Keep parenting throughout high school. You may be thinking that there really is no alternative and that this advice is futile, nevertheless I say it again – don’t squander the time you have to influence your young adult.
When my oldest child got to be in high school, she often spent many hours up in her room studying and doing schoolwork. Many of her classes were online, at the local college, and independent studies, so I had less time instructing her. I felt that my job was done. Sometimes I would only see her at meals and between evening extracurricular activities. One afternoon during her junior year, I became nostalgic and realized how little time I had left with her in the house and how much I would miss the years we had been privileged to spend together. As a homeschooling parent we are blessed with so many days and years with our children. Of course there were days and even weeks that I would have pleaded to send them away to school because of frustrations or attitudes (sometimes theirs, sometimes mine). But looking back on those years, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to guide their education and influence their lives.
So when that epiphany took place, I marched up the stairs and told my teenager that some things were going to change. We looked over her class/study schedule and mapped out a time each day for us to talk, plan, evaluate, and dream together. In those re-claimed hours we read together, prayed together, and planned her future together. Sometimes she just filled me in, and other times I had to help her manage her time more wisely. I shared experiences from my own teen years which made me vulnerable, but my daughter surprised me with her compassion and understanding. I realized a bonus that I had not anticipated – our friendship and respect for one another developed and grew.
Those last couple of years with my daughter were precious and challenging, but I would not have traded them for anything.
So, don’t think that your teaching and parenting job is done when they get to high school. Take advantage of every opportunity you have while your child is in high school; you’ll be glad you did.