Connecting parents and their childrenit’s about sharing it’s about caring it’s about family
What it is… FamilyeJournal is an interactive website that promotes family closeness by providing a simple and private way forfamily members to express their thoughts and feelings to one another.
Who it is for… Every family can benefit by improving their communication. The “busy” family can benefit by its universalaccessibility while the family that “just can’t seem totalk” can use it to open the lines of communication.
Why it works… The written word is a powerful tool. At first glanceFamilyeJournal may seem overly simplistic but having the opportunity to express how you really feel, without the pressures of face-to-facecommunication, will give each family member a voice and a true chance to be heard.
Why we need it… Every family can benefit from improving theircommunication. The eJournal makes it fun and easy to open the lines of communication. Studies showthat if children feel connected they are less likely to be involved in destructive behavior.
Established in September 2002“We do in life what is truly important to us and we donot wait to do it.” - Kevin Strauss FamilyeJournal.com goes live January 21, 2003Now or Never, LLC is dissolved in 2006 but FEJ lives on.
Background• Connectedness is key• When connectedness is gone high-risk behaviorincreases
Background (cont.)High-Risk Behaviors (www.cdc.gov) 1. Alcohol and Drug Use 2. Injury and Violence (including Suicide) 3. Tobacco Use 4. Nutrition 5. Physical Activity 6. Sexual Risk Behaviors
Background (cont.)Reality gap - the difference between what parentsthink their children are doing and what the childrensay they are actually doing.Example: • 56% of parents believe their teens would call them for a ride home from a party • 13% of teens say they would call their parents for transportation
Background (cont.)Teens rank Teen Suicide as 5th on their list ofconcerns whereas parents rank it as 17th.Leading Cause of Death (CDC, 2004) • Age 10-14 and 15-24 •Suicide – 3rd
Let’s be honest…“No matter what it is you’re doing, you can always improve.” - Kevin Strauss
Current Solutions1. Books2. Pamphlets3. Seminars4. Websites5. Professional Counseling, etc.Nearly infinite resources providing tips on “how to talk” to your kids/parents.
FamilyeJournal (FEJ)Improving family relationships and face-to-facecommunication by re-establishing trust and rapport throughhonest, open and guided written communication.Communication lines open on the very first day!
How it works…1. A Family Leader registers your family and creates a password-protected account for each family member.2. Family members log into the website anytime, anywhere and answer a few simple, guided questions on their Daily Experience Worksheet.3. Additional space is provided for a family member to write freely.4. Completed Daily Experience Worksheets can be read by only your family members.5. Users can also write private memos to individual family members.
Daily Experience Worksheet (DEW)• Four questions help you to write about your thoughts andfeelings.• Questions change daily• Answers saved for 30 days• Read answers from any other member of your family
DEW Sample Set1. How would you rate your day on a scale of 1 to 10?2. What was the best part of your day? Why?3. What was the most troubling part of your day? Why?4. What thought was most on your mind today?Additional thoughts?
Memo• An email feature limited only to members of your family• Allows one-on-one communication
The Power of the Pen - Online1. Anonymity – A level of dissociation2. Invisibility – No non-verbal communication3. Asynchronicity – Time to think before responding4. It’s all in my head – Dialogue in the “mind’s ear” is free and safe5. Leveling the playing field – Online status is based on your writing skills and quality of ideas6. Interaction effects – Online communication has a disinhibition effect The Psychology of Cyberspace by Dr. John Suler
Benefits of eJournaling• Perfect for all family types, styles and ages• User-friendly website• Fun!• Private and secure• Fast – only a few minutes a day• Free• And, it really works!