Celebrating Our Graduates

As an adult, we know most (if not all) of life’s greatest moments occur after high school graduation, but now is not the time to explain that to your senior.  Don’t try to convince your teen that it’s “only a prom” or that graduation is “just a ceremony.” Just like acne and puberty are the lows of teen years, these events are the highs.  They are literally the stuff movies are made of and, in the world of high school, are rites of passage that kids long for. Tell them it’s okay to be sad and that no, it isn’t fair. You don’t need to bring up that life isn’t fair or that it isn’t fair that unemployment is so high and the death tolls are rising.  This isn’t the time. They are still teens and this needs to be about them. So what can we do to make this time special and memorable for our graduates? 

Give a Graduation Speech Ask your senior to write a graduation speech and Zoom with the family. Afterall, unless they are the top of their class, a speech probably wasn’t in the cards and it might be a great way for them to share their feelings. Another bonus – public speaking is an important skill that kids don’t get enough of these days. They can make the speech funny or serious – whatever fits their mood.

Do a Photo Shoot Have a prom dress in the closet or a suit picked out?  Put it on and do a fashion shoot. Have a daughter? Youtube a how-to for a fancy updo and get to work! Afterall – posting is the next best thing, right? Download an app and get creative with backgrounds. If they’re up for a dance – go for it!

Collect Memories of More than Just the Virus Make a time capsule with items that represent all of high school.  This will help your teen remember that high school is more than just Covid-19 and it will also help them think beyond this crisis, to a brighter future. Have each member of the family write a graduation note or card to enclose and see if you can make it to the 10 year reunion before opening!

Make a Keepsake Get a frame for your child’s graduation photo with a lot of room around the edges. Have friends and family email you messages and print them out and put them around the photo.  It will be a great keepsake and a reminder that loved ones are thinking of them and sharing this special time with them even though they aren’t together.

Grab Your Keys and a Bullhorn Use a neighborhood app or Facebook page to gather the names of seniors in your neighborhood.  Have each write a short bio including what highschool they are graduating from, college or career plans, favorite subjects, clubs or sports.  Set a time for neighbors to come outside and drive through announcing each graduate as you get to their house. Make sure you get some shaving cream or washable markers and decorate your car for the class of 2020!