10 Ways of showing support to your high school senior

JMJ  *Seniors are under a lot of pressure, and need our caring support.  They have so much to think about:  college, job, financial aid, scholarship applications, possible transition to a new place and new friends.  Parents are busy too, but just a little effort can ease some of the tension created by this pressure-filled year.

Ring the School Bell 60/180 Days

Sabrina stole my “thotful spot” again! (where I go to think, think, think! like Winnie the Pooh bear) She has been spending hours on end communing with her laptop, under pressure researching, writing, and rewriting an English assignment, as well as working on her other academics.  She has developed a cold and is quite the miserable one.  I really wish I could help her in some way, but besides supplying the tissue and preparing meals, this is one of those things she needs to get through on her own.

I am trying the best I can to support Sabrina emotionally as well.  It’s hard, because as much as I want to help her, it is an emotional time for me.  I don’t know where she will be going next year, and even if she stays home, she will have her own life with me in the sidelines.  I know it is all part of growing up, for both of us.  We have always been very close, and I want what is best for her, but I will miss her.

Seniors are under a lot of pressure and need our caring support.  They have so much to think about:  college, job, financial aid, scholarship apps, transition to new place and friends.  Parents are busy too, but just a little effort can ease some of the tension created by this pressure-filled year.

I have found that our relationship has remained strong despite the pressures of the senior year.  Showing that you care will produce bonding memories. A few things that have helped us “weather” the senior storm:

  1. Keep the communication lines open, through many discussions, about whatever it is that is concerning them.  Talk about how you feel as a parent also, to perhaps get a little empathy from your child.  If they know this is hard on you also, then they might be easier to work with.
  2. Offer choices within parameters that you are willing to accept.  For example, we strongly suggested in-state schools, with a maximum of 7 college applications.  Obviously, everyone’s parameters will be different.  Include your child’s input while setting them, and they will appreciate that very much.
  3. Look to your child for some initiative, but help them with planning, scheduling  deadlines, and staying on track to meet their goals.
  4. Offer suggestions as to what schools you like, but allow your child to follow their inclinations as much as possible.  This will also increase their self-confidence for college, as they will be making most of their own decisions very soon, anyway.
  5. Don’t take college rejections personally.  Help your child understand that college admissions is a highly selective process.  Many other schools, which might not be their top choice, also offer top notch educations.
  6. Don’t nag.  Encourage instead.  I am so guilty of this one!  I get so nervous when it is starting to get close to any senior deadline. Watch your language.  Instead of, “Are you done yet”, or “I don’t think you are going to make the deadline!”, be inquisitive and ask about the contents of their essay.  Offer, but don’t push help.
  7. Don’t downplay their ideas, as to discourage them.  Personal essay topics should be their very own.
  8. Ease up on household chores, to open up time for them.
  9. Remember your high school year.  Think back to how it was for you and share these experiences with your child on a stroll, while driving, or over a cup of tea.
  10. Make the senior year memorable.  Have some fun along the journey.  What is your favorite place to go together?  Kidnap them for the day! We spent hours, on separate occasions, at the local Huntington botanical gardens, one of Sabrina’s top 3 places to spend the afternoon.  In fact, we finished up the school year by going to their Tea House for brunch.

I found this article from another blogger, that discussed making her son’s senior year special and memorable.  It was so thoughtful and sweet that I thought I would share it with you:


Sabrina Sr Photo 4
My Sweet Young Lady

Hey, look, 1/3 of the year has gone by already!  The other two are keeping up with their planners and are in a good mood, after a long, restful Thanksgiving weekend.  At least someone’s not exhausted around here!

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** Note to the Reader- Today’s narrative is an excerpt of our family’s school journey from a few years ago, during my eldest daughter’s senior year in high school, a rather emotional year, with its many ups and downs.

May God shower blessings on your family as he has on mine.    Annette






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