Tips for Parents of Graduating Seniors

I’m back! Like I stated in the last article, I will be talking to parents next. Transitioning from a parent of a child to an adult is probably as dramatic for the parent as well. Here you are having the responsibility of taking care of them and now you have to let go. That is a lot to take on but it is necessary if you do not want them to come back to your house! One of the greatest joy of a parent is knowing that your child is okay. So what can you do to help the success of your child? I have spoken on this topic before but for whatever reason I struggled putting the words together. (Hence, why it has been two weeks since the last tip.) This is what I want to share with you. 

First, let me be clear, I do not have any children so I am not an expert by any means. However, I have been blessed with AMAZING parents. So instead of flipping the tips to students, I will share what my parents did for me. Until they retired, they worked hard and didn’t back down on providing us with life lessons that are vital to me and my sisters. Even, now, I still gain wisdom to apply in my life. I will share the standing quotes that they have passed on to me, my sisters, and now grandchildren.

I’ll start with my dad. “Get you a job where you can turn the air on when it is hot and heat on when cold” The message I would give to parents is to encourage your child to make their own decisions. Now, if someone chooses to work in a position that is outside that is their decision. Your job as a parent is to present them with opportunities but explain to them that this is their decision. How great or horrible life turns out is their decision. The best gift my parents gave me was failure. My sisters and I have fell on our face plenty of times. Our parents let us make our own decisions and a lot of times get out of our own mess. They did help but we always knew that it was our responsibility to decide how we would respond. As much as they wanted to save us, they let us learn from our mistakes.

My mom’s quote, “Do what you have to do to get to where you want to go.” What a statement! In life, there are going to be a lot of things that you will dislike. Even though we may dislike things, those circumstances may be necessary to reach your goal. We know that as adults, but does your child know that? The way I explain it when I’m asked to speak to students at high school. Is graduating your goal? They will always respond with a yes. Even though you may not like a certain class, that class is necessary for you to graduate. Taking a test, working in a job you do not like, or staying up long nights working multiple jobs can ALL be temporary if you are treating it as a pit stop, not a destination. As I type this, I can smile knowing that I did a lot of pit stops in my life. I’m so grateful for parents that let me know that if I work hard to achieve a goal, I did not have to stay in the same place.

These are the things you can pass down to your children. Life is hard and unpredictable. Providing some doses of reality will help your child go a LONG way. Hiding the difficulties of life only makes it harder for them in the long run. Start having conversations that will give them value to push them to reach the next level. 

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