I know from personal experience how amazing graduation can be for your lucky child. It is a night to remember their achievements, and be truly proud of all they have accomplished. But what if you’re feeling worried that you’ll do something wrong and push your new graduate away from you? Do you just feel confused about how to treat them and respect them as adults, while still making sure they’re safe?
First thing’s first: Graduation night. Every graduate wants to feel like their families are there for them and proud of them, so make sure to show your support. Just being there and letting them see the pride in your smile will be enough. Tell them how proud you are that they’ve come so far, and let them know they’ll always have someone to come to for help, no matter how far away from home they go or how old they get.
After graduation, they will likely hunger for more independence. You can loosen the reigns enough so that they feel more adult, and so that they have more freedom, while still keeping them safe and reminding them that there are still rules to follow.
Keep lines of communication open. They’ll need someone to talk to once they get into college and experience so many new things and situations at once. They will need to have you to fall back on and feel safe with, they will need to know that they can talk to you about anything that’s bothering them. They might have to come to you for help, and you need to make sure they know you will help them. Teens like to pretend they don’t need their parents, but the truth is, we do. We need you just as much as we did when we were children, just for different things. Instead of tying our shoes and bandaging our scrapes, we’ll need you to give us advice and be a shoulder to cry on.
Don’t let your children drift away from you too much while they are in college. They will be busy, but they’ll still need to have family as their support system. If they are going to school too far away for them to come home so often, you can send them care packages and photographs, videos and letters. Be creative! Do what you can to make sure they realize you have not forgotten them, and still love them to pieces. Each care box they get from you will add happiness to their day and make them think of you.
Finally, remember that their graduation is a joyous event. It is the culmination of four years of hard, stressful work, and the end of ‘regular’ schooling. They are now off to higher education and bigger and brighter things. Send them off with a big hug and loads of smiles, and your children will always know their parents support and love them with all their hearts.