It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.                        (e.e cummings).


November, with its crisp air and the promise of upcoming festivities, often marks the start of the holiday frenzy. It’s a time when family, work, and friends all vie for our attention. But for our teens, it also signals the beginning of midterms and finals, a crucial academic stretch that can sometimes overshadow the holiday cheer. As parents, we find ourselves torn between our desire to have our teens fully participate in family gatherings and their academic commitments.

For parents of high school teens, there’s the bittersweet realization that the college countdown has begun. We yearn to savor every precious moment with our soon-to-be college students, making every family and extended family gathering seem even more significant.

On the other hand, parents of college students may eagerly anticipate their return for an extended Thanksgiving break, only to discover that looming midterms might disrupt those plans. It’s a moment of realization that our desires might not perfectly align with our teen’s academic responsibilities.

So, what’s the solution? It begins with introspection. As parents, we must examine our own wants and desires. Do we envision the holiday season as a time for cherished family traditions, or do we want it to be equally special for our teens, taking into account their evolving academic and social lives?

The crucial next step is to engage in a conversation with our teens. Share your vision for the holiday season and listen to their perspective. Understand their academic commitments, peer group dynamics, and what they want to focus on during this time. By finding common ground and shaping our holiday plans together, we can minimize the potential for hurt feelings and disappointment.

As parents, it’s a moment of pride when we recognize that our teens are growing in independence, with their own thoughts and expectations influenced by both their academic responsibilities and peer interactions. Embracing this growth and involving them in holiday planning can be a rewarding experience.

So here’s to raising remarkable teens and watching them flourish, both academically and personally. It’s a season of balance, understanding, and shared moments that will make the holiday frenzy not only memorable but also meaningful for everyone involved. Cheers to creating lasting family memories and supporting our teens on their unique journeys.