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Monthly Series for Parents of High School Seniors: November

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.

November: Finding gratitude in the midst of crunch time

You may not quite be feeling it yet, but November is crunch time. As the days go by, the pile of activities, deadlines, and stressors gets bigger...just in time to coordinate with increases in academic workloads, college application deadlines, and end-of-the-season tournaments, banquets, and events.

It can be a lot to deal with.

Here’s a helpful and unexpected stress-reliever: Practice gratitude. If you’re not already in the routine of noticing and sharing the things you’re grateful for, now’s an excellent time to start. Likewise, invite your whole family, including your senior, to join you. Also, try these three ideas--

3 Ideas for making the most of November with your high school senior...

A memory to capture: Gratitude session

Your social media feeds are likely loaded with 30-day gratitude challenges this month. Whether you love them or hate them, they’re a good reminder to set aside time for a special gratitude session. In this session you’re going to write down 10 things you’re grateful for about your teen. Then share them with your teen to give them a boost during a stressful time.

Also, tuck this list away where you won’t lose it. It'll come in handy when you’re planning for their graduation party (or when they’re driving you crazy and you need a reminder about how wonderful they are and how much you’ll miss them).

A conversation to have: "Let’s talk about college/future finances"

Your teen probably enjoys financial conversations about as much as they like to discuss sex with their parents. Nevertheless, there are likely some BIG expenses on the horizon, and talking about them is critical. Whether it’s planning for the expense of college or preparing for moving out on their own, budgets, scholarships, savings accounts (and maybe some spreadsheets) are in order. So block off time on your calendar with your teen and get ready to get into the details about how you’re going to work as a team to pay for the road ahead.

A life skill to teach: Banking and understanding credit

Speaking of finances, if your teen doesn’t have a checking account yet, now’s the time to start one. If they do, consider this a good reminder to check in with them about how they’re keeping track of their expenses and managing their spending.

Likewise, teens become eligible for credit cards once they turn eighteen (a fact credit card companies and banks are eager to exploit), so now is the time to sit down and discuss responsible credit habits. Don’t assume your teen knows how credit works, or that they automatically understand your expectations for how to manage credit. Be detailed, thorough, and clear.

A verse to reflect on this month:

Psalm 136:1:
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.

Next up: December-we don’t have to tell you that this is the last "official" Christmas with them at home...

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