wayne

Family Matters with Fern Weis

September 25, 2022

A mom shared that she had been looking forward to some quiet time. Unfortunately, her teen (who didn’t yet have a license) came to her and asked, wheedled, and whined for a ride to a last-minute meet up with friends. Mom felt cornered. How to say no without coming off as angry and resentful seemed ...

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Do you do and do and do for others? What are the downsides and the benefits? (While my focus is on parenting, this post applies to most relationships.) Benefits: 1.         You feel better when doing and giving. 2.         You feel more in control. 3.         Your child may truly ...

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Looking back at your teen years, you might say 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. But they don’t talk to you, and don’t ...

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Ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby… Nothing can prepare us for the reality of being a parent. There are beautiful highs and horrible lows and everything in between. And when we’re struggling with a teen who no longer seems to need us; who may be taking risks; veering off the path we dreamed ...

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Do your teen's behaviors drive you over the edge? The worse the behavior, the more you need to listen. Difficult behaviors can mean your child is struggling with something, not necessarily trying to give you a hard time. They don't wake up in the morning and think, "How can I make Mom/Dad ...

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Do you find it hard to have any credibility with your teen? Join the club. They can't yet see that we know anything worth knowing. That's because they're on a quest to figure everything out for themselves. You can't possibly understand what they're going through... so they say. And I say, let ...

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I am not a mind reader... and neither are you. This had been my flawed belief for so long: yearning for someone to do the right thing or give me what I want without having to say a word. Assuming that you could, should know what was on my mind. Certainly my tone, body language and facial ...

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I was doing a good job. So they said. My reviews were good. And I resigned. I was a classroom teacher for 13 years, starting in my mid-40s. Thirteen long, anxiety-filled years. If it was only about teaching, the job would be easy. I loved my subject (French). But there’s so much ...

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The three S's: sit down, shut up and smile. There are times when it's best to keep your thoughts to yourself, and no, you don't have to smile. If you want to speak because you need to be right, you feel attacked, or you feel the need to control... don't speak. I've gotten much better at ...

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If you're making on-the-fly decisions with your kids, stop talking. You don't need an answer right away. I know it's hard not to take action. You want to get it out of the way, reduce the whining (yours and your kid's?) and move on. But sometimes you're making that decision for the wrong ...

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We are a nation of collectors, and our children have become collectors, too. Many have much more than they need.  They are facing a challenge we did not as kids:  overwhelming clutter in their environment and their minds. There is so much available to them, and parents sometimes have a hard time ...

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Our teenagers need certainty, or at least information. I need it, you need it, we all do.   The past two years have shown us what uncertainty can do. We've seen our kids guessing and worrying about what the next days and months would bring. This applies all year long, even during the best of ...

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Does your teen hide her feelings and shut you out?  If so, you're not alone. This is pretty common during the teen years. While it's normal that kids don't want to share with their parents, there's a big downside. Hidden feelings grow and lead to depression and isolation. They see their feelings ...

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How much do you do for your children? or for anyone else in your life? If it feels like too much, listen to that feeling. We don’t do our kids any favors by taking away obstacles or overindulging. You may not realize it, but doing too much for others is a way to control and to make yourself feel ...

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Who's to say what the truth is? My perspective is just that - MY perspective. Ten people can be in a room and have 10 versions of what they saw.   When you're disagreeing with your teen about how something played out, remember that their version is just as valid as yours.   Also ...

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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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Individuals or couples, married, divorced or separated, parents have this in common:  they want to feel more connected to the other parent. They understand that connected parents are not only more satisfied in their relationship, they also have a bigger positive impact on their children. What ...

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When you hear the expression ‘going through the motions’, what comes to mind? Making a mediocre effort, yessing someone, lack of buy-in, and not caring about the final result are some that come up for me. It’s generally not a positive picture.   There are times, however, when going through the ...

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Stop struggling and start loving your teen again! Bring your questions and concerns to an open Q&A for moms of adolescents (ages 8+). Let's tackle some of the issues that make parenting a teen so challenging: * Where would a boundary help? * What do you say, or not say, to keep lines of ...

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In building a business they say 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 share with you? * I ...

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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 to ...

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There’s this little thing called the ego. Not so little, really. The ego says, “I’m important. Pay attention to me. I know more than you. I am right. I must be right, or else who am I?” The thing about needing to be right is that it automatically means the other person has to be wrong. There can’t ...

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Consider this.You listen to a speaker or read a parenting book and think, "Yes, it makes perfect sense. That's what I need to do." Then you go back to your life, and maybe give yourself a hard time for not being able to implement.    You don't have the energy, time, perspective and ...

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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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