Tips for Parents

Advice For The Parent Of A High School Grad

It’s spring. High school seniors are almost walking across the stage for graduation. We asked college parents a question. “If you were to give one piece of advice to a parent with a high school student graduating soon, what would you say?” Here’s what we learned.

  • “Relax your last summer before you start college because it’s such a change. You’re thrown in with all different people and personalities, you are fending for yourself, dealing with classes and extracurricular activities. All very stressful.”
  • “Be there for them. Don’t hang them out to dry and make them solve all their problems. If they face difficulty (which they will) brainstorm with them ways to solve them. Don’t solve them, just help them.”
  • “Remind them that there is no perfect college choice! Many are concerned that they will go to the wrong school. Next, yes, do some family things, vacations, dinners etc. Take photos! Hopefully you have spend senior year enjoying the “lasts” concerts, games whatever.”
  • “This is more practical, but have them work over summer, and use their savings as their college weekly spending…. Also, book flights early for their vacations to save as holiday flights expensive … but of course enjoy them each moment”
  • “Definitely take a family vacation together!! Even it is a long weekend, do something!! I treasured that family vacation together… I’m really glad I have those family memories of the summer before he started college!!”
  • “Don’t freak out the first quarter if they hate it. Be patient and give it time.”
  • “Teach the child how to cook, do laundry and talk to people face to face.”
  • “I think I would suggest that they try to remain present to what “is” instead of what “was” or “might be.” I remember using the mantra. “Be here now,” whenever my mind began fly fishing for phantoms with both of my kids.
  • “Keep in mind you have a child who is mentally and physically able to go to college. There are people with young adult children that will never live independently.”
  • “Remember that college is so much more than a degree. It is for learning about life, about getting along with people who are not like you, and about finding out who you are. … Once they get to school, it is our job as parents to provide the scaffolding for them to make it on their own. Don’t pull back completely and don’t over do for them. Give them support and encouragement to learn to do on their own… YOU know your child. Trust your instinct. When you feel in your heart that your child is in need – intervene. They might not tell you or ask you for help so you must trust what you know. and most importantly, DO NOT ASSUME THEY ARE DEAD OR MISSING WHEN THEY DO NOT RETURN YOUR TEXT IMMEDIATELY!”
  • “Give yourself a break.”
  • “Keep perspective! You will survive. And remember the goal is to empower them to be healthy, happy young adults who can function in the real world.”

A special thanks to all the parents in our Facebook group for sharing such incredible advice! And congratulations to the high school graduates (and their families!) from all of us at UniversityParent!

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