Transition Year: How to Survive Your Child’s Senior Year of High School

I’m in the throes of our daughter and son’s senior year of high school. And while it looks very different for each of them, there are a few lessons I’m learning about how to survive your child’s senior year of high school. When I learn lessons – even if I’m in the middle of learning – I want to share these life lessons with other moms of high school seniors.

Momma’s, we are in a transitional year of life too. Actually, I believe we are in a transitional phase of life. Our forties give us so many new experiences to wrap our arms around that it is kind of ridiculous! Yes, let’s wrap our arms our these experiences – embrace them – and enjoy them. Your child’s senior year is a year of celebration, enjoyment, and happiness. So, let’s learn how to survive your child’s senior year of high school together.

Capture Moments

This is just one of the many poses. I captured this on my phone. Can’t wait to see all the others.


Think of all the picture opportunities you have this year – the last-first day of school, last homecoming, prom, and other dances, and graduation. The moments are endless. Capture them with a zest you’ve never felt before.

Our daughter’s senior picture session was just yesterday. It was an exciting day because the photographer showered her with compliments for over an hour. She had a blast. And, I loved it too. I loved seeing her smile and put her personal touch on her pictures.

Senior year pictures are the last school pictures you will ever get – invest in them – financially and with your time. You won’t be sorry you did.  


Organize Your Time

Surviving your child’s last year of high school is all about organization. At a meeting just this week, we were given one sheet of paper that had nothing but important dates on it and it kind of made my head spin. This is why we need to be organized!

Get out your calendar and colorful pens and start writing down all of the crucial dates during their senior year. Be sure to write down graduation first – this is the culmination of 13 years of education for them. It’s kind of a big deal! Other important dates to capture include college application deadline dates, senior nights for sports clubs or organizations, and scholarship deadlines.

Give Them Your Time

They don’t need much from you these days, but they will always need your time and love. Plan time to talk to them about their future plans. Take them out to lunch or dinner alone so that they get your full attention. I heard one mom of a senior recently say that she was making more shopping trips with her high school senior because that’s what they loved to do together. So, she switched up the budget and made it happen more often as a way to survive her child’s senior year of high school.

Be creative. Find activities that you both enjoy and do them often. My daughter and I just love to talk. We talk about life, boys, the future, and hot political or social justice issues, which are both very important to her. We don’t always see eye to eye – but, that’s not the point of these interactions – it’s just to enjoy the last the full year that this amazing creature I created will be in our home full time.

Give Up the  Driver’s Seat

This can be hard sometimes! But, one of the best gifts you can give as a mom of high school seniors is to let them behind the wheel. This is their life now, your days of constant decision making for them are coming to an end. They need to get behind the wheel and start driving this amazing life you’ve set up for them.

But, don’t go far – they still need you (even if they don’t admit it). It’s vital that we start to transition out of the driver’s seat this year. Have them keep their own calendar with important dates, empower them to complete college applications on their own before you take the final look to make sure it’s complete. This is a big year for your high school senior – let them take the leading role.

This is going to be a challenging, but exciting year for you and your high school senior. You get to celebrate them over and over this year. You get to see just how amazing they are and imagine what they will become. This is a year of transition for both of you – enjoy it together. You will not only survive your high school seniors last year of high school, but you will thrive this year right beside them!


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