When the echoes of the final name emanating from the speaker finish their reverberation and the crowd erupts in cheers for the class of 2022, parents of graduates may find themselves at the center of a cyclone of emotions. Countless feelings which likely include pride, excitement, fear, worry, joy, and sadness rush over them at this pivotal moment in not only their child’s life but also their own. This moment signifies the official beginning of the next chapter for your family.
Whether it’s a countdown to move-in day at college, the beginning of basic training, or the first day of your graduate’s next adventure, things may never be the same again. While it may feel like a moment of mourning for the loss of your family’s routines and physical proximity, it’s important to embrace this milestone as a celebration. Here are three tips on how to manage the changes that come after a child graduates:
Make the most of family time while it’s available
Why is it that summers never seem to be long enough? Summer schedules have a way of filling with social gatherings, work, and passion projects, not to mention the time sequestered by sleeping in!
Set aside time for your family to be together. The scope of possibilities is endless and ranges from enjoying each other’s company during routine activities to setting off on a special vacation. Whether sitting down for a meal where everyone is fully present or road tripping miles away, making family time a priority is a necessity during this final summer with your graduate.
Prepare together for the next adventure
Your graduate’s upcoming transition after high school will require preparation. Students may need to review orientation materials for college or pack for their new living arrangements. Tackling these projects together is an opportunity to not only enjoy each other’s company but also process what’s to come.
Talk with your graduate about what they might expect from their next adventure. Discussing hopes and fears in advance will help both you and your child to explore feelings and uncover questions that can lead to rich, productive conversations.
Plan ahead For your next opportunity to be together
Change can be unsettling, but at the core, your family’s foundation is unwavering. Start thinking about the new rhythm of routines that will accompany your graduate’s next adventure. Develop a plan together for how you will stay connected. Mark your calendar for breaks from college classes, and look ahead to family holidays and dates where you can visit one another. be sure to make hotel and flight reservations early for special events!
The journey that led you to this moment was undoubtedly full of surprises, enriched with both highs and lows, and is uniquely yours. Celebrate the memories you’ve collected as you create new ones in the days and years ahead.