The Bledsoe Firm - September 2019

The Bledsoe Firm | 949.363.5551 SEPTEMBER | 2019

T he N egative I nfluence of S ocial M edia

Social media is a huge part of many people’s lives. Just about every age group participates in social media in some way — posting pictures and updates or just keeping in touch with family. Some people use Facebook, some use Instagram (which is owned by Facebook), and some stick to Snapchat and TikTok. Many use each and every popular social media platform. We all know at least one person whose day is consumed by social media. And therein lies the problem, or a big part of the problem. Whether you like it or loathe it, social media is pervasive in our society. With it comes a number of major issues, many of which have been highlighted by social media activist Collin Kartchner. My wife and I had the pleasure of meeting Collin a few years ago, and we’ve since become friends. Collin has worked hard to bring attention to the problems associated with social media. He speaks at many schools and community centers across the country, talking to both parents and teens about these problems, including one event held earlier this year in Orange County. When Collin speaks to the public, he tackles a wide range of issues, from cyberbullying to peer pressure. He also talks a lot about social media comparison. This is the phenomenon of kids and adults comparing themselves to people they follow on social media, celebrity and noncelebrity alike. So much of what we see on social media is manufactured. This is especially true of celebrities. The photos they post are curated — deliberate. They want their followers to only see a fraction of their lives.

And this is true of many people who post on social media. What we see on Instagram, for example, is just a microscopic view of that person’s life, and it’s usually the best of the best. The poster likely did everything they could to set up their photograph to convey a specific message, usually implying their life is perfect.

When people see someone else living their “best life,” it’s hard to not want that, too. You see people driving the best cars, wearing the best clothes,

going on the best vacations, and envy sets in. This can have an especially big impact on a teenager’s self-esteem and self-worth. They often feel like their life just can’t compare.

Collin talks a lot about mental health, including depression, and how social media influences people’s state of mind. He links social media not only to negative comparisons but also to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harming, and even suicidal thoughts, if not outright suicide. According to Collin, social media can take people to dark places. In 2017, Collin created #SaveTheKids and, a website dedicated to issues surrounding social media and impacting those who use it, particularly kids. Why focus on kids? Young people, after all, are the most vulnerable. They’re still forming who they are and learning about the world, which makes them all the more susceptible to the dark side of social media. I’m only scratching the surface of the larger problem and of a lot of the great work Collin has done. There is so much parents and kids can do to put a stop to these problems, including our culture’s problem of toxic perfectionism. Next month, I want to dive into these issues further, so be on the lookout for more.

—John Bledsoe

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• If they’re refusing to go to school or ride the bus, they may be dreading their bully. • If they’re rushing to the bathroom after school, it may indicate that they’re being bullied in the bathroom, which is a common tactic bullies use to avoid teachers. • If their grades suddenly change, it may be the result of constant harassment. • Anxious or depressed moods can be the result of bullying as well.


If you spot one or more of these signs, it’s time to talk to your child about what’s happening to them at school.

LISTEN When your child does open up, the best thing you can do is listen. It can be tempting to try to give them advice or question the way they handled the situation, but doing this can give your child the impression that it’s their own fault they are being bullied. Let them tell you the whole story, without judgment, and then help them come up with ideas on what to do next. FINDING THE RIGHT SOLUTION Once you’ve been informed that your child is being bullied, you should inform teachers as soon as possible. Apart from that, there are several ways you can help your child to deal with bullies, so talk to them about what approach they would be most comfortable with, such as de-escalation strategies or a buddy system with their friends. As with most conflicts, the sooner you handle the situation, the better.

A new school year is a prime opportunity for kids to make new friends among their classmates. Unfortunately, kids also form connections during the school year that aren’t always positive, and many children become the targets of school bullies. If you suspect your child is being bullied, there are a few things you can do to help. KNOW THE SIGNS Kids usually don’t open up about being bullied right away. However, there are some common signs that your child is being harassed. Here are a few of them:

2 More Reasons It Makes Sense to Get a Prenup

Final note: When it comes to prenups, you will need help from an attorney.

While prenups are not the most fun topic to talk about between two future spouses, it can prove to be a necessary conversation. Last month, we talked about three reasons why it makes sense to create a prenup. This month, we have two more.

One or both of you own a business.

Prenups must meet several specific conditions before they are enforceable in court. The judge has the

Nobody really wants their ex wrapped up in the running of a business they built from the ground up. But that’s exactly what can happen in some divorces. Sometimes divorces can even put people out of business. The problem is so bad that many partnerships or shareholder agreements demand a prenup from every person who has an ownership share in the business.

option to throw out any prenup that was made under duress, or whose terms are too one-sided. You also can’t put any “lifestyle” provisions into the prenup, like adding consequences if one partner gains too much weight. And if you don’t disclose all your assets, the judge could rule your agreement is fraudulent. If you’re taking the time and effort to protect yourself this way, the last thing you want is to see the agreement thrown out. Have you set a date for the big day? Contact our office to schedule an appointment. We can help you put together a solid prenup that helps you start your marriage off knowing you’ve done right by each other.

One or both of you create intellectual property or anticipate doing so.

Intellectual property is a much bigger issue today than it was even just a few decades ago. If one of you is a content creator, musician, or a software developer, it is more than possible that you’ll have intellectual property. And it’s likely to be one of your more valuable assets. A prenup would allow you to maintain sole ownership of that property in the event of a split, as well as all the royalties or profits that come from said property.

For more articles like this one, be sure to visit our blog at for more insight!

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W ord S earch Autumn Apple

For Unmarried Partners, Mediation May Be the Answer During a Breakup When unmarried partners determine their relationship is no longer working and decide it’s time to split, it might not be a simple breakup. This is particularly true for relationships that last several years. For unmarried couples, legal issues can potentially arise during the split that must be handled delicately and through legal channels. There are instances where the split is far more complicated than packing up a box of things and leaving. When legal issues need to be resolved in these types of situations, family mediation may be the best option. Why family mediation? Unmarried partners do not have the same legal protections as married couples. They may run into challenges as they make decisions regarding property division, child support, and child custody. In these instances, a collaborative setting through mediation can make more sense than litigation. Mediation is based on the idea of helping separating couples arrive at an amicable resolution. When the couple has a neutral party — the mediator — guiding them through open discussions, they can get down to what really matters. It can be easier to determine what each person wants to walk away with. Working through these types of separations, which can take an emotional toll much like a divorce, does not have to be adversarial or expensive. In contrast to litigation, mediation helps resolve disputes expeditiously and economically. These two features alone can reduce stress on both parties, resulting in lower tension and more positive results. If you have a serious family matter that needs to be resolved, mediation may be the answer. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our office at 949.363.5551 or visit to schedule a consultation. We can help you determine your best course of action before you move forward.

September LaborDay Football Quarterback Touchdown Homecoming Harvest Cider Leaves Sweater

Cacio e Pepe

Inspired by Bon Appetit magazine

Italian for “cheese and pepper,” cacio e pepe is like a refined version of mac and cheese. It’s crowd-pleasing enough to satisfy the pickiest eaters and refined enough to sate the foodies.


6 oz pasta, ideally spaghetti or bucatini 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and divided 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, ideally Parmigiano-Reggiano

1/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese

Kosher salt, for pasta water and to taste


1. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stopping 2 minutes short of desired doneness. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. 2. In a large pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add pepper and cook until toasted and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. 3. Transfer pasta and remaining butter to pan and reduce heat to low. Add Parmesan cheese and cook until melted, tossing pasta throughout. Remove pan from heat and add pecorino, continuing to toss until cheese is melted and sauce coats pasta. 4. Transfer to bowls and serve.

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23101 Lake Center Drive • Suite 310 Lake Forest, CA 92630




How to Respond to School Bullies


Do You Need a Prenup? 2 More Reasons It Makes Sense

What Unmarried Partners Need to Know When They Split


Cacio e Pepe


Honoring the Canines of 9/11

The 4-Legged Heroes of Ground Zero

H onoring the C anines of 9/11

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New

rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during their shifts. Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up. Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and rescue certifications after the events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes. After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies examining the effect this kind of work has on animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help:

Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of

resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service. Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris. Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors and victims. They worked through dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot

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