I’ve been looking at all the wonderful homecoming and senior year posts from many parents that are family friends. As a senior photographer and a mom, these moments feel so poignant to me, and I know I sound like a broken record, but I hope parents and seniors alike are treasuring this unique season together. It can be so tempting to let it pass by with all the hustle and bustle but here are some fantastic ways to make memories:
-Make time for college visits together: While some seniors have already done their college visits, some are just now beginning their trips or planned visits. No matter when you choose to visit, we recommend making it a special trip if you can take the time off work and school. Plan to eat somewhere special, visit a landmark, or see family members who live in the area. Turn college trips into something that your senior will remember even if they don’t choose the school.
-Make a big deal of holidays and birthdays: It’s tempting to skip a lot of the major holidays or milestones because senior year is so busy, but I actually encourage you to make a big deal about these. Some college students who move out choose to stay on campus or spend holidays away from home due to distance or cost, and so the senior holidays are extra special (even if they act like they’re not). Make extra time to be together, and consider doing extras like caroling or Christmas shopping that you wouldn’t normally do.
-Invite their friends over and make your home the place to be: If you want your senior or teen to bring their friends over, it helps to make it an inviting place to be. Stock up on fun snacks, fill the fridge with their favorite sodas, and create space to welcome in friends. Doing so will make it a fun memory for both of you. Extend invitations for non-traditional things, like a holiday girls brunch or an outdoor fire pit barbecue, and make it casual and inviting. And, don’t forget to give your senior plenty of space to be at their friends’ homes, too. Remember that it’s an unique season for them too and they are processing lots of emotions about high school ending.
-Don’t underestimate your teen: You may think that the last thing your senior might want to do is spend the day with your family at a pumpkin patch, but trust me that deep down inside they really do want to. They want to be invited and they do want to cultivate those memories even if they may act like it’s not their first choice (and even if they do!). Always extend invitations to the mundane and regular things because it’s in those ordinary moments that the memories are created that you’ll hold onto. Invite them to run errands, grab coffee, do that return at Target.
Fall of senior year feels exciting, fun, and nerve-wracking all at once. Remember to give yourself and your senior compassion as you navigate all of the schedules and new experiences.
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