Tips for family conversations about internet porn and sex

Monday, November 2nd, 2015
According to a recent report from Aleteia, at the fall annual assembly of U.S. Catholic Bishops in Baltimore, scheduled for November 16-19, there will be a vote to issue a general statement about pornography as a “pastoral crisis”. The purpose of this general statement is to educate clergy, parents and young people about this crisis for families and society.

Simple steps to teach your child to be cyber-safe with texting and social media

Monday, October 12th, 2015
Every day youth are exposed to the latest digital hangouts – most of it is adult swim, content that features bullying (ask.fm, YikYak), addiction (drugs and alcohol glorified) and exploitation (gratuitous sex and consumer hype). This reality of the cyber realm, this brave new world can be intimidating to confront if you are the parent of a middle schooler. A recent Contra Costa Times article featured awareness with the title: “There is nothing simple about parenting in the digital age”. Well, I beg to differ.

Defining self-worth in the social network

Friday, October 9th, 2015
While the drive to fit in and feel connected is prominent during adolescent years anyway, this drive is intensified and can be used against them in very powerful ways with mobile devices and apps like Twitter, Instagram and SnapChat. Cooper Anderson sums up beautifully how being 13 is different today with social media: “There are so many more witnesses.” When we aim to have a relationship with a crowd, our life focus centers on pleasing people which inspires great anxiety. The simple truth is that self worth is first realized from within and then expressed outwardly; it is that inner knowing that we were created uniquely for a purpose that cannot be found by consulting the crowd or measured in worldly terms (sex, approval ratings, and money)...

Communicating the practical value of virtues to the cyber-powered kid

Monday, October 13th, 2014
It helps to be clear that the conversation with your child is not about you; it is about the child learning how to take command over their own life and you are the primary teacher. You may draw upon your own experience, but do not allow the conversation to digress into your adolescence and childhood. The idea here is to encourage your child to seek conversations with you about how to apply virtues in their life so you can encourage them to seek Wisdom (James 1:5) from the Lord and impart your wisdom.

Talking with confidence about internet porn and sexting

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
This talk explores ways to have a meaningful conversation with your child about sexual exploitation, and in particular as it relates to internet porn and sexting.

Preparing for internet porn and sex in the social network

Thursday, June 12th, 2014
Internet porn and sexting is about power and control in the realm of hearts and minds; it is about human exploitation which is glorified on and off line in popular culture and in cyber-powered peer communities. These are adult issues because they evoke primal emotion that can be challenging to tame at any age, and our job as the primary teachers is to help children learn how to discipline their own thinking so they can overcome responses to such worldly images and experiences that can make us feel powerless. Moreover, historically, parenting is viewed as a prevention only exercise. Conventional wisdom of popular parenting culture suggests that if we are good parents our children will become model citizens beyond reproach. And yet, the physical and cyber realms of our world introduce the pressure to surrender personal power (i.e, the free will to choose what to believe and then how to respond) with very seductive, convincing, addictive and exploitative agendas of others that disturb the peace and can disrupt our capacity to think with the mind of our greater selves -the divinity within.

How to advocate for the education of the modern child: It’s personal

Thursday, June 12th, 2014
When my sons were in grade school, they each in their own way declared that their academic education was the teacher’s job, not mine. And just as my children were arguing for a sacred division of labor between parents and teachers, I explained with divine confidence that there could be no doubt that their education was ultimately the parents’ responsibility. I cannot say that I understood their logic for declaring their education none of my business, but I do know that it was important for me to form a united front with the teacher, so that my sons would not feel like they were serving two masters. And while I did my best not to assert my personal opinions about their academic performance, the expectation of the children in our home as students was simple: behave and do your personal best. My children knew that if they failed a class, they better still be getting an “A” in citizenship. And for me this was a no-brainer because if they knew how to behave in the classroom, they would capable of learning something if they so choose. Over the past decade, I have observed our system of academic education to be a somewhat emotional area for parenthood as the anecdotal evidence suggests that a college degree is not a panacea what with all the debt financing and a lackluster job market. In a recent New York Times article about whether college was worth it, it is interesting to me that the case was made that in the long run, earning a college degree, despite the cost, is worth it. One of the conclusions this journalist asserts is that college has become what was once the value of a high school degree. I perceive this to be true. I wonder what high school lessons consisted of 100 years ago and if we might find it resembling more college level learning. And by the same token, the benefits from the pursuit of education in any venue is such a personal matter because in order to be truly fruitful, enrolling in an educational institution still requires the individual to apply herself in some meaningful way. The most important thing a child can learn is how to seek and realize their personal mission in life; to embrace a strong sense of purpose to guide them. In this context, some children are college bound and others are not. So how will you receive your child if she decides not to pursue a traditional college education? Is a college degree the only path for her success in life? In this regard, child rearing expert, Madeline Levine cautions us in her book, Teach the Children Well, to be careful about levying a very narrow definition of success for our children because it causes emotional trauma and harm; it is indeed a boundary violation even though we may choose call it love language.

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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.

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