If you are a parent sending your children to college for the first time, then you should know that you play a vital role in helping them be more prepared for the changes that will come their way. Even before your kids leave your house, there are already things you can do to ensure that the transition will be smooth.
Here are some tips you can do to help your kids as they prepare to go to college.
- Guide them in choosing a major – the biggest decision they will make before college is in choosing their major. As a parent, it might be tempting to steer them to your own choice of a major for them, but ultimately you want them to make the choice themselves because it needs to be something they stick to for the next years of their life. You can help by asking them questions about where they see themselves in the future, ten years from now. Offer your own observations on the skills they have and where those skills can be better put to use. List down the pros and cons of your children’s choices. This can be a tricky choice as you don’t want them to feel unfulfilled but you still want them to be able to find a job in the future.
- Don’t put too much pressure on them – understand that college can be both a great and difficult time for freshmen. They will be experiencing new things, and while some may have an easy time of transitioning to this new phase in their lives, not all will be able to do so. If your child has always been A student up until they graduated from high school, do not pressure them into thinking that they need to produce the same grades in college. There is more to life than their grades. Allow them time to adjust instead of expecting that they will perform well in college as they did in high school.
- Teach them how to budget – one of the biggest things you need to teach your child is how to budget. College tuition is very expensive already so you want them to value money and not just give them an unlimited budget. Teach them to list down anything they might need to spend money on, and how to stick to the budget that will be allowed for that item, etc.
- Help them look for resources available to them – you cannot always be there for them, you also want to learn how to be independent. If they are encountering problems that they can fix themselves, encourage them to do so.
- Encourage them to find avenues for enjoying without having to party every weekend – one of the worries of many college parents is that their children can fall with the crowd of those who just like to drink and party. Encourage them to find other ways to make friends instead of drinking. Tell them of the dangers of partying and that it would be harder to stop drinking if it gets to that point that it already interferes with their personal lives.