Recent Posts

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

College Checklist

Parenting Teens and College Kids: Learning how to back off

Good Parenting Gone Bad

I have a parenting confession to make.  I have gone to one of my sons’ dorms and done his laundry.  I have scraped every dirty sock and jersey off of his bedroom floor, carefully separating his debris from that of his two roommates which was all commingled in one large reeking mass.  I then carried […]

Early Decision, Lacy Crawford

Early Decision: Based on a True Frenzy, Part 2

Here is part two of our interview with Lacy Crawford (@lacy_crawford), author of Early Decision: Based on a True Frenzy. In this fictional account of the college admissions process, Lacy takes a long hard look at five very different families and how they endure the pressure-filled fall of senior year. For many parents of high school […]

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Empty Nest

An open apology to every woman I ever judged harshly because of her age. Life has a way of teaching us lessons. I have learned to say I am sorry.

Please Accept My Apology

Kara Gebhart Uhl, who blogs at Pleiades Bee, published a great piece a couple of weeks ago that resonated with thousands of readers. She issued an open apology to all parents she had judged so harshly during her child-free years.  I, like many of the tens of thousands of others who shared her post, had the […]

Teen driving

Teaching Teens to Drive is Driving Me Crazy

As we write this we are teaching our youngest children to drive.  This is a path we have been down before, but as our impulse for self-preservation is undiminished, we still find it a bit frightening this last time. Learning to drive may be one of the great adolescent milestones but, for parents, it represents […]

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Parenting and Sports


Saying Goodbye to the Sideline

It is the beginning of the end.  As we stand on the sideline for one final season, watching our high school seniors walk onto the field with their teams, it is a moment to reflect on some of the amazing people we have met. We are breathing in memories from the days when their little legs were […]


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, […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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Work Life Balance

Susan Smith Eliis

Former CEO of Product RED on Getting Off and On the Career Track

Susan Smith Ellis, former CEO of Product RED, writes for Grown and Flown readers about the challenges of going back to work after stepping off the career track to be at home with her children. Eighteen years ago, after a successful career in advertising, I decided not to go back to work when I found […]

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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