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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 come up for me. It’s generally not a positive picture.

There are times, however, when going through the motions is a good thing. Here’s an example from a personal experience.

When our family was at Hyde School, there was a system of evaluating your attitude and effort: EEMO. The first E was for Excellence. …


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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 beliefs 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 believe that your family is where the most important learning takes place; that you would do anything to see your children thrive and be happy; that sometimes fear makes you do crazy things, and you don’t want to be scared anymore.
  • I believe…


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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 hear that when I studied in France for my junior year of college, I was only able to call home three times. …


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Around the country parents and twenty-somethings talk about adulting. I first heard the term in 2017, and my jaw dropped at the idea that young people are meeting at classes and social events to learn the most basic skills for daily life.

“My 12-year old wants to learn to cook scrambled eggs!” exclaimed a mom. Yay! Any time your child wants to learn new, practical skills is a cause for celebration.

And what, you may ask, is adulting? For starters, it was the most popular new word of 2016 among Millennials. The Urban Dictionary defines it as:

Adulting (v): to…


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Stress is wanting things to be different than they are and not being able to accept reality. Our children are less equipped to handle stress than we are.

There are days when I don’t handle it well, either. Sometimes getting busy, being productive, and being of service help me. (I’m not so much into meditation, although I listen to guided meditations from time to time.)

If we, as adults, struggle with stressors large and small, imagine how it is for the kids. How do you help your child process and cope with stress? …


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Fighting with your teen is a waste of time. What was the last fight? 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 problem.

I remember one with my adult son. In my mind he was being outrageous and unreasonable. After about 10 minutes of going nowhere good, and going there fast, I told him I was done, and walked out of the room fuming…


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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 to propel you forward, to a better place.

You’re stressed out. There is no room for rational thought because stress is really fear, and your brain has moved from thinking mode to ‘fight or flight.’ You’re angry, maybe lashing out. …


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You are surrounded by people, and yet you feel alone. Your kids are connected to others through their devices but don’t really ‘feel’ connected. Their relationships can change in the blink of an eye or in a keystroke. Everyone goes their own way, busy, busy, busy.

In spite of texting, email, and social networks, we’re all, parents and kids, feeling more disconnected and less supported than ever before.

It’s understandable, and it’s reversible. It’s also important that your teen take an active role in creating this connection, this village. They need to know that they have the power to change…


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We use so much energy wondering how to limit screen time. Do we model it more? Pick an amount of time that’s acceptable to us, and enraging to our kids? That’s a battle that most parents are unable to withstand.

Let’s consider a new approach to unplugging: focus on creating more of what you want, rather than on limiting what you don’t want.

Maybe you’re shaking your head. After all, we know the kids (and many adults) are spending hours and hours on devices. …


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When someone tells me how patient I am, I’m tempted to laugh. Of course, what immediately comes to mind are all the ways I’m not patient: tech problems, making small talk, people in my family not being ready to go wherever we’re headed.

I’m also an impatient cook, which makes my family a bit cranky. Yes, yes, I should have let the onions saute longer and the chicken get crispier!

The reality is that I’ve become more patient than I ever give myself credit for. Some instances are noteworthy. The most significant one is about my mom, who is in…

Fern Weis

Hoping my life and parenting journey helps you on yours. Parent Coach, Family Recovery Coach, aspiring writer. www.fernweis.com

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