It is a nerve-wracking experience. One of the most stressful times any parent will face. Your child is soon graduating high school and will be attending college in the very near future. Ensuring that your kid is ready is sort of like cramming for a test at the last moment. You want to cover the major things he or she needs to know about being out on their own, but you also don’t want to forget about the smaller things that they need to be aware of. Instead of forcing all of this information on them at once, visit these topics listed below frequently so as not to overwhelm them.
Let Them Stand on Their Own Two Feet
In education, we often hear the term helicopter parents. This means that parents are ready to swoop in at a moment’s notice anytime their child needs something or has an issue with a teacher at school. All parents do this to a degree when the kids are still in elementary school, but by high school, the child should need this less and less. It is time to allow them to fix any problems that may occur. If the parent continues to step in and take care of things for them, then they will never learn how to do it themselves. Sometimes the toughest thing for a parent to do is step back and let their child handle it themselves.
Do They Know How to Manage Their Own Finances?
By the time a student is in their later years in high school, it is always a good idea for them to have their own checking account. The days of asking mom and dad for money at the last moment should be over. Some parents prefer not to have their child work during the school year so they can focus on their studies. This is completely fine. However, they could work during the summer months. Also, you may give them an allowance during the year that they will have to budget to meet all of their expenses. If you do not take these steps now, you might have a son or daughter that will always run to you for money well into their adult years. It may be difficult to tell them you can’t give them money for that new impulse buy, but it will hopefully keep them from living in your basement until they are 50 years old.
Keeping Them at Home Does Not Keep Them Safe
There are parents that refuse to allow their high school age kids out after dark thinking it will keep them safe. But if you don’t let your responsible child make decisions now with their parents close by, what will happen when they have to start making them while they are away at college? You don’t have to cut the apron strings completely, but loosening them up a bit will allow your child to spread their wings a bit. There is a reason baby birds stay in the nest and later set out on their own when they are strong enough. Young adults are much the same way.
Teach Them How to Cook
In a fast food world, it is easy to pick up a meal on the fly. However, this is not always the best solution. Too much of fast food can result in too much of extra weight. Teach your kids nutrition and educate them on how to prepare healthy meals. Don’t send them off to college only knowing how to microwave food. If you want to make it fun, take a cooking class with them and learn together.
Know at Least a Little About Cars
Since your child will be away at college, there is a good possibility they will be driving around their own car as well. This might be an old vehicle that you have passed down to them or something they have saved up for. Before you start letting them drive all over the place, show them how to change a tire. Go over what all the sensors mean on the dash. Demonstrate how to check the air in their tires and put more into them. And finally, if there is something seriously wrong with the car and they are not anywhere close to you, have a number that they can call where a qualified mechanic will help them out. Driving a car means more than just putting on a turning signal now and then and filling it up with gas.
If you are concerned that you are not adequately preparing your child for college, iAchieve can be of assistance. There is a free presentation we offer to make sure you know the basics for planning for college.
Written by Ryan Crawley