5 Tips For Parenting Your Senior

IMG_2877I’m just starting this new blog on traveling the senior-year journey with my son. I remember praying that Jesus would return before he started high school because I was—albeit jokingly—terrified of what he would encounter in {shudder} high school. And now here he is, entering his senior year.

Yes, there have been pot holes and debris in the road, but I must say the path has been fairly smooth so far, thank the Lord. And now the fun of his last year at home begins. I don’t in any way, shape or form pretend to know it all. But I have some good friends that have walked this path before me, and I will happily be gleaning what I can from them as the year progresses. Following are just a few things that I’ve learned so far.

#1. Give Him Freedom Within Bounds.

He really is a big boy (6’1 1/4″ of big). He has a job. He is going to be the vice wing commander of his 500+ cadet AFJROTC unit in the fall. He’s a part of a smaller group of guys from within his larger youth group who study the Bible and talk about issues. He doesn’t drink. He doesn’t do drugs. He wants to be a career Air Force officer. He really can be trusted. I need to back off. He’s not a toddler anymore.

#2. Be There For Him.

He doesn’t talk a lot, but when he does, both his father and I need to be available for him, even if it’s late at night. If he comes into the room where I’m sitting, I need to put down what I’m doing and be ready to listen. Sometimes he’ll talk, sometimes he won’t, but he needs to know we’re there for him.

3. Keep The Questions To A Minimum Unless He Invites Them.

My son hates for me to ask questions. I usually get one-word answers, which drives me batty. “How was school today?” gets me, “Fine.” “What did you do?” gets me “Stuff.” That’s how it’s been since freshman year. Now it’s said with a little grin. I still ask, but I don’t dig.

4. Think The Best Of Him.

If I’m always expecting that my teens are going to get in trouble, then I’m doing them a disservice. They are smart, polite, do well in school and have a relationship with Jesus. Sure, they argue sometimes and frustrate me, but this senior boy knows what he wants to do and he’s not out making trouble. If I treat him like a responsible adult, he’s more likely to act like one.

5. Pray Without Ceasing.

There is never a moment in time when I should think, “It’s all good.” During this year, there are going to be myriad of decisions both large and small that he’s going to need to make. Leaning on the Everlasting Arms is the only way he’s going to survive. He knows he’s capable; I want him to know he’s reliant on Jesus. As am I.

What other advice would you give?

2 thoughts on “5 Tips For Parenting Your Senior

  1. Continue to take him on dates (with food) as he’ll be more likely to talk with you about life. Also, don’t be afraid to rub his back as he still needs the physical touch and who can resist a backrub!

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