This is it….the moment your child has been waiting for. Prom is over, the graduation cap has been decorated, and finals are complete. The last thing to do is throw that cap in the air and turn the tassel to the other side. They graduated! Your child should feel accomplished, excited, and relief all at once, but what happens the next day?
Think back to when you graduated high school. A few days after the excitement ended, and while you were waiting for either college, your new job, or whatever path you chose to start, you felt, well unsettled. Being in that weird state of waiting for the next thing to start can be anxious and unsettling. You're filled with a mix of emotions, on one hand you're happy that the culmination of 12 years of your life has ended and you've successfully completed this task known as high school. But on the other hand you're no longer faced with your usual day-to-day life. You won't see the teachers that you saw every day for years, the friends that you've known most of your life, and you won't have your parents holding your hand every step of the way. So how can you help your child during this transition period? There's no right answer. This is going to be a tough time for them. Some may take this in stride and look at it as a new challenge but others may feel nostalgic for what they once knew. But here are two important ways that you can help them navigate their life after graduation.
Help them adjust to change
Change is probably the biggest factor that causes hesitation when it comes to this new chapter. So help your child adjust! This can be done through a number of ways including breaking them out of their every day schedule, encouraging them to try new things over the summer, and embracing change with them by doing a new activity with them. If they're regular Monday mornings usually consist of going to school or going to practice, encourage them to get a summer job even if it's only for a few hours a day. Or ask them for help around the house or with errands. This will help create a new normal for them and will also help them understand that a break from the rigid schedule is not always a bad thing.
2. Game plan with them!
The biggest thing that comes with this anxiety is also uncertainty. Not knowing what your day today is going to be looking like or who your friends will be or how your classes will be feel like a huge burden for your child. Help them game plan by setting what your expectations are and what their expectations are and how you can achieve the. By helping them understand what their goals are , and creating a roadmap with them on how to get there, you'll help them alleviate the pressure of figuring it out on their own.
So I have one thing to say to you parents: congratulations on having a rock star kid! Now while this time might be an exciting and tricky one, I know that with your help your child is going to do great!