If your child is bound for college after high school, there are several things you can do now to prepare them for this transition. These things involve making sure you are both physically and emotionally getting ready.
Helping Them Financially
College can be expensive, so you should think about how your child will cover the cost. It can be a great learning experience for them to work their way through school, but with the rising costs of tuition, this may not always be feasible.
Instead, you might consider helping with some of the costs by taking out a low-rate Private Parent Loan. This is a great way to pay for any educational costs and prevent them from being saddled with student loan debt later on.
Consider Your New Role
Your relationship will change from that of taking care of your child to coaching them. Avoid the mentality of letting go of them completely. You will still be an essential part of their life, just in a different way.
Prepare for this new role by letting them make more of their own decisions and providing guidance when necessary. You can offer suggestions on what your child should do, but ultimately, these are their decisions.
Do Some Planning
If you don’t prepare, it’s easy to feel anxious and worried about what’s ahead. Students and parents alike can become wrapped up in what college applications involve.
This prevents them from thinking about how to prepare for the upcoming transition. Helping your student feel more prepared for this can help you both stay calmer.
By working with them in high school and even middle school, you can help them prepare for the other things that will come along later.
For example, teach them life skills like how to speak with professors, how to get groceries, and how to fill their prescriptions. You are not really helping them by doing these things for them now.
Follow some tips for teaching responsibility and start handing some of these things off to your child. For example, if they are learning how to drive, they also need to be learning how to get gas, look it over to make sure it is working well, and what to do if something goes wrong.
If you have concerns about safety on campus or how well taken care of your child will be, you can go on a tour to set your mind at rest. You may also want to meet your child’s roommates or hall leadership staff.
Once your child goes off to college, it can feel lonely around the house. Decide with your child in advance how you will stay connected with them. You might decide to set aside one night a week to chat on the phone for a little while.
This can give you something to look forward to. And you may agree to text at least a few times throughout the week. Of course, your schedule might change each week, depending on your student’s schedule, but planning ahead for this time can ensure you each make the time.