Enter as a child, graduate as an adult?
Enter as a child, graduate as an adult?
Parent24 Editor, Scott Dunlop

Hello all of you awesome parents,

There are almost 700 000 Matric pupils starting the final exams this week. For many it will be the conclusion to many years of education, fun, friendship and growth. For their parents it’s a milestone too. It seems like society says that the end of school marks the end of childhood.

It’s not time to give up that parenting role, though- in fact, as your child makes the transition to becoming an adult, your input and support may be needed even more. Some kids are quite mature at eighteen; they may have been working at part-time jobs and they may have a bank account and a driving licence. Others are still quite immature and not ready to be independent.

You could help your older teen prepare for adulthood by offering some financial wisdom, tips on tertiary education, recipes, driving lessons, advice on what people are like beyond the school fence. You can offer your ears to their problems and a safe place for them to return to as they make their forays into adulthood. My kids love to get tips on how to cook: my goal is that they’ll be able to do more than make cheese sandwiches by the time they leave home.

Let’s hope none of them are entertaining dark thoughts at this time, either. Every year there are teens who become overwhelmed with the pressure to pass exams. Some, tragically, feel that their only option is to take their own lives. A recent IOL article cited this frightening fact: in interviews with teens that had attempted suicide, a huge majority stated that family conflict and a perceived lack of support from family were reasons behind their attempts.

Now I am almost certain that if you’re reading this newsletter it’s because you take parenting seriously, so hopefully you’re already looking out for your kids- perhaps even their friends, too. Keep cheering them on and giving them all the love and support they need!

Even younger kids get stressed during exam times, and working parents may be really busy at work trying to tie up loose ends before the year-end holidays. Hold on to your sanity for just a few more weeks.

Of course not all kids do as I did and leave home the minute they matriculate. Some may be digging in your fridge for the next twenty years…

Good luck to all of you parents whose kids are getting ready for exams; let’s hope for a smooth time with plenty of sleep, no tears and great results.

Have you found some helpful way of helping your child prepare for adulthood? Why not share with us at chatback@parent24.com and you could win a R250 kalahari.com voucher.

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