Parenting expert Dr. Kathy Masarie is generous in heart and spirit. Her caring commitment to the well-being of families touches all facets of her life. In her pediatric practice in the late 1980s and 1990s, Dr. Kathy spent extra time getting to know each family.
A quote from Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia—“Raising your family in isolation is like buying a first-class ticket on the Titanic”—was foremost in Dr. Kathy’s mind as she worked. From many professional experiences, she knew how lonely parents can feel in today’s culture. She saw parents, especially parents of teens, struggling in isolation with family-centered problems such as pregnancy, depression, risky drinking and drug use.
With their own teens, Kathy and her husband, Chip, experienced how hard and sometimes embarrassing it was to share parenting struggles with others. Dr. Kathy saw families with younger children networking with each other and decided to provide a continuum of support for families from infancy through adolescence.
In 1996, she founded the non-profit organization Full Esteem Ahead and then Family Empowerment Network to “support parents to support kids and one another.” Through FEN and with colleague Ruthie Matinko-Wald, she offers parenting talks and classes as well as support materials in the way of parenting books and videos that can be used as curriculum for self-led discussion groups.
Since their publication, Raising Our Daughters, Raising Our Sons, and Face to Face: Cultivating Kids’ Social Lives in the Digital World Parenting Guides have provided parents, school professionals and other caring adults with powerful vehicles for learning, self-discovery, networking and connecting with kids and other adults. These Guides respond to parents’ critical needs to facilitate honest and authentic communication, to support their children, and to build family-friendly communities.