With the holiday season behind us, soon-to-be high school graduates across the country are preparing for the stretch run.
Entering the last few months of their K-12 careers, seniors have plenty to worry about. Capstone projects, SATs, ACTs, college applications, final exams, senior pictures, prom … the list goes on and on.
So how can parents help make the process smooth for their beloved teenagers, while attempting to keep them motivated and avoid senioritis?
Here are my Top 5 tips:
NO. 5: PLAN FINAL SEMESTER
It’s important to know exactly what’s required of your soon-to-be graduate in this final semester. And it’s important to know it well before it happens.
For instance, you wouldn’t want your teen to go viral on Snapchat because they had to walk across the stage without a cap and gown, right? Most schools need your student to sign up, give their sizes, and potentially be ready to hand over cash, or a check.
Get a pad of paper and write out what’s required of them along with any due dates. Anything from cap and gown purchase, diploma name finalization or when that all-important college application is due to the admissions department. Post it on the fridge, or in an email to the whole family.
There’s a million little things that need to be done, so this practice can be helpful in the long run. Some schools may even have a list for you, so take advantage!
Although this may bug your independent “I can do it myself” teen, they’ll thank you for it later.
NO. 4: REMIND THEM GRADES MATTER
Even the best high school students can become burned out. Forgetting to turn in that paper, take a test or show up on time for a group presentation can happen.
Give them a break from the normal grind. Don’t push too hard, they already have plenty of teachers to do that. Just ask about their day at dinner, or maybe take them out for ice cream and have a casual conversation.
Remember to give them a hand, within reason, if they ask for it. Even if it’s just a car ride to their friend’s house for a study session.
NO. 3: REMEMBER THE PAST
It never hurts to remind your teen how hard they worked in the past decade to get where they are now. Applaud them for it. All the art work, projects, papers, studying and late-night homework has led them up to this moment. Encourage them to keep their eyes on the prize!
NO. 2: ESTABLISH ME TIME
Most adults remember what it was like to be a senior in high school, and with administrators, teachers, counselors, coaches, family and friends pulling them in 47 different directions, sometimes it’s important to just take a breath.
Give them $20 and let them go out with their friends on a Friday night (make sure to set a curfew!). Encourage them to work out, which will help them release their frustrations using sweat.
A little relaxation can go a long way, so an occasional video game session on Saturday with dad is OK!
NO. 1: HAVE FUN!
Although the end of their high school career is near and college is around the corner, don’t forget to have a little fun, too.
It may be a stressful time in their lives, but little things like taking a weekend trip to the lake, participating in casino night fundraisers with the local booster club alongside them, or just spending time doing something they love creates memories they’ll cherish one day.
And in the grand scheme of things, that’s all that matters!
Brian M. Bergner Jr. is sports editor for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @SportsWriter52, or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.