Family Matters with Fern Weis

September 2, 2015

Do you know that praising your child can backfire? You're probably trying to boost his self-esteem, and make him feel better about himself. When you praise the child, however, you are filling him with your own hopes and desires about who you want him to be. He may also feel incapable of living up ...

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One of you may be unable to tolerate the kids’ nonsense and is easily frustrated, while the other is more even-tempered. Or maybe your partner is consistent with discipline and you are the ‘soft touch’.  In a two-parent home, it’s common for each of you to have different strengths, challenges and ...

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Here’s a thought pattern that used to make me nuts (and I haven’t completely conquered it yet):  'Zero to disaster in 60 seconds!'  I'll bet some of you have experienced it, too. Here's how it goes.... Your 16-year old son has missed two history assignments this week... He'll start falling ...

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From a TV commercial – Scene: Parents are in the kitchen. Daughter enters, hugs mom and screams, “I just got into one of the best schools in the country!” What the father heard: “I just got into one of the most expensive schools in the country!” This is a great example of how what you hear ...

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In the age of ‘give me, buy me, get me” it’s important to be prepared for the nagging and deflection our kids are so good at.  Today’s discussion is based on a real conversation with a client.   Be prepared for the nagging when it comes, because it will come in one form or another. It's a ...

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“Dad, can you give me gas money?”  “Mom, can I have money to buy new shoes?”  “Mommy, can we buy some candy?” Give me, buy me, get me.  Whether your child is five or fifteen, they tend to assume that you will have an ‘open wallet policy’. It’s never too early, or too late, for them to understand ...

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We've heard all the stories: Thomas Edison designed the light bulb 1,000 times until it finally worked.  He learned 999 ways NOT to make a light bulb. Michael Jordan missed more than 9,000 shots, lost 300+ games, and missed 26 game-winning shots. He attributes all of those losses to his ...

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Now that we’ve mostly come out of hibernation (are you with us, Minnesota?) it’s time to air out and clean out. Done any spring cleaning yet? You can clean out and organize your closets and clean your car all while saving some serious cash (and teaching your kids about money while you’re at it).

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MONTVILLE, NJ - When looking back at your teen years, many of you would say that you wouldn't want to repeat them, or that you were relieved when you moved on to college or a job.  Understandably, you want to protect your children from that turmoil, and from what feels like a dangerous world.  ...

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MONTVILLE, NJ - Before you can deal with a problem or emotion, you have to be able to name it and describe it. This goes double for teens. The problem is that their vocabulary for describing what they're feelings is seriously limited. When was the last time you got more than happy, mad, sad, ...

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MONTVILLE, NJ - You want your children to leave the nest one day, confident and self-sufficient.  You won't always be able to protect them and walk them through every difficulty, nor should you. You want them to be able to financially support themselves, have good friends and relationships, to ...

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There's a lot to learn about parenting and families on TV- what to do and what not to do. This includes the commercials. A recent commercial really pushed my buttons, instantly. Take a look at "Mom, I lost my backpack again," my response to a commercial from Ebates. The next time you watch ...

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Laura and I had our third coaching session just two days ago. She came to me because she was worried about her 14 year old son who was slacking off in school and in danger of failing classes. There were also problems at home with getting cooperation and respecting limits. At our last session, ...

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The March Family Tip expert interview is here.  Erica Danziger, Holistic Health Coach, will be my guest to talk about  "From Market to Table:  Simple supermarket strategies to improve your family's health."  Erica is a Holistic Health Coach and owner of Nature Girl Wellness. She will ...

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Have you noticed how many 17-18 year olds don't have their driver's license? It's surprising, if not shocking, to those of us who saw a car as a necessity for having any kind of social life. I was watching American Graffiti and it got me thinking about how differently adults and kids see what ...

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I remember when my kids were toddlers and wouldn’t let up about something they wanted. Fast forward 10 plus years, and it seemed as if nothing much had changed. They still wheedled and whined. You know what I’m talking about. As teens, your kids are bigger, louder, have more words, and want more ...

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The latest and greatest in business-building is to ‘create a movement’. Having a movement, a mission, means that the people who share your belief will follow and support you.  So I asked myself the question:  What do I believe? What do I believe that is woven into my very being, that I want to ...

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Does this sound familiar when your child comes home from school? How was your day?  Fine. How was school?  Good. How was the test?  Okay. Anything else to tell me?  Nope. Not much going on there!  These are sure-fire conversation killers. And whatever question you do ask, ...

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Healthy habits take time to develop. You don’t just decide one day to have a new, productive habit and voila, it’s done! Now imagine you’re trying to get your whole family on board. It takes everyone’s buy-in, repetition and practice to do it consistently and to do it well. IT CAN BE DONE and ...

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A positive attitude (or even a less negative attitude) has the potential to change lives. This came through loud and clear while reading The Roller-Coaster Years - Raising Your Child Through the Maddening Yet Magical Middle School Years (Gianetti & Sagarese). This is a fascinating book for ...

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One day at school I was talking to a colleague. I asked a question, he gave me a serious answer. This man usually jokes around a lot, so I enjoyed having a more intimate conversation with him. When he's joking around, I find myself playing along and being part of it. But if I'm honest about it, ...

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Do you find yourself fighting the urge to say to your teen, “Been there, done that. Let me show you how it’s done”? I do, too… although looking back to my younger days, I can honestly say that I learned the most when I had to solve things myself. (On a personal note, my children were amazed ...

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Healthy habits take time to develop. You don’t just decide one day to have a new, productive habit and voila, it’s done! Now imagine you’re trying to get your whole family on board. It takes everyone’s buy-in, repetition and practice to do it consistently and to do it well.  IT CAN BE DONE and ...

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Have you read the book by Shel Silverstein called The Giving Tree?  It's an illustrated children's book about a boy and the tree who loves him.  As the boy grows, he always needs something.  The tree keeps giving of herself - leaves, branches, trunk.  She gives and gives, and he takes and takes ...

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More family time, paying off debt, cleaning out the basement, a deeper relationship, more exercise.  The list of things we want to accomplish goes on and on, year after year... with most of them making it back to the top ten, year after year.  When will it end?   Parents, ditch the list! ...

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I hear too many parents (especially moms) say: -  “Who am I when I’m not being a mom?” -  “Did I really have a life before kids?” -  “It’s selfish to do something just for me.”   No, it’s not selfish. It is critical to set aside time for yourself, whether it involves your ...

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You’ve heard me say it before: your attitude affects just about everything. And this applies to how receptive you are to learning, or to being taught. Do you think you know it all? And if you know you don’t know it all, are you willing to learn?  Your value, in all facets of life, is in your ...

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As the song says, "It's the most wonderful time of the year." Or is it? Are the holidays like a Hallmark card in your home? Or do you anticipate some tense moments? Now is the time to think about how you can get some help with preparations and how to handle everyone being together. It's ...

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Sixty percent of students take five to six years to complete college (or don’t graduate at all). A big reason is that they are not emotionally equipped to be successful. It takes more than good grades to be prepared for college. It takes resilience, persistence and knowing how to deal with ...

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My neighbor returned some children's books I lent her to read to her young daughters. Seeing the titles brought back all sorts of sweet memories of reading to my own children. The thing is, we read those books well into their teens! They have a soft spot for those books and remember those ...

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