High School Seniors have graduated and are looking forward to heading off to college shortly. Parents are savoring the last few weeks that their children will be under their roofs. This is an exciting and anxiety-inducing time in a student’s life. As students, they are looking forward to exploring their identities, their own ideas, and structuring their lives. As a parent, you may be hoping that you have instilled the correct values in your child’s life and hoping that they make good choices.
Many times, outsiders focus on all the excitement about going to college and do not focus on the grief and loss that is attached to this transitional period.
You have raised this human being and are keenly attached to this person. Your identity as a mother or a father is about to change. Yes, you are still their parent at the end of the day. However, your involvement as a parent is changing. Your children are becoming more independent and may not need you in the same ways as before. You may no longer have that soccer mom title or role in helping at your child’s school.
Some of these tips may help you to cope with the changes in your life.
- Allow yourself a time to grieve – Being true to your feelings will allow you to properly face the loss that is happening in your home.
- Develop a new parenting method – In life, there are many cycles and transitions. Your child will seek your loving support through college, and you can still parent him or her from afar. You may not be that soccer mom anymore, but you can still send care packages, give advice, and unconditionally love him or her.
- Reconnect with your spouse or other significant people – Raising children is time consuming and takes much energy. Having more time with a significant other may feel overwhelming initially. You may have realized that you don’t know the person who is sleeping next to you as much as you thought you did. Planning activities and ways to connect with your spouse will provide support during this time.
Chelsey Beauchamp, MS
cbeauchamp @ growcounseling.com