Monthly Series for Parents of High School Seniors: October
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.
October: Savor these days (because busy is right around the corner)
With the school year officially hitting its' groove, October is a month to savor. The weeks promise to be busy, but we’re not in the heavy holiday season yet.
In other words, take a chill, parent. You'll thank yourself later.
Soak up all the cozy fall moments you can. And make the most of those in-between moments during your week, like when you have an unexpectedly thoughtful conversation with your teen in the five minute drive to the next activity. Or when you pass their doorway before bed and have a quick catch-up about the day to come.
And when a deadline or decision is pressing down upon you all, remember to pause with a deep breath and invite Jesus into the moment. He can guide each of you step by step this month.
3 Ideas for October
A memory to capture: Homecoming
For a lot of teens, their senior year is the first and last chance to attend homecoming festivities, including the homecoming dance. While dances aren’t a fit for everyone, if your teen shows an interest (or if you know they secretly want to go), encourage them to make plans to attend. If they’re anxious about not having a date (or the prospect of getting rejected for asking someone), remind them that lots of kids go to dances without dates, and that the night can be really fun when spent with a group of friends. Then when the evening comes, you totally have permission to be that parent who takes 5 million pictures until the kids are rolling their eyes.
>> Related: I have growing pains about my kids growing up
A conversation to have: Ask your teen, “What are three things that have nothing to do with college/future plans that you like/are interested in/passionate about?”
It’s likely that your teen is already starting to receive questions from other adults about their plans for next year, and how they’re progressing with their academic/extra-curricular college-prep goals. While these queries are well-meaning, they can also heap pressure onto your teen’s shoulders, giving them the false idea that GPAs and college acceptance letters are measures of their value.
Help them to throw off this pressure by directing focus onto their other passions and interests that have nothing to do with college or future plans, and everything to do with who God made them to be. Take every opportunity you can this month to affirm their unique gifts and interests, especially those that fall outside of school or future planning.
>> Related: Why I'm passionate about your young people
A life skill to teach: Planning
Speaking of planning, a critical life skill to learn is how to take big goals and projects and break them down into smaller tasks that are managed in the midst of busy schedules. (If you’re thinking that YOU could use a refresher with this skill, I can relate. Let’s just say we all keep practicing this one and acknowledge how hard it is—K?)
Invite your teen to practice this skill with you by identifying one big goal or project they have this year and breaking it down together into steps. Then have your teen schedule those steps on their calendar, and keep checking in to see how they’re doing with their plans.
>> Related podcast: helping teens set goals and manage time (with a printable worksheet)
Parting parenting inspiration:
You can make many plans,
but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.
Next up: November—it’s crunch time