Recent Posts

In her wildly popular TED Talk, Dr. Meg Jay explains why our 20s are not the throwaway decade but set the pattern for the rest of our lives.

Meg Jay: “Why Thirty is Not the New Twenty”

If you have a twentysomething kid, or think you might ever have one, Dr. Meg Jay has a message that should not be missed by our children, or us. Jay is a clinical psychologist in private practice, an assistant clinical professor at the University of Virginia and the author of The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties […]

Here are 12 creative tactics to help parents whose teens, college kids and young adults don't call them back.

Help, My Kids Don’t Call Me Back

My kids don’t always respond to my calls or texts.  I know, shocking, right?  It turns out that I am not the only one with offspring who are slow to respond. In utter desperation, we have gathered together a list of tactics for parents who find themselves unable to gain the attention of their wayward […]


March of the Juniors

Every year around this time I have a talk about stress and anxiety with my junior year A.P. students. Most of these students are your typical high achievers. They have been working toward college for as long as they can remember. Many of the juniors know where they will apply, and have known the grades […]

Does it Matter Where You Go to College? An interview with Frank Bruni, "Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be: An antidote to the College Admissions Mania"

Does it Matter Where You Go to College?

The college admissions process was like a filthy dark fog that descended on my home after Christmas when my oldest son was a junior in high school and did not lift until my youngest son was a senior. Like the insidious smog that covered LA during my childhood, this process was toxic and clouded my […]

18 Bucket List Ideas for Parents: Year-by-year guide to the childhood "buckets" you don't want to miss

18 Bucket List Ideas for Parents

Life is short, hence the bucket list. The years our children live in our homes are even shorter, thus, here are 18 bucket list ideas for parents, year-by-year. When we are young it feels as though we have forever, but once we have children, it soon becomes clear that we do not. The Sunday morning […]

18 leaves little gashes on my heart, like stinging paper cuts. As he readies for college, I miss him before he is gone and I grieve once he has left.

This is Adolescence: 18

18 is a year overflowing with contradictions. Eighteen wants to be a child forever and yet he cannot wait to grow up. He loves his house and cannot wait to leave it. Eighteen is our teen living in our home and in the same momentous year, an adult residing in another state. On the eve […]

College Admissions: 11 reasons why it is harder than you thought it would be

11 Reasons Why College Admissions is HARDER Than You Expected

You thought college admissions would be challenging, you knew it would be difficult, you had no idea. 1. Prepare for heartbreak You are filled with confusion as you watch your kid prepare to leave. The frustration and sadness you feel is not about college admissions but about the inevitable change that is coming to your […]

Letter to College Kid, College Letter

That Perfect Letter

You know those wonderful, heartfelt letters that moms slip into their kid’s camp bags or leave in college dorm rooms, the ones with wisdom and love that make lifetime momentos? Yeah, well, I have never written one of those. Everytime I hear of a wonderful parent who takes the time and care to compose such […]

Katie Couric, Lisa Heffernan, Grown and Flown

Katie Couric Joins Us in the Empty Nest

Katie Couric is taking her youngest daughter to college this fall and I joined her show yesterday to talk about the empty nest along with our friend, Sharon Greenthal who blogs at Empty House, Full Mind. Here are two clips from the show (begin the first one at 1:50): The episode was short and I […]

boys, sons

Knowing My Sons a Little Less

So this is it. The third and final time. Next week I will sit through my youngest son’s high school graduation. Like every parent in that audience, and in every high school auditorium and football field, I will burst with pride and more than a touch of sadness. We will have weeks and months before […]

College Checklist

Empty nest is like shells washed up on the beach

Send Selfies

Today is the day I have dreaded since that second little stripe turned a very pale pink and my heart leapt into my throat. Today is the day without a rushed breakfast, the day in which I did not scream or worse curse, the day I made no threats and took no first day of […]

sons, family, brothers

Never Again Will I…

Lisa writes: My youngest son heads off to college sometime in August. When he finally slams the screen door, he will be emptying the nest my husband and I began to fill 22 years ago. With his departure, I reflect on a few things that, frankly, I am more than a little ready to let […]

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Empty Nest

Empty nest is like shells washed up on the beach

Send Selfies

Today is the day I have dreaded since that second little stripe turned a very pale pink and my heart leapt into my throat. Today is the day without a rushed breakfast, the day in which I did not scream or worse curse, the day I made no threats and took no first day of […]

new york city, train station clock, Grand Central

How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

Lisa writes: As a kid I thought New Year’s Resolutions were magical, like wishes made while blowing out birthday candles. On this one special night of the year, I could hope and dream for something to be different and a year hence, it would be. As I got older I made resolutions, often failed to […]

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Parenting and Sports


Making an Urgent Case for Physical Activity

Mary Dell writes: From the moment we know our children exist, months before we lay eyes on them, we hope and pray for their good health. Unfortunately, the news that Lisa and I learned last week at the Social Good Summit is not all good.  At a session titled Designed to Move: A Physical Activity Action Agenda, […]

team sports, varsity soccer, high school soccer, soccer player

Why Parents Should Push Their Kids to Play Team Sports

One of the great parenting quandaries is when to push our kids and when to back off. This issue surfaces in every aspect of their lives from academics to music lessons to team sports. For each child there is a different answer and for each family a different story, but on the issue of sports, […]

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Parenting and Social Media

Mom, stop calling me

“Mom, Stop Calling Me”

The Wall Street Journal published the most recent in a long line of articles in the press berating today’s parents and their millennial offspring for remaining over connected as the younger generation emerges into adulthood. In “Mom, Stop Calling, I’ll Text You All Day” the author suggests that millennials should not use modern technology as a way […]

out of date technology

Stuck in 2014 in our Empty Nest

Lisa writes: 10 months from now my husband and I will truly live in an empty nest and our real problems will begin. With two boys away at college and one to go, we are in a period of transition that helps me get ready for that day when time will stop. Unfortunately, nothing can […]

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Work Life Balance

Returning to work: Good news about returning to work after a career break

Returning to Work After a Career Break: The GOOD News

Carol Fishman Cohen, Co-founder, iRelaunch writes: Regardless of her intent, Judith Warner’s NYT Magazine article “The Mid Career Time Out (Is Over)” is causing readers to conclude that taking a career break leads inevitably to divorce, misery and lower pay.  Not only is this conclusion negative and demoralizing, but it’s not true. Taking a career break […]

iRelaunch, Carol Fishman Cohen

Back on the Career Track

Is it time to go back to work?  Or maybe time to change career paths with the kids on the way out the door? As the nest empties, these questions naturally arise.  But where to begin?  If you have been out of the workplace for a number of years, dare we even say a decade […]

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