Parenting Beyond High School

3 Tips for Navigating Life with a High School Graduate

Remember how you felt on that first day of kindergarten? And when your kid got behind the wheel of a car for the first time without you in it? Fear. Anxiety. Pride. Joy. Parenting in this graduation season tends to resurface a wide range of emotions. It means you recognize the enormity of this milestone and care deeply about the next phase of your child’s life. AND - it is just as important to remember that this is a new stage for you.

Your role as a parent does not stop once your child graduates from High School. It simply changes. Recognizing your influence is vital as they foray into adulthood will help make the transition easier for both of you. As you begin to navigate these new waters, keep these three simple tips in mind:

  1. Embrace your role as a coach. You have nurtured, trained, and prepared your child for life and its challenges. Now, step back and watch them soar! They will be experiencing a new sense of independence. It is your turn to release them to accomplish their God-given purpose while you watch and guide them from the sidelines.
  2. Find a healthy outlet for your emotions. Spend time in prayer and the Word. Process with a trusted friend. Stay in community with the parents of your child’s friends for advice, comfort and encouragement - after all, they are going through the same thing!
  3. Always look ahead. What are you looking forward to? Do you have personal, relational or career goals you hope to accomplish? Or are you simply looking forward to the next time you can hug your child in person? Come up with a plan to make it happen and go for it!

Mom…Dad…you did it. Well done, good and faithful servant! You have prepared your child to navigate the relationships and responsibilities of life in the real world. Now it is time to nudge them toward the edge of the nest and release them to fly on their own.

Additional Helpful Resources:
Making the Most of Your Empty Nest
Your Role as a College Parent: Sideline Coach
Helping Your College Student Living at Home
Parenting Young Adults