Family Empowerment Network® (FEN) was founded by pediatrician Dr. Kathy Masarie to empower parents in the raising of their children. She is assisted in her efforts by her associate, Ruthie Matinko-Wald, MA. FEN continues the work begun by Full Esteem Ahead, the non-profit organization through which we created the original parenting guides we feature on this Web site.
At Family Empowerment Network, we believe the most powerful way to support children to thrive and be healthy is by enhancing connection and communication within our families and by networking families with each other. The main tools we offer to assist parents and other caring adults in creating this connection, communication and network are:
Family Empowerment Network understands that parents, given the information and support they need and deserve, are the “experts” in knowing what is the best solution for their unique situation.
Family Empowerment Network’s Parenting Guides support parents in connecting with their children as they grow and in creating a caring network for themselves and their children.
Family Empowerment Network believes:
- Our children will thrive best when they are connected to their parents and their schools.
- There is no “right” way to parent. There are a thousand ways to be a good parent. Parents, who take the time to explore, will tap into their “inner wisdom.”
- Parents cannot do it alone. Healthy children and strong families thrive best when they are in communities that care about them. Parents, with the right tools and information, have tremendous power to contribute to and build healthy communities around their family.
- It is important for parents to support one another. We all struggle as parents. Sharing what works and doesn’t work can be very empowering.
- Every chapter of Raising Our Daughters and Raising Our Sons is built around the 40 Developmental Assets™ from the Search Institute®, leveraging 50 years of research-based information “to create a world where all young people are valued and thrive.”
- Parents who focus on ways to connect with their kids and address the underlying motives for misbehavior will be more successful than parents who react in the moment to the behavior.
- Strengthening yourself is the best way to strengthen your family and your child.
The following are the core values on which we base Raising Our Daughters and Raising Our Sons:
- Family: Unconditional love allows everyone to thrive; Focus on respect, honesty and compassion leads to quality relationships; Appreciation and gratitude enriches family life.
- Authenticity: Individuals and relationships thrive with honesty, open-mindedness, and curiosity; Being accountable for one’s own actions and honoring commitments are critical to a healthy family; Lifelong personal growth allows for flexibility and resiliency.
- Community: Acceptance, belonging, and caring are key ingredients of community; Healthy families benefit from and contribute to healthy communities.
“The magic that can happen when using Raising Our Daughters/Raising Our Sons Parenting Guides with a group is that you create a support network of people who not only care about you, but also care about your children. In essence, you can create group of ‘aunties’ and ‘uncles’ who look out for all the children in your everyday life.”
Kathy Masarie, MD