Negosentro.com | What You Need to Know to Prepare Your Child Ready for College | Sending your child off to college can feel like one of the scariest experiences for many parents. While this can be incredibly nerve-wracking for many parents, this is an exhilarating time for many kids. Although checklists for supplies will prove to be useful, stocking up is not the only thing that you need to do to prepare your child for this next chapter. If you want your child to be prepared for college, here are a few things that you need to know.
Give Them Space to Explore
While it may provide you with endless amounts of anxiety, you need to give your child space to explore. They are their own person and they need to determine what that means. Whether they try out new majors, explore gap year ideas or just make decisions that would be different than your own, you need to give them space to breathe and embrace their individuality.
Talk to Them About Boundaries
While your child will be exploring the world with more autonomy, it is never a bad idea to discuss boundaries with them. Talking to them about your expectations, healthy relationships and boundary setting are all a part of communicating effectively with your new college student. While this may mean that they are exploring boundary setting with you and this may feel uncomfortable for you, they deserve this space. You also need to have these discussions, particularly as it applies to areas that involve financial support, grades and overall expectations.
Develop a Personal Finance Plan and Budget
With this new autonomy and freedom, your child will likely be managing most of their finances. To help them avoid some of the common pitfalls and traps set for young adults, take time to discuss a budget ahead of time and determine a plan for their finances. While they will likely still make mistakes, a few proactive conversations can go a long way.
Encourage Them to Ask for Help
For many young adults transitioning into the world of colleges and universities, this is often the first time that they need to ask for help. It can be immensely beneficial to both you and your child to have discussions about asking for help. Normalizing conversations about mental health in your home, discussing how to ask for help and helping your child discover resources and support systems around them will be crucial as they navigate a world that can often be daunting and intimidating.
Take Time to Have the Difficult Discussions
Mental health and asking for help are not the only difficult conversations to have with your child. Talking to your child about sex and consent, alcohol, substances and healthy habits are crucial conversations. While you may be cringing at the idea of bringing up any of these topics, the reality is that you will want your child to be ready should any of these circumstances arise. You will want them to be prepared and have the tools necessary to navigate everything from substance use to exploring sexual relations. Don’t let your child think that there are conversations that are off-limits, because this can leave them in the dark and unsure of how to proceed healthily.
Get Excited for Them
All other steps aside, your job is now to get excited for them and support them as they navigate this next chapter. Don’t let your anxiety and hesitation for this next step cloud their new experience. Instead, muster what courage and excitement you have for them and help them make a positive start.
While you may be feeling more scared than excited; keep in mind that you have done your best to prepare them for this next step. The reality is that letting your little one spread their wings can be scary, but with these additional steps, resources and tools, you have set them up for the best success possible. Know that they are stepping into this next chapter with everything that you could have ever provided and they will always have you to rely on.