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The Tidal Wave of Emotions During Graduation Season



As summertime quickly approaches, families with children will soon begin welcoming their loved ones home for summer vacation. The period of transitioning from daily school routines to fun in the sun is enough of a change for some households, and in some cases, parents must also contend with another major adjustment — their child’s graduation.

Experts have frequently considered how the emotions of “post-graduation” can impact students, but what about the possible impact of the milestone on guardians? What emotional or mental effects can parents expect to feel as they watch their child prepare for this new chapter? Before you help your graduate toss their cap in the air, here are some ways in which this momentous occasion could potentially affect you.

Whether your child is graduating from kindergarten, middle school, high school, college or even just changing grades, it is common for guardians to feel sentimental. As evident by posts from parents on The Huffington Post and The Miami Herald, adults can feel a variety of emotions during their student’s big day. In an essay from Susan Bonifant for The Washington Post, she described how her child’s graduation from college signaled a change in her role as a parent.

According to The Huffington Post, one of the easiest ways to contend with a child’s upcoming graduation is to savor the moments you have with them. Use the time you have with your child to make memories together. You could even use their graduation day as a way to pass on something important, like a photo album or a personal letter.

Be prepared to welcome this change with your child, and recognize that it is likely that you will feel a mixture of sadness, pride, and joy. Psychology Today suggests that guardians welcome and let out whatever emotions they are feeling regarding the occasion. Some ideas for dealing with the change include: writing down your feelings in a private journal, talking a walk, enjoying a bath, or just making some time for you.

Regardless of how you choose to deal with the expected emotions of your child’s success, it’s important to find a method that makes you feel better. Don’t forget to savor this moment with your child, and be prepared to help them navigate the transition as well.

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