College is a Huge Change
Sending your child off to college is a little bit like the day you dropped them off at kindergarten for the first time. Undoubtedly, you wanted to hold their hand and comfort them or help find assistance with writing tasks until they get settled in. This protective instinct will only get stronger now that they are about to go off to college.
Helping your child become independent before college
You will want to unpack their dorm room, meet the RA, and even email their professors to ensure that they are treating your child fairly. If this sounds familiar, it may be time to start letting go.
Sure, making the jump to college is a very big deal.
But it’s important to ensure that you teach your child to be independent to ensure they make the transition successfully.
Letting go can be scary, but it’s necessary for your child to grow into a self-sufficient adult. If you have no idea how to do this, here are 5 tips that will help you prepare your child to be more independent before college:
Teach Them How to Manage Money
Before starting college, take the time to teach your child all about making budgets and managing a bank account. After all, many college freshmen will not have a job for the first semester.
They will have to rely on savings, or student loans to help pay for their various expenses. If your child doesn’t know how to manage money, these funds will dry up fast on pizza runs and road trips.
Before sending them off to college, help your child set up a balanced budget, learn how to cut expenses, and to review their finances regularly. It also wouldn’t hurt to teach them the basics of federal and private student loans, as well as the interest rates that accompany them.
Also, remind them to avoid credit card offers during their first year of college.
Ensuring that they have a comprehensive financial plan will ensure that they will only worry about what matters – their studies.
Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle
College students are notorious for existing on pizza, ramen, and beer. So start teaching your child the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Show them how to stick to a regular eating and cleaning schedule.
Take the time to set up workouts that you can do with the whole family to get them into the fitness lifestyle. You could even teach them how to cook and make it a fun bonding activity.
When it comes to alcohol, discuss the importance of drinking in moderation with your child. They will do it anyway, so your job is to give them the tools to drink responsibly. And if things get out of hand, you can always get on Palmer Lake Recovery to seek the right kind of help.
Let Them Fight Their Own Battles
While it may be more tempting to shield your child from hardship, sometimes it is more beneficial to let them fight their own battles. This will teach them problem-solving skills that will be invaluable in their adult life.
If not, you will encourage a culture of entitlement and making excuses that will be detrimental to your child’s future success.
Decide How You’ll Communicate
You’ll want to call, text, or email your child all the time. But this can be stifling and overbearing if it’s overdone. So take the time to start fostering an adult relationship with your child. Will you set up a specific time to talk or should it be more spontaneous? What about care packages and messages from home?
Whatever the case, let your child take control of these interactions. It’s a great way for them to maintain that important sense of freedom.
Turn to Tough Love When Needed
It’s important to acknowledge that you can’t always swoop in and save the day. Sometimes it’s important to let them make their own mistakes and experience the consequences.
We will always want to protect our children from failure. But they need to fail sometimes in order to learn some hard lessons that will serve them throughout their lives. This is part of growing up!
Otherwise, your attempts at playing the superhero will rob them of the chance to learn how to make better decisions in the future.
College can be and is a huge change for your child but you can thoroughly prepare them to live a healthier lifestyle and be wiser with their money.
They won’t be perfect, they have to learn—but that’s what youth is all about!