Good advice for the modern family: ‘Wherever you are, be there’

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015
"Wherever you are, be there."

“Wherever you are, be there.”

2015 November Monthly Round Up

A recent article in the Setonian features the dangers of texting while walking on campus, including bumping into walls and other people, tripping and falling and walking into oncoming traffic. In this way, with the advent of mobile connectivity, I have learned that being present is something that we take for granted, as if it is some kind of an effortless thing when indeed it is not. And the more we experience the impact of mobile connectivity seemingly omnipresent in every device, room, gathering and relationship – well, it frankly, becomes more difficult to simply be present and give one another undivided attention, much less pay attention to our surroundings while traveling by foot or from behind the wheel.

Attention management is a matter of choosing to be present, in the moment, and giving 100 percent of your mental energy to the matter at hand for our own sake and for the sake of those with who we are in relationship (fellow pedestrians, drivers and/or family members, friends, and co-workers).

Before the advent of smart phone and web-enabled mobile devices, a college professor dispensed some sage advice to students who were distracted and disrupting the class. They were chatting, not ready to learn about what the computer and data management instructor had prepared for that period. And so he calmly grabbed the attention of the entire class by boldly declaring, “I have some advice that will serve you the rest of your life. When you are ready, when you are quiet I will share it with you.” And then he gave the class a minute or so to settle down. Eventually the room became so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Then he said: “Are you ready? Here it is: wherever you are….be there,” smiling, raising his right arm and pointing his index finger in the air, as if turning a revelation into a call to action while lowering his voice to emphasize “BE there”.

“wherever you are….be there”

This advice has served me well, as I managed to avoid wasting more mental energy over the years than I would have otherwise thinking I should be with my children when I was at the office or when I was at home giving attention to family matters, thinking about office work. I have learned to train myself to be present in the moment where I am – especially when with my family.

It is a common conversation among the generations about the impact of technology use on family relationships. Grandparents concerned that young people don’t understand how to relate to people, that their focus is on their devices – and young people feeling like the older generations just don’t “get it” – how they are experiencing community and learning to express themselves on and off line. The simple truth is that technology is a distraction only if we allow it to interfere with building trust in relationships. One factor that contributes to building trust is by simply choosing to be fully present when we are together.


The role of the parent in healing a suffering child

  • Fresh Start Seminar for counselors  & therapists
  • November 19, 2015 , 11:30 to 1 pm
  • Sponsor: Living Smart Foundation, 4701 Whitney Ave. Carmichael, CA 95608
  • No charge, complimentary lunch is served. Please RSVP at Community Luncheon

Fearless Collaboration with Your Adult Child

  • Fresh Start workshop for helping parents who are challenged by adult children with unresolved issues, also referred to as “failure to launch”
  • Sat. February  6, 2016,    9am to noon
  • Fee: $50.00 (includes Fresh Start workbook)
  • Capital Christian Center in Sacramento
  • Parents and counselors register here.

Fresh Start Trainer Certification for Therapists, Faith Leaders & Educators

BMF Spring Symposium on Shame: How to address shame as individuals & families*

  • April 9m, 2016, 8:30am to 1:30pm.
  • Fee: $25.00 (includes lunch)
  • Location*: To be confirmed. Look for future announcements.


Special Education Feature

Transform your child’s learning disability into an academic advantage

Guest Blog by Bonnie Terry, Learning Expert


2015 October Features

Cyber Safety for Families with Joanna and Jodie on The Fish Family Morning Show 103.9FM The Fish

Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner

Genuine Life with Jodie Stevens

Jodie Stevens, hostess of The Fish Family Morning Show on 103.9FM The Fish offers insights and lessons learned about faith and recovery from addiction. Check out her blog, Genuine Life with Jodie Stevens, weekday mornings on the Family Morning Show.



ABOUT:  Banana Moments Foundation is a non-profit education center founded in Roseville, CA to strengthen the parent-child bond in a hyper-connected world. The BMF mission is to restore families with the mustard seed of faith that declares liberty already belongs to the soul because one God, the Creator of all humanity, grants every human being intelligence and free will to choose what to believe, and that is power that can never be taken, but is easily surrendered to the bully, the drug or the device. To that end, ten percent of all BMF proceeds are donated to prison ministries. Your Donations are greatly appreciated.


Joanna Jullien (Photo: Christi Benz)

Joanna Jullien
(Photo: Christi Benz)

Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She is a mother of two grown sons, the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM. Her new book, A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media is now available for PC and all eReader formats including Kindle, Nook, iPad.

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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.