Review: Grown and Flown by Lisa Heffernan and Mary Dell Harrington

Big Brother is a sophomore in high school this year, and I think this is the perfect time to be reading Grown and Flown. If your child is older than that already, it’s still incredibly informative.

This book breaks down common issues we face as our children are preparing for and then leaving our homes. I like that it is segmented by issue, and not necessarily by timeline. I appreciate that they interview and reference a lot of experts, and don’t just claim to be experts themselves. I particularly enjoy that they discuss mental health through every aspect of the book, since as you know if your family has dealt with mental health, it comes up in everything.

What I liked most about this book is that all the chapters have lists of actionable items. There are personal stories and statistics, sure, but as a busy parent, having those lists of things to do is going to be invaluable as we start to face all these issues in our own home.

The one thing that kind of put me off is that while they mention the military, trade schools, and going straight to work as viable possibilities for young people, a lot of the book focused on what to do as a parent when your young adult goes to college. That’s fine; I know that’s the route most young people are taking now. But there weren’t even short chapters on what to do as a parent of a young person opting for one of the other routes. My teen (and I know this could change in the next couple of years) says he has no interest in college, and given his scholastic history, I believe him. He does not love school like I did, and even I ended up not going away to college. It would have been nice to see a short chapter on what we do as parents in those situations. On the other hand, there’s a whole Facebook group where I’m sure those things are discussed, so I guess I can get feedback there.

Overall, I enjoyed it, and I definitely feel more prepared for this fast-approaching stage. If you have a teen getting ready to fly the nest, this book is for you.

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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