The one thing cyber-powered kids need parents to believe

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Photo of girl demonstrating how to get around the fingerprint security of her dad’s mobile phone. Photo:

Last night I spoke at the Granite Bay National Charity League meeting at the Lutheran Church in Granite Bay. The topic was “governing a cyber-powered home”.

My talk focused on an image that came across my desk on Sunday about the new iPhone 5S . Check out this picture from a Mashable article of the little girl duping the fingerprint security feature by using her dad’s thumb to open the smart phone while he is fast asleep, exhausted on the couch.

I love this photo because it is a powerful image about the challenge of the modern parent; it portrays the natural glee and desire of children attracted to the devices, which capture their full attention and their cunning to access it.

The photo also typifies for me the power crisis cyber technology presents to the family, and the opportunity for parents to bond around the authority in every individual to think for themselves and be free from undue influence.  Children must learn what it means to be self-governing at early ages because they are naturals at navigating and exploring the digital realm, and they delight in it. And more importantly this cyber realm is where the peer, commercial, and perverse agendas of others can easily shape our children’s perceptions into beliefs and values that are beneath them.

What you believe matters: The application of faith at home

Home is where the family lives and is supposed to be a sanctuary, which requires faith because faith offers a measure of security and peace. The elements of faith include personal values that shape family culture:

  • Loyalty
  • Fidelity and trustworthiness
  • Sincerity of intentions
  • Complete trust

The social value of faith elements include:

  • A firm belief as a community in something for which there is no proof : God, who grants individuals intelligent life and free will
  • Something that is believed especially with strong conviction
  • A system of religious beliefs

Parenting is a divine appointment. Freedom from the manipulation of the social network comes from our God-given ability to think for ourselves. Photo Cover: Christi Benz

So the faith that matters most for cyber-powered kids is this mustard seed of faith that made the founding of the United States possible in the first place. We live in a free society governed by the belief that the individual has civil liberty, or free will, granted by their Creator. This power is then surrendered to government in limited amounts to protect civil liberty.

The most important question for the modern parent in the network culture is what do you believe? What is your motivation for governing the home? To be in control of your child’s life, or to create a safe and instructive environment wherein your child learns how to be self-governing with cyber tools and limit the power they give up in the social network including the pitfalls of addiction and depression, pedophilia, sexting and cyberbullying.

To learn more about creating a family culture to promote cyber-safe thinkers, go to:

A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media

Fresh Start Family Culture Builder for Household Executives



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 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.