7 Tips for Making Your Child’s Senior Year of High School a Success

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The rapid pace of senior year can be an excruciating ordeal for any high school student. There are countless factors to keep track of, and they all seem equally important. As a result, parents should intervene to remove unnecessary hassles from this defining time. Parental assistance can steer a growing child’s focus in the right directions, allowing them to form positive memories without sacrificing long-term academic trajectory. For a truly successful year, there are multiple angles of teenage life that need to be effectively tackled; here are some to keep in mind.

Prepare for Steep Expenses

The Consumerist extensively details how senior year can be the most expensive time of parenthood. There are endless investments to be made, and every single one of them appears to be dire. No amount of preparation can buffer the impact of steep charges, so it is crucial for parents to prepare for those expenses as early as possible. It’s not impossible for senior year to require more than $10,000 of extra expenditures. This spending is distributed across school portraits, yearbook purchases, prom, senior trips, class rings and testing costs. (And that doesn’t even count college application fees.)

Start College Applications Early

Summer is an excellent time to take advantage of universities that allow applications to be tendered early. This prevents in-depth forms from being compounded with the stress of schoolwork during the academic year. Parents should structure a calendar that gives them time to collaborate with their teenager about future plans. Help your college-bound child discern between his interests to make sure they end up going to the right institution of higher learning. To avoid excessive payments, applications should be initially sent to schools at the top of the list. Working together with a teenager bolsters their confidence in transitioning to the next stage of their life. U.S. News and World Report has more strategies for pursuing this process.

Keep Track of Extracurricular Activities

Academic resumes are bolstered by extra school participation, but some extracurricular activities are more valuable than other ones. Core studies should not be sacrificed for the sake of a frivolous after-school group. Parents can monitor their children’s academic commitments to help them fine-tune their approach to education as their schedules become more demanding. Ensure that stable transportation is available for important events, and make sure they have the freedom to experiment with their interests.

Follow Examination Schedules

Sharing a calendar can keep parents mentally attuned to the fast-paced needs of their high school senior. To help your child succeed, avoid planning distractions (nights out, family dinners, etc.) before big tests, and help enforce studying habits during these final days. Parents can keep their teenagers from becoming lost in piles of homework.

Emphasize Social Engagements

Don’t let your kid drown in the work, though. One of the biggest regrets seniors can have is failing to savor the social aspects of being young. This Huffington Post columnist talks about the importance of reveling in childhood friendships as youth comes to a close. After graduation, everyone is going to go down a different path, and this is the last chance for your senior to see many of his friends. Don’t forget that. If he appears to be overworked, then your best option is to encourage increased socialization. Spending time with friends will alleviate the pressures being externally placed on him.

Plan Graduation Parties in Advance

High expectations can incentivize focus during the final months of a high school experience. It also provides a proverbial light at the end of the tunnel for stressed out teenagers. This is the ultimate act of support, but don’t let the promise of a party or reward become a stress in its own right. A balanced strategy of positive reinforcement will help your child gradually achieve goals.

Avoid Excessive Interference

Even if the notion seems counterintuitive, it is actually important to trust a teenager’s instincts sometimes. Your child has made it this far, and he’s about to have to go a lot farther on his own, so it’s time to start letting go of the wheel. Listening is a vital skill for parents to practice at this stage of their child’s development. Often, teenagers just need more compassion. Giving them emotional support is preferable to inundating them with advice, but if your child asks, don’t be afraid to share your wisdom. The most important thing to remember is that he needs to be able to chart his own course. Do all you can do, and then be ready to let go.

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