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Melanie Studer and Laura Dennis working at their computers on Next Phase Parenting

Nice to meet you!

We are Laura and Mel. We met online through a Facebook group for bloggers in the parenting teens and college students niche. After verifying neither of us was a creepy stalker or serial killer, we went on to become the best of friends in person also!

We recently joined to create a brand new place where we can move forward together and with you to converse about teens, adult children, aging parents, grandbabies, hobbies and more!

We are excited to meet you and invite you to join in the conversation!

Get our FREE Guide to Surviving the Next Phase:

10 Helpful Resources for Organizing, Financing, and Parenting

Get our 10 favorite resources for surviving in the next phase including the List of Important Documents, A Year of Care Package Printables, the Dorm Shopping Checklist, and more!

We hate spam and will never share your email address. By entering your information you are signing up to receive news and information from Next Phase Parenting. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Who is Next Phase Parenting?

Meet Laura and Mel

Moms

Mel and Laura with their kids

Laura and Mel are both moms to 3 grown children.  They know that learning to let go, while still being needed is one of the hardest parts of parenting in the Next Phase

 

 Writers and Speakers

Laura Dennis speaking at the Oklahoma Bloggers and Influencers conference

Laura and Mel love to write and share their experiences, tips, tricks, and resources with you! They are also available to speak with your group to encourage and support moms in whatever Next Phase you are in.

Grandmoms

Melanie and grandson

Mel, or “Mellie,” as she has chosen for her grandmom name became a grandmom in July 2022. She thinks hanging with her grandbaby is her new favorite part of her  Next Phase life.

Laura is not a grandmom, but hopes to be one some day.

Mel Studer standing in front of a tree

Challengers

Mel and Laura challenged their status quo as their children grew up and left their nests. They continue to confront each new challenge in this Next Phase. 

Mel is an Ennagram 8 (“Challenger”) so taking each day as an opportunity to grow and reflect is exciting to her.

melanie studer and her parents

Daughters

Laura and Mel are both daughters with aging parents who are healthy and not so healthy. Our parents need us more and more in their Next Phase, at the same time that our kids still need so much from us.

Laura Dennis in front of white brick wall with black flower design

Learners

We’re learning new hobbies, new strategies, and new ways to do life as it evolves in our Next Phase. 

Laura is an Enneagram 5 (“Learner”) and definitely takes on all things learning. She loves to read, listen to podcasts, and has taught herself how to build websites (like this one).

Our mission is to inspire, uplift and empower moms as they journey through the Next Phase so that they can celebrate their roles as a parent, grandmother, and daughter. We will do this by providing information and resources for the journey – college and career preparation for out teens

We are guided by Hebrews 10:22-25:

So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:22-25: Peterson, E. H. (2002). The Message. NavPress. Retrieved March 8, 2023 from https://www.biblegateway.com
Our Story

How it all started…

2014

Almost Empty Nest

Laura dropped her oldest son off at college. After realizing she had 5 years until all of her children would go to college, she began her Almost Empty Nest website to share her journey from a full nest to an empty nest with others following the same path.

2017

Parenting High Schoolers

Mel began Parenting High Schoolers when she still had 3 teenagers in her house and realized she was struggling to find the answers she needed to help them to success. What began as her own research has helped many parents navigate these years with teenagers.

2020

First Next Phase Parenting Summit

Laura and Mel teamed up to offer their first online event. Their first Next Phase Parenting Summit gathered over 20 experts in College and Career Preparation, Paying for College, Parenting Teens and Adult Children, and Empty Nesting to share their knowledge.

2023

Laura and Mel Merge

Laura and Mel decided to merge all of their experience, research, and knowledge into one comprehensive site called Next Phase Parenting.

Laura Dennis

More about Laura

Laura Dennis started her first blog, Almost Empty Nest, on a whim after dropping her oldest son off at college 9 years ago. Her mission was to uplift, inspire, and empower women who are transitioning from a full nest to an empty nest so they are able to let go, find their way, and celebrate their empty nest. She also provided resources for college preparation and helping parents have a positive relationship with their adult children.

She is excited to merge Almost Empty Nest with Parenting High Schoolers to form Next Phase Parenting.

Laura has been married to her college sweetheart, Brent, for thirty-one years. Together they have successfully launched three children into the world, two of them who are now self-supporting!

Melanie Studer

More about Mel

Mel is an educator of more than 30 years. She’s taught preschool, elementary, and middle school. She is currently in the process of getting certified as a life coach with an emphasis on middle school mindset and empowerment. She is an author and blogger, coming from www.parentinghighschoolers.com where she has written for more than six years.

Mel is excited to join forces with Laura as they merge their combined knowledge about parenting teens and young adults, as well as empty nest success at Next Phase Parenting.

She has been married to her husband, Kent, for almost twenty-nine years. They have two sons launched into adulthood and their final son is finishing up his senior year in high school. Her sweet grandson will be one in June.

Welcome!

Head over to the blog to get started!

Welcome to Next Phase Parenting!

Get our FREE Guide to Surviving the Next Phase:

10 Helpful Resources for Organizing, Financing, and Parenting

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