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Questions from Parents of Graduating Seniors

Question

I am a single mom, and my daughter just graduated with a full scholarship for college. We have a great relationship, but I’ve never been able to talk with her about sex. I worry about her since she will be on her own in a few weeks. Is it too late to bring this up?  How do I start such a conversation after all these years?

Answer

Stop feeling guilty that you weren’t a perfect parent, and take pride in raising a wonderful student who accomplished enough to earn a full college scholarship. You seem like an amazing mom!

This is a difficult topic for most parents to discuss with their young adults. Try this. Visit a bookstore and find some written material on the types of issues you want to discuss with your daughter. There are lots of sources of great information on the Internet as well, such as SIECUS or WebMD. Write a letter to your daughter expressing your views on sexuality, and how you regret not speaking with her earlier about sexual issues. Give her your letter and the written materials and see what response you get from her.

Question

My son is not going on to college like most his friends but will be attending a trade school in the fall. While I’m very proud of him, it seems like he is being put down by his friends and their parents. Should I say anything?

Answer

Graduating from college is not a prerequisite for living a meaningful life. The respect you have for your son should not be based on whether he attends college, but on his values, accomplishments and his behavior towards you and others. Be sure he knows how proud you feel about the type of person he is becoming and ignore the comments of others unless your son wants to talk about it.

Question

I know you can’t answer this so I don’t even know why I am writing. I emotionally checked out of my marriage 6 years ago, but have maintained a pretense of a relationship for the sake of our kids. I’m sure my wife and kids think everything is great. Our last child just graduated a few weeks ago. How long do you think I should wait before I get a divorce?

Answer

Before making such a life altering decision, how about getting some professional help?  There was a time when there was love, passion, and commitment between you and your spouse. You had children together, and made a commitment to be best friends forever.

You’re unhappy. Perhaps that is partly due to your marriage, but it may be related to other things about you and your life that won’t be solved by a divorce.

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