Preparing Your Kids for Life After High School

March 29, 2012

Posted By: Shaunescy

We have been busy in our quiet, little house.

A few weeks back, Sexy Hubby and I met with The Junior's high school counselor to check on his progress and help select classes for the final year of public education.

Final year.

Even reading it aloud sounds unreal - like it's happening to someone else's child.

{Note: We have never met with the counselor before, as there has never been a reason, yet I felt compelled to meet face to face with her to ensure we weren't forgetting anything. That we made our list and checked it twice.}

To our happy surprise, The Junior is right on track, and at this point with graduate with an "Honor's Diploma," of which I never knew existed.

We selected classes as a team, and honestly, as we walked out of that counselor's office, I was so full of motherly pride, I was certain I would burst.

The Junior convinced us to take a walk to visit his former auto shop teacher, who just happens to be a retired Army officer. When we arrived at the auto shop office, unannounced, he welcomed us with open arms. We sat in his office chatting casually about the Army, and the ROTC program, while Mr. Auto teacher munched an apple. {Apropos, don't you think?}

After awhile, Mr. Auto teacher picked up the phone and said, "Let's go on a fishing trip." He dialed the ROTC office at Montana State University. A few moments later, he handed the phone to Sexy Hubby, and soon we were making an appointment to visit him on campus.

We had that visit this morning.

And we learned a few very valuable things.

First, ACT scores mean more than a GPA to get into college, and receiving the coveted ROTC scholarship. Once in college, it's all GPA all the time, with a "zero-tolerance" for unyielding behavior.

And the best part?

The Junior was hearing this crucial information from someone other than mom and dad (tends to pack a stronger punch that way).

The other major bonus, it actually forces The Junior to think beyond high school. Prior to which, when I tried to prod about "his life beyond" his eyes would glaze over, and he actually said, "I just want to stay a kid."

Don't we all, buddy, don't we all...

My advice to parents with pre-high school children is straight-forward but sometimes simple isn't always easy.


Try to ascertain if possible what interests your child. It's always best to know if they have an affliction for the medical field that they have a general plan prior to starting high school. We are lucky, The Junior has always had a mini-plan in his head, but we began talking about "the future" years prior.


Don't be like us and wait to 3/4 of the high school career is over to check in. We monitored from behind the scenes and knew our child was basically on track, but it could have gone very differently for us.


Begin talking soon and often about personal likes/dislikes, skill-sets, hobbies/interests and how that could correspond to a career-direction or chosen area of expertise. As much as financial security (read=job that pays real money) is a factor in raising independent adults, there is a deeper desire to choose a field in which happiness is a factor. Never underestimate the power of joy that derives from performing a job that one loves.


Say a prayer. It helps clear your mind, and just in case someone is listening on the other side, it certainly can't hurt!

Stay tuned as there is much more to watch and see what develops on this topic...

{Off to pray for an ACT score above 28!}

Mother of three, Katie Walters is the author of  An Authentic Life , a member of and is proudly invited to share within the pages of Montana Parent Magazine's website.

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