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Waldheim, Sk

Parenting Your Grad

Parenting Your Grad


You blinked, and now they’re grown! What used to be your cuddly toddler, or timid kindergartener, or headstrong middle-schooler is now about to walk down the aisle to receive their diploma.

It’s enough to make you sigh in relief. Or cheer ecstatically! Or sob into your sleeve. Even all of these emotions at once.

You have been the most important person in your child’s life, and that is changing. What role do you play, now that they are taking major steps of independence? Every child is so different and as they become adults, your role as a parent can take on different appearances and functions.

1. Embrace the Change

The first step in parenting a high school graduate is acknowledging the shift in dynamics. Your child is no longer under the structured environment of high school and is stepping into a world that demands more independence and responsibility.

  • Communicate Openly: Have honest conversations about expectations, both theirs and yours.
  • Respect Their Autonomy: Understand that they will make their own decisions, and sometimes, mistakes are the best teachers.

2. Support Their Choices

Whether your graduate is heading to college, entering the workforce, or taking a gap year, your support is crucial. Each path has its unique set of challenges and opportunities.

For College-Bound Students:

  • Help with Logistics: Assist with moving, orientation, and understanding college finances.
  • Encourage Balance: Emphasize the importance of balancing academics with social activities and self-care.

For Workforce Entrants:

  • Resume Building: Offer guidance on creating a strong resume and preparing for interviews.
  • Financial Literacy: Teach them about budgeting, taxes, and saving.

For Gap Year Takers:

  • Plan Together: Discuss their goals, and how they plan to achieve them during this year.
  • Stay Engaged: Regularly check in on their progress and experiences.

3. Foster Independence

Your graduate needs to learn how to navigate life independently. This involves practical skills as well as emotional resilience.

  • Life Skills: Ensure they know basic skills like cooking, cleaning, and managing finances.
  • Problem-Solving: Encourage them to solve problems on their own before seeking help.

4. Maintain a Supportive Presence

Even as they strive for independence, knowing that they have a supportive safety net can be incredibly reassuring for your graduate.

  • Stay Connected: Regular calls or messages can keep the lines of communication open.
  • Offer a Listening Ear: Be available to listen without immediately jumping in to solve their problems.

5. Encourage Lifelong Learning

The end of high school doesn’t mean the end of education. Encourage your graduate to continue learning, whether through formal education, online courses, or self-directed reading.

  • Promote Curiosity: Encourage them to explore new interests and hobbies.
  • Support Educational Goals: If they decide to return to school later, support their decision.

6. Manage Your Emotions

Watching your child step into adulthood can evoke a mix of pride, anxiety, and nostalgia. It’s important to manage your own emotions during this transition.

  • Seek Support: Don’t hesitate to talk to friends, family, or a counselor about your feelings.
  • Focus on Your Growth: This is also a time for you to explore new interests and hobbies.

7. Celebrate Milestones

Finally, celebrate this significant milestone! Recognize the hard work and dedication that brought your child to this point.

  • Graduation Party: Host a gathering to celebrate their achievements.
  • Personalized Gifts: Consider meaningful gifts that symbolize their journey and future.

The new stage of any relationship always has opportunities and challenges. As you approach this one with your graduate, give yourselves room to learn from each other, forgive mistakes and offer guidance when requested.

Based in Waldheim Saskatchewan, we have provided insurance products for the past 125 years throughout the province of Saskatchewan in over 100 independently owned brokerages.