There are some big transitional moments in our lives that can feel like they’re going to dictate the entire rest of them. Rarely are they as crucial and key as we think of them, but minimizing how important they feel doesn’t help. If you have a teenager that is approaching the end of high school, they might be full of worries, anxieties, and thoughts that can hold them back. Here are a few ways to help them combat them.
Addressing the big question of college
For a lot of teens (not all of them), the big question hanging over their heads is what is life going to be like at college? Letters of acceptance are going to be rolling in across the country and, while the wait for those is hard, the transition after them can be a whole new kind of unknown. Help your kid address their college anxieties. Take the time to visit the college and campus they will be on. Read online reviews of it and experiences from past attendees. Make a list of the pros of going to college and what they’re going to love about life out there. Support them and stay in touch to help them combat homesickness while encouraging them to get out there and experience their new environment.
Saying goodbye to high school
It’s not just about what’s coming up ahead, it’s about what is being left behind as well. Saying goodbye to a home environment, a school, and the friend group they have established can be extremely emotional. You can’t stop the hands of time turning and pretend that everything will say the same, but you can help them celebrate it and send it off with a big bang. The prom is practically built for that purpose and helping them make the best out of it, with the best prom dresses, the best pre-party at your home, and helping them make it special can really be the catharsis that they need. Of course, there are still going to be tears along the way.
Talking about the future
After high school is when the world will start to treat your kid as an adult. That’s a scary thought for parents and teens alike. It can feel like a great big unknown, but you can help make it feel a little less scary by talking about what’s coming up and what plans they might have. Talk to your teen about their future and be supportive of their choices, while highlighting that there are plenty of other routes they can take if one doesn’t work out. Putting expectations on them that are too heavy can end up causing them plenty of worry and guilt, so be more understanding when it comes to talking about the future.
At the end of high school, we move into the first step of adult life and, more importantly, say goodbye to a lot of things that have been stable and familiar for years. Take the change that your kid is going through seriously with the tips above.
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