About Jane Wolf WatermanByline BIO: Family care coach, advocate and author Jane Wolf Waterman, M.S.W., J.D., is a licensed psychotherapist, former law professor and founder of Parenting Our Parents™. POP is a unique coaching program now helping families across the country to navigate the practical, emotional, financial, legal and other challenges that are so confusing and complex for families with senior loved ones. Learn more at ParentingOurParents.org.
Broadcast BIO: With everyone living longer, we may have to parent our parents even longer than parenting our children. Our guest today is family care coach, advocate and author Jane Wolf Waterman. Jane is founder of Parenting Our Parents™. POP is a unique coaching program now helping families across the country to navigate the practical, emotional, financial, legal and other challenges that are so confusing and complex for families with senior loved ones. Learn more at ParentingOurParents.org. Welcome, Jane. This idea of parenting our parents is personal for you. How did it start?
Full BIO: Family care coach, advocate and author Jane Wolf Waterman, M.S.W., J.D., is a licensed psychotherapist, former law professor and founder of Parenting Our Parents™. POP is a unique coaching program now helping families across the country to navigate the practical, emotional, financial, legal and other challenges that are so confusing and complex for families with senior loved ones.
Jane founded POP based on her own experience caring for her aging parents, her more than a decade of coaching experience and a lifetime of service to others. She has spent nearly four decades honing her skills as a problem-solver, applying her special brand of “listening” to the concerns presented by her clients. Graduating with honors from Wellesley College, she received her Juris Doctor law degree from Boston University. Later in life, she attended UCLA to receive her master’s degree in social work, becoming a licensed psychotherapist. Jane began her coaching work with Dr. Martin Seligman, the country’s leading “Happiness Scientists,” his team of specialists in this significant life skill and an international team of coaches developing coach training. Subsequently, she developed her own coach training program, which she now offers online and will soon offer to licensed mental health professionals as part of fulfilling their continuing education requirements.
Jane’s years of education reflect more than focused determination and scholarly discipline. They also afforded her a fascinating career with the Peace Corps and VISTA Volunteer programs; in anti-poverty law; as a Law Professor working with Dream Team attorney Gerald F. Uelmen; a “dealmaker” at 20th Century Fox and a part of some of the most fascinating cases of our day. Jane has also won awards volunteering her time at AIDS Project Los Angeles, running caregiver support groups and working to change unfair tax laws.
Jane now practices psychotherapy in her offices in southern California. For decades she’s counseled individuals and families to successfully resolve their biggest challenges – be they emotional loss, practical, or relational stage of life. Bringing the experience of teaching and practicing law to her work as a mental health professional and family coach, Jane feels privileged to have helped so many people live happier, healthier and saner lives.
Jane founded Parenting Our Parents™ based on her own experience. One Christmas as she was traveling cross-country for a family visit, this only daughter discovered the truth about her aging parents. Jack and Lillian Wolf, then in their 80s, had been concealing the depth of their neediness from her. They were in seriously ill health and their home was a shambles.
Jane recognized that she’d come upon a life-defining moment, that this could be her time to “give back” to the parents who’d given her life, an education and so much more. Choosing to reverse her former place as the child in the family, Jane found herself embracing a new role. Little did she know then that for her, Parenting our Parents (or doing “POP,” as she soon called it) would last for ten years, require her to bring to bear all her educational and life resources, provide her the biggest challenge of her life and turn into her life mission. But all of that happened. First Jane’s life became about helping her own parents live out theirs with grace and love by POParenting them. Then she turned to helping other families throughout the nation develop POP skills they would need and offering them the positive point of view that the POP years can be some of the best of our lives.
Jane tells her story in her book, “OH MY GOD! WE’RE PARENTING OUR PARENTS: How to Transform this Remarkable Challenge into a Journey of Love.” As Jane courageously reveals the realities of her family’s journey during the stage of life she’s called “the POPcycle,” she tells readers how to be loving parents to their aging loved ones.
Today Jane trains certified POP Family Coaches who work across the nation teaming family with geriatric professionals to help create workable plans to care for elders and prevent unnecessary expense and anguish. Her goal is to help adult children everywhere discover how they can transform a potentially stressful time of life into one of joy, fulfillment and renewed family bonds. Learn more at ParentingOurParents.org.