Tips for Parents with College Bound Kids
College-Bound Child? Here’s How to Prepare.
Congratulations - your student is headed to college! This exciting transition may also bring with it some concerns or worries about arming your child with the tools to succeed in a new and challenging environment. Here are some ways you can help your child prepare for success in the next step of his or her education:
It might sound simple, but learning to clean up, do laundry, and cook some simple meals will be a huge leg-up once your student embarks on her college journey. Rather than focusing on a grumbling stomach or a large pile of shrunken pinkish clothes, your student will be able to direct her attention on the things that really matter.
- Money Management
Spend time speaking with your child about his budget and other strategies for keeping track of money. Allow your child to work to stick to his budget without your oversight - it is much better for him to experience running out of money while he is at home with a safety net!
Have a conversation with your child about how to ask for help when she needs it, and then give her the opportunity to practice those skills while she is at home. Make sure she can articulate her best learning style, as well as any accommodations she may benefit from. You won’t always be there to talk to professors or TAs for your child, so it is critical to arm her with skills to advocate for her own needs.
- Visit the Campus
It’s helpful to visit the campus with your child - take a tour and get to know where to find the library, classrooms, and dining hall. If possible, connect your student with a mentor on the campus - maybe an older student in his prospective major - so that he has a sounding board for questions and someone to show him around in the first few transitional weeks. It will make it that much easier to get around and figure things out once he makes the full-time move.
- Get Excited!
Above all, get excited with your child! College is a wonderful experience and an opportunity to grow and learn as an individual. If your student feels your excitement, it gives him or her permission to look forward to the new experience too. Confidence is key in this exciting time.