The Big Cheese Has Senioritis
It's the last lap and seniors are heading toward the finish line. The concluding year of high school rockets along, a frenetic combination of work and play, a blur of must-do's and hullabaloos. Which inner voice to follow? "Get down to business!" or "You're the Big Cheese--let the good times roll!"
- Navigating senior year involves a minefield of deadlines, from coursework to college applications. It's time to get organized. Alas, the Big Cheese is apt to procrastinate...or party. Parents lose patience: "Whaddaya mean you're going to a rock concert? You haven't finished your college essay!"
- Your teen calls it interference. You call it involvement. On the edge of adulthood, seniors are hypersensitive to reprimands or criticism, masking their fear of failure with an outward bravado. But now is not the time to drop the ball. Continued parental guidance is key -- as long as it's not heavy-handed.
- Freedom, mobility, energy -- high-school seniors have it all. Who would begrudge their carefree attitude and sense of limitless possibility? Yet for many parents, it's a painful contrast to their own coming to terms with middle age, altered expectations, and the empty nest. Teenagers don't have a monopoly on mixed emotions.
- Seniors are justifiably proud of their increasing independence and competence, but common sense doesn't always rule the day. "We think Sam has a clear head, but then he'll hop into the car and head off to an unfamiliar destination with no idea how to get there," says one father. "It doesn't occur to him to consult a map." (Naturally, the Big Cheese doesn't sweat the small stuff.)
- In the last year of high school, relationships with peers become ever more significant and precious. Graduation is a bittersweet mixture of opportunity and letting go. Seniors are justifiably sentimental. They know the world will never be quite the same.
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