Parenting Your High School Seniors

Senior year of high school is rough on parents and teens. Oh those college applications, those essays and those deadlines. Add to that a heavy course load, anxious parents, stressed out teens and you’ve got a recipe for a lot of nagging and emotional turmoil. I know that most parents are just trying to support their kids and help them get through senior year, so I am going to suggest what you can do for your teens that will be helpful and less likely to lead to meltdowns.

Remember that it is their senior year, not yours, and that next year in college you won’t be around to micro-manage them. Senior year is a good time to encourage your teens to be independent and to make good choices. I suggest that you don’t nag them about their deadlines and essays but instead do some other things that might help them. Here goes:

1. Encourage your teens to create their own schedules of deadlines and due dates and have them monitor this with the help of a school counselor – not you. If you get overly involved, then I can promise that senior year will be a real drag for everyone.

2. You don’t want to be a walking and talking reminder of everything that your senior needs to do. Nonetheless, I suggest that you let them know that you are available to help if they would like your help.

3. Encourage balance in their life. They need to play, exercise, and have some fun even though they have a lot to do. Remind them that a happy person is a more efficient one.

4. Encourage them to prioritize so that they are not up all night. They need their sleep and the world won’t end if they can’t get to everything, right?


5. Keep the dialogue open about everything, including how they are doing and feeling – not just about deadlines.

Good Luck!