Five ways to cure senioritis

By Susan Pohorski

Is your high school senior having trouble getting out of bed in the morning? Are his or her grades falling? Does he or she complain about having to finish projects for school? Did you receive a call from the office recently regarding a student absence? These could be signs that your child has senioritis. 

What’s a parent to do? Hopefully, it’s not too late. You can help your senior finish strong and carry that momentum into higher education. 

Even if your child has already been accepted to the college of their choice, finishing strong does matter to colleges. Some have been known to rescind admission or change financial aid offers to students for poor grades in their last semester of high school. 

  1. Talk with your student about their feelings. Are they overcommitted? Figure out what things could be dropped from the schedule. Is he bored with easy classes that don’t connect to future goals? Challenge him to enroll in a class at a local college or pursue something he loves to do. Is he or she scared of adulthood, college life or independence? Reassure him or her that you believe in them and that you will always be available to advise or help. 
  2. Celebrate the achievements of the final year in high school, her last band concert, last AP US History exam, or the last project for that teacher she doesn’t like. Be sure to attend the senior awards event and cheer on your child. Enjoy one-on-one time with your senior as he/she prepares to enter adulthood. Even if he doesn’t win any awards, let your child know you are proud of his achievements. 
  3. Keep track of your child’s schedule of activities and events. It is your last chance to remind him/her what is due when. But don’t nag. Students want to take charge of their own life at this age. Just show that you care. 
  4. Encourage your senior to connect with the world outside school. A job or internship can provide motivation to continue education that connects to a specific career or show your student why they should continue their education to qualify for higher paying jobs. Also, your student could find an adult mentor who they will listen to even when they won’t listen to you. 
  5. Finally, talk with your child about risky behaviors and the consequences for their future. If he or she gets arrested for under-age drinking or driving under the influence, it could threaten their college career. Pregnancy has ended college plans for many high school seniors. 

How have you dealt with senioritis? Any other advice for parents of seniors?

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