When your high school senior graduates, he or she will undergo a transition from two very distinct stages of his or her life. The life of a boy or girl and the life of a man or woman will be demarcated by the graduation ceremony which signifies a transformation from the mode of learning to the mode of establishing a distinct offering to humanity. There are a few points to keep in mind when ushering your son or daughter through this very important life transition.
A Change of Perception
It’s important to see your son or daughter in a different way. It’s important to look at him or her in a shifted light. It isn’t simply a matter of them by themselves undergoing a metamorphosis. It is a metamorphosis of the perceptions involved — their perceptions and the perceptions of everyone in their life, especially yours. Moving forward you are to see them as having the capability of handling the different scenarios that they are undergoing. A transformation of perceptions, most importantly your perception, is critical. When your senior comes to you with a problem asking for your help, such as with relationships, with studies, or with career options, you should see them as capable of coming up with their own solutions rather than figuring things out for them.
Continuously Remind Them Their Direction
Remind your graduating senior that they are now swimming into a bigger lake. They will be faced with opportunities, challenges, and rewards much greater than those they experienced while they were in high school. They will have to deal with a broader set of life situations, whether they are going to college or going directly into a job or startup company. They might want to swim back and stay in the comfort zone in their lives. Gently nudge them onwards, into this bigger lake. When they express their doubts and fears, give them a soothing, patient, understanding edging them forward.
The Importance of Ritual
The ritual of graduation signifies this important rite of passage and is very important to own and appreciate in its own right. It is made tangible through the use of the ceremonial cap and gown, tassels, and honor cords, available from places like The Honors Program, recognize the various distinctions they have achieved while going through their studies. While it’s easy to brush off the importance of ceremony, we cannot neglect its value because the ceremony anchors our memories and education and packages them up in a manner that makes it easy to reflect back on the lessons and experiences gone through. Do follow the guidelines of your son or daughter’s school in honoring the rituals.
Navigating the Emotions
The emotional turbulence during graduation time of your senior’s life can be intense. As Health Central describes, Graduation Anxiety is very real. Treat the emotions you and your HS Senior are going through with respect, trust, and openness. Your HS Senior might be confused, you might be confused, and their friends and siblings might not be clear how to handle the changes. There is no ‘right answer’ for addressing this anxiety. The solution is to respectfully discuss the emotions you are going through with your senior at all times, and allow space for you to not necessarily be clear on how to deal with each other’s changes. While each family is different, honesty in our feelings is central, at least to ourselves. This go a long way in determining what to do, when, and how.
The Importance of Finance
Making sure that your HS Senior has the proper financial intelligence to handle the various steps ahead of them is critical. It requires changing the way you treat your HS Senior to focus on what it is that is most essential for their development. It is less about teaching them and more about giving them the space to manage more and more aspects of their life. Whether financially independent or not, giving them the space to make financial decisions, and giving them to space to feel the various consequences of their actions, will give them the tools to handle life choices in front of them. Since graduation marks the change in state and demeanor of your HS Senior, you will be faced with a number of difficult, sometimes painful experiences. These experiences are a challenge for you as a parent, and your HS Senior as a graduate, to see and shape a greater, broader reality for themselves and for society in which we all live. Your role of being caretaker will switch to the role of being a guide or resource for your HS Senior.