The bond that trumps biology is essential to the modern parent

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
Just as internet connectivity redefined authority as a relational experience creating a power crisis for parents, so too the state of families presents new demands for learning how to love and overcome complex and dynamic challenges. When people express concern for the state of family today, (i.e., more households are headed by single parents or composed of blended families), I am reminded that we should not take for granted biology as being the origin of a love relationship; when in fact, the example of Jesus’ birth is that of a blended family characterized by adoption. In this regard, my faith informs me that God allows only what He also intends to bless us with a path for restoration. So the structural state of the family for me is less concerning than the cultural state of family (hearts and minds) that nurtures the parent-child bond. We live in a parenting culture focused on housing our children in the physical realm while blaming the cyber realm for children’s issues and unrest, when indeed this power crisis is a wakeup call to strengthen family bonds right where we are. And forming family bonds cannot be mandated or legislated. It requires free will. Accordingly, my conversations summarized below with Mike Barnette, offering perspectives about his single and step-parenthood experience, and MiMi Challstrom, an adoptive mother who maintained a relationship with the birth mother, express how the commitment of love transcends challenging circumstances.

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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.