Andrew Harmon



Urban Suburban Magazine - Education

You’re NOT done !!
What’s your next role?

CONGRATULATIONS parents! Well done! You successfully navigated your son and or daughter through the first 13 years of their education, watched the pomp and circumstance unfold before your eyes, basked in the glow of seeing your graduate’s name on their diploma and are looking forward to “what’s next?” You did know this day was coming, right? Confidently grab those scissors and cut the proverbial strings. Successfully launch your young adult onto life’s super highway! Hopefully it wasn’t too stressful helping them figure out just what is next. Yeah right, who am I kidding? If you weren’t stressed out you most likely were not involved! College? Trade school? Military? Work Force? Community Service? Or the utopian year off (I’ll take that one myself). What did your young adult decide? How involved in the decision were you? Was it their decision without unsolicited advice or did you go full “old school” telling them what their next step would be? Hmmm…how did that go? Old habits die hard.

Raising children today definitely is not for the faint of heart or the feeble of mind. We must raise independent thinkers who view themselves as citizens of the world, not just their ‘hood.” Essentially, unselfishly raising them to leave you, trusting you have cultivated Independent thinkers, who know when to speak up, speak out, stand up and stand out. We get the first 18 years to be stewards of their lives, my prayer for myself and all parents; I hope we made the most of it! No “helicopter” parents wanted, needed or allowed…please! Every year of life comes with more responsibility and every year we must help them rise to the challenge of that responsibility. They must view their lives and the world they live in as one amalgamated entity.

This cannot happen if thinking skills haven’t been taught and exercised. Young adults should know their opinions count, their voice should be heard, sometimes they will be wrong and that really, it’s okay. Our children, no matter the age, should always want to value our opinions and we should trust, with sound information, they will make the right choice. Mistakes must be allowed -- almost expected, it is part of the growing process. Admit when they are wrong, give genuine apologies, forgive themselves and others and then move on. They must know the existence of their full village, starting with the rooted tree of their parents or some loving parental figure they can always return to for restoration, no matter what, when their spirit needs recharging.

We parents must trust and believe the solid foundation needed to live away from us is set for making split second decisions. Now, before you furrow that brow, purse those lips uttering “she’s trippin’”, know that I too am a newly minted parent of an 18 year old struggling with all the emotions you are too, attempting to practice all of what I preached in the preceding words. Until next time, when in doubt, be still and know…

Lisa M. Morton



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