Harvesting the good from evil in the social network

Monday, October 13th, 2014

The need for Banana Moments Foundation and Fresh Start parenting


Return to Contents: 2014 Fall Edition of Banana Moments Family Business Quarterly

FreshStart_Cover_full page (2)Now more than ever it is important to create a family culture that is transparent (no secrets) and promotes open communication about what is happening on and off line.

This cannot be accomplished with a fearful heart. And yet it remains for most parents that overcoming fear is one of the greatest challenges because mobile connectivity introduces so much evil into the cyber social realms that we and our children navigate. The headlines are full of examples from the Slenderman meme who inspired two 12-year-olds to attempt to brutally murder a fellow classmate by stabbing her multiple times, to extreme drug and alcohol abuse glorified as the new norm, and cyber-powered bullying that the CDC has called a “new form of violence” leaving many children traumatized and some so hopeless to the point of suicide. The internet-world can easily convince parents that their children are facing risks in the social network that will certainly destroy or harm them. And by the same token, the network culture can convince children that everything they need to know they can simply google – such that  the role of the parent, teacher, coach and the benevolent deity, essential to impart wisdom, is pushed to the side. Truly there is nothing new under the sun.

The modern child seeks authentic leadership

  • Human nature is the same as it ever was, and innovation finds new ways to express and experience the best and the worst of the world.

The blessing of this cyber power crisis is that the new demand on the modern parent is to deepen the relationship with their children in ways that go beyond that of previous generations. The spiritual authenticity required to effectively parent the free will of a child today I see as the good  hidden by the evil; the opportunity nested in the threat; the victory to snatch from the jaws of defeat made possible by the power of the one mustard seed of faith that spawned a free society: God’s sovereignty and free will governing the life of the individual.

  • Children need parents to be confident teachers for living a liberated life so they can recognize and ignore evil, and stand their ground.

    Photo: via Flicker

    Slenderman meme. Who will your children follow in the social network? Photo: via Flicker

This concept was crystallized for me last month by Fr. Emmerich Vogt, a Dominican priest visiting St. Joseph Marello Catholic Parish in Granite Bay, California. He shared his insights about the Christian faith and what intrigued me is the idea that God chose not to eliminate evil, but rather to pull good from evil. Citing examples of saints whose backgrounds involved perpetrating or being victims of evil, Vogt makes the case for God’s strategy to overcome evil with good – which is the hope for humanity. “The problem with many Christians”, Vogt declares, “Is that they fail to see the good in other cultures and so there is divisiveness.” This is true for parenthood and the network culture. There is a risk of not seeing the good in the use of the technology by fearfully seeking to micromanage it and abdicating genuine authority to govern the home, not the device and the child.

  • To this end, Banana Moments Foundation was founded to inform and inspire parents as household executives about their inherent capacity to lead children to be cyber-safe citizens.

This means that it is not enough to set house rules and enforce consequences. There must be a bonding with children around the truth that choosing to obey boundaries that keep you free from undue influence is the only way to be free; this bonding inspires every individual to think for himself and use free will wisely and is communicated through a family culture of transparency and individual accountability.  Accordingly, Fresh Start training teaches parents the fundamentals of creating a family culture to function more like a sanctuary from the cyber social storm, wherein children feel safe to come home and talk about their experiences on and off line, and then parents can impart wisdom and instill discipline.

Help transform the parenting culture to meet the new demands of the network culture

Your donation will help promote the Fresh Start training to more communities and expand the marketing capacity to freely share Banana Moments monthly and quarterly updates that educate parents about youth and cyber trends and offer insights and perspectives to strengthen the parent-child bond.

You can make tax-deductible annual donations

$25.00 –Your thank you gift: The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture (PDF)


$50.00 –Your thank you gift: Fresh Start Family Culture Builder for Household Executives (PDF)


$100 — Your thank you gift: A Google World in the Garden of Eden – Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media (PDF) and Fresh Start Family Culture Builder for Household Executives (PDF)

You choose the $ amount and frequency

Your thank you gift: Cyber Rites of Passage – How to establish age-appropriate boundaries for children using smart devices (PDF)

Proceed to next article: Parenting free will – Dealing with power and discipline struggles

Return to Contents: 2014 Fall Edition of Banana Moments Family Business Quarterly


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 Examiner.com, 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 (jullien@surewest.net) 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.