Monday, March 31, 2014

No More Sideline Conversations: So We've Written A Book!

From senior year of high school ‘til they say “I do!”
Empty nester? Not exactly.
If you’ve seen the book, “What to expect when you’re expecting” by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel, fast forward to senior year of high school, graduation, college, life after college…what can you expect as a parent of these kids? If you think of the book, “Letting Go” by Karen Levin Coburn, really? Who do you think you’re kidding? Not with our parenting styles. Not how we’ve been parenting all of these years.

Well a friend of mine and I have written a "book" about this ongoing parenting. Now that we have this new website, we are going to do something fun: do you remember studying "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens? Well, he released his book in serial form and we thought we'd do the same. so....over the next however long, we'll be releasing ours in chronological order. After all, we want to keep you interested.
As a fellow baby boomer shared, “I could feel the boot kick by my parents when I graduated from college….When I asked my Dad in my late 20’s if I could borrow 10 grand to buy a car and I told him I’d pay him back.” Dad’s response,”prime plus X….” BB said "There may have been presents under the tree and at birthdays, but otherwise, you were on your own."

Not us. Not us Baby Boomers. We’ve always done it a little differently. If you thought your days of parenting were over, you’re sorely mistaken. Hang on, hold on, the ride's just picked up momentum. Your Gen Y kids have just been accepted to college, are in college or have graduated from college. You no longer have the benefit of your “sideline” friends. You know, those people you used to talk to while watching your kids kick the soccer ball down the field? Parents of same aged kids. Gone are the days of standing on the sidelines comparing notes with other parents of similar aged kids. You just don't realize how valuable those sideline conversations were until they aren’t there anymore.

When you're a parent of a school aged kid (K-12) there are so many opportunities to gather information about your child: from their friends, the stuff they're doing, the things they should be doing, the timing of applications, of interviewing for private schools, for college, looking for sports' camps or jobs over the summer...the network is incredible and incredibly valuable! You have other parents to share with. There's very little like it. Where else is there such a great "laboratory" for this raising-a-child-thing? The ages are similar, often you're talking about the same gender, you're living in the same community, familiar with the resources, the demographics... it's great!

We see more and more ads for these kinds of opportunities online with "Mommy bloggers" or online communities. All good, but not the same as the "sidelines" and us Baby Boomers aren’t as likely to do the blog-thing. Oh sure, we Google stuff and then leap around from website to website, but our generation tends to turn to the good old fashioned book. We’ve been conditioned through the college application process to turn to reference books/guides and now that they’ve moved onto that next phase, there’s no parenting manual out there. Nothing to alert you to potential issues or challenges.

Once your kids have gone off to college, do you think the questions stop coming or your consultation is no longer requested? What are you, nuts? On the contrary. These Gen Y-ers have numerous things they want to run by you or ask for your advice on and where do YOU as the parent of this age group go for answers or questions or consultation? You don't see those same parents anymore, you don't run into them necessarily, so having a resource or a place to go or a reference to turn to...that could be invaluable!

This "book" is the:
“wish I would have known thats!”
“Would have been nice to have had a heads up about that!”
“Why didn’t anybody tell me that was coming? Are you kidding me!?”

What's wonderful about this website is that you can chime in! We would love to get your thoughts, your ideas, and your life's experiences. We certainly don't claim to be experts, by any stretch of the imagination, we just know that we learn SO much from each other and we want to continue to share and learn as our kids grow older.
Once A Mom, Always A Mom!

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