Preparing for Graduation—Start Early!

by Sally Matheny

Preparing for Graduation
Graduation time is here. Congratulations and gifts are in order. Giving money is practical but, I also like to include a book. 

I know. I know. Unless the graduate is an avid reader, they may not read it. But as people mature they come to understand the power and wisdom words impart. Perhaps one day the graduate will realize the book’s value.     

Nonetheless, I went to the store to look for the perfect book. To find the best selection, I should have started earlier, not a few weeks before graduation.

A few gift books for graduates still line the shelves. To be honest, many appear boring. 

However, I notice a little, red book by Harry H. Harrison, Jr. The title sounds intriguing.

“1001 Things Every Teen Should Know Before They Leave Home (Or Else They’ll Come Back).”

Some are practical:

“They should remember the first job is just that.”

Some are witty:

“They should know how to not look stupid because people will notice and they will have to move home.”

“They should know that talking like a rapper will scare people.”

And many are from a Christian perspective:

 “They should know God has a plan for them. And it is most likely    
 different from their plan."

The blurb on the back of the book stated that every year millions of teens graduate and leave home. It also states that “50 percent of them will move back home in five or six years.”

Whoa. While I didn’t agree with all 1001 items Mr. Harrison thinks our teens need to know, they do make a parent ponder.

Have I taught my teen everything they need to know?

Probably not.

Are they prepared to handle their new level of independence?

Let’s hope so.

One key to successfully preparing your child to live an independent life—one that is full and abundant in Christ, is simple.

Do not wait to begin teaching them until right before graduation.  When you want the best, start early.

That being said, if, for whatever reason, you think you’ve blown your parenting opportunities, don’t give up. 

Parenting with a Christian worldview is definitely an uphill climb. But it’s worth every step. Do not allow Satan to tell you it is too late. The Bible is the truth and it tells us “nothing is impossible with God.” 

If your desire is to become a better parent based on a Biblical standard, here are a few things to remember.

 Pray and ask for God’s help. Seek wisdom on parenting from the Holy Bible. Ask Him to help you apply it to your life. Keep praying for your child every day, until death do you part.

Seek God’s forgiveness when you mess up—with your life, and the lives of your kids. We all mess up. Letting go of pride opens up room for growth.

Become active in a Bible-believing church. The Christian parents you find there aren’t perfect. They struggle too, but it helps to pray for and encourage one another as we learn together.

Prepare for graduation by starting early.

Check out some of the strong, Christian websites, such as Focus on the Family, for helpful parenting advice.

In the blink of an eye, you’ll be preparing for your child's graduation, so start early and never give up. It’s best to begin guiding and training him in the way he should go at the earliest possible age.  
Your child may not realize it now, but as he grows wiser, one day he'll appreciate it's value.


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