I’m Fern Weis, and I have a story, just like you.
Becoming a coach for parents of teens didn’t happen by accident. Our family went through some very difficult times during our kids’ teen years. With life revolving around a child who was underachieving and making poor choices, we had no choice but to take an intervention for him and a good hard look at ourselves and how our family was operating.
After a month at a wilderness program, we sent him to Hyde School, a college-prep boarding school of family-based character education and leadership development. Hyde isn’t just for the student, though; it’s for the parents as well. And it was the parent program that sealed the deal for us.
We knew that our child couldn’t come back to the same home, same parents. Whatever he learned, whatever progress he would make, it had to be reinforced at home. We needed to learn a new language and a new way of doing things. (The happy ending? He graduated Hyde and college, and is working in his chosen profession. Our daughter has found her own unique way as well. We are thrilled with the loving, dedicated, persistent and resilient adults our children have become.)
I came to understand that my children’s behavior was just as much about me as it was about them. The big ‘aha’ was that not only were caring and good intentions not enough, they were part of the problem! After sitting with that for a while, I got down to work. Nothing was going to change until I did.
- When I learned to step back, stop enabling, and let my kids take more responsibility for their actions, they began to care more, and ultimately became more responsible. They also knew mom wasn’t going to jump in and be ‘the fixer’.
- When I learned to be less emotional when talking to them (or to just take a break) they learned that I was going to stay on topic and they couldn’t distract me from the issue at hand. Communication is the key.
- When I learned to really listen to them, they began to trust me with more of their feelings. There was less nagging and criticism, and less of a battle for control. This paved the way for a better relationship and more cooperation.
- When I accepted that my dreams for them weren’t always in their best interest, they were able to find their way and discover their unique potential.
- When I deeply understood that providing boundaries was more important than feeling loved, they became more independent.
- Most important of all, I learned that the only one I can control is me.
Those two years changed us all, forever. I am so committed to the process that I continue to be a facilitator at family weekends, and to mentor our regional parent group.
After teaching middle school for 13 years, I trained as a life coach and founded my business, Your Family Matters, in 2008. Since then I have been teaching and supporting parents on the parent-teen relationship, letting go of the need to control, helping teens become problem-solvers, infusing values into parenting… in other words, helping them raise their teens to confident, self-sufficient adulthood and maintaining their sanity along the way.
You don’t have to be in crisis to do things differently. In fact, I want to help you avoid the crisis. My goal is for you to be a strong, confident parent who launches independent, resilient young adults into the world.
Although our stories may be different, you and I share the same hopes and fears for our teens. If you are facing challenges with your teen or young adult, I can help. I have been where you are, and I know a way out.
- Certified Empowerment Coach (iPEC)
- Certified K-12 French Teacher (NJ)
- Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach
- Family Recovery Coach
- Presenter: The Biggest Job Workshops (Hyde School)
- Keruv consultant for synagogues/interfaith families
Additional Life/Family Experience:
- Learning differences/ADD
- Second Generation (Children of Holocaust Survivors)