It’s official. Wayne and I are the parents of a high school senior. The mix of emotions is incredible. I am excited, terrified, and overwhelmed – all at the same time! There are tests, college visits and applications, and lots of lasts {and firsts!}. And for me, I know there will lots of tears. I’ve already warned Wayne and Hudson. This unique time has made me start thinking about how we can make this very busy and exciting year even more special. Hence the Senior Parent Bucket List was created.

The Senior Parent Bucket List

  1. Take a special family trip. – Whether this is a weekend getaway to a favorite place or a European vacation, make sure it’s a place that you and your senior (and other kids) can do activities that you can all enjoy as a family. Making memories is the goal!
  2. Make a photo book. – Take lots of pictures – with your phone or big camera. Pull together images from senior year or from all four years. There so many great online services for making albums. Add stories and journal about the images in the book to make it something that your senior will cherish for years to come.
  3. Professional Senior Portraits. – This is an investment that your won’t regret. It reduces your stress about image quality, getting grad cards done, getting portraits made for family, etc. Also, if your senior plans to rush for a Greek sorority or fraternity or join other campus organizations, you can use their senior portraits for their head shots/ portfolio. Done and done. Guess what! I can help you with that!
  4. Go on dates with your senior. – Mom or dad – go out with your senior for some one on one time for dinner or an activity. Engage him or her in conversation, ask questions and listen to what they have to say. Cherish those few moments you can share free from distractions.
    Here come the tears…
  5. Gather Recipes. – Make a notebook of your senior’s favorite recipes as well as some basic recipes and cooking tips. Yes, most of our college freshman will be living the dorm life, but most dorms have kitchens so that kids can share a home cooked meal with friends on occasion.
  6. Professional family portraits. – I hear so often from my senior parents about how it’s been years since their last family portraits. Take the time and have them done. It will be harder once they leave the nest to align the stars in order to work in a family session!
  7. Give them more time with friends. – Chances are, your senior and his or her friends will be scattered late next summer as they all head off to different schools, programs, other opportunities. This is so hard because we want so much to hoard those precious moments with our seniors, but they also need their friends.
  8. Have the the gang over. Often. – Our boys know that we always like having their friends over. I am happy to feed them and give them time to hang out and be together. Feed the friends, feed the team, whatever. Embrace the noise, chaos and mess because it will all be gone too soon!
    Where are my tissues???
  9. Teach life basics. – We started several summers ago with this. My boys do laundry kitchen and bathroom cleaning, cooking, and Hudson started monthly budgeting a couple of years ago. Think about all the things your senior will have to do on their own.  We’re pushing our birdies out of the nest. We want them to be successful, and we want them to come back to visit – not to stay….
  10. Don’t let the college search process make you crazy. – I know, easier said than done. I’ve already had a few moments of wigging out over sticker shock. Make a list and do research with your senior. Give them realistic options for schools and boundaries. “No son, we will not foot the bill for a $40K+/year school without you getting scholarships and making the price more affordable.” Did that sentence sound familiar? It’s heard a lot at our house. Hudson knows he has to do his part in school, and needs to be open to lots of college options. And yes, he will be applying for lots and lots of scholarships and will be working on his test scores. Here are some scholarship sites we have begun to look at: JLV College Counseling, Scholly, and Scholarships.com. I know that great scholarships can be hard to come by, but there’s no chance if you don’t apply! I even found this great checklist from Organized31 – you can download it directly from their site!
  11. Hug them often. – Steal a hug as often as you can! Remind your senior often how crazy your are about him/her.
           Now I’m bawling…..

I can hardly get words out when I’m talking about our year to come. Anyone who knows me will tell you what a sap I am! I am so excited and proud of Hudson, but I am no where near ready to have him leave for college! In the mean time, I will cherish every moment, try to complete my Senior Parent Bucket List, buy lots of Kleenex, and hug my Hudson.

What’s on you Senior Parent Bucket List? Please leave your comment telling me how you plan to enjoy your child’s senior year!

How can I help??

I am currently booking Class of 2017 Senior Sessions for summer and fall! Contact me and Together we can plan an unforgettable session for your senior.

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Hudson, Class of 2018, International School of the Americas

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