Ep. 66: Grown and Flown and Still Parenting
Lisa Heffernan, co-founder and author of Grown & Flown, shares her vast knowledge on parenting during the late-teens and even early 20s. Our Kids may be more grown up, but it doesn’t mean parents don’t still have an important role to play!
Full Show Notes
Parents can feel alone when their teen gets older and starts pushing them away, even though a parent’s job is far from over. Luckily, the Internet is full of helpful communities and resources to guide parents through this difficult time and highlight that changes your teen is going through are totally normal. But this wasn’t the case 17 years ago.
How was a parent supposed to know whether to check their teen’s grades or not? Or what to do when they go through a break-up? They had to rely on their gut and the other parents around them, which was probably a limited pool of information. Plus, every family is different and some issues, while extremely common, might be embarrassing to bring up. Thanks to bloggers like Lisa Heffernan, parents don’t need to feel isolated anymore.
Lisa Heffernan, and her co-founder Mary Dell-Harrington, established the Grown and Flown website because like many parents, they just felt lost with their emerging adult children. She started with her own experience, but added expert opinions and research to better inform her advice. Having built a massive online community with millions of viewers each month, Lisa has seen all of the most frequently asked questions about raising children in their late teens and early twenties, and has come up compelling answers.
This week, we went through some of the stand out elements from her book, aptly named Grown and Flown, so we can fill in the blanks for wondering parents whose children are nearing the infamous departure for college or who are new at the whole empty-nester experience.
- Debunking the “helicopter parenting” myth
- The danger of location tracking
- What to do when someone breaks your teen’s heart
- To ‘portal’ or not to ‘portal’
- What the heck “soiling the nest” or when teens lash out just before leaving for college, a completely normal behavior that can shock unprepared parents.
- One of the ‘big days’ for teens and what you can do to commemorate it
Lisa has seen so much co-running Grown and Flown and I’m excited to share her insights and experience with our listeners!
The 22-minute public version is free to listen to, and the 40-minute extended version, packed with extra goodies, is reserved for site members. Log in or start a free trial to access everything our site has to offer!
Word-for-word examples of WHAT to say to your teen
1. At the start of each semester, set new expectations for the coming one:
“Let’s talk about what our expectations are around this semester. Last semester you did [x,y,z] what do you think you could do this semester? What kind of grades can you achieve in various classes? What level of keeping your work in on time can you achieve?”
2. To avoid conflict over access to your kids grades (on ‘the portal’), set expectations::
3. Call out soiling the nest when you see it:
About Lisa Heffernan
Lisa’s writing, outside of Grown and Flown has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Forbes, and Vox.com. In addition to co-authoring and compiling her latest book Grown and Flown, Lisa is a best-selling solo author with titles including Goldman Sachs: The Culture of Success, Optical Illusions: Lucent and the Crash of Telecom, and Be the Change.
Inspired by her own parenting experience and the lack of resources for parents of teens, Lisa and her co-founder Mary Dell-Harrington started Grown and Flown as a blog in the mid-2000s. Since then, it has grown to be a huge community of parents online, including a Facebook forum of over 137,000! Lisa and Mary were featured on People’s 2017 list of “25 Women Changing the World” and are still at it.
Residing in New York, Lisa is the mother of her own emerging adults.