Recent Posts

Getting ready for college: What parents can do to help.

Getting Ready for College: Interview on Fios 1 News

High school seniors heading off to college have until May 1 to make final decisions about which school to choose for fall enrollment. Lisa was invited by anchor Christa Lauri, anchor of Fios 1 News (Verizon Communications)  to discuss how kids are now getting ready for college and what parents can do to help them.  Here […]

How to finish college in four years and why that matters.

How to Finish College in 4 Years: What Parents Need to Know

Imagine sitting in the audience at your daughter’s high school graduation, your heartbeat accelerating as the alphabetical roll call draws ever closer to your family’s last name. To her right and left you see her classmates, beaming with joyous self-confidence. Now, fast forward a few months to the fall semester of freshman year. Sadly, many […]

Answering these 50 questions before you go dorm room shopping with your off-to-college teen will save you time and money.

Dorm Room Shopping: 50 Questions to Answer First

Stop. Slide that credit card back in your wallet and set down that dorm room shopping laundry list. Yes, you are facing the mother of all back-to-school shops. And, yes it seems like your freshman needs a million insanely expensive things. But before you wander through the endless (and, we promise you, they are endless) […]

How to help your student move out of the college dorm: Eleven steps to save time, prevent backache, and minimize stress.

Moving Kids Out of the College Dorm, for the Summer or Forever

Here is the best-kept secret about the college school year. It is about 15 minutes long.  No sooner do kids return to college from spring break than they are ready to move back home for the summer. Moving into the college dorm or apartment was fun. The sheets and towels were new, the mattress topper was […]

We have come to believe that only those who have passion find fulfillment and success professionally. It’s as if passion is life’s magic pixie dust."

The Perils of Passion

“We have come to believe that only those who have passion find fulfillment and success professionally. It’s as if passion is life’s magic pixie dust.”  In her essay in The New York Times Motherlode, “Our Push for ‘Passion’ and Why it Harms Our Kids,” Lisa writes about the insidious nature of our children’s and teenager’s […]

Dear Parent of newly admitted college freshman, enjoy your kid's news but, we are here to tell you, nothing will ever be there same again. Six reasons why.

Dear Parent of Newly Admitted College Freshman

Congratulations to you, yes, to you. Although your high school senior has certainly worked hard to be recognized by their college admissions office, we parents know that no kid does it alone. Almost two decades of loving support is what led your teen to this day, so amidst the shouts of glee and the excitement […]

Exam

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 Checklist

Anticipating only what we have been conditioned to fear about college admissions can keep parents from seeing the good and OMG moments in the process.

The Good, The Bad and The OMG of College Admissions

As teenagers progress through high school, the warnings to their parents about college admissions become an ever-louder drum beat that is nearly impossible to escape. With my eldest child, I braced myself for his junior year terrified at my ignorance on the subject. But anticipating only what we have been conditioned to fear can keep […]

The pain and frustration of college admissions is real. But what's worse is that one of the people you love the most is getting ready to walk out the door.

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 […]

More Posts from this Category

Empty Nest

Chocolate chip cookies

18th Birthday Ideas for Your College Kid

Name. address. click, click. I type the info into each box, working my way down the page. Yes, three dozen freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and cold milk to be delivered to my daughter’s freshman dorm for her birthday. Yes, her cell number for the delivery person. Credit card. click. click. The order is 99% […]

Photo by TBK

Half In, Half Out Before Our Daughter’s Senior Year

By Sue, A Grown and Flown friend: As we count down the days until the end of our daughter’s junior year, I find myself questioning my eagerness. Do I really want to wish this time away? Am I ready to face the reality of her senior year of high school and the end of our […]

More Posts from this Category

Parenting and Sports

youth-sports-640x400

How Parents Ruin Youth Sports…By Obsessing About Winning

Lisa’s story on The Atlantic.com, “Parents Ruin Sports for Their Kids by Obsessing About Winning,”  appears below: Every sports cliché you can think of, I have uttered: teamwork, respect for the coach, being part of something bigger than yourself, and practice making perfect. But as I look back over a decade and a half watching […]

soccer, boys soccer

Competitive Sports and College Recruiting: Time to Pry Them Apart

Competitive sports and college admissions often get intertwined, as if the only reason for the former is the latter. But aren’t we confusing two issues? If there were no college recruitment would there be no competitive sport? And, are there advantages to kids and teens to competing athletically at a very high level, regardless of […]

More Posts from this Category

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 […]

House of Cards

Why I Love Binge Watching

I didn’t know about Mad Men until last year (I know, what planet am I living on?) and then I indulged in binge watching SIX YEARS in a matter of weeks. And suddenly, I had discovered binge watching. With House of Cards due to be released tomorrow, I thought I would look at a few reasons […]

More Posts from this Category

Work Life Balance

Lisa Heffernan on the Today Show: Pros and cons of being a stay-at-home mom

Stay-at-Home Mom With Rebuttals and Regrets

After pondering for 17 years my decision to be a stay-at-home mom, I put my thoughts on paper.  At no point did it occur to me that I would not work outside our home or that one decade or even nearly two would pass before I returned to the workplace.  But days turned into months, […]

Empty Nest

Caring for Women’s Rights She Thought, Those Could be My Children

There are certain things that you’re just passionate about and it could be anything.  Mine has always been women’s rights, and particularly women’s economic empowerment.  That has been my personal soapbox, I think since I was in high school.   –Connie Duckworth, founder and CEO, Arzu Studio Hope In 2003, Connie was a retired partner of […]

More Posts from this Category