Recent Posts

What parents need to know about teen stress: 10 ideas to help your child manage stress during the high school and college years.

What Parents Need to Know: Teen Stress

Eleventh grade felt like the 7th circle of Hell, a place so sinister and drained of joy that I despaired of my kids or I ever emerging from it. Although frankly, I may have felt their teen stress more acutely than they did, I worried about my boys. They are young, and while I had […]

Teen Dating: Guidelines and questions to ask your teen that can foster healthy and candid discussion

The Maze of Teen Dating

Aggie Mannix, lawyer, independent college counselor and mother of three, writes about the maze of teen dating: Dating is confusing enough when you are the one making the choices, but it can seem downright perilous watching your son or daughter in the labyrinth. Do you set rules? For them? For you? Learning the dating verbiage (wasn’t it easier […]

Parenting Lessons: 7 lessons you can only learn once your kids leave home

7 Parenting Lessons You Learn Once Your Kids Leave Home

Along with the quiet and a little heartbreak, having kids leave home is a time for reflection. As parents, we have all had a front row seat to watch childhood from beginning to end and that is a gift like none other. Amazing people, whom we gave birth to, have somehow managed to become fully […]

Teachers leave impressions that last a lifetime: eight best things they do for our kids.

Eight Best Things Teachers Do For Kids

In sixth grade I failed a math test. It was not really a surprise as I was an indifferent student and had not bothered to study. My young teacher called me over to her desk to speak privately. It was the 70s and she wore a bright orange and pink mini-dress, dangling earrings and long […]

Summer Vacation: Six ways college and high school kids can make the most of summer jobs and time off

Summer Vacation: More Than Just Summer Jobs

Right about now, high school and college kids are looking for summer jobs and, perhaps, a touch of panic is setting in. The economy has improved but finding a job for just three months, without many skills or a degree, has always been challenging. Good luck to all of the job seekers. While a good […]

Financial aid: Three common mistakes to avoid and expert advice for high school parents

3 Financial Aid Mistakes to Avoid and Other Expert Advice

Mary Dell writes: Oh, January…college-bound seniors have now submitted their last applications and returned to high school for a final, emotional semester. While they turn their attention to a well-deserved victory lap, their parents turn their focus to financial aid. According to Jodi Okun, founder of College Financial Aid Advisors, the timeline for considering financial […]

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 […]

Chocolate chip cookies

18th Birthday Ideas for Your College Kid

Mary Dell writes: 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 […]

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 […]

College Checklist

Advice to College Freshman: Recent grads offer their best ideas to help teens navigate freshman year

Advice to College Freshmen from Recent Grads

I would love to send my soon-to-be freshman son off to college with a fist full of good advice from me. But let’s be honest, it has been a little while since I was in college and there are those far younger and more knowledge than I who can help him on his way. Luckily […]

My House, My Rules

My House, My Rules

My family has rules, your family has rules, and the one thing I think we can be fairly certain of, no matter what those rules are, is that our kids are not obeying them while they are away at college.  While their transgressions might be large or small we treat them like responsible adults, capable […]

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Empty Nest

girl running,

Is it Right to Write About My Kids?

Lisa writes: If you have read our parenting blog before today you might recall that when my three sons were younger they fought until they bled. You might know that on one occasion they upended the table at a restaurant sending our dinners and dishes cascading to the floor. And while that incident still makes me […]

Dorm room, college move in

4 1/2 Ways Nursery and Dorm Room Shopping are Alike

Mary Dell writes: Soon-to-be college freshman and their moms flock to stores during the summer for dorm room shopping. Mothers look overwhelmed, aware of the finality of this back-to-school excursion. But is there another reason we moms share that certain look in our eyes? Do we time-travel back 18 years, when we prepared the first tiny […]

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Parenting and Sports

Soccer parents, bad sports parents

Soccer Moms and Dads Misbehaving

Lisa writes: And then there are the jerks…Earlier this week, we sang the praises of parents who have made standing on the sidelines such a joy, but we would be remiss if we failed to mention a few others.  The list of what we are grateful for is long but, examples of soccer moms and […]

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 […]

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Parenting and Social Media

How Social Media Forever Changed Parenting, starting with stalking.

How Social Media Forever Changed Parenting

I became a mother at the dawn of the Internet and watched technology and social media change parenting in ways I could never have imagined.  I got my first email address in the months before my last child was born and thus my family has quite literally grown up in parallel with the World Wide […]

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 […]

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Work Life Balance


Nine Reasons I Regret Being a Stay at Home Mom

  Lisa writes: The most expensive decision of my life I made alone.  There was no realtor, no car dealer and no travel agent when I chose to leave the paid workforce and become a stay at home mom.  There was just me looking at my husband, my children (those inside and outside the womb) […]

stay at home mom

Six Ways a Stay-at-Home Mom Can Remain Connected to the Job Market

There are many things I could have foreseen about my life, but what I never could have imagined was that I would be one of the one in three moms  who opts out of the workforce after their children are born. I am a cliché, the stay-at-home mom who moved to the suburbs and, facing […]

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