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© Gail Underwood Parker

Monday, May 16, 2011

School Bell: Senior Year - Senioritis

For any of you with a high school senior in the house you no-doubt have discovered that senior year is an infection that causes your child to mutate in strange, mysterious ways.  The child that in September you could not possibly think you could let go of, you are now likely ready to help him or her pack their bags on a regular basis.

In medical terms when you see the suffix -itis  at the end of the word it usually means "an irritation, swelling, or inflammation of...."  [Examples: Larynigitis... the irritation, swelling, or inflammation of the larynx, appendicitis... the irritation, swelling, or inflammation of the appendix]. So it follows that senioritis is the irritation, swelling, or inflammation of the senior!  Now I don't know about you.. but my seniors often are increasingly irritated as the year progresses [usually by anyone in the family, but especially by me].  Their egos were also increasingly swollen! And, they are almost constantly inflamed [usually in response to the word "no"]!

I try to remind myself that they are practicing all the skills they will need once they have left.  They are practicing independent decision making [dang it]. They are trying to create their own work/play/eat/sleep patterns [yikes].  They are making their own fashion/clothing choices. And, they are exploring moral choices. Like when a child first starts to try to walk, they don't always do a very good job.  Unlike when a child first starts to try to walk... they do NOT want our hands, advice, or corrections.   ...Sigh....

All we can do is try to make sure they are experimenting in a safe, hopefully somewhat protected environment, and then-- be ready to help if they hurt themselves in a fall. Oh yes, and we need to know and remember that the falling is a necessary part of the learning process.

After all the senior years I have survived with my kiddos I have come to this conclusion.
1--Senioritis is as wonderful a sign [albeit painful] of development as crawling or walking.
2--Senior year's struggle is God's way of helping us let go.

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