There are many tips for your child in high school about college. Guidance counselors work hard to prepare your child academically for college. It’s wonderful that so many high schools now have programs, counselors and resources available for your child to prepare for college. With that being said, there’s more to college life than academics. Have you thought about how you will prepare your child for college life? It’s important to have a few discussions about your child’s future life in college and how things may go with peers, classes and living in a dorm. Here are 3 ways to prepare your child for college life without stressing them out.
Know your Child
Take the time to think about how college life may affect your child’s mental health. If your child is prone to anxiety and panic attacks, then they must be gently prepared for the abundantly busy hallways of college life. No more will your child have a small high school. They could be in a college with over 25,000 students at once which can be difficult for a child with anxiety. Prepare your child for this influx in people by taking the child out frequently to crowded restaurants, events and other social gatherings to help work through panic attacks. Your child may suffer from anxiety or be prone to panic attacks but that shouldn’t get in the way of their college education. When your child starts getting used to crowds in this way, their anxiety will be lessened during college life. It’s a great way to do some hands on preparation for the large college crowds.
Teach Budgeting Skills
If you have not shown your child how to budget money yet, now is most certainly the time. Your child will be heading off to college as an adult responsible for their own finances. It’s important to take some time to work with your child now on setting a budget, sticking with it and learning how to save for wanted items. Be certain to teach your child how to manage a bank account. If your child plans to have their own checking account, it’s important to teach them how to complete the end of month financial reconciliation form. Take time to learn what your child plans to do with their money, be it in a bank or cash in their dorm. Consider purchasing them a fire safe lock case to have in their dorm if they will be keeping cash on hand. Being a financial mess your freshman year in college will only add to the stress that comes with your first year away from home.
Discuss Peer Pressure
Peer pressure will still happen even though your child is heading off to a college full of adults. Think of your child’s middle school life where it was a difficult transition and your child may have had some social issues. College life isn’t that far off from middle school days, except the students are older. Discuss peer pressure, perhaps have a special code word your child may text you when they are in trouble. Talk about all options in how your child can get out of a bad situation without being fearful or the ridicule. Boost self-confidence best you can because that is going to be a huge personal trait your child needs in college life. Assure your child that they may be tested to go down a bad path, but to remain true to their values and morals at all times. Be an ear to listen and give them the confidence to call you at any hour if they need to chat when away at college.
The reality is college life is difficult for both parents and children. It’s the first time the child is away from their parents, no more do they have someone watching over them. Parents have to learn to let go and it can be rather bittersweet. On one hand you are proud that your child is going to college but on the other hand you know you can no longer immediately protect them. College life can be an amazingly fun time so as long as you discuss all basics and allow them to be fully prepared for life beyond academics.