If you have kids, you’ve probably spent plenty of time thinking about their future. Even though you can’t control your child’s future, you still want to set them up for success. From teaching them to tie their shoes to helping them learn how to drive a car, you do everything you can to make sure they have the life skills they’ll need.
One of the most pivotal moments in your child’s life is starting college. Whether your kids are still young or they’re approaching high school graduation, you’ve likely imagined dropping them off at their campus. While it’s an exciting milestone, it might leave you feeling wistful. Your little one is all grown up and starting their adult life.
If you have a child that’s starting college soon, there are a lot of things you have to prepare for. You likely want to help your child as much as possible, both financially and practically. They may need help with enrolling in classes, or perhaps you plan to pay for their tuition with Earnest parent loans for college. It can be overwhelming helping a child prepare for college, but there are plenty of things you can do to make the transition go smoothly. Here are a few ways you can help your child get ready for college.
1. Teach them the skills they’ll need.
Long before your child leaves for college, you can start to teach them everything they’ll need to know to live on their own and take care of themselves. You can start with household chores. If you haven’t already, teach your child skills like doing their own laundry, cooking, and cleaning. Encourage them to manage their own schedule. For example, if you usually wake them up for school, you can let them set their own alarm to get up in the morning. If they learn these skills at home, it will be easier for them to adjust to being on their own.
It’s also important that you teach your child how to handle money. Whether they’ll be working part-time to cover their expenses or you’ll be providing them with an allowance, they need to know how to budget and use their funds wisely. You can help them out by showing them how to make a budget and stick to it. If they learn how to budget before going to college, they’ll be able to make better decisions and avoid money problems.
2. Visit their campus together.
If you can, it’s a good idea to visit your child’s new campus with them before school starts. Help them find where their classes will be and check out the different resources available on campus. This way they’ll already be familiar with their new campus on their first day, which can help them feel less nervous.
If it’s not possible to tour the campus before your child heads off to college, take advantage of online resources to help them get to know their new school. Many universities have virtual tours or maps that your child can use to get an idea of what the campus is like and where everything is located.
3. Help them pack up.
Your child likely won’t be able to bring all of their things with them to college, but they will have to pack up the essentials and decide what to do with the rest. It’s a great time to get your teen to do a deep clean and purge whatever they don’t want. Sorting through all of their things and packing can be an overwhelming task, so offer to help them out. Besides giving them a hand, it’s the perfect way to spend some time with your child before they head off.
4. Celebrate this milestone.
A child leaving the home for college can be an emotional time for the whole family. But don’t let sadness overtake this exciting milestone. Show your child that you’re proud of them and excited for them as they enter this new phase of life. While it can be hard to hold back tears imagining that they’ll soon be gone, take the time to do something fun with your child before they go to college. Plan a going away party with some friends and family and share some useful gifts and advice for the new college student. Or go on a family vacation to spend some quality time together. It’s difficult sending a child off to college, but it’s also an important milestone that deserves to be celebrated.
Sending your child off to college is a moment full of pride and some tears. But you can feel confident that your child is ready if you do everything you can to help them to prepare for this new journey they’re about to begin. Teach them important life skills before it’s time for them to head off, and help them to get familiar with their new campus. Help them pack up their things, and don’t forget to celebrate this accomplishment with them before saying goodbye.