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Teens and parents react differently to graduation

Senior countdown season has begun, and with it comes the nostalgic parents of the graduates. Parents who can’t wait tby: SUBMITTED - Madison Stateno see their little boys and girls don caps and gowns and take photos for scrapbooks. Seniors who are counting every hour, minute and second until they become “real adults.”

The graduation season is a good reminder that while you might be able to pick the people you invite to your graduation party, you don’t have that same opportunity when it comes to your family.

Maybe it’s because of the age difference, but students and their parents both react differently even when they are both going through the same experiences. For parents and their teenagers it can sometimes feel that they need a survival guide just to navigate the emotional turmoil that is graduation. Below are graduation scenarios and the responses of parents and seniors to those scenarios.

When it comes to writing the graduation announcements:

Parent: “You need to send one to all six of your uncles, your five great-cousins, all of your K-12 teachers, that girl who tutored you in math last summer and anybody else you have met in your life. Don’t forget to handwrite them. It’s more personal!”

Senior: “You do realize I’m just walking in a straight line right? If all of those people really want to see that all they have to do is come with me to PE during the mile run.”

Planning the graduation party:

Parent: “I remember my graduation party. We danced until 11:30! I had the best themed party ever. Do you have a theme? All great parties have a theme. And streamers. Should we get a tent? Or a DJ? I went to a Jimmy Buffett concert once; maybe he would sing at the party?”

Senior: “Can you believe that graduation parties are out of style? Like, nobody throws them anymore. Hey, I was wondering if I could have the house the afternoon before graduation? You work so hard and I think you need a break. Maybe you and dad could go to the beach?”

On the cap and gown:

Parent: “Make sure that when you throw your cap into the air you catch it again. I can’t have my baby getting lice! Don’t forget to button your gown all the way. It’s cold outside and you can’t get sick. What if you got sick now? Then you’d miss graduation. I can’t even bear to think of how horrible that would be!”

Senior: “I know! My social life would never recover! This is my last chance to leave my mark. I want to be a legend!”

After finally getting that diploma:

Parent: “This is never going to happen again (for at least four more years)! Can I take your picture by the podium? And by where you sat ... can we do one with the diploma and one without it? This is going in the baby book!”

Senior: “Is this going to take all night?  Everyone else is already at the party!”

On moving out:

Parent: “We love you so much! I remember when you were a baby and we brought you home. Will you visit? Did you know I love you?”

Senior: “I love you guys too. I don’t know where I’d be without you, even if I don’t act like I appreciate you. Can you come with me to college?”

Now you know what to expect from your favorite seniors and adults during graduation season. After graduating, seniors will have to leave behind their well-meaning parents and discover life for themselves. After moving out it’s sometimes too late to tell that special loved one the reason behind your words and your antics. Expressing love for the people closest to you and appreciating them can bridge the generation gap and bring families closer together. It will also make for a great graduation picture.

Madison Staten is a freshman at West Linn High School.




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