In today’s world, the minute a woman finds out she is pregnant for the first time, she has a vast array of helpful resources at her fingertips. There are books, websites, and online support communities for every stage and phase of pregnancy, birth, and childhood.
But those resource begin to thin out substantially once your kid becomes a teenager. And that is precisely when you really need the extra support and insights from experts and fellow parents. Because if you haven’t parented a teen yet, get ready to buckle up, as it’s a daily roller coaster ride like none other.
Enter Lisa Heffernan and Mary Dell Harrington, two moms who met years ago while volunteering in their kids’ classroom and began talking about the issues and challenges of parenting their older kids who were in college.
Those conversations and commiserations led to the creation of the Grown and Flown blog (now website), a Facebook page and Parents group, and a newly released book called “Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close As a Family, and Raise Independent Adults.”
All of the Grown and Flown resources exist to help parents of kids ages 15-25, because as their tagline explains, “Parenting Never Ends.” And parenting a teen or young adult today is a very different experience than it was just one generation ago.
Teens and their parents are much more connected today, and we know so much more about our kids’ lives than our parents did. This can be both a positive and a negative when it comes to our relationships with them, as it makes it much easier to fall into an unhealthy “helicopter parent” mode.
In addition to all the normal angst of the teens years that we all went through, today’s kids grapple with the added pressures of navigating social media, online bullying, health issues like vaping, and the crazy stressful arenas of standardized testing and college admissions.
When kids leave for college or other adult endeavors, many of them – along with their parents, face challenges with separating and letting go. Discovering a balance between staying connected and encouraging independence is crucial. This is why having effective resources for parents of older kids is so valuable and necessary.
If you are the parent of a high school or college aged child, I highly suggest you check out the Grown and Flown community online. Their Parents Group on Facebook is over 130,000 members strong and provides parents the opportunity to ask questions (even anonymously) and discuss every topic related to raising teens and young adults with fellow parents and professionals in the U.S. and around the world.
The Grown and Flown book is one I wish had been around before my own kids started high school. It’s full of excellent advice that you’ll keep coming back to as your kids move through the oftentimes tumultuous, yet also wonderful, teen and college years. Consider it the “What to Expect 15 Years Later” supplement we all need.
To learn more about the Grown and Flown book and see where you can purchase it, please visit https://grownandflown.com/grown-and-flown-book/
(Marybeth Bock writes for both the Scottsdale Moms Blog and Grown and Flown. Her piece on talking with teens about their sexual health is included in the “Love and Sex” chapter of the Grown and Flown book.)