DUNEDIN, Fla. - Many parents of high school seniors are watching their children struggle with finishing their final year during in a time of social distancing. Spectrum Bay News 9 spoke with Dunedin High School senior Hanna Mariscal, who is supposed to give a speech at her graduation.

Mariscal said she is still not sure ​when that will be.

“I was envisioning graduation being like my final goodbye,” Mariscal said.  “Getting up from my seat and walking up to the podium.  Reading my speech was going to be like my last breath of high school and just letting it all out.”

Psychologist Dr. Steve O’Brien advises parents not to try and fix things for their teen.  Instead, he said to try and understand where they are coming from and validate their feelings.

“I think it’s important to remember that it is their first real significant event that is kind of signaling adulthood,” O’Brien said. “It’s really important to truly empathize. We have to put ourselves back in time and remember what were we like back then.”

O’Brien suggests collaborating with your teen to come up with a special way to mark the end of their high school career in a way that is still memorable, despite these trying times.

For more perspective on what teenagers are going through right now watch our video link above.

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