BY KATHRYN TAYLOR
Finishing school can come with a mix of emotions for all students, and their families. Whilst relief, exhaustion, and elation come to mind, for many the uncertainty, ambiguity, and emptiness seem all-consuming.
So, how do we best support our children in preparing for the next phase? Reconnection with ourselves, and so building resilience are key at this time, for all involved. We need to reground or potentially, create new roots for ourselves or our loved ones. Based on my work with students, and their families, along with being the mother of a current year 12 student, I am sharing some tips to help you through this time.
Engage your inner child, and question “why” of your emotions, responses, and concerns. Take time to think, and analyse rather than seeking to solve the problems you may be facing.
Have a fall-back plan
Look at options that are ideal for the year ahead, also consider a back up plan that is fairly safe, and certain to help create some comfort in the unknown.
Prepare for ups, and downs
Be ready to feel, and experience a range of emotions from great highs to deep lows. See this as a short bumpy road or rollercoaster, and try to accept the downs with understanding you can recover.
Focus on what is in your control
As changes occur, you may find an exhausting list of things that could happen, problems you may face or people you may lose. Be sure to draw your focus to what is in your control, or your child’s control. Ask yourself, “Can I control this?” If you cannot, try to move your attention, and energy to what you can manage, and affect.
Remember this too will pass Reflect with your family on other times you may have faced great change, made new friends, and connections, moved between schools or relocated. Try to take the moment for what it is, and to remember the changes, and challenges you faced, the support you have, and the growth you have achieved as an individual or family.
Though the road may be uneven or uncertain, it is a road to take. Remember you have more to face, and learn, as well as new people, and experiences ahead. As a family, come together to process, and assist through this time, and build stronger bonds together.