Family Matters with Fern Weis

September 11, 2020

Night Walk: In memory of 9/11   A cool night, finally. A soft breeze.   Walking, walking, no distractions other than an occasional car passing by. Crickets and katydids surround me with their chirping song.   No real sense of distance in the ...

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Do you worry that your teen isn't prepared to be successful in college and life? Lacks motivation and persistence? Can't cope with mistakes and disappointment? Worry no more (or at least worry less). The 5-Day Challenge is finally here! "FROM HELPLESS TO INDEPENDENT - 5 DAYS TO GROW A HAPPY, ...

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When was the last time you had a fight with your teen? How did it turn out? Was it worth it?   It doesn’t have to be a knock-down, drag out, screaming match. Consider a fight to be any time either one of you is frustrated, angry, or shut down, and there’s no reasonable resolution to the ...

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Every so often I find myself looking back, trying to understand where my beliefs and behavior patterns come from. After all, I am a product of my past, and the people in my past. Awareness is a good thing, and what we do with it is even more important. This is your wake-up call to use the past ...

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Have you seen the movie, All I Wanna Do? It’s a relatively unknown film from the late 1990s. On the surface, this movie about an all-girls boarding school in the early 1960s is fluff. But as the story develops, we learn that some of the girls are there because they are rebels, hard to handle, there ...

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“In most ways, kids are pretty much the same as they’ve always been. Nuts. But in most ways, the world around them is incomprehensibly different. And also nuts… It is an adolescent world different from the one you recall…  When your son tells you that you 'don't understand' trust him. You don't.

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I didn't realize how much of my life I had to share, (and how messy it was) until we were in the parent program at Hyde School.  I didn't understand the amazingly positive impact it could have on my children until then.  The key, though, is telling it with humility and without ...

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No, it's not a typo. It's the truth. Kids don't listen because we've trained them not to. Keep reading and you'll see that we parents have created the monster (and there's still time to tame it). See if any of the following examples sound familiar. I remember when my kids were little and we did ...

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It’s a true story.  Eighteen-year old high school senior, Jen, wants her own car because: a) mom’s car isn’t often available to her. b) taking the bus is not cool and takes longer. c) she and her boyfriend broke up, so there goes that ride, too. We talked about Jen’s needs versus her wants, ...

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What were your labels growing up? Were you the good one, the fat one, the skinny one, the smart one, the athlete? The one with ADD, the outspoken one, the shy one, the messy one, the risk-taker? When asked to describe yourself, many of you will use a childhood label. Maybe you feel like you've been ...

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Reader Question: I have been raising three kids on my own.  Some days it’s like talking to the wall.  Early mornings and evenings you can find me vacuuming and cleaning. When I find their stuff lying around, I put it on the stairs and ask them to put it where it belongs. When I ask if they ...

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It’s a thought pattern that used to make me nuts (and I haven’t completely conquered it yet):  'Zero to disaster in 60 seconds!’ Here's how it goes.... My 16-year old son has missed two history assignments this week... He'll start falling behind and fail a test. Then he'll stop working in ...

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There are no secrets to being a ‘good’ parent. There are no truly “new” ideas out there. It’s all about a few basic principles: respect, responsibility, truth, flexibility, resilience, courage. Show it in words and actions so your kids know exactly how it looks and sounds. Those are the building ...

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You’d think the F-bomb would erode a relationship, wouldn’t you? I learned that it has the potential (after the initial reaction) to help build your relationship with your teen. The expression “F-Bomb” is an official word in the dictionary now. In my generation, growing up in the 60s and 70s, ...

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Want kids who can solve problems on their own?  Essential questions are the answer. Kids have come to rely heavily on parents and teachers to do their thinking for them.  They have become unwilling, or unable, to go beyond rote learning. In the classroom, lesson plans and curriculum are now ...

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It’s a fact.  As your kids grow up, you must grow up, too! If you are the parent of teens, you can’t treat them the way you did when they were eight. As they grow, you have to grow. What worked with a child won’t be effective anymore. The sooner you accept that, the easier adolescence will be on ...

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