Brett.Ullman

Category - parenting

New Talk: Parenting Teens

Hope everyone had a good summer. As I head into the fall I am working on research for a new talk on loneliness. I have decided to also start work on a new talk for parents of teenagers. As a father of 2 teenagers, I find myself often being asked by parents about practical tools for parenting. I want to help parents understand their teens, empower their teens, and equip their teens in this crazy modern culture we are living in.

As I begin my research I would love to hear your best parents books, quotes, Ted talks, youtube videos, thoughts, personal tips and anything else you think might be good to address in this talk.

What topics should I cover?

Thanks for any help

Heading into my 20th year speaking… can you help?

As I head into fall 2017, I am excited to begin my 20th year as a speaker. I am honoured to have had ongoing opportunities to speak across Canada and the US for 2 decades on topics like mental health, media, sexuality, pornography, dating, and men. Thank you so much to the hundreds of people, likely including you reading this now, who have supported us both financially and with prayer over the past 20 years. I could never have dreamed up how far this ministry has come since first starting out. As my wife now tells me, “I was terrible”! However now, I see daily the fruit of mine and others investments when students and parents gain new perspectives and hope from one of my talks.

The favourite parts of my job are researching, creating presentations and then to deliver those presentations in order to challenge people to connect their ancient faith with this modern world. I want to encourage my listeners to “enter the danger” on topics that may be difficult to work through. In these confusing times, we need Christ centered perspectives and intelligent insights into current matters more than ever. The students we are mentoring are looking to us to help them navigate these topics and we all need better equipping.  One of my least favourite things I need to do is fundraising.  One of the least liked, shared or commented on posts that I put on social media are about fundraising. The hard part with this is that for a non-profit organization like Worlds Apart, fundraising is necessary for our functioning.  As a small charity, our funds come in from 3 sources

40% – speaking engagement honorariums
40% – tax receiptable donations/fundraising
20% – sales of books, DVD’s, digital downloads

For this ministry year, I am looking forward to these projects below:

  1. Creation of a App to be used before, during, and after my speaking engagements
  2. Filming the new dating.for.life presentation
  3. Filming the media.faith.culture talk for students and parents
  4. Updating aging technology

I’d like to tell you more about each project in the hopes that one or more of them may interest you specifically and you may be prompted to give.

(1) Brett Ullman Speaking App I have the chance to speak to tens of thousands of students, parents, and leaders each year. One of my struggles is how to engage people attending my talks better both before, during and after my talks. An app will allow me to help people with taking notes during the presentations, live polling and resourcing people in all aspects of my talks. My talks are meant to spur people into deeper, more intentional thinking and providing an app to support the talks will provide more easily accessible information to the audience. This is in keeping with current technology trends in society today.

Total needed for App $5000

(2) Filming new dating.for.life talk. The demand for my talks outweighs my abilities to go in person to every audience. With the talks being filmed, we are able to get these out to people digitally (Vimeo on Demand and on DVD). Our past talks that we have filmed have been bought in countries all over the world which is really exciting as many of those places would not be able to afford to fly me in. I want to reach as many people as possible with true, hope filled conversation. With each DVD/digital download sold, more people are taught and more income is generated to sustain this ministry. To film, edit, print DVD’s, and create a trailer for the dating talk, I need to raise $7,500.

(3) Filming media.faith.culture talk. This is one of my most popular talks that I do challenging people in all aspects of our media choices, faith growth and engaging our culture. It would be amazing to get this talk available to people. Similarly to the dating talk, we need to raise $7,500 for this project. I would love to film this talk in Winter 2018.

Total needed for filming of both talks $15,000

(4) Technology: now this is not an exciting place for fundraising but technology is also something I use daily in my office or when I am speaking. Presently my laptop is almost 6 years old and my desktop is 5 1/2 years old. When I am speaking I need a current, functioning laptop will be able to be used for my presentations without any issues. My data projector is also aging at 8 years old. One of the reasons I am able to keep the attention of students so well is my use of technology to connect with them.

What I need in the technology area

  1. iMac – This is the main computer I use for all aspects of my work when I am not on the road speaking. Cost ~$3,000
  2. MacBook – This is the computer I use for all of my speaking presentations. Cost ~$2,000
  3. Data Projector ~$900

Total needed for technology – $5,900

Total fundraising needs – $25,900

I have to be honest this is an overwhelming amount for a small charity like ours. One thing I have heard from people over the years is that if I ever need help, I just need to ask. So this is me asking.

  1. Can you help? You can make a one-time donation or monthly donations through Canada Helps by clicking here. Some people support at $10 a month while for others they might be able to support at $50, $75 or $100 a month. For others, it is a one-time donation. Every donation helps, please don’t think that what you can contribute does not matter. “For anything great to happen, what is needed is a long obedience in the same direction.” Let’s make something great happen and do this together.
  2. Can the business you work for help? I know many companies offer donations to charities. Some businesses want to do anonymous donations which are always ok. Some companies also do matching donations so if you donated $500 they will match and give another $500. Maybe you’d like to stretch your donation dollars by looking into your workplace giving plans.
  3. Do you know of any foundations that might be able to help? Please send through their information.
  4. Networking: If you cannot donate, would you be willing to send this to someone who might be able to? Would you consider telling your church, Christian or Catholic school and other networks about my talks so that they may look into bringing me in to speak to their group.
  5. Purchasing: You could help by purchasing a talk from our store. There are 4 books and 4 DVDs or digital downloads available. All money from these products goes back into the charity. Click here for the store.

I look forward to continuing to empower and equip students, parents, and leaders in tough conversations with your help. Please consider donating. If you have any questions please send me an email at brett@brettullman.com.

Thanks for your time.
Brett Ullman
Worlds Apart
www.brettullman.com

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

In my Loneliness research, the conversation on how Social Media might be affecting a new generation keeps coming up. Here is a great yet scary article. Just because we like social media does not mean it is good for us. Love to hear peoples thoughts on this.

I’ve been researching generational differences for 25 years, starting when I was a 22-year-old doctoral student in psychology. Typically, the characteristics that come to define a generation appear gradually, and along a continuum. Beliefs and behaviors that were already rising simply continue to do so. Millennials, for instance, are a highly individualistic generation, but individualism had been increasing since the Baby Boomers turned on, tuned in, and dropped out. I had grown accustomed to line graphs of trends that looked like modest hills and valleys. Then I began studying Athena’s generation.

Around 2012, I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviors and emotional states. The gentle slopes of the line graphs became steep mountains and sheer cliffs, and many of the distinctive characteristics of the Millennial generation began to disappear. In all my analyses of generational data—some reaching back to the 1930s—I had never seen anything like it.

The experiences they have every day are radically different from those of the generation that came of age just a few years before them.

Psychologically, however, they are more vulnerable than Millennials were: Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones.

But the allure of independence, so powerful to previous generations, holds less sway over today’s teens, who are less likely to leave the house without their parents. The shift is stunning: 12th-graders in 2015 were going out less often than eighth-graders did as recently as 2009.

One line in the article stopped me.

So what are they doing with all that time? They are on their phone, in their room, alone and often distressed.

I feel like I could have just pasted the entire article. Just a taste above.
Please click here for the entire article.

Words of advice for all graduating students.

Today my son Ben graduations from Grade 8. To Ben and all graduates today here is my favourite graduation song/poem.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97
Wear sunscreen
If I could offer you only one tip for the future
Sunscreen would be it

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice
Has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience
I will dispense this advice now

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth
Oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself
And recall in a way you can’t grasp now
How much possibility lay before you
And how fabulous you really looked
You are not as fat as you imagine

Don’t worry about the future
Or worry
But know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindside you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday
Do one thing everyday that scares you

Sing

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts
Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours

Floss

Don’t waste your time on jealousy
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
The race is long
And in the end, it’s only with yourself

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults
If you succeed in doing this, tell me how

Keep your old love letters
Throw away your old bank statements

Stretch

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
Some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t

Get plenty of calcium

Be kind to your knees
You’ll miss them when they’re gone

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll divorce at 40
Maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary

Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s
Enjoy your body
Use it every way you can
Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own

Dance

Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them
Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

Get to know your parents
You never know when they’ll be gone for good

Be nice to your siblings
They are the best link to your past
And the people most likely to stick with you in the future

Understand that friends come and go
But for the precious few you should hold on
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
Because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young

Live in New York City once
But leave before it makes you hard
Live in Northern California once
But leave before it makes you soft

Travel

Accept certain inalienable truths
Prices will rise
Politicians will philander
You too will get old
And when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young
Prices were reasonable
Politicians were noble
And children respected their elders

Respect your elders

Don’t expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund
Maybe you have a wealthy spouse
But you never know when either one might run out

Don’t mess too much with your hair
Or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85

Be careful whose advice you buy
But be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia
Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off
Painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth

But trust me on the sunscreen

Brett Ullman: Topics for your Church, Conference, School or Camp

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all enjoying your summer. As we begin planning another school / ministry year I wanted to send out a blog with information on all of the talks that I do. Below is a list of the topics that I offer:

(1) The Walking Wounded – This talk is looking at how we as Christians can have a practical yet Biblical approach to help people struggling with mental health. It includes my own journey struggling with anxiety as well. It answers the question “What do you do when you or someone you love is struggling with Anxiety?”
Promotional Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzLLIMTHz1I
Designed for: I do this talk for many Sunday morning church services as well as special nights for parents / students. In schools I do this for High School age.

(2) The.Sex.Talk (Parents Edition) is a version of my sex talk designed for parents. It is NOT a talk about the new Health Curriculum but a talk about how we as parents can help our kids create a Biblical worldview in the area of sex. It is meant to be very practical to help parents in this bridge these topics with our kids.
Promotional Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8VI7Acaj6w
Designed for: Parents & a similar version for High School Students

(3) media.faith.culture – the disconnect – This is a fully re-done talk. This talk is a broad talk looking into how we connect our faith with our culture (music, movies, social media etc). Answering the question of how do we connect our ancient faith with our modern world.
Designed for: Grade 7-8 (Could be 6-8). High School & Parents. This is my most common talk for Sunday morning services, youth groups as well as Schools (Elementary and High School)

(4) The Porn Project – is my brand new talk on pornography. It is less about pornography and more about how we as Christians can break free from our struggles with this and how to help our kids in this journey as well
Designed for: Parents & High School Students

(5) Dating.for.life: The Questions – In this new update of my dating for life talk I have gone back to the basics. In this new talk I answer 8 questions on dating: What is dating? When should I start dating? How do I start dating? How do I break up? etc.
Designed for: High School Students

(6) The Man Talk – The Man Talk is what it sounds like – a discussion about what it’s like to be a Man today. It’s a real talk, a meat and potatoes approach to issues pressing us from all sides. In this talk I challenge men to be better husbands, fathers and boyfriends.
Designed for: Men’s Breakfasts or special events at church

If you are interested in any talk please let me know. you can find more information on each talk off of my www.brettullman.com website.

Thanks for your time,

Brett Ullman
Executive Director
Worlds Apart
www.brettullman.com

P.S. I also have a large resource blog on my website www.brettullman.com. You can just go to the site and click on the headings and find hundreds of great resources I have posted this past 2 years in categories like mental health, sex and porn, media, spiritual disciplines, parenting and many more.

Overnight summer camps are better for your kids than SAT prep classes

I saw this article on Social media this morning and thought it was too good not to share. My kids have been attending Camp Mini-Yo-We since they were 7 years old). My wife and I both grew up going to camp. Dawn was a camper at Circle Square Ranch and Camp Mishewa and worked at Muskoka Woods for 5 years. I grew up at Pleasant Bay Camp and Camp Widjitiwan. These are just a few of the amazing camps just in my small part of Canada. Please feel free to post the camp you were a camper at or where you worked.

Away from the city, technology and academic pressures, kids can grow in creativity, independence and other qualities of successful people.

Summers provide a much-needed opportunity for my children to unplug, achieve focus and develop those creative thought processes and connections.

Click here for the entire article.