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Posted by on May 9, 2017 in From Boy to Man, Parenting Tips, Saving Our Sons, The Quest Project | 0 comments

Parenting Tips: For Graduation & Beyond

Graduation is a major milestone for your son.  Celebrate his accomplishment!

Congratulations-He Made It!

This is a very exciting time!  I congratulate you if you are honoring a graduate in your home.  It’s a time to honor the achievement and begin to plan the next steps if you haven’t already done so.  If your son plans to attend college you have most likely been working towards this day for a while.  If he isn’t a candidate for college have you talked about his options?

Graduation:  Establishing the “Exit Plan”

An exit plan involves both parents.  If dad is present he should be hands-on with his son; planning and discussing this next phase of his life.

I recommend at the start of his junior year in high school begin to “nudge” him toward planning for his future.  Establishing an exit plan will help with transitioning after graduation; it opens the door to conversation about goals, purpose, direction and independence.  It prevents what’s ahead from being/becoming a shock!

  • After graduation is he off to college? Great, he’ll get prepared for a career and also the experience of being independent (like doing his own laundry!). 
    • Tip: The best advice for parents during this transition is to let your son go, let him discover who it is, and what it is he wants to be. 
  • After graduation will he be attending college while staying at home?  I would recommend you treat him very similar to the above.  
    • Tip: Staying home doesn’t mean you need to “do more” – remember it’s time for him to grow up.  It’s time to be a man.
  • After graduation is he unsure what he wants to do after high school and communicated he wants to wait before committing to college?  A word of caution is this, don’t allow your son to do nothing.  
    • Tip: He can’t lay around the house playing video games and watching T.V.  This behavior is and will quickly lead to habit; before you know it he’ll be contributing to the epidemic of “26-year-olds living at home gaming.”

Thinking back to my graduation, I initially wanted “a break.”  I was tired of school and tired of the structure.  My dad quickly let me know that I shouldn’t expect to “lay around the house” and that I’d need to get a job asap!  In my case, as many of you already know I joined the U.S. Air Force and continued my education while serving my country.

As parents, we have shifted our thinking to believing we must continue to parent our children forever, even after graduation.  

Teaching and encouraging independence should start at birth! 

Is Education Optional?

As the dropout rates have hit a crisis level, maybe you’re struggling with an adolescent boy that didn’t finish high school.  If so, he needs a healthy male role model and mentor.  It’s critical for his future that he get back in school and complete his education.  If necessary seek counseling and guidance for your son.  Education is not optional.

Are you celebrating your son’s graduation this year?  Or are you wondering how to “get him out of the basement?”

Clayton Lessor
Clayton Lessor, PhD in education and counseling, is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice. He is author of "Generation of Men: How to raise your son to be a healthy man among men" and “Saving Our Sons: A Parent's Guide to Preparing Boys for Success." Dr. Clay has seen over 2000 boys since 2000 and facilitated over 300 The Quest Project groups. Boys attend a 10-week "boys to men program" where they and their parents will learn the tools needed to get through these turbulent teen years. Dr. Clay is a member of the Steering Committee for The Coalition to Create a White House Council for Boys and Men.
Clayton Lessor
Clayton Lessor

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