There’s likely to be many tears at the high school graduations this month. Yes, some tears of sadness to mark the move onto college but tears of joy too. That testy teenager will finally be moving out of the house! As my sister says, “Tuition is money you pay a college to take your child off your hands!”
Seriously, while there is joy, there’s also great anxiety and angst. Anxiety that your child will make all the right choices–ethically, morally, socially and academically–over the next four years away from the nest. In an article “For Parents: Your Life after Graduation,” noted child psychiatrist Dr. Harold Koplewicz writes,
We hope, despite all the things we didn’t do over the years, and because of the things we did do, that our children somehow have what it takes to decide for themselves what matters, to choose amid all the temptations and pressures that bombard them from the moment they step outside without parental strings.
That’s the anxiety that many mothering21.com moms have experienced and are now going through as second or third time as they launch younger children, still feeling the angst that Dr. Koplewicz refers to:
…being a parent involves a particularly complicated kind of “letting go.” The effort, awareness and selflessness this requires is something we rarely talk about when celebrating graduations and preparing for what comes next in our children’s lives.
Good point, although many of us are still trying to let go five or ten years after high school graduation!