4 Tips for Parents with Graduating Students disrupted by Covid-19

If you are a parent or guardian of a graduating student at a BridgeU school, you may be wondering how recent Covid-19 events will impact your child. We’ve put together 4 quick tips to support your child in navigating this challenging time:


1. Help your child maintain perspective


The Covid-19 pandemic has led to school closures and various states of lockdown across the world. Your child may be inundated with updates from news sources and social media as the global situation continues to evolve. 


It’s normal for students to feel overwhelmed and anxious during this time, not just about Covid-19 but also its downstream effects on healthcare systems, the economy, and society as a whole. Try to take the time to acknowledge your child’s questions and concerns. It always helps to base your discussions in facts rather than speculation. You can also check out this article from the New York Times on helping teenagers manage Covid-19 related anxiety.


Remember: You might feel overwhelmed and anxious, too! Take care of yourself so you can better support your child.


2. Keep your child engaged


With many final exams canceled, postponed, or scaled down, educators and parents alike are concerned about student engagement and motivation. Some students may be used to relying on tests and exams to set personal goals, measure success, and validate their own learning. 


With many extracurricular activities canceled too, your child may be missing the normal opportunities they have to explore their interests or as an outlet for stress relief. 


Keep in mind that every student is different. Some teenagers may thrive on unstructured time, others may not. If your child isn’t coping well with extended periods of time at home, start a conversation about passion projects they may want to take on through their own initiative and how you might support them with brainstorming ideas:


  • Does your child have a creative talent, like writing or drawing, that they can nurture and develop in their spare time? 
  • Could your son/daughter be learning a new skill, e.g. learning a language, brushing up on their cooking, or even helping out in the garden or round the house? 
  • We all need to support each other during this time—what can your child do for your community?


Remember: Your child’s passion projects should be based on their passions, not yours :)


3. Keep track of changing university policies


Your child has likely applied to universities by now, and may have received responses from universities or expect to in the coming weeks. Of course, you and your child may be worried about Covid-19’s impact on university admissions. How might changes to exams affect offers? Might universities change the admissions decisions they have already made? What if my family’s financial circumstances have changed? 


First thing’s first -  take a moment to help your child celebrate any offers of admission that they have received! This is a huge accomplishment and recognition of your child’s ability and potential. Ultimately, what’s happening with university admissions at the moment is no reflection on them! 


Secondly, keep in mind that this situation is new for everyone, including your child’s university counselor as well as university admissions teams. Start by reviewing the latest updates on BridgeU’s Covid-10 resource page.


Your questions and concerns are valid and important, but universities and counsellors may need some time to learn about changes, put policies in place, and organise communications before they may be able to dedicate time to confidently advise on individual cases.


Remember: Make sure your child is updating their university outcomes in BridgeU so their university counselor has the latest information to help them navigate questions and decisions.


4. Help your child celebrate milestones


Graduating from secondary school is a huge milestone for your child and family. With extended school closures across the world, many graduating students are not sure if they will be receiving a diploma in person this year or if they will even get to see their school friends in person before wrapping up their last school term. 


But that’s no reason not to celebrate those key milestones anyway! 


Consider ways to keep your child connected with their school community and continue to celebrate the milestones associated with their final year:


  • Can your child organise a virtual school dance or graduation ceremony with a few of their close friends?
  • Are there teachers that have had a big impact on your child? What can you and your child do to reach out to those teachers and thank them?
  • Does your child’s school have an active alumni community your child can start to engage with virtually?


Remember: Treasure the extra time you have at home with your child right now before they might leave for university!

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