Regretfully, I must open this update with the reality about the life and death decisions our children are making in the social network and in the flesh. As the Chair of the Coalition for Placer Youth I was invited to attend a vigil for a Rocklin senior high school student who committed suicide. According to family and friends he was well-liked, a good student and had every reason to have a good future. In a news interview with his mother, she said something profoundly true for every parent: “How could I know that he had these thoughts in his head???”
At the vigil, another beautiful mother of a 14-year-old daughter who had committed suicide 18 months earlier expressed her grief to me that as a community, and as a society, we have not yet figured out how to help youth struggling with suicidal thoughts and the pain inspiring those thoughts. “One death is too many,” she declared.
I agree. Our children need us to do this.
Children need us to learn how to really connect with them as they are indeed experiencing extreme pressure and emotion in the cyber-powered society. Indeed it is easy to keep secrets that harbor great risks. So we must be courageous about the vulnerability of our shared humanity. Getting anxious and worried for them will not help. Our tech-savvy children are experiencing adult swim in strong currents. Youth today, with all this cyber connectivity are vulnerable and resilient to feelings of isolation; straight-A students, high performing athletes and the popular students are not exempt. This pressure knows no boundary of creed or social background. All children are exposed with great intensity to the adult issues of anxiety and depression, bullying and violence, addictions, sexual exploitation.
So what is a parent to do if we are not actually in control of our children’s thoughts and actions?
If a child can perceive that everything they need to know, and all their independence can be gained through use of these mobile devices and apps, who needs a parent, a teacher, a coach or benevolent deity even, to impart wisdom?
This is the raw truth about our humanity. It is simple. We cannot know our children’s thoughts unless they choose to share them. And no matter how good of a job we do as a parent to make ourselves accessible, and teach them discipline, a desire to be in control of their thoughts and actions is at best misguided and at worst it is actually hostile. Seeking to be in control of how our children’s life goes is the first step towards killing open communication because they have the same powers of the soul as adults, which are ignited with cyber connectivity. And without open communication, there is no opportunity to impart your wisdom. The child remains in control of their own thoughts and actions either way. The best we can offer is to learn how to impart wisdom and instill discipline as empowerment.
As an ancient cyber mom (my sons are 27 and 33 years old), I have studied how pedophiles, commercial interests and bullies capture the hearts and minds of youth in the social network, and this same understanding is how parents can learn to impart wisdom. The trick is to understand the difference between your opinion (which is always limited human understanding that also carries a vibe of judgment or condemnation) and wisdom (which are eternal thoughts that bring about peace, empower others and transcend religious dogma).
The objective is to inspire your child to want to hear from you, especially when they are in a crisis that inspires shame and hopelessness; to “click” on your intelligent heart and receive the download of guidance you can offer to help them choose to know and do better.
As it turns out, this concern about the fact that we cannot control our children’s thoughts and actions is also a homeland security matter. Over the past nine months I have been hanging out with Mikenzie Howard, a private contractor with the Department of Homeland Security/Office of Community Partnerships. She has taught me how social media is effectively used to radicalize and recruit youth into extremist groups (gangs, terrorists, neo-Nazi’s, etc.) who advocate violence in response to social justice issues.
On September 22, 2017 Core Connectivity will be holding a regional symposium on countering the radicalization of youth into violent extremism by strengthening the role of parents and family culture in the lives of tech-savvy youth. This event is for every parent, educator, civic leader, mental health professional, coach, faith leader and law enforcement official who has a desire to:
learn how radicalization happens quickly with social media
understand the elements of family culture that parents can learn to control and thereby engage the hearts and minds of youth
examine how trauma can be translated into new strengths
To learn more about the speakers and register to save your seat, go here: Building resilient youth and families in response to violent extremism Attendee packets with bios of presenters and the learning objectives will be issued via email prior to the event.
For we know it is imperative to press on and faithfully reclaim our children from the violent ideologies amplified in the social network.
I hope to see you there.
If you cannot attend the event, and want to support our work to educate parents and youth about regulating their response to cyber-social pressures, make a donation. Inquire with Joanna about corporate donor opportunities. Thank you.
- Building youth resilience to violent extremism in the social network
- Three reasons why smartphones are not to blame for the isolation and depression of tech-savvy youth
- How to avoid social media traps: Aim for the bull’s-eye
- Back to school: Helping tech-savvy youth succeed at school
- Help youth respond to the ‘triple-dog-dares’ of social media
- A response to the heroin epidemic: Remove the cone of silence at home
- How the brains of tech-savvy youth can be hacked, and what to do about it
- Empowering logic to counter ‘13 Reasons Why’ a child commits suicide
- Cannabis 101 for parents: Two truths about today’s pot
- Stop yelling at me! Why your child might not hear what you have to say
- Understanding the role of a parent in a teen’s success
- How to get educated about the apps and devices that interest your child
We are indeed fault tolerant.
This mini-book offers fundamental thought leadership to restore parental confidence for people of all creeds and social backgrounds, in the face of the adversity we and our children are experiencing including anxiety, bullying, addictions, and sexual exploitation.
By Joanna Jullien
Available on Kindle and in paper pack
Get your copy! 2017 edition
A helpful tool: Common Sense Media Guide to Non-Violent Video Games
Keep medications out of the hands of youth: Check out: SaferLock
Core Connectivity 2017 – Fall Symposium
Building resilient families and communities in response to violent extremism
The role of parents and family life to make a more peaceful society
Friday, September 22, 2017 –8:30am sign in/9am to 3:30pm
5770 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento, California
- In Partnership with:
- Great is Thy Faithfulness/Outside the Walls Ministries in Sacramento
- Dr. Joyce Mikal-Flynn, Metahab specializing in trauma and resilience
- Mikenzie Howard, Senior Community Engagement Coordinator in Northern California, DHS Office for Community Partnerships
- Prison Families Aftercare in Auburn
Learning objectives to promote resilience
- How youth are radicalized to associate with groups that promote extreme violence and why local solutions matter.
- How youth specifically perceive their future based upon their childhood and family experiences.
- Clarify the hopeful connection between adverse experiences, trauma and resilience.
- The role of parents and family culture in building resilience to radicalization of youth.
- To better understand the practical value of faith, i.e., how you choose to perceive and act upon the role of God in your life, as a core resource to overcome the adversity and violence our youth encounter in their world.
- Clarify the community service values of law enforcement as an agency to protect public safety and keep the peace.
Working with the Addict in Early Recovery:
The Interpersonal Neurobiology of
Addiction & Trauma
- Women’s Association for Addiction Treatment (WAAT) – Sacramento Chapter
- Speaker: Curtis Buzanski, LMFT, LAADC
- Wednesday, September 13, 2017
- 8:30am to 10am
- 2400 Marconi Ave. Suite B, Sacramento, CA
LET’S WORK TOGETHER
Host an event at your home, church, business or school
Fresh Start Families: Raising kids to be smarter than the devices
Core Connectivity offers Fresh Start Family Culture training to help parents exercise control over the home in ways that builds trust so as to instill discipline and empower family members. To book an event at your school or church, contact Joanna or 916-521-7203
Fresh Start Family – Two 90-minutes sessions. To take an assessment and discuss whether this will meet your family need, contact Joanna or 916-521-7203
We certify Educators, Counselors and Therapists to integrate Fresh Start family culture principles into their practice
- Learn more about Fresh Start Certification
- Schedule an appointment to discuss Fresh Start Certification for your practice: contact Joanna
- Cyber Safety for Families (Videos)
- Follow Joanna @cyberparenting
- Like Core Connectivity
- Request Core Connectivity updates via email
About: We are a non-profit education center founded in Roseville, CA to strengthen the parent-child bond in a hyper-connected world. Our mission is to restore families with the mustard seed of faith that declares liberty already belongs to the soul because one God, the Creator of all humanity, grants every human being intelligence and free will to choose what to believe, and that is power that can never be taken, but is easily surrendered to the bully, the drug or the device. To that end, ten percent of all proceeds are donated to prison ministries. Your donations are greatly appreciated. (Donations are payable to Banana Moments Foundation).
Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and consultant on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber-powered world. She is a former technology executive trained in behavioral science at U.C. Berkeley, a mother of two grown sons, and an author of books for practical guidance on parenting, growing up and family life in the network culture. As a family and technology culture advisor, Joanna has appeared on 103.9FM The Fish, 710AM Keeping Faith in America, 1380AM The Answer, and Examiner.com.