We were in the home stretch, the last two months of school for my two Seniors-one in high school, one in college. We were talking about all of the lasts and all of the firsts to come. We were planning graduation parties and an extended family trip to Italy to visit relatives. The prom dress was purchased and the dorm shopping started. And now, like so many other parents, everything has come to a screeching halt. It almost seems unreal and at times I like to believe this is a joke.
Now my college student is stressed about paying out of state fees for online learning. What was supposed to be the last big celebrations before launching into adulthood is gone. High school seniors are struggling to accept they may have walked the halls for the last time. No senior ditch day, no prom, no graduation, no graduation parties, it is a lot to take in. They are mourning the loss of an immediate future they had planned out a certain way. They are worried, about the people in their world, their aging grandparents and about the world at large.
I am doing my best to hide my disappointment. I am pretty sure I am failing. Let’s face it, this is a loss to not only our children, but for us parents as well. We have been on the sidelines throughout all of this. We have quizzed them, cheered them on, driven to practices, games, performances, competitions. We have worn the spiritwear and made some of our closest friends in the stands/sidelines.
What can we do?
- We can communicate with our seniors that we understand their disappointment. They don’t want to hear that other people have it worse.
- Validate their feelings and let them talk about it. Let them know together as a family we will work through this.
- Remind them of their accomplishments. Let them know how proud of them you are and how it will be recognized, maybe just not in the traditional way.
- Plan a celebration or something to look forward to.
We are all in new territory here. We are all feeling the loss of these special moments and celebrations. We’re in this together.
Here’s to the class of 2020! We acknowledge your disappointment and celebrate your success. We are proud of you!
Lisa Honcharuk- Manager of Marketing and Engagement
The team at Erika’s Lighthouse knows how challenging and difficult this transition is on our teens, educators, parents and others. We are here to help and support our young people. We have launched an exciting new campaign that will provide meaningful, practical resources for teens, educators and parents.