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ParentNet® Twelfth Grade Summary
The topics of interest identified at today's 12th grade ParentNet meeting were:
- Our changing (diminishing?) role as mothers
- How to impart life skills information, fast
- How to deal with younger siblings
The crucial topic on everyone's mind was college and how it would affect our children, our family units, and us. We, as well as our families, will be growing and changing. What we will do with the rest of our lives is a question we are all facing.
Those with only children or with their youngest leaving will be exploring choices and facing new decisions as their life style changes. Those of us with younger children will still feel the void when the older child leaves and we find ourselves with lessened parental responsibility. We discussed exploration of new directions for fulfillment such as volunteering, planning trips, setting goals and starting new jobs. One parent shared that when her last child left for college, she urged her husband to train for, and run, a marathon with her. This parent had never before, nor has she since, run. We also discussed how one child leaving home could be lonely and sad for the child left behind and decided that methods for keeping the siblings involved via phone and email can help.
As the end of the senior year draws to a close, a common concern seems to be making sure that our kids have the necessary life skills to succeed on their own. We seem to be trying to squeeze in "last minute nuggets" of information regarding nutrition, money management, laundry, safety; etc. Many parents worry about possible hazards, ranging from unlocked dorm rooms to drugs slipped into drinks. We decided that we must walk a fine line to keep our children vigilant but not fearful. We must also remember that our kids have faced challenges before and made wise choices in the past.
One concern was the message that our children send by the way they dress. Some girls are dressing provocatively and are seemingly unaware of the signal they transmit. We are trying to get them to realize that how they dress could affect the way some people react to them. People can, especially in a new situation such as college, judge one by first impression. Making sure one's values are projected accurately is important. Some parents find that clipping articles about issues and leaving them on their child's desk is a less confrontational method of sharing information.
An action issue that came out of this discussion was that the school Dress Code should be enforced more stringently. Parents have expressed concern when they see girls dressed in such short skirts that their underwear can be seen when they bend over. Also, too low-cut or tight clothing is distracting. It was recommended that Administration give written warning, detention, or other action to enforce policy. The ParentNet Rep will follow up.
At the time of this last meeting, many of our students still faced challenges regarding college choices. Some had applied Early Decision and gotten into their first choice college, others had not. Dealing with your child's feelings when he does not get accepted at his first choice is difficult for all. Also, some students had been accepted by their first choice school but have not received the financial package necessary to attend. All parents involved wanted to impress on parents of l0th and 11th graders the need to start looking at colleges and exploring college related topics now. Also, if a student has his heart set on attending a particular school, apply Ear ly Decision.
We learned a great deal about how our kids see themselves by their choices of schools and where they felt they would fit in. We believe that our kids have been well educated and will be successful wherever they go. They will try new things and learn from their experiences. The values we have taught them, they have incorporated. We will now learn to let go and trust.