Why banning books and people from your teen’s life does not make them more secure

Friday, April 10th, 2015
Banning books is an irrational act based off of fear. Likewise, “banning” certain kids from your child’s life is fear-based restriction. The other day I learned that several of one of my favorite author’s novels was on the “banned list” for quite a few years. Now, Hemingway is a well known author who is mentioned and studied in English classes. Among his novels are satires on alcoholism in his own life. Now, we all know that there are people your child will encounter who are interested in or have experience with alcohol or other drugs. This really isn’t any different than them reading one of Hemingway’s novels.

What is free wifi really costing you?

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015
I recently went to Disneyland with friends and you would not believe the amount of people, parents on their phones. Here’s the thing, take your pictures, but posting them on Facebook and/or Instagram can wait. It sets a bad example for children. Teach them to stay in the moment. I think children are sometimes way more present than adults.

You have more in common with your smartphone than you think

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015
It is only human to “reach for the stars” and share our dreams with one another, but we can’t actually make these things reality if we settle for a habitual routine of “liking” and posting.

The value of friends you don’t see very often

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015
This week I’d like to share a bit about the Placer County Youth Commission (PCYC). I have a profound love for this group and there are some great reasons why. First, some background information about PCYC. It is a team of “high-schoolers” and young college students from various cities within Placer County. PCYC is led by Kara Sutter, a wonderful community leader who works to prevent substance abuse among youth across the county. Our goal, as a commission, is to come up with unique ideas to help raise awareness for youth and fight against underage drinking and address current youth issues in a healthy way.

Love and sincerity don’t come from a ‘like’

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015
Contrary to popular belief, “likes” don’t and shouldn't mean much to people. It takes about ten seconds to see something and decide to “like” it, maybe less. Now consider this- it also takes about ten seconds for someone to give you a genuine complement in person. Too bad not many people do that anymore. And it’s because people don’t tend to give genuine compliments anymore that we are drawn to looking for that attention on social media.

Access to your child’s social media will not stop cyberbullying

Monday, January 26th, 2015
...Granting schools access to the social media of a child suspected of bullying may complicate things and create more harm. It would, it seems, make more sense to mandate the parent provide access to the account without giving up the password, so as to facilitate the investigation of an incident and limit access for that purpose alone. If the school’s mandate is to stop bullies because of the threat of lawsuits or career black eyes, and the fearful mindset is to seek control of individuals rather than teaching all students involved to expect accountability with compassion and to seek the justice for all involved, then we are at risk of perpetuating the “blame” mentality which inspires more bullying by the “righteous”...

Help your child avoid posting inappropriate photos on-line: There is an app for that

Monday, December 15th, 2014
Last Wednesday the Sacramento Sheriff’s Hi-Tech Crimes detectives arrested a 21-year-old man for possession of child pornography. According to the press release, he had been employed as a recreational aid at a Sacramento region elementary school and after school program. This arrest reminds us that bad actors can appear harmless and go undetected while they are actively searching for victims on and off line. So how can parents protect their children? Detective James Williams, of the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department of Internet Crimes Against Children wants parents to know that predators target youth who are seeking love, affection and attention – for whatever the reason. “The child is searching for something and the predator is targeting this vulnerability,” he said. Williams says that parents ask him about recommendations for spying software, which he does not encourage. “The best approach is a positive one,” he said, explaining that spy software will not solve the problem if you are not involved with your children’s life. “It is easy for kids to keep secrets with the texting apps like Kik Messenger, which is not a part of the texting function,” he said.

To stay informed about their on-line world parents advised to treat teens experts

Monday, November 10th, 2014
If you have a teen, you know all too well how mobile connectivity intensifies the power crisis for teens and parents. It is not new that teens feel like their parents are irrelevant, and it is true that our children’s adolescence is informing them radically differently than that of our own. Modern youth are conditioned differently for authority. Rather than as a matter of position or title, authority is perceived more as a relational experience of feeling validated in a world interconnected without interference from hierarchy, time or distance. Some of the ways in which youth may be unduly influenced in this hyper networked environment include the following perceptions:

How to know if your child is being bullied: A teen’s advice to parents

Monday, October 13th, 2014
Fifteen-year-old Julia Shohbozian of Rocklin has overcome the bully climate at her high school by making her world bigger than the small-minded clicks creating a very hostile social climate on campus. For her junior year in high school, she opted to enroll in independent study and has started taking classes at Sierra College and is very happy that she made a decision to expand her world. She also serves on the Placer County Youth Commission that advises the County Board of Supervisors on matters of public policy and youth perspective. “I realized that if my peers didn’t care about me, then why should I care about what they think about me,” she said, "I am not interested in judging other people for entertainment".

Is being right more important than your relationship with your child?

Saturday, January 18th, 2014
My two cents: Being right is not more important than your relationship with your child. If you are primarily concerned about being right, then you risk alienating your children which makes imparting wisdom nearly impossible. It is possible to correct your child with a merciful heart. Sometimes your child may need to forgive you for being right, because he is offended by the truth. When that happens, invite your child to think about forgiving you for doing your duty or being "right", thus leaving the door open for more conversation and learning something about one another. ... Habakkuk 3:19 The Lord God is my strength, And he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, And he will make me to walk upon mine high places.

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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.