Shari Jonas is a respected Author, Family Life Educator, and influential voice in the parenting community, renowned for her deep commitment to addressing the challenges of young adults facing struggling with a Failure to Launch in adulthood. With two insightful books that have captivated readers, Shari's expertise is further solidified by her academic background, holding two degrees in psychology from the prestigious McGill University. Her specialization in parenting, combined with a significant social media following, positions her as a trusted resource for parents navigating the complexities of raising young adults.
Shari's journey into the realm of parenting and young adult development is not just professional but also personal. Her "close to home" experiences with failure to launch scenarios has fueled her passion for helping others facing similar challenges. This personal connection to her work adds depth and authenticity to her advice, making her guidance all the more valuable for parents in similar situations.
As a Family Life Educator, Shari's approach is both educational and empowering. She specializes in creating actionable and effective strategies that enable parents to support their adult children in overcoming obstacles to independence. Anticipation is building for Shari's upcoming online course, "Journey to Independence" designed to equip parents with the tools and knowledge necessary to guide their adult children from failing to launch to thriving as independent and self-sufficient individuals. This course promises to be a comprehensive resource, encapsulating Shari's blueprint for success in fostering young adult independence.
Shari Jonas is more than just an educator; she is a partner to parents on their journey to empowering their young adults. Her dedication to this cause is evident in every aspect of her work, from her written and spoken words to her innovative online offerings. As she continues to share her expertise and experiences, Shari remains committed to transforming the lives of young adults and their families, guiding them toward a future marked by success, independence & purpose.
Every Person Has a Story.
I was 3 years old when my parents divorced. Of course I was too young to understand how that major event would impact my life. But over time, I began to realize that I was very different from any one I had ever known. Divorce wasn't popular back then, however my mother was just too unhappy and although I never thought of my mother as a strong woman, I realize now that she must have been. She ended that marriage with my father, with 3 very young children and no income, because she wanted something more. She believed she deserved that and it wasn't very long before she remarried. Although my father eventually moved back to the U.S, where he was from, he and I made sure to get to know each as adults, and I am very grateful for that. No human is comprised solely of one parent. No matter what type of relationship or marriage your parents have, I believe it's important for a child to get to know both parents. I knew, even as a young child, that I wasn't entirely like my mother and that there was a part of me that must have come from him. Both my parents have passed away now, but I am proud of myself for making the effort to get to know them as individuals. He was far from perfect, as was my mother. But I was going to take the best parts of them and become my own person. At least I wanted to.
I believe that our parents influence us in more ways than we know how. Whether it's the genetic influence, what is referred to as "nature" or simply by modeling their behaviour, known as "nurture", we need to work very hard to pave our own pathways. Self awareness is a powerful skill and the earlier you develop it, the better off you will be. My mother was not an educated woman nor was she ambitious. She was extremely dependent on men, first her father, and then her husbands. Never did she have her own money. This drove me so far the other way that I started working when I was 10 years old and have never stopped. I also received 2 University degrees. Unlike my mother, I have been very independent my whole life and I define myself by my resilience and fortitude. However, I couldn't seem to make good choices when it came to marriage. That was a harder pattern for me to break.
After my son was born, it took me no time at all to divorce his father. I simply couldn't imagine spending my life with a man that was my polar opposite. Even though I had promised myself that I would be different than my mother and not follow her path, I took my son and moved out. I was fearless. I became a warrior single mom who was hell-bent on raising her son to be strong, sensitive, confident, independent, loving, responsible...the list goes one. I was a mother on a mission. I knew the world was going to try to crush him (because the world can be cruel) and I wanted him to be prepared.
By then I had already completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology from McGill University and a Masters Degree in Human Relations and Family Life Education. I was deep into understanding human behavior; why we do what we do. And because I was so self-reflective, I couldn't help but wonder why I chose to marry a man that was so different from myself. It was during that time in my life that I began to research how women’s relationships with their fathers impacted their personal relationships with the opposite sex. "Father Effects: How Your Father Influenced Who You Are & Who You Love," became my first self-published book, available as a paperback and an eBook.
Several years later, I was dating a man, who I fell in love with and became pregnant with my 2nd child. Although I had no desire to get remarried, I stayed with him and gave birth to my beautiful, soulful daughter. Over time, he and I did get married and it lasted 15 years but it wasn't without issues. I stayed in it, made the best of it and when my daughter was old enough, I left that marriage too. But again, my focus during those years wasn't on me. I was tough. I worked a lot. I focused my energy on raising my son and my daughter. They were all I cared about during those years. And I believe that is why I pride myself on my parenting style. I knew that my kids were going to be confident, happy, and well rounded. I love them with every fibre of my being and today I am so proud of the young adults that they've become. It was worth everything I went through.
I share a lot of my parenting stories on social media, because I worry about kids today. I worry that they are more fragile, more susceptible, more anxious, depressed, coddled and lost than any other generation before them. I say worry, but it's more of a deep concern for their mental well being and their future. I'm from a very hardy, self taught, left to our own devices generation. We didn't have parents that micro-managed, over stimulated, helicoptered or bulldozered our lives. We didn't use words like anxiety nor were we medicated for just being kids. The world has changed and parents have lost their way. Tough parenting is tabooed, gentle parenting has gone too far. What is going to happen with them? I wonder about it a lot.
During that "time" (I prefer to not mention it) when we were all stuck at home, I became laser focused on figuring out how I can help. I had been furloughed from my job and had time on my hands to get back into writing and started doing videos. Over a period of several weeks, I painted a wall in my home with inspirational quotes, quite similar to a vision board that I would do annually. But this time, it was a vision wall and once it was done, I wondered who I could share this with, who would benefit from it the most? And it dawned on me. If parents could teach these simple phrases to their children, this could help them to build their self confidence and develop an internal voice that would guide them through life. "My Roots and My Wings: The 24 Most Empowering Life Lessons for Children Ages 3-9," was written, illustrated and published. It was my way of helping parents to help their children to thrive in this crazy world. Even though I taught these beliefs to my children, I knew there wasn't (and isn't) a book like this for kids today. If there was ever a manual as to how to help children feel more confident, maybe this could be it. If I could give it away for free, I would. That's how much I love it and that's how strongly I feel about giving parents the tools to empower their kids.
For my next project, I am focusing all of my time, energy and resources on one of the greatest issues that parents are facing today; their adult children who are still living at home and almost entirely dependent on them. We call this, "Failure to Launch." To be completely transparent, I don't like that phrase. I find it harsh. These young adults are struggling on so many levels, but they aren't failing. They just need to learn a few tools and, they need their parents help them. With the knowledge, research and first hand experience that I have acquired over the years, I know that I can provide that guidance to parents.
I will be releasing an online course that will help parents to navigate and empower their young adults along their journey to independence. It will be everything they need to get the ball rolling (and keep it going). I have no doubt in my mind that this blueprint guide will be a gamechanger. Parents, if you're not sure whether or not your young adult is going through a phase or is really struggling, then take the Checklist of issues that I've created to help you determine what is really going on. If you feel you are ready to help your adult child, please email me at, ShariJonasLifeFx@gmail.com and I will add your name to the wait list. Once the course is ready, I'll reach out to you.
Looking back at my life, I am the person that I am today because of how I've handled all of my life experiences. And let me tell you, my life was not easy. But, it has been filled with great lessons and I wouldn't have changed a thing. I have raised two incredible children who I am so proud of as they are caring, confident, self aware, responsible and highly capable individuals. Now that they are embarking upon their own journeys, I have the luxury of time to invest in educating, inspiring, and connecting with other parents who are having issues with their young adults. Remember the words of the late Ann Landers,
“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings. And this teaching lasts a lifetime.”