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Graduations and Other School Transitions

‘Tis the season for graduations and last days of school.  It’s a time of mixed emotions – anticipation (happy and sad), separation, accomplishment, relief, fear, stress, and more.  Where are you on the scale?

Parents And School Transitions

School is all about kids, but I’m telling you – parents go through school transitions, too.  Kids moving to the next building, moving to a new school district over the summer, first days of Kindergarten, graduations, repeated grades – it’s all a family deal.  Don’t forget to acknowledge your own feelings as the kids in your life go through this process.  It’s a sign of parents aging, kids becoming more independent, the ending of some things, the beginning of others.

Give Caution About Underage Drinking

Underage drinking is another thing I think (worry) about this time of year.  Obviously, it happens all year round, but graduation is an opportunity.   If your kids will be at any graduation parties without you, implore them to be careful and be aware of who they will be with.  Not only can alcohol do significant damage to a young brain, impaired driving is often deadly.

Family Traditions and Rituals Matter

If you’ve read this blog recently, you’ll remember how much I have emphasized family traditions and rituals.  These are definitely appropriate for school transitions.  You might go out for dessert on the last day of school (like we do), have a barbecue for your kids’ friends, go to the lake, start planning (or reviewing) a summer vacation.

We also have a large dance recital a few weeks after school is out.  It’s a crazy time, but we really enjoy the preparation and spectacle of it.  Some schools finish spring sports late in the year, like track, soccer, and baseball.  Whatever you look forward to doing year after year, it’s time to dig in an relish these moments as a family.

So readers, what are you doing to mark the end of school and the beginning of summer?  What are your feelings and concerns as kids in your life make school transitions?

Creative Commons License photo credit: Shreyans Bhansali

Graduations and Other School Transitions

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP is a practicing licensed mental health counselor in Nebraska.

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APA Reference
Krull, E. (2011). Graduations and Other School Transitions. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 15, 2020, from


Last updated: 15 May 2011
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