The year of Lasts, your child’s senior year. It is a year full of preparation, emotion and transition. Come January many seniors have the next year already mapped out, and for those don’t have a clue, it can be stressful.
Regardless of where your child is, this is not the time to drop the ball on grades and responsibilities. The senior slump can be a real deal. Last semester grades do count and all colleges will require a final transcript of grades. Many students at this point are already taking dual credit or AP classes and those grades will travel with them. They have worked hard for 12 and a half years and now is not the time to be nonchalant.
At this stage in the parenting game, it’s wise to remind kids about maintaining good discipline habits even if they have been accepted into that top college or trade school or gotten that scholarship. A big drop in grades can result in an admission offer being rescinded.
Honor your senior by making them feel special the whole year. Praise their good efforts and help them work on areas they need to strengthen for post high school life. Give them more responsibility this semester and maybe a bit more freedom in the form of a later curfew.
Let your senior be his or her own advocate. We encourage our daughters to do most of the legwork in getting registered for college and finding a place to live. That way, they took ownership of their future and felt a sense of pride because of it all.
This time of year is a good time to go over a budget with your senior. If sports and extracurriculars are winding down, then recommend they get a job to save up for the fall. Be real about how much things cost. This is a great time to have them open a bank account and get a debit card. They will learn to appreciate all that you have already done.
Remind them to make good decisions. As they get older, they will be tempted in social settings with alcohol, drugs and maybe uncomfortable sexual situations. Also, now is not the time to skip school or pull pranks. They should pay special attention to what they post on social media, colleges and future employers can look at what’s out there.
Communicate with your student regularly about how things are going. With so many senior events planned, it’s good to coordinate calendars and have a checklist. Set up that senior photo shoot, start planning prom and graduation party details.
And lastly, give them hugs, let them know you are there for them and how proud you are.