Getting Through Graduation

Parents have a a lot of mixed emotions about launching their kids.

Continued from page 2

The Gift
Younger graduating kids are generally (but not always) easier to please. If in doubt, you can ask one of their friends--who will be happy to snitch--what they may like. Offer a couple of choices that are within your budget. If possible, get your child something personal that commemorates the occasion. But don't feel you have to go overboard, especially with seniors. Remember the forthcoming tuition; then you're more likely to think realistically when buying a gift. If you have trouble deciding what to get, then ask your child to pick out something special. (Just stay away from car dealers, unless you're really prepared for all the implications of such a gift.)

A Potpourri of Tips

  • Tell your kid what it was like when you graduated. This may encourage your child to share some of his or her thoughts with you.
  • Be alert to any extreme sadness or anxiety--on the part of your child and yourself--that may require professional assistance.
  • Buy a gift for the graduate that can be exchanged, and don't feel too bad if he or she returns it to the shop for something else.
  • If people want to give your kid money for graduation, accept it.
  • If relatives act up, just tell yourself that it's one day and they'll be gone soon. If they really act up, take them aside and tell them they're ruining the event for your kid--their grandchild, niece, or whatever. That should bring about short-term results that will get you through the day.
  • Remember to focus on your child's needs when you interact with your former spouse and in-laws. Wanting your child to be happy is one thing you all share.

    Finally, remember to have a good time--and mazel tov on your child's graduation!

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