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  • Writer's pictureAlison Merzel

Give them some space

When my kindergartener starts to feel overstimulated and her siblings are in her face, she loudly yells, "Give me some space!" While we are momentarily taken aback by her brash outburst, we quickly realize that she is clearly communicating exactly what she needs. As our kids get older, this once clear and direct communication style may morph into a variety of delightful forms of expression - the silent treatment, the door slam, the use of profanity or other less than polite words to their parents, etc. But, regardless of the communication style, we know that this kind of reaction is likely caused by frustration, exhaustion, disappointment, anger, embarrassment or sadness. As parents, we need to remember to give our kids some space.

While the anticipation and joy of the holidays is upon us, it can also be a time filled with stress and anxiety, particularly as your students are trying to finish up their responsibilities prior to winter break and particularly if they are awaiting the results of their college applications.

I am reminded of the hilarious video that went viral, mocking parents who have kids at overnight camp and are waiting for the daily photos of their campers to load each night - Refresh, Refresh! I am not posting the link here, as it is not exactly "clean" so you can look for it yourself by googling Refresh: Roller Coaster Ride For Obsessed Overnight Camp Parents.

If you are the parent of a senior, I am sure you are constantly wanting to "refresh" that computer screen to see if the results of any of these applications have been delivered. You are potentially even more anxious and nervous than your child about what the future holds. Remember - give them space. The admissions decisions will come and then you and your family will make decisions about what comes next. This could be your last holiday season with your student at home, so enjoy each moment and plan activities to refresh your soul rather than your screen.

Refresh your mind, not your screen

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