Tips for Parents for Senior Year
As a senior portrait photographer, I have years of experience working with high school seniors and their parents. I have learned so much and want to share some of the best tips for parents for senior year. And I am so grateful to all of the AHP Model Team girls and their parents, who have trusted me with making senior year an unforgettable experience.
I am especially thankful for Model Team mom, Victoria, who contributed significantly to this blog post to help other parents prepare for senior year! Her daughter, Isabelle, was an awesome part of the Class of 2022 Model Team. Isabelle rocked her senior year and had her senior portrait session at Owen Beach. This dynamic duo is an inspiration for seniors and their parents!
Tip One: Plan Out Graduation Costs
It’s never too early to start planning out the costs of senior year for parents. Putting money aside early helps ensure that you are ready for expenses (planned and otherwise). During the school year, your senior will have prom expenses, yearbook costs, and of course, senior portraits! The cost of graduation itself includes your senior’s cap and gown, tassels, graduation party, invitations, and announcements. It all adds up quickly, and the end of the year can get quite expensive if you are not prepared for it ahead of time.
Tip Two: Prepare for College
It is so important to start searching for different scholarships and researching application requirements as soon as possible. Many schools have a list of local scholarships available, with instructions on how to apply.
Your senior will also need letters of recommendation for their college applications, in addition to transcripts, essays, and documented volunteer hours. While many applications have similar requirements, a few will be different. This makes it essential to pay attention to the details.
Tip Three: Make Your House the Place to Be
This is your senior’s last year at home, so it makes sense that you will want to spend as much time around them as possible. Making your house the favorite hangout spot means that your senior and their friends will love being around! You can do this by hosting get-togethers or parties for your teen, having sleepovers, and stocking the pantry with all of your teen’s favorite snacks. Having a comfortable space where they can watch movies, look at magazines, and create memories will make the year better for them and for you. And as fun as it is to encourage them to spend time with their friends, also make sure to set aside time to spend with them one-on-one before they head off to college.
Tip Four: Give Grace
If you have never had a high school senior before, this means they have never been one! Give yourself grace, and give even more grace to them. Senior year can be full of excitement and fun, but it can also be incredibly overwhelming. Giving them space to figure things out as they go, while also being a listening ear when they need one will help the two of you get along so much better. If they know that they can trust you, your relationship will strengthen throughout the year before they head off to college.
Tip Five: Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There is a lot coming at them in their senior year, and keeping an open line of communication is essential. You can’t be expected to understand everything and know all that’s happening and when. This means you certainly can’t expect your kids to know it all either. The dedicated counselors and teachers want to help your senior. Use them as resources and talk to your senior to make sure you are both on the same page.
Senior year may feel overwhelming for you as a parent, and for your child as a senior. But take a deep breath, make a game plan for the year, and then take things one day at a time. There are so many awesome resources to help you make the most of the year.
One way to make sure your senior has an AH-mazing year is to book a VIP senior portrait experience. If you are interested in booking a portrait session with AHP, I would love to connect. It’s easy for seniors and their parents to reach out on my website. You can also contact me by phone at 530-412-0730 or by email at [email protected]. I hope to hear from you soon!