So you survived their junior year of high school–congratulations, mom!
Let’s be honest, it wasn’t always easy for you (or your child).
Now you’re heading into Senior Year and you should feel like a pro, but deep down you’re not so sure you’re going to make it through.
Of course you will; this is my second time so I promise it’s doable.
I got my son to graduation and I know I will get my daughter there this year too.
But somehow, I don’t think it matters how many kids you usher through this final year, it’s always going to be tough.
It’s just not the same each time.
My teens have very different grades, styles, personalities, and stress triggers (not to mention gender). My daughter isn’t even looking at any of the same colleges as my son.
It’s leaving me totally stressed–almost like I’ve never done this before.
I have lists of things I should do, but I don’t know where to start.
But just like you, I’m going to pull it together.
While there are oodles of things to do (hello, did the test scores get sent with the application?), and things NOT to do (panic), there are a few truths you just have to accept and some behaviors that aren’t going to benefit your or your teenager.
You need to concentrate on reducing your stress load this year, not adding to it.
There are so many moments you want to be fully present for this year so you can enjoy them. Don’t let the overwhelm and pressures rob you of this time with your senior. There are memories to be made and time to be cherished, because before long they’re not going to be under your roof anymore.
I know we’re all going to struggle through this year, even those of us who have done it before. But there are definitely some things we can do to make it a more pleasant experience for all of us.
These are my senior year survival tips for you.
Stop the comparison train!
The first thing to let go of is worrying about everyone else’s kids. What they are doing doesn’t matter, and the comparisons and competition is brutal. Do we really want to teach them to “keep up with the Joneses”, this young?
Believe me, they will be comparing and contrasting with each other, so as a parent let it go, let it go, let it go!
I really believe our kids will all end up right where they are supposed to. They will find their place and their tribe.
“Comparisons are the thief of joy. Never compare a child’s accomplishments to another. It does not define them, it defines you.”
Choosing where they want to apply may seem daunting, but it’s nothing compared to actually completing the applications.
My son found schools he loved, but it required a lot of researching, tours and interviews all on top of the already crazy busy and over scheduled life of a high school kid. It was a lot!
But at least the decided where to go part of it had some elements of fun and excitement. The applications, not so much.
It’s a painful process, for everyone. While it’s true that our kids are (or should be) doing most of the work, we parents will still actively participate as naggers, proofreaders, project managers and, most definitely, bankers.
To save everyone headaches, the best approach is an organized one. Start early, make sure you’ve got a calendar with important submission deadlines and don’t let them wait until the last minute to write those essays.
Oh and also make sure you keep copies of EVERYTHING!!!
“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”
Senior year is expensive.
The opportunities to spend money are endless – senior pictures, senior rings, bricks, trips, prom, beach days. Mix in the cost of all those college applications and you end up with a lot of extra expenses.
Don’t feel you have to do it all or pay for it all.
You can agree on a set budget at the beginning of the year and let them choose what is most important or they can pay for anything above and beyond. The reality is they won’t even remember half of it and they’re going to be managing their own budgets pretty soon, so it’s a good practice run.
Overall, try not to stress about that the money too much because, you know, next year. (yikes!)
“If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money.”
– Abigail Van Buren
Let’s talk about senioritis.
By senior year, kids and parents alike are pretty much over it. So yes, senioritis is a thing.
What does that look like? Like a definite lack of motivation.
They don’t want to work, clean up–sometimes just getting more than a grunt out of them is a miracle. Honestly, I don’t really blame them.
Let go, loosen the leash a little because next year you won’t be holding one at all. Let them make their choices– good or bad. Give them–and yourself a break because a lot of change is coming.
“I think I’m quite ready for another adventure.” – Bilbo Baggins
It’s Okay To Miss Them Already
As your kid gets closer to leaving, you’re probably going to see less of them.
They may be in their room (with headphones on) more. They want privacy and time to chill–time to not stress about all the stuff they have to do and the big decisions sitting on their shoulders.
Or they may be spending a lot more time with their friends. This is your teen’s last year living at home, so try to remember that their time with friends is really important.
Either way, most likely they will be talking less–at least to you.
You may be sad about that–and kind of miss them even when they are still here. But I guarantee there will be times when you wish you could pack ’em up and move ’em to their dorm room ASAP!
My neighbor once told me this was God’s way of making the split easier–that it’s part of their transition to living independently.
Still, the short texts, the snapchats and the happy face shining through your Facetime calls make it all worth it. And fear not…once they move out, they will still need you.
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” -Dr. Seuss
#Money, #Carepackages, #Laundry, #MoreMoney
This was a contributor post from Dana Baker-Williams, a not-so-perfect mom of two, a writer and a parent/teen coach. She offers advice from the trenches, a non judgmental ear and tips based on the science of psychology and the reality of parenting. Her work comes with a good dose of humor and the simple recognition that no matter how hard we may try, none of us is a perfect parent. https://www.
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