Mom's Guide to Senior Year
Over the last 18 or so years you have dedicated everything in your life to shaping a human, bringing them to this moment: high school graduation. They are about to be adults. YOU get credit for how amazing they are. You're proud, excited and maybe a little sad they won't need you anymore. Or, maybe you're worried. Worried they aren't ready to handle life's every day challenges of separating whites and colors!
This is not an official to do list reminding you to fill out the FAFSA, etc. Your guidance counselor should have your back there. This is just a few nuggets of wisdom from one mom who's been there.
Talk to them like an adult.
Have all those big talks you put off when they were younger. They are about to say goodbye to childhood friends and hello to new college friends. Talk to them about the value of relationships and how to form and hang onto the right ones. Talk to them about your own life failures, college years, young adulthood and what you've learned. Remember it's not a lecture, it's a conversation; really listen.
Let them go a little.
Teens are far more likely to handle the stress of adulthood better if they are eased into it. Instead of throwing them in the deep end after they move out allow them to get a little taste now. Teach them to be resourceful by NOT doing everything for them. Let up on the rules a wee bit. Let them suffer the consequences of mistakes. A little taste of being an adult, both the freedoms and responsibilities, will help them wade into adulthood a little more prepared and a little less likely to go wild or have a nervous breakdown.
Get a life outside the kids.
It's ok to back off the booster clubs a little. I definitely over volunteered for several years. The best decision I made my son's senior year was step back from my position in the booster club to just enjoy being the parent of a senior. While you're at it, do something new just for you. Learn a new skill, find a hobby, go out with friends.
Remind them of their strengths.
Write your senior a letter that they won't open until they are gone. Tell them what you wish you knew at their age. Remind them of the qualities they possess that will get them through the hard times. Trust me, there will be a moment midway through Freshman year of college when they will call you crying. This is when they need to read that letter.
This year will be gone in the blink of an eye. Don't forget to pause and enjoy every last minute!
xoxo - B