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Your child just graduated high school, and now after all of the tears and hugs you begin to wonder, what’s next? Once all of the celebrations come to an end, you are left with the gut wrenching realization that you little baby, though they will always be your little baby, is all grown up now and looking ahead to life as an adult. What are you supposed to do now?
Well, allow them to have this moment. Don’t immediately try to transition them towards this next stage of life by pestering them about finding a job, looking into future careers, or preparing for college. Give them some time to first enjoy this huge accomplishment. The urge to inquire about their future and make sure they are putting themselves in the best position to succeed is understandable. You just want what’s best for them, but you should also allow them the time to bask in their accomplishments and the space to work out their future by themselves as the adults that they are while you provide guidance along the way.
Those next couple weeks, they may not feel like doing much. After coming back from their senior trip, they may just want to lounge around for a week or two and hang out with their friends. Let them do that. Growing up has shown me that those moments are so precious and rare nowadays with working a full time job and many of my friends having kids of their own or just so busy that we can never find a good time to hang out. Don’t take that moment away from your child while they still have it.
Once they’ve rested enough, take them out. If they are moving away to live in dorms, buy them all the dorm room necessities! This is going to give you time to not only make sure they are well equipped for this next stage of life but to spend some quality time with your child answering any questions they may have or giving any bits of wisdom that you can.
You’re going to want them to get up, be active, sharpen their brain, and do something productive which is totally understandable! After all, if they do plan on going off to college in a couple months, it is smart to mentally prepare for the pace of college. Even if they plan on going straight into the work field or trade school, that pace of life is still drastically different from high school! Love them by encouraging them if they are lounging around a little TOO long, but give them and yourself some grace. After all, you both deserve it.