Monthly Series for Parents of High School Seniors: March
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 these articles as monthly emails HERE.
March: Time for Big Decisions (& Some Spring Cleaning)
Spring has finally arrived, which means graduation feels like it's right around the corner.
Take a deep breath. I know--it's crazy how fast time is going.
March is the last month before you get really busy with events, activities, and ceremonies, which is why it’s a good month for a road trip and spring cleaning. Read below for more details.
And fellow parent--here's one more thought at the start of this month: remember to soak it all in. Preparing to say goodbye always hurts, but it hurts even more when it's laced with regret. I'm not recommending that you start stalking your teen (that's creepy), but I am encouraging you to pause at least once a day and thank God for your senior and for these last months of high school you'll share together. Ask him to open your eyes to new memories, and to fill your heart.
3 Ideas for March
A memory to capture: Take a college road trip together, either to compare schools or for a "this is my new home next year" tour.
Now that the weather is warming up, plan a weekend trip with your senior. The experience of visiting campus, touring dorms, and seeing local hot spots generates excitement for both you and them. Tip: this trip is also a chance for parents to talk to advisers about schedules and courses when they’re less busy than during the bustle of orientation.
A conversation to have: Ask your teen, "What are the top 3 most important things influencing your college decision?"
While some kids have made their college decision by March, there are plenty still in the decision-making process. If your teen is still weighing his options, set aside some time to talk through his thought process with him. I recently did this with my son (a senior) and it helped both of us to think objectively about the two schools he was considering. We even made a spreadsheet to rank his most important values and generate a score for each school. Don’t forget to encourage him to pray, too; choosing a college is an opportunity to learn how to make big decisions with God’s help.
An exercise to let go: Spring clean together.
Take it from me: you DO NOT want to be deciding what to keep and what to purge the week before your teen heads to college. It will be stressful. Tears will be shed. Angry words will erupt. Make the packing and moving process easier in August by spring cleaning together now. Schedule a Saturday with your teen to go through their room. Without deliberating too hard, create piles for items to purge or donate. Also spend time collecting and consolidating memorabilia (photos, drawings from when your teen was 5-years-old, old stuffed animals). March feels early but you’ll thank yourself later.
Parting parenting inspiration:
"Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you."