Tips for graduates to ease through big transitions

WASHINGTON — Graduation is a tough, exciting and nerve-wracking time in a child’s life.

And while feeling frantic about the transition is natural, parenting experts say there are ways to help children and young adults navigate them.

Think back to when you were leaving the 5th grade, graduating from high school or moving home from college. For many, the big accomplishment was bittersweet.

“It’s a mix of stress, excitement, sadness and it feels so fresh,” says parenting expert Leslie Morgan Steiner.

She tells WTOP listeners to keep in mind feelings of their own graduations when thinking of what their kids are going through.

“Let them have the range of feelings about the transition: sadness, fear, regret, joy. In other words, don’t tell them what to feel,” she says.

Marking the occasion might ease the transition, Morgan Steiner says.

She suggests matting a photo that your child’s friends can sign or having the graduating student confront and work through his or her emotions by writing to their teachers.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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