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My HS senior daughter is incredibly weepy and emotional. At first, I was in a panic that she's pregnant!! OK, she has a steady, and your mind goes places...NM. Now I have a new theory. Over the weekend, her three best friends were hanging out in my kitchen and all of a sudden, I turned around and all four of them were crying on top of each other. Is this about the end of high school??
From: Sometimes it takes me a while, Tacoma, WA
I'd bet big money on it. This is an incredibly emotional time for high school seniors, boys as well as girls, but girls are more likely to be open about it, while boys may bump fists and say things like, "Yeah, later." This is a bittersweet time for them, they are excited about moving on but sad about ending what seems like a lifetime together.
The best -- and only -- way to be helpful is to indulge them and let them wallow in it, just like when they were preschoolers and hated the idea of any kind of change. Ooh -- and be available to talk.
Even boys who aren't necessarily all that talkative will give you insight into their feelings when they are tired and feeling vulnerable. Be around to offer a midnight snack, and you'll be rewarded with something pretty simple, like, "I'm gonna miss not seeing Tommy every day...." Seize the moment but don't over-do it! I can't stress that enough. The best response is a reflective one: "Yeah, you're gonna miss Tommy....." This is not the time to ask probing questions ("Well, he hasn't really been your closest friend for all that long, has he....?"); offer coping skills ("At least you can text each other."); or inject a dose of reality ("Yeah, but you're gonna make so many new friends!"). This is when just being there really counts and your listening skills really matter.
If your kid seems to be going overboard -- weepy all the time, clingy even -- give it a little time, it tends to peak and flow, especially as friends' emotions feed into each other. Some kids tend to regress and focus on what-ifs ("Why didn't I work harder?") while others make rash promises to themselves ("I am gonna be an A student!"). A reflective response is really helpful here, too.
Oh -- one other thing. This is not the time to share your own roller coaster of emotions unless, of course, your teens ask. And wow -- do you have an exceptionally empathetic kid if he or she does!
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