How to Not Pull Your Hair Out Senior Year: 3 Simple Tips

senior year
How to Not Pull Your Hair Out Senior Year: 3 Simple Tips

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pumpkin spice,



corn mazes,

fall festivals.

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This is the time of year that most families are gathering together enjoying the change in seasons.  For parents with kids who graduate this year, like 2 of mine, the story is different.

 For these families, fall is the beginning of last first’s.  It is the beginning of the end of childhood, the preface to adulthood.  It is the time to buckle down and get ready for college.  In our family, the fall scene is college applications, college visits, communication with coaches, communication with colleges, cost of attendance, and so much more. 

Yes, we still enjoy football games, homecoming, and the occasional fall activity.  However, days like today, while many families are enjoying our local fall festivals, my son and I are attending an open house and recruiting camp in North Carolina.  And while my son despises preview days, he is totally in his element on the mat with current and future college wrestlers. 

All these trips all over the country and all the previews and meetings about financial aid and the like are worth it to see my son in his future element…a college wrestler, attaining a degree from a top-notch college, while doing what he loves the most.  This is what he has worked for since seventh grade.  All the blood, sweat, and tears, all the plans, all the dreams are all coming to fruition.  And this visit is one of four in the next month.  He has already received 4 acceptance letters, and we expect the offers to begin coming in any minute.



This did not come easy.  And I did not pay a recruiter to do this.  My son has worked from a young age, spending every spring and summer training, perfecting his wrestling skills.  While other kids were enjoying the beach all summer, he spent his summer training for weeks for national tournaments and duals and competing in national tournaments and duals.  Now, all this hard work is paying off when it truly matters.

Wrestling national level
From his freshman year in high school, Abe began wrestling in national tournaments every summer.


If you have a child who is a student athlete, and you would like to know how I have helped my son without paying a recruiter to do it for me, please email me for my simple plan: “Driving the Recruiting Vehicle for My Son.” 

You may do so by emailing me at    

It doesn’t matter your child’s age.  You can start as early as elementary school.  It is a process that you will never regret!

So how do you manage senior year without pulling every hair from your head?  Now that is the million-dollar question!

How to Not Pull Your Hair Out Senior Year:  3 Simple Tips

·         Don’t take it personally!

·         Remember he is still your baby.

·         Savor every moment, good and bad.  Life only happens once.


Don’t take it personally.

Amidst all the emotions, understand this one thing: 

Just like you, your child is scared,

so he or she may act out of the ordinary, even to the point of pitching tantrums.  Oh, yeah, we have been there this year.  Kids, like adults, do not enjoy rejection.  The college application process leaves room for rejection and is an eye-opening reality check into the “real world.”  Often, this fear of rejection leads a kid to react defiantly, totally out of the norm.  Kids are accustomed to their parent’s support and approval.  When they come to the point that they may be rejected in a real-world situation that can truly affect their future, emotions can overwhelm them to a point of serious frustration.  These actions are not personal toward you.  Just breathe and focus on the goal.

Remember he is still your baby.

Although he may be acting like an alien, he is still your baby.  He just needs more of your support than ever.  Remember back during the toddler years when you had to be firm and consistent?  This is no different.  Stand your ground.  One minute your kid will tell you he wants to go to one school.  The next minute he doesn’t.  This type of wishy-washy behavior is most often out of fear of rejection.  Fighting does not help!  Believe me, I have tried!  It just runs up your blood pressure.  Go back to the basics. Be firm and consistent.  Above all, be his mom.  Show him you love him unconditionally.


Savor every moment, good and bad.  Life only happens once.

As graduation approaches, you will feel good and bad moments.  Savor both!  Before you know it, your kid will move on to college, then a family.  Life is too short to fixate on the bad times.  Be present in the moment.  Last night, my son told me that we are always on the go.  Very true right now.  However, our little conversations about his fears and expectations about the future are dear to my heart.  Teen boys especially do not enjoy sharing their inner fears.  Grasp every glimpse you can of those fears to help them.  Last night, my son was saying that it is impossible to take an entire course load in 4 years.  This scared him.  I mathematically broke it down for him, alleviating his concerns.  This was a defining moment in his college search.  I could see the apparent relief cross his face as he breathed easier.


Amidst the chaos of senior year, search out those special moments and love your child.  And know that you will look back on these memories in the future and smile with understanding.  Mothering doesn’t end in elementary school.  Now is when your child needs you more than ever.  No, it’s not now all hayrides and fall festivals.  Now is the time your child prepares to embark on the journey to adulthood and to real life on their own.  Mom, you have done an amazing job so far, and you will see the fruit of your labors before you know it.


All the best,


Song of Sapelo Sunset


Goal Setting with Teens: 5 Principles & 5 Aspects to Preparing for a Bright Future

Goal Setting with Teens.png

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In my last blog, “Where Did My Baby Go? 4 Ways to Deal with Raising Teens…and Still Love Them,” one tip was goal setting.

Goal setting is a lifelong skill that will guide your child through the darkest of situations.

Goals give hope.  Goals give light at the end of that deep, dark tunnel.  Goals give focus.  Goals motivate and inspire.  Goals achieve results.

Our children will one day be on their own…if they are not already.  When they are, they need to have the tool of goal setting in their “toolbelts.”  Dr. Edwin Locke, an American psychologist and pioneer in goal-setting theory, and his research partner, Dr. Gary Latham, surmised 5 principles for setting goals:

  1. Clarity
  2. Challenge
  3. Commitment
  4. Feedback
  5. Task complexity



Help your teen set clear, attainable goals.  Everyone needs to see positive results.  Have your teen write down his goals.  Putting it in writing helps make it clearer.



Help your teen set goals that will challenge him….ones that will make him reach for his full potential.  Challenge involves risk.  A small amount of risk is healthy.  Risk and challenge involve uncertainty, and this can be alarming to a teen. Help him to set challenging goals and follow through to the end result so that he can see the awesome benefits of meeting the challenging goal.



Help your child set goals and stay committed to them.  Never give up.  There is always a way, under, or around, or through.  Sometimes the challenging road to success is littered with potholes and detours, but commitment shows true grit, especially as the goals become more challenging.  Teach your teen to never give up!


FEEDBACK-GOALSConstructive criticism is a tough bullet for some people to bite.  Teach your teen how to look at the “man in the mirror” and make true assessments of their current situation.  Have they reached their goal?  If the goal has not been met, what are issues standing in the way, and what are steps to take to successfully meet the goal this time?  Teach him how to accept the feedback of others and how to use this as a gauge of genuine success or failure.


Ensure your teen has adequate time to complete complex tasks and meet his goal.  If stress or frustration arise, sit down with your teen, and take an inventory of the current situation, analyzing where things went wrong and determining how to fix these issues.  If necessary, especially in the beginning, break up more complex tasks into smaller chunks so that your teen sees and feels some success along the way.  What is more frustrating than feeling like you’re spinning your wheels in a million directions!



Locke also coined the idea of SMART goals.






Have your teen honestly ask himself the following questions regarding the goal:

  1. Is the goal specific?
  2. Is the goal measurable?
  3. Is this goal attainable?
  4. Is this goal relevant in his life?
  5. Are the time constraints for this goal realistic?

Begin with baby steps, even in middle school, especially in middle school, and gradually increase the levels of goals you help your teen set.  In the end, your child, his future wife, his future boss, his future children, etc., will all thank you for teaching him effective goal setting strategy.  Goal setting leads to great success in all areas of life.  While you’re at it, what are your goals for the next 6 months?  The next year?  The next 5 years? The next decade?  You are never too old to set goals.  Reach for the sky!


All the best as we reach for our goals,


Song of Sapelo Sunset

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