Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Graduation’

My daughter at graduation

Sunday marked a milestone as my youngest child graduated high school. While I knew this day would be filled with mixed emotions, I also knew I had done my best to prepare my daughter, and previously her two older brothers, for this new chapter. High school graduation marks a significant achievement, not only for the graduate, but also for those who have helped them to this point. When I became a parent nearly 25 years ago, I realized my responsibility was to help ensure my children had received the skills and guidance necessary to fly from my nest when the time came. I can proudly say that both my sons have done fairly well and I have no doubt my daughter will as well.

I have been fortunate to have children who did not struggle much, if at all, with school. In fact, my daughter was the valedictorian of her class and my older son graduated from college a few years ago with Summa Cum Laude distinction. My younger son has to work a little more in school. He is more hands on and mechanically inclined, so I don’t worry too much about him. He will be able to use these skills since he is pursuing an engineering degree. College certainly isn’t for everyone, there are other options for higher education besides a traditonal 4-year institution. There are lots of things to consider when determining what option is right for someone and just because someone may choose not to pursue higher education immediately out of high school, does not mean they cannot at a later time.

My daughter and two sons at her graduation

In order for children to grow in their confidence and competence, they must be given opportunities to use their current skills and knowledge, as well as to learn new ones. Stepping aside and allowing your children to make mistakes takes a lot of reserve and discipline. As parents, we want nothing more than for our children to succeed and to do so with minimal hardships. While this is a lofty notion, it is virtually impossible for children to develop many of the necessary skills and abilities to navigate the real world without stumbling along the way. Of course I am talking about small everyday stumbles, like being late to school due to oversleeping. Our children still need us for those bigger things. Letting them experience the consequences of their actions or decisions for those everyday things can teach them valuable “life” lessons and perhaps help them to avoid more serious issues later.

Here are a few tips from Dr. Bhargava to prepare your teens for the next step:

  1. Change your focus.
  2. Avoid quick fixes.
  3. Give your child the freedom to fail.
  4. Promote independence.
  5. Make college  or training decisions together.
  6. Ask about mental health support on campus or at their job.

As my daughter prepares to head off to college in August, like her brothers before her, I will continue to support her and encourage her as she makes those final decisions over the summer. I will make sure she knows that while she may be flying from the nest, no matter where in life her wings take her, I will always be here for her.

Author: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu

Reviewer: Lisa Barlage, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County, barlage.7@osu.edu

Read Full Post »

prom pic

It’s that time of year. Everyone is ready to celebrate. Proms, graduations, and other events mark the end of the school year. Memories of these wonderful occasions will be with our youth for the rest of their lives. These occasions are associated with a higher teen traffic death rate, often due to the increased temptations to participate in drinking activities. Be proactive with your child by having open conversations to increase their awareness to keep them SAFE!

Tips for Prom and Graduation Parties

graduation

Parents:

• Make sure your son/daughter has a plan for the evening and that you know the plan.
• Contact the parents of your teen’s date. Discuss the plans for the evening and plan to meet each other.
• Know who is driving to and from – if it’s a limo know the alcohol policy.
• Talk to your son/daughter about the risks of alcohol and drug use.
• Take stock of your alcohol in your home prior to the beginning of the night.
• Talk to your son/daughter about the school’s prom rules and your prom rules and the consequences of violating them.
• Always let your son/daughter know that you will be available to pick them up if they feel unsafe regardless of the circumstance.
• Communicate with other parents of your teen’s friends. Discuss the plans for the night and the need for locking up and inventorying all alcohol and prescription medication in advance.
• Have an escape plan for a bad situation. Define a code word or text message they can send to alert you to help them out of this situation. Be sure to reinforce with them it is alright to call you anytime.
• Set up times they are to call and check in. These may include when the prom is over, when arriving to an after prom destination, or before heading home.
• Remind your teen to keep you notified of any changes in the plan.
• Limit the number of teens in the car. The risk of teens getting into a car crash increases as the number of passengers increase.
• Stay up until your prom-goer returns home for the night and let them know you will be waiting up for them.

Teens:

• Keep yourself safe and remind your friends to keep safe.
• Have the number of trustworthy cabs programmed on your phone.
• Have emergency cash to pay for these rides.
• Be sure to have plenty of rest the night before the prom.
• Think through and talk with your friends about pressure situations. Have a plan to handle them ahead of time.
• Consider going for breakfast, bowling or seeing a midnight movie after your prom. These are fun activities and none of them involve alcohol or illegal substances.
• Have your cell phone charged and with you at all times.
• Eat a good breakfast and lunch the day of these activities to keep your energy level up.
• Never leave your drink unattended or accept a drink from someone else.
• Drive on well-lit roads and be sure the vehicle you are driving is well maintained and has a full tank of gas.
• Never ride with someone who is fatigued or impaired in any way.
• Wear your seat belt.
• Know the warning signs for alcohol or drug overdose and call 911 immediately is you see someone exhibiting them.
• At all times, know where you are and where you are going. Make sure your parents know also.
• Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable over any situation, something may not be right. Leave immediately.

Written by: Beth Stefura, Ohio State University, Extension Educator, stefura.2@osu.edu
Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Ohio State University, Extension Educator

Resource: Safety Awareness Officer, Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department

Read Full Post »