Are You Ready for Your Teen's Big Move?

Our teens’ senior year of high school is so filled with college entrance tasks that it's easy to lose focus on the character traits and life skills they will need to succeed "on their own". They are about to enter into adulthood, which means that we will be releasing them into responsibility for their own lives. Release means trust, not control. We must trust God and trust our kids. This carries with it risk, and it is important to mentally prepare ourselves now for that transition.

At PBA, we understand letting your child go off to college is tough. Read here for some tips on how to help your teen as they transition to college life!

What are the characteristics of the responsible adult who will smoothly transition into university life? According to Dave Veerman, in "Letting Them Go", responsible adults: 

  • Make carefully considered decisions
  • Follow a moral compass
  • Take responsibility for their actions
  • Show consideration for others
  • Help those in need
  • Speak and live the truth
  • Pay their own way
  • Invest their resources wisely
  • Take good care of what has been entrusted to them
  • Live in the present with an eye on the future

If we review this list and detect some growth areas for our teen, there is much we can do in these last months before they spread their wings. One meaningful project is to memorize scripture together. God's Word is clear about the power of this practice (Psalm 119:11; 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12). As parents, we model values and teach skills, so we need to make sure that we are modeling the above characteristics in our own life and then set aside time to teach the skills our child still needs. When teaching a skill, we begin by telling our child how to complete the task. Then, we show them how it is done. Next, we have the child do the task while we supervise and coach. Finally, we turn the task over to them and affirm their successes.

There are some caveats we must remember as we prepare our child for independence: it is important to acknowledge all the emotions we are experiencing as this transition takes place and it is also a good idea to share our feelings with our child. However, we have to be careful to balance our sharing of sadness and fear with the sharing of our joy, excitement and trust in God. We must take care not to turn our dreams for our child into burdensome pressure. God's plans for our child may not be what we had in mind. College is an amazing process of honing and even discovering one's own talents, gifts, abilities and potential, so we keep an open="open" mind and heart if we want to facilitate that process in a healthy way.

Time passes so quickly. As parents, we sometimes feel as though we are not ready for this leap.

We cannot stress enough how important our faith in God and our trust in His faithfulness is to this process. Take some time to look back and remember the miracles in your life with your child! Remember God's guidance, comfort, leading and assurance that accompanied the hills and valleys of parenting.

This should produce the gratitude and joy that makes a perfect launching pad for your child as they join the PBA Sailfish family!