Monthly Series for Parents of High School Seniors: January
Note: each month we're giving parents of seniors a spiritually encouraging "checklist" to capture the best moments from senior year. Sign up to automatically get a full year's worth of memory-making ideas, plus these articles as monthly emails HERE.
January: The Second-Semester Countdown to Graduation Has Kicked Off
This year has been etched in your mind for four years. It's the year of your teen’s graduating class. The year that goes on their cap tassel, their class ring, their diploma.
Class of 2018.
Sheesh--it’s like a train that isn't slowing down.
If you feel a stone in your stomach, I sooooo get it. As a mom of teen boys and a daughter in college, I know exactly what it feels like to start a new year thinking, "This is the year my baby leaves."
It's a mixture of excitement for them, and nervousness and grief for you.
This last semester is also really busy, which is why it's important to spend time connecting with your senior. The follo
wing three ideas will help.
3 Ideas for January
A memory to capture: Play hooky
Take a "snow day" to spend quality time with your senior. Whether you live in a warm or cold climate, select a day to take your teen out of school for breakfast, lunch, or the whole day. Plan a meal out, go see a movie, or do something else you enjoy together. If you know your teen’s schedule really well, you can surprise them with this hooky day; if not, make sure to give them advance notice so it doesn't fall on exam day. (Yikes!)
A conversation to have: Ask your teen, "What are three goals you have between now and graduation?"
Depending on your teen's personality, they may immediately have an answer to this. If they’re not a goal-setter, however, and you anticipate hearing, "Uh....." followed by eye-rolling, consider softening the question. Instead, try "What's on your bucket list between now and graduation?" or "How do you see this last semester going?
Let them share the vision they have in their head, and make notes to pray about how you can help make it happen.
An exercise to let go: How to take public transportation
Depending on where you live, your teen may already be adept at taking public transportation. But considering that a lot of us live in suburban and rural neighborhoods, public transport might still be a mystery to your teen. Well--it's time to learn, because undoubtedly they'll encounter a situation in their near future when they won't have easy access to a car (or you to pick them up) and they'll need to get somewhere or make it back home. Walk through the process of how to find local bus/subway routes, and have them take a route at least once before the end of the year. Also practice scheduling or hailing a cab or shuttle.
Parting parenting inspiration:
Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.