Relating to children hooked on devices

Friday, December 26th, 2014

2014 November Monthly Round Up

In a recent Mamapedia article entitled “All is not lost on this iGeneration”, a modern mom of three boys explores how the use of technology impacts communication at home. “These days it seems children and teens and their devices go hand in hand,” she writes. “Where they go, it goes, and communication goes out the window.” And then quickly she turns the lens of examination towards an inter-generational perspective, reasoning that while the obsession with devices is a new human challenge for this middle-aged parent generation, the technology is not omnipotent. As has been the experience with generations past, learning how to separate self from the technology of our day, she expresses a confidence and a hope that digital natives will find their own way. “I’d like to blame these devices for my oldest son’s questionable social skills but I can’t,” she writes. “He’s as naturally shy as my other son is naturally social and my youngest is somewhere in between. It has nothing to do with the technology.”

Indeed relating to the modern child, (who is more worldly and empowered by the feeling of validation in a tap-and-click world), requires more proactive thought, reflection and conviction about your personal worldview. In generations past, the social norms for civilized conduct and compassion for fellow human beings were generally supported by the wider community norms and children were socialized at home and school accordingly. Today, the modern culture of entitlement amplified by internet-powered connectivity blurs the boundaries for personal responsibility and security.

New demands on the modern parent

A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media, offers information on house rules and cyber rites of passage.

A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media, offers information on house rules and cyber rites of passage.

Express your parental authority as a trusted resource. The network culture conditions us for authority differently than generations past. Consider that modern youth, who cannot imagine a world without WWW connectivity, perceive authority as much less a formal title or position, and more of a relational experience. And the good news is that modern youth are also seeking authenticity. This means that you as the parent must be prepared to communicate your genuine authority to impart wisdom as your passion for your child’s liberty. So in order to be authentic, your motivation is not to be in control of your child, but rather to help your child learn how to be in control of self – on and off-line.

Master your family culture. The devices and apps can easily convince a child that their freedom lies beyond the boundaries of the family domain that promote personal security from within and are manifest as beliefs, values and house rules. Be clear about and communicate your own beliefs and values relative to personal liberty, and tie house rules to your family values.  Your family culture can offer your child the boundary-setting in their own heart and mind that will help them be free agents in the network and in the flesh.

Clarify trust and faith. Open communication is the number one requirement to promote personal security for your child in their cyber-social realms as well as in the flesh.  Technology makes clandestine relationships, images and experiences inspiring shame and the chances are greater that kids are keeping painful secrets involving adult issues of bullying, exploitation and addiction.  No doubt the bad actors in the network are counting on it because shame kills open communication. Explain to your child that trust among people is always verifiable, because humans are not perfect and subject to poor choices and mistakes. Faith, on the other hand, we reserve for God who requires no proof. As the guardian of your child’s personal security you have inherent authority to monitor the communications and relationships on and off line.

To learn more about creating a family culture rooted in the mustard seed of faith that makes individual liberty possible, go to: A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media.

2014 November Monthly Round Up

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

Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner articles


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.