As the parent of a teenager, it’s easy to forget that college is just around the corner. Your little boy or girl is growing up quickly, and they’ll soon be leaving the nest. Below is a quick guide that can help you prepare your child for college.
Start Teaching Skills
School is wonderful for teaching your child facts, but as a parent it’s your job to start teaching them real life skills. In the year or two leading up to graduation, you want to make sure that your child is totally self-sufficient. For some, this means teaching the child basic tasks like how to do laundry or how to cook a simple meal. For others, this might mean preparing a teen for his or her first job or teaching him or her how to budget money for the school year. You’ll need to fill in all the gaps that were left by your child’s education, so it’s never too late to start.
Help Them Plan
What does your child want to be when he or she grows up? If he or she wants to be a history teacher, for example, you’ll need to provide the guidance necessary to help him or her eventually receive a master’s of history. There are many master’s in history online programs worth investigating. This is a graduate degree, so they’ll need to plan not just for the next four years, but for the educational experience after. Help your child draw a metaphorical roadmap to where he or she wants to go, and begin discussing the steps that he or she needs to take to get there. A little planning can go a long way.
It’s also a good idea to start allowing your teen to enjoy a bit of independence now. Give him or her more responsibilities around the house, but match this with more freedom. This will teach your child how to more successfully balance studying and their private time and give him or her the confidence that he or she needs to make it on his or her own. College is a great time to find yourself, but it’s a good idea to have a bit of confidence before you step foot on campus.
Your job as a parent is to prepare your child for the moment that he or she leaves the house. If you help him or her plan for the future, learn necessary life skills and get used to independence, you’ll be setting him or her up for success. The lessons you teach in the next few years will impact the rest of your teen’s life.
About the Author: Rachelle Wilber
Bio: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter: @RachelleWilber