Dads and drugs in American life: 2013 Winter Edition of Family Business Quarterly

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Joanna Jullien
“‘Banana Moments’ is the term I use to describe all the curve balls and surprises of parenting in the network. Some are humorous and light hearted others are gut wrenching. There has never been a more rewarding time to be a parent. Photo: Christi Benz

Welcome to the 2013 Winter Edition of Banana Moments: Family Business Quarterly.

As an American mother raised in the 1960’s and 1970’s I have observed that the role of the father in our culture has been minimized as Mom took on central prominence. Remember the Virgina Slims cigarette commercials, and the campaigns that women can have it all and do it all?

If you can do it all, who needs a partner?

In the struggle to break free from the choking sexism described in the book, Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the ’60s and Beyond, a real life, tell-all, account of women in the advertising industry from the 1960’s on, we have since created a culture that does not value fatherhood and fatherly love as distinct and equally important as motherly love.

Then with a two-income earning power, our parenting culture focused on being power consumers. And the will to discipline children softened as we provide our children with goods and services as the measure of parenting prowess.

In the 1990’s we started to see a rise in special needs and accommodation for conditions described as behavioral disorders, such as ADD/ADHD, which are treated with psychostimulant prescription drugs, such as  Ritalin and Adderall, for behavioral issues primarily with boys initially.

At the same time, our love affair with drugs continued to evolve to a point where there is a pill for everything that ails you, and it is prominently featured in media streams. Prescription pills in our homes have been the supply for the modern drug addict which looks like “your child.”

So in this edition, there are two main features about 1) restoring our value of fatherhood to overcome the absent dad, whether it be virtually, emotionally or physically and 2) how to address the impact of the modern drug culture on youth.  Therein we witness the healing and restoration that is possible as caring individuals express fatherly love at home and beyond the biological ties of immediate family. And we can also muster the courage to take an honest look at the state of our own hearts and minds in responding to the personal and societal costs of drug abuse and addiction.

Other features include:  advice for parents in power struggles with their children (Debbie Pincus); help children set realistic career goals (Alice Rush);  understanding the nature of resiliency in your child to overcome adversity (Mark Katz); and  parenting to teach healthy emotional bonds as a life skill (Jennifer Rodriguez).

“Thus saith the LORD, Refrain thy voice from weeping, And thine eyes from tears: For thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; And they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, That thy children shall come again to their own border.” Jeremiah 31: 16-17

Finally, as I write this, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, just published a book called Lean In about the topic of women finding a balance between a career outside the home and a family. I do plan to review her material, but what I have gleaned from the media reaction thus far is that we still need to confront the fact that raising children and making a home is not respected or really valued – after all, it cannot be factored into the GDP.

So as you review the features in this edition, let us keep in mind that culture is the software of the brain. Our popular culture influences our thinking and behavior – if we allow it. We have been given intelligent life and free will by our Creator, so we can continue running the “software routines” of the past twenty years or take charge of our own hearts and minds to create family cultures that respect the individual and promote civil liberty.  This is the origin of empowerment to prosper.

(To read more about civil liberty and family life, go to: The Authority In Me).

(Note: This is the first web-based format of the Family Business Quarterly. The top and bottom of every page have a link that will bring you back to this master content list: 2013 Winter Edition of Family Business Quarterly.)

Contact Joanna:

 Table of Contents

I. The value of fatherhood in American life: Are the dads missing in action?

The past few months, the topic of manhood and fatherhood has surfaced in my fieldwork – especially in the wake of the school shootings, and the questions raised in the headlines about the mental health of the young men full of murderous rage. (Read more…)


II. America’s love affair with drugs and impact on youth

Photo: Alan Clever (Flickr)

As a youth substance abuse prevention activist, over the past ten years, I have come to appreciate that the confusion and fear over the nature of drug and alcohol addiction – especially with minors – has created a code of silence among adults, and driven youth drug and alcohol abuse to levels so extreme it creates a new norm for addiction. In June 2011, the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse declared youth substance abuse the number one public health problem in America. (Read more…)

III. Balancing the acts of loving generations

Multi-generational issues require a balancing act.  What to do if your adult child has trouble getting launched? How much is too much help? How can we maintain separate lives in ways that allow healthy emotional bonds? (Read more…)


IV. Helping kids set realistic college and career goals

With skyrocketing unemployment rates and millions of jobs lost to China, India, and other countries overseas in the last ten years, it’s no wonder we as parents are worried about our children’s future careers. Gone it seems are the traditional lifetime career paths, focused on primarily one in depth area of study.(Read more…)



V. Understanding the true nature of individual resiliency to overcome adversity

The issues “different” kids have in dealing with the crowd, are the same for all children in the Internet…(Read more…)



 VI. On line parenting class to help parents strengthen healthy emotional bonds with kids

Children can be taught to understand the controlling behavior in themselves and others in order to form healthy emotional bonds and relationships. This is a life skill more important than ever, as children experience tremendous pressure to conform in their cyber powered communities. (Read more…)

VII. Resources


 Thank you to sponsors

Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic

Dr. Dennis Harding is an upper cervical specialist located in Auburn who knows intimately the relationship between the atlas bone, the spine, and the resulting mental health issues of our youth. (Read more...)




Marie Hall is the Executive Director of BeMoneySmartUSA, a Carmichael non-profit dedicated to educating youth about financial literacy. As a part of this education, BMSUSA runs Farmers Markets in the Sacramento region to employ teens. (Read more…)

Therapeutic Solutions 360

As a practical, interactive, solution-focused therapist, our treatment approach is to provide support and feedback to help clients resolve current problems and long-standing patterns. With sensitivity and compassion, we help clients find solutions to a wide range of life challenges and psychological issues.



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About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna ( and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.