Parent Talks – After Child’s Graduation: It’s Not What I Expected

Father-Son Talk on swingYour child has graduated but as real life kicks in, your child may feel a bit lost and confused. If life after graduation isn’t what your young adult expected, these may be some words of wisdom you can share to show you understand and support your young adult.

A  short time ago, you joyfully tossed your graduation cap high in the air with your classmates in recognition of your lifetime accomplishment.  You danced your way through parties and celebrated the end of your high school years.  You even spent a few days doing absolutely nothing in order to clear your brain from all of the Final Exam information that has been taking up way too much space.

As the summer days pass, it really hits you.  This is the first time that you won’t be seeing your classmates next year and there won’t be the anticipation of going back to high school when school starts again.  After all the years of working to reach this goal of graduation and adulthood, it’s kind of a let-down.

When you were younger, you thought that high school graduation meant the beginning of adulthood.  You would be driving a great car, living in a cool apartment either in the city or by the beach, and life would be great.  Not exactly how you pictured it is it?

The reality is, the transition to adulthood doesn’t happen overnight just because you graduated from high school.  It takes time to get there and there will be ups and downs along the way.  This can be one of the most frustrating periods of life.  You feel like an adult.  By law, you are an adult.  Yet you may still be living in your childhood bedroom and treated like the same kid you were just a short time ago.

Hang in there.  The journey towards full independence takes time, patience, and perseverance.   Unfortunately, it also takes money.  Be wise with the money you earn and save for your goals.  Trust that the lessons you learned in high school, both in and out of the classroom, will serve you well.

Remember the values you were raised with and don’t compromise your standards.  Don’t let other people’s opinions determine your own.  Live up to your responsibilities and be true to your word.  These qualities make an adult regardless of chronological age.  Family members and others you have known a long time may take some time to think of you as anything but a kid.  In their minds, you are still a child.  Act like an adult and in time you will prove yourself, changing their view of you.

Remember those childhood dreams you had about adulthood?  Don’t forget them.  Keep them in mind as a goal to work towards.  You can get a great car.  You can live in a really cool place.  You will live a great life.  It just takes time. You can do it. We believe in you.