Frequently Asked Questions

What is Family Empowerment Network?

Family Empowerment Network (FEN) was founded by Dr. Kathy Masarie to empower parents in the raising of their children. We believe that the most powerful way to support our youth to thrive, be healthy, and reduce risky behavior is by enhancing connection and communication within our families and by networking families with each other.

FEN continues the work begun by Full Esteem Ahead, the non-profit organization that created the original parenting guides we feature on this Web site.

How can these books help me and my family?

Raising Our Sons, Raising Our Daughters, and Face to Face: Cultivating Kids’ Social Lives in Today’s Digital World will help you to create a thriving family now and prepare for the tween, teen and young adult years. You will benefit from the perspective of many different voices from over 120 authors and discover which of these parenting resources are the “best fit” for you.

The books will give you tools to connect to your “inner wisdom” and “outer” support, which will help you guide your child. Strengthening yourself will strengthen your family and your child.

What ages of children will benefit most from your books?

Families with children of any age will benefit from these books. Parents of elementary- and middle school-age children, however, will probably gain the most from them. Specifically, they were designed to encourage parents to be pro-active, starting early on in their child’s life, to stay connected with their children so that by the time they reach the turbulent teens, risky behavior had been averted. We find that Raising Our Sons seems relevant earlier (6 to 16 years of age) than Raising Our Daughters (8 to 16 years of age). Face to Face is great for any age.

I am really stressed out.  Can this book help me to feel better as a parent?

Parenting is hard work and can be stressful, especially when your child hits a new developmental level. Reading Raising Our Daughters, Raising Our Sons, or Face to Face can help you feel better about parenting because you will gain clarity, think more proactively, and feel empowered to do your best.

Can this book help me to “fix” my problem child?

When things are not going smoothly, parents are more successful when they focus their energy on what they can change in themselves, rather than on trying to control their child. You have the ability to parent effectively when you have access to the right tools and take the time to address the underlying cause of the problems.

Because every parent-child relationship is unique, Raising Our Daughters, Raising Our Sons, and Face to Face offer many ideas for you to choose from and find the best fit. The common theme of these solutions is that connection and understanding between you and your child matters most, and that proactive parenting is more effective than reactive parenting.

What makes Raising Our Daughters, Raising Our Sons and Face to Face unique? How are they different from any other parenting books?

Raising Our Daughters, Raising Our Sons, and Face to Face provide parents, schools, and other caring adults with a powerful vehicle for learning, self-discovery, and the possibility of networking and connecting with other parents and kids. They present insights from over 120 authors and expose the reader to hundreds of new and timeless parenting resources.

What also makes these books unique is that each chapter is supplemented with discussion questions, suggested action ideas, and recommended resources for further exploration, making these books ideal as guides for a discussion group with other parents and caring adults. At Family Empowerment Network, we believe that you know yourself and your children better than anyone; when you take the time to read, reflect and discuss the ideas within each chapter, you will become the expert in your own life.

Should I involve my spouse?

It is wonderful when spouses read and study the book together. Some of our most successful parenting groups, which have now supported each other for years, came out of classes for couples. But, of course, learning and growing still happens when only one parent reads the book. We naturally share ideas that speak to us with our partner and our friends.

I have a daughter and a son. Do I need both Raising Our Daughters and Raising Our Sons?

Although there is some overlap in the discussions of parenting skills in the two books, the major topics of building community and keeping our children safe and supported differ considerably in Raising Our Daughters and Raising Our Sons.

Some people choose to begin by focusing on the child who is approaching the tween or teen years.  Others choose by focusing on the child about whom they are most concerned.

Joining (or forming) a parent discussion group will create the best possible experience and connections for you as you absorb the information in your book. What you learn will help not just the identified child, but you and the whole family as well. The next school year you can focus on the opposite sex and repeat the process.

We have many parents who have tried this and have been highly satisfied. We have even had people who had such a great experience with their parenting group, they repeated the same book with the same parent group the next year and learned at an even deeper level.

You will feel maximally supported, however, if you form a discussion group to study these parenting guides. You’ll discover that you’re not alone in your parenting challenges, while at the same time gaining wisdom and encouragement from other parents in the group.

What are the benefits of being in a parent discussion group using these guides?

Reading Raising Our Daughters, Raising Our Sons, or Face to Face will guide you on your parenting journey. In addition, many parents have created support for themselves by creating a parenting discussion group that uses these guides.

These groups provide a format for you to share honestly about what you are struggling with and create connections with other concerned parents who then become allies on your parenting path. You discover that you are not alone, as you hear about the struggles of other families. You gain wisdom not only from the solutions that are shared, but also what doesn’t work.

With the support of other parents, you will have the courage and tenacity to focus on proactive, long-term parenting. You become part of a team that focuses beyond your individual family, on building assets in your neighborhood and schools. This creates a healthy milieu for your entire family to thrive.

I am interested in being part of a parenting group. How do I begin?

Once you order a Raising Our Daughters or Raising Our Sons Parenting Guide, you will receive ample support on how to get a parent discussion group started. You will receive a handout on starting a group and free access to a video you can share with others on “Tips for Running a Successful Parenting Group.”

How long will it take to get my book?

Your book will be shipped within 1-2 business days via Media Mail with the United States Postal Service. You will receive an email with a confirmation number once your item has been shipped. Depending on your location, it will take 3 to 21 days to receive your book.