh, Jim, they want their parents to parent them. They don’t – they’re not going to say to a mom, you know, please tell me no. Now, some kids will. Some kids will say – I know of a child who just recently said, ‘you know, mom, here’s my phone. Take it away. I don’t like what it’s doing to me.’ So, some kids will really engage in that. But what kids tell me is that they want to be liked, Jim. They’ll tell me, “My mom has to love me. She doesn’t have a choice. But I want her like me.”

John: Hmm.

Jim: Mmm.

Kathy: And I’ve had boys and girls say, “I wish they wanted to spend time with me. I wish that it didn’t feel like an obligation.” They really do want to connect.

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: And they’re sad. They – a lot of them tell me they have compassion for the busyness of their parents. They will say, “You know my dad’s a good provider. I understand that my mom – but, you know, they’ll say, Jim – they’ll say things like, “I’d rather have a pizza than a four-course meal if it meant I had more time with my mom.” I think they’re very hungry for connection that’s real.

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: And I think they want to know what their parents believe. That – we’ve always wanted that as children, right? I wanted to know what – what my parents were thinking.

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: I don’t think that’s ever changed. But because we’re busy as adults, and we’re distracted, and we’re overwhelmed, kids feel that, and they wonder if they can press in. Um, they – so those are some of the main themes. A lot of kids today are confused by the evil. And if they’re believers, they’ll say to me, “You know, Dr. Kathy, I know the Bible says God is good, but I don’t see it today.” And that’s one of the dangers of seeing the brokenness on the worldwide web. The passion that we can get from that is we want to be agents of change for God’s glory. The danger of being so aware of what’s so dysfunctional is kids don’t understand that God is still in charge, on the throne, not unaware of what’s going on. He’s grieving decisions being made. We have to be very careful, as believers, that we don’t flippantly say to our children, “Oh, well, God is good.”

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: And they could…

Jim: And then they don’t see that…

Kathy: Exactly.

Jim: …In evidence. Yeah.

Kathy: And then do we help them understand how God works all things out? You know, He’s got the big picture in mind. So, they do sometimes tell me things that are very deep about their spiritual confusion.

Jim: Yeah. And I love that – that communication. Uh, it’s a wonderful thing, and it’s one of the beauties of parenting. And that’s the kind of relationship we should be aiming for…

Kathy: Yeah.

Jim: …Where the kids are engaged with you and asking you wonderful questions, even tough ones. Uh, last time, we talked about a couple of the – the lies that you mentioned in your book Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in A Wireless World. (Laughter) I mean, it sounds overwhelming when I read the title, like connecting with your kids in a wireless world.

John: I send my kids a text every day, Jim.

Jim: (Laughter).

John: That’s not what she’s talking about.

Jim: Yeah, that’s exactly right. But you talked about the lie that so many believe – and I don’t think it’s just children, I think this is true of some adults – that I’m the center of my own universe. I mean, I think that is the crux of sin. It’s selfishness, pride, that we think the world revolves around us. And the sooner you get to a place where you understand that’s not true, the better your life will be. And, uh, helping teenagers particularly do that is critical. And I love the truth that is the counter of that lie, which is God is the center of my universe. And that’s your goal. The second lie we covered last time was I deserve to be happy at all times (laughter). I’m laughing because it’s so self-evident. I mean, who doesn’t want that? But quickly tell us, again, why that isn’t a healthy place to be.

Kathy: Well, it’s unrealistic. And so, we – we try to make the world our own. And we try to make things be about us. And we try to control people so that we’re happy. And then we’re constantly disappointed, discouraged. Look at the anger in our culture. I think the anger and the discord and the fighting and the complaining and the dissatisfaction is rooted in these first two lies because we’re trying to make the world our own, and we’re trying to be happy all the time. It’s not – it’s not realistic. And certainly, again, for believers, it’s not biblical. You know, the biblical call would be joy, uh, patience, steadfast…

Jim: All the fruit of the spirit.

Kathy: …Compassion and the fruit of the spirit, right?

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: Um, if we have Christ, uh, let’s be followers truly, and let’s be…

Jim: (Laughter) Yeah.

Kathy: …Discipled into that relationship.

Jim: I know this is silly. I’m thinking of my own HOA is creating that difficulty in our neighborhood. I mean, we got to control what everybody’s doing, and it’s just so overwhelming. We – at some point, you just got to say, ‘‘OK, we’re gonna let people live out their lives,” right? Um…

Kathy: (Laughter).

Jim: …Kathy, the third, uh, myth or the third lie, I want to touch on that – which is I must have choices. Uh, how does that play out – I must have choices? What’s the communication there?

Kathy: Again, arguing and pushback. You know, mom says, “We’re having waffles.” And the kid said, “You know, I wanted cereal.” Well, they probably never wanted cereal. But, you know, I wanted French toast, or I wanted pancakes, or I wanted, you know, scrambled eggs. You know, we go to a restaurant, and we have a hard time deciding. And then we’re halfway through our steak, and then we wonder if we should have had prime rib. So again, you know, we’re never satisfied, we’re always wondering if there was something that was better for us.

Jim: Let me ask you about that. That really is the spirit of discontent.

Kathy: Mmhmm.

Jim: And this culture is rife in discontent, I mean, in the politics of the nation, in their relationships of neighborhoods. I mean, it’s all discontent.

Kathy: Absolutely.

Jim: You don’t make me happy, so I’m not gonna like you. I’m discontented.

Kathy: Right, right. The world revolves around me, and I deserve to be happy, and I get choice and therefore, you know, do it my way. And, uh – and it’s – it’s very discouraging. Again, those of us who have lived longer, where our brain was developed by a variety of things, we believe choice is a privilege. Young people today – 37 and under – 37 years ago, the personal computer was invented. So about 37 and under, they think, um, that the world revolves around them and they deserve choice. And so, they’re – it’s not their fault that their brain is wired for choice. This is why parents have to parent brave and say no. And – and I want to encourage parents to stop arguing because all that does is encourage kids to believe that they’re the center, they deserve be happy, and they have to have choice. We need to parent strong and teach strong and say, “I said no. What do you not understand about that? Or I like…

Jim: I like, “No. If you continue to negotiate, it’ll get worse.”

Kathy: Right.

Jim: (Laughter).

Kathy: And I like…

John: I’ve had both of those conversations.

Jim: Yeah, right.

Kathy: Thank you for being honest, John, because it’s real. You know, again, we’re not – I don’t want shame and blame here. This is – this is really happening. I like the phrase already answered, and then – and then the parent…

Jim: Walk away.

Kathy: …Walks away and (unintelligible).

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: Already answered. No. You know, we’re leaving at 5:00 – already answered, you know.

John: Oh, you don’t care about me.

Kathy: I care too much to allow you to think that the family will revolve around you. I am the authority that God has given to you, like it or lump it. You know, right, yeah, so we have those conversations.

John: Good response, yeah.

Kathy: Consistency, I think, is really important here – where parents…

Jim: And that’s tough at times.

Kathy: Oh, sure it is, because we’re fatigued, and we’re all overwhelmed. And could I be honest? Young parents want to be happy.

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: And so, if we have been wired to believe these lies, then we think, man, if my kid would just get away, I’d be happy, so just go do what you want. And that’s why we’re turning screens into pacifiers and giving a screen to a 2-year-old.

Jim: Boy, that’s a good word-picture. That’s exactly what we’re doing. You see it all over – at grocery stores, etc.

Let me get to lie four, and then I want to talk about the three parenting styles. Uh, lie number four is I’m my own authority. If you have a strong-willed child, this is a big one because they pull this card out in different ways. They don’t say it that way. But they – “What do you know, Mom and Dad, about social media? You don’t do it. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Uh, speak to this I am my own authority attitude that, uh, some young people can express.

Kathy: Yeah, they think they’re their own authority frankly because a lot of us have abandoned them.

Jim: Huh.

Kathy: Again, I don’t want to be harsh, but are we available to our children, or are we letting them, on their own, make decisions and answer problems? They have Siri on the phone. You can ask Siri on the phone the meaning of life.

Jim: Well, let me…

Kathy: She’s wrong…

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: …But you can ask her.

Jim: But – but in that context, parents are competing with that authority that they’re finding on the web.

Kathy: Right.

Jim: You know, they can go to different websites and get information. And – and then they will turn that sometimes on the parents to say, “I can get the answers from other spots.”

Kathy: Right.

Jim: “You’re not the authority, Mom and Dad.”

Kathy: Right. And so, what I – what I would probably say there is show me where you’ve researched this. What’s the bias of the author? What do you know about the person who’s drawn this conclusion? Do they have the same value system that we have, et cetera, et cetera? So, let’s teach our kids how we – how do we determine our authority? You know, when I buy a book, I look – you know, I don’t know about you, but I look at the back cover…

Jim: Who published it.

Kathy: …Who published it. What do I know about the publisher? I look to see the author’s credentials and maybe how long has the author lived in this story, if you will. Um, who’s endorsed it is possibly a big deal. So how do we decide who our authority is? I think that’s important to model. Um, and I would say, “OK, son, teach me.”

Jim: Huh. That’s a good one.

Kathy: “Why do you believe this is truth?” And listen with the heart to believe your son knows something.

Jim: Right…

Kathy: Because…

Jim: …Not just of skepticism.

Kathy: Absolutely.

Jim: Yeah, that’s easy.

Kathy: You know, to give them the right to be right, if you will, because they do have resources we don’t have, they do know websites and Ted Talks and all those kinds of things that we don’t know that might be good. Now, if their authority is a lyric on a song…

Jim: Yeah, right.

Kathy: …Or a TV sitcom dialogue, no, we are not gonna be manipulated. That is not our authority.

Jim: And what’s good with that is you’re teaching them discernment skills.

Kathy: Exactly, my friend.

Jim: That’s what’s perfect.

Kathy: Right. And then, when do we bring up the God piece?

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: That I – could I bring that up here? You know, do we say that God is our authority? And do we say that the Bible is therefore an authority? What would cause our kids to believe that about us? When do our kids see us open the Bible?

Jim: Yes.

Kathy: When do they hear us pray and wait for the answer? I know of many adults who are guilty of treating God like he’s a friend on Facebook with a status update.

Jim: Wow.

Kathy: Seriously. And I don’t – again, I don’t say this harshly. We’ve come by this honestly. But are we willing to be vulnerable and transparent and then wait for Truth? I was at a seminar not too long ago, and I had a dad weep. I was speaking about this and, you know, I don’t mind – like, tears happen when I speak. God is good to reveal truth to people. But it’s not ever easy to be in front of a group, right? And this dad began to really cry pretty seriously as I was speaking about this. And he shared with us that – and it gives me chills to reflect upon this. He said, “Kathy, the only time I’m really deep in the world is when my kids are in bed. Now, they see me do – you know, we do a family devotion, and we’re in church, but when I’m really digging for truth, when I’m really looking at, you know, keywords and – and – and cross-referencing, they’re in bed. They don’t see me wrestle with the Scripture. Kathy, you’re right, they don’t know that it’s where I turn to for my lifeblood.” And so, he decided – in fact, he even – he emailed me later that he and his wife started to do their couple’s study at the kitchen table at night while their kids did their homework…

Jim: Right.

Kathy: …Rather than when the kids were in bed.

Jim: So, they could see it.

Kathy: So, they could see their parents using the word of God as authority.

Jim: Kathy, let me ask you about these parenting styles, uh, that’s a part of the content you’re trying to get across to us, the readers. Uh, you talk about the friend parent, the absent parent and the inconsistent parent. That probably catches about 90 percent of us. So, come on, hit us a little harder now.

Kathy: (Laughter).

Jim: Let’s go through all three. Talk about the friend parent and the error that we make in wanting to be friends.

Kathy: But I want people to like me.

John: Yeah.

Kathy: No, seriously, I love that you’re bringing this up. I believe that – OK, I understand that parents want their kids to like them. Like, I totally get that.

Jim: Is that wrong? I mean…

Kathy: No, it’s not wrong, but it can’t get in the way of solid, Biblical, authoritative, right parenting. And I think the goal is that I would parent so my kids would want to be my friend when they’re older.

Jim: Right.

Kathy: For our kids to be friends with us now, we need to have real relationships with healthy peers so that we’re not relying upon our children to meet our needs for relationships.

Jim: Let me qualify that because it’s so important. To me, that means loving correction.

Kathy: Yes, Sir.

Jim: That’s how you get the relationship when they’re 30…

Kathy: Yeah.

Jim: …And you’re – it’s a loving correction, not a stern kind of rebuke, shaming. That kind of parenting, you will not have the relationship when you’re older because who wants to hang around that.

Kathy: Right, it’s correction, not criticism. And it’s, um, affirmation balanced by correction.

Jim: Yes.

Kathy: And it’s hanging out for fun. Um, so again, the friend – if you’re trying to be a friend now, you could be in big trouble. And they won’t come to you for authority because they don’t go to their friends for authority.

Jim: Right.

Kathy: So, the very thing that you desire, which is to have a voice of reason for them, they actually won’t see you as that anymore if you’ve kind of come down to their level.

Jim: Well, that’s interesting.

Kathy: The absent parent, you know, where we’ve fallen into our screen, where we – we’re overwhelmed by our need for happiness and choice, and we’re trying to stay the center, so we kind of avoid them, again, I respect busyness, I respect – I – I need to say, for best practices here at Focus, that we want you to sleep and – and to eat well and to hydrate and to hang out and…

Jim: Self-care.

Kathy: Self-care is so important. And God would call us to that – to have the quiet that our brain and our heart needs, to have the Sabbath experience so that we can be present. Um, do we take care of ourselves? OK, and then, you know, the inconsistent parent, I was just saying that…

Jim: (Laughter).

Kathy: …You know…

Jim: Everybody’s gonna hit this one.

John: Oh, yeah. Come on, here we are.

Kathy: Well, yeah. And again, realistically – again, we’re not shaming or blaming anyone. And yet, here’s what I think we ought to do – is if we recognize inconsistency that confuses our kids, so they don’t know if they can trust us, we apologize.

Kathy: You know today…

Jim: Describe what that looks like, though

Kathy: You know, today, we say yes to something, and – and tomorrow, we say no. And the situation is identical, but our mood caused our answer to be different. That’s not fair. And that says to the kid I can’t trust my mom, so therefore she’s not my authority, and therefore I will go find somebody else that I can depend upon.

Jim: Mmm.

Kathy: So, when that happens – and it happens because we’re human…

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: …And we’re tired, and we’re hungry, and we had a bad day at work, and, you know, our marriage is at risk. I mean, I get that. Our – our kid just said hateful things. But if we recognize that we’ve confused them and that’s contributing to the issue, then I want us to honor them by saying, ‘‘I am so sorry I confused you.” Let’s own that. And we might even say, “You know, your behavior caused me to react badly. And yet, I’m gonna own my part here. And I’m sorry that I scared you. And I want to come back to a place of consistency where my yes is my yes and my no is my no.”

Jim: Yeah. Let me frame this next question – you know, a humorous story, and then I’ll ask the hard-hitting question I hope. And that is Carol Kent was on the program awhile back. And she was relating a story about her grandchild. And they were driving down the road, and she was asking the granddaughter, um, ”What do you want in this life? What do you want to become? What do you want to do?” And this little girl – I don’t know her age – had to be maybe five or six it sounded like. And she said, “Well, I want a Hummer. And I want a -” “Why do you want a Hummer?” “I want lots of money so I can have a Hummer, so I can drive around the neighborhood and pick up lost dogs and make sure they get home,” which is really sweet. And then she said, ’’What do you want to be when you grow up?” And she said, “I think I want to be God.”


Jim: And I love the innocence of that story, which leads me to the question – um, you say that – that teens today view themselves as their own god (laughter).

Kathy: Yeah.

Jim: That – in essence, the teens have fulfilled this little 5-year-old’s vision of when I grow up, I want to be God because he’s got all the power. Describe that and why that human desire to do exactly what Adam and Eve attempted to do – and that was to eat from the tree of knowledge, to become godlike, which is the ultimate sin of humanity…

Kathy: Wow, my friend. Wow. Yeah, it goes back to lie number one, right? – you know, that I am the center of my own universe. That sets me up to believe that I am in control, can be in charge, other people should do what I say. Um, I think we’ve all had – we probably all, when we were young, had a desire for control, but we had consistency in the culture. In other words, my babysitters, my aunt and uncle, my grandparents, my teachers, wherever I went, probably the same standard of excellence was there.

Jim: It kind of reinforced the values.

Kathy: It reinforced the values of my family. The reason authority is at risk is that there’s so many different right answers to the questions of life, right?

Jim: Right.

Kathy: And so, we can go anywhere. And that brings us back to a desire for the right answer. And if I’m the authority, I am in charge of the right answer.

Jim: Can I say this, uh, with confidence – that if you can get this right as a parent in your child’s heart, that they know they’re not the center of the universe, that there is a God who loves them, but there is a relational positioning that you’ve got to understand by the time you walk out of the house, that that could be the greatest achievement you get as a parent. That they know God is in control and that God loves them and cares for them, but that the goal there is to, out of their love, to be obedient to Him, not out of His demand, but out of their love for Him and what He’s done for them?

Kathy: Beautifully stated. And then they want Jesus.

Jim: Right.

Kathy: Now they want…

Jim: That’s that goal.

Kathy: That’s the goal. The goal is a personal life-giving dynamic, growing relationship with Jesus Christ. And we become followers and filled with the spirit. And if we think we’re the center and we can control happiness, we don’t need a savior. Like, we’re amazing. I don’t need…

Jim: (Laughter)

Kathy: …To be saved from anything.

Jim: Yeah.

Kathy: You know, I’m amazing. And sin – what you call sin, I don’t call sin. I was talking to a group of teenagers – brilliant, young, believing, young people – about issues in the Scripture. And I had a young person look me right in the eye and say, “I can find a church across town that’ll teach me something different, and I’m going there.”

Jim: That’s so sad.

Kathy: Because happiness is their goal, rather than righteousness, because they think they’re in control. We need to stand on the authority of Scripture. Now we’re back to lie number four – they all weave together. And without apology say, “But God’s boundaries are blessings. And the truth is – is life to us. And the longer you live, the more you’re gonna know that. Son, would you trust me?”

Jim: Mmm.

Kathy: And I want us, in our churches and in our homes, to be teaching relevant Scripture that embraces the authority lie. And by that I mean, the whole Bible’s relevant. Don’t misinterpret this. The whole Bible is for us. And yet, we’re not doing a good job, in my opinion, of teaching Scripture that gives life to confused preteens and teens. If these lies are really driving them toward, um, self-centeredness and away from God, then we need to do a better job of teaching what the Scripture teaches us about the center of the universe, joy versus happiness, choice is a privilege, authority is His.

Jim: Yeah. Let me hit, uh, lie number five. That is really well-said. Uh, lie number five – information is all I need, so I don’t need teachers.

Kathy: Mm-hm.

Jim: Why is this unhealthy?

Kathy: Yeah, it’s another authority lie, right? – that, you know, teachers – we don’t value teachers because they’re authority figures. Information’s everywhere. It’s easy to get. There’s incoming email blasts and text alerts and the call across the screen of the TV. And there’s data everywhere. Too many of our schools, in my opinion, are testing only for data, so kids don’t know they need to go deep.

What very much concerns me – and there’s many things here to be unraveled in the book. But let me go back to something we talked about earlier, and that is that I think kids want to improve the world. They’ve seen the brokenness. They want to improve the world. What problems can I help solve? Well, guess what? You need wisdom to solve problems. If you really feel that you’ve been called to this particular Esther moment, and this is the giftings within you that you’re going to use to leave the world a better place, you can’t do that with just information. And so now you end up being overwhelmed and frustrated for a whole ‘nother reason. And then, again, biblically, when I look at the dropout rate from church and the dropout rate from faith, the Scripture says God is wise, right? We’re called to Him. God – He doesn’t say He is knowledge. He doesn’t say he’s information. And so, the thing that kids try to get more and more of, which is information – or adults, who go to 30 different websites before buying a refrigerator…

Jim: Right.

Kathy: …I mean, like, there’s nothing wrong with seeking information, but…

Jim: It’s compulsive though.

Kathy: Exactly. It can become really overwhelming, and that’s part of the addiction. But what do these people say? And what do these people say? And then you look at our – oh, my goodness – the whole culture. We have to land somewhere, deciding that, OK, this is truth. And we have to model for our children that we’re gonna take information and make it knowledge, and then take the knowledge and make it wisdom. And wisdom is doing the right thing in the right way at the right time for the right reason. We might to define wisdom as agreeing with God.

Jim: That’s a good way to look at that.

Kathy: But is He my authority? And am I willing to agree with God, right?

Jim: Yup.

Kathy: So…

Jim: (Unintelligible).

Kathy: …The dropout rate is – yeah, information…

Jim: Kathy, uh, for the parent who has that – that child, that strong-willed child, or just the child that thinks school is dumb, you know – and this is a common thing. And I think it’s very common amongst boys.

Kathy: Um-hm.

Jim: It’s how we would describe the bored student, you know.

Kathy: Right.

Jim: They’re bright, but they’re just – school moves a little too slow for them. And the teacher’s a little too slow because they’re trying to teach to the least common denominator. “Dad, I’m just bored with it. I don’t like it. It’s – it’s dry. And I can read the information, know the information.” What do you say to that person who’s just not connecting with school?

Kathy: I would say to a lot of these young people, I’ve heard you, and I respect your opinion, and I understand that it’s a slower pace than looking something up in a TED Talk or a, you know, YouTube video. So, I respect what you’re saying. However, you will go back to school tomorrow.

Jim: Yeah. I mean, there’s a purpose in it.

Kathy: There is a purpose in it. I – I want to say to the educators listening, you’re my heroes if you’re doing it well.

Jim: Amen.

Kathy: I think to teach, whether it be in church or school or home-school, today’s kids is extra challenging because they want it to be about them, they want it to be easy, they don’t like to persevere, they don’t want to dig deep. So – but we need to help them understand that it is education that will transform you and will compel you to do great things to the glory of God. So, at home, can we be quick-paced? At home, can we go to the museums and the libraries and the parks, and can we research together online for things that – that our kids are interested in? And, um, can our educators do, frankly, a better job? The dropout rate is alarming. The dropout rate from college is alarming.

Jim: Especially for boys.

Kathy: It’s – it’s terrible, isn’t it? And, um… So, we need to support that. (Unintelligible) – learning how to learn – very, very important so that they can become self-taught when something intrigues them down the road and they do care about that issue.

Jim: Yeah. Kathy, this has been so good. I know both John and I have been scribbling notes and – and, uh, making mental notes for sure. What a wonderful conversation about the use of technology, um, how to, as parents, to connect relationally with our kids. And, uh, I want to talk to you, Mom and Dad. I want to remind you parenting is a calling. We all, uh, are there, hopefully, to know the Lord, to honor the Lord and then to teach our children those same concepts.

And this is why Focus is here – to be in that gap for you, to provide tools, uh, like Kathy’s book Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in A Wireless World, or a little Parent’s Guide for Technology that we have, that you can download easily, and it’s free – just a click away. We want to invite you to participate in this ministry at “Focus on the Family,” to be a consumer of it and also a provider to others who maybe can’t afford the resources. When you support “Focus on the Family,” you allow us to reach out to families in need, to strengthen marriages and help, uh, parents do the best job they can to raise their children in a Christ-centered home. Uh, would you consider becoming a friend of “Focus on the Family”? That means monthly support so that we can do the things we need to do. And when you make that monthly pledge of any amount, I want to send you a copy of Kathy’s book Screens and Teens. Or you can get a copy of the documentary that Kathy is in with Kirk Cameron, titled Connect, as our way of saying thank you.

John: Yeah, get details about becoming a monthly donor to “Focus on the Family” and the resources that we have for you at Or call 1-800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459.

Jim: Kathy, let me say again, thank you so much. I love your spirit. I love your enthusiasm for parents and for the kids that they lead. And it’s infectious. Thank you for being here.

Kathy: Oh, thank you for the honor. I very much value “Focus on the Family” and all that you do.


John: Always a great conversation with Dr. Kathy Koch. And I hope you’ll join us tomorrow. We’ll hear from Josh McDowell. He shares about his difficult childhood and the circumstances that led him to start investigating the claims of Christ.


Mr. Josh McDowell: We’d have friends over, and my dad would be drunk. If any of you have an alcoholic parent, you know what I’m talking about. Trust me, if you don’t have an alcoholic parent you don’t know what I’m talking about. You don’t know the shame that you carry with you every day of your life. Especially when friends come over and your dad or mom’s drunk.

End of Teaser

Today's Guests

Screens and Teens, or Connect

Receive Dr. Kathy Koch's book Screens and Teens, or Kirk Cameron's DVD Connect, for your donation of any amount! Plus, receive member-exclusive benefits when you make a recurring gift today. Your monthly support helps families thrive.

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