College is a huge milestone in everyone’s life. Remember when it was time for you to attend college? You were probably nervous and didn’t know what to expect at first. Your child is most likely feeling the same way about starting their freshman year. As a parent, it’s your duty to guide them as college can be pretty stressful at times. Here’s how you can help your child prepare for college and ensure they thrive.
Enlighten Them About the Importance of Money
Money makes the world go round no matter what it’s used for and getting a college education is no exception. Your child must understand how important it is for them to properly manage their finances. While it’s true that how much you pay somewhat depends on the degree that’s being pursued. But regardless, college is a massive investment that has to be handled with diligence and responsibility.
In fact, college is usually a wakeup call to most people about how important budgeting is. Granted, there are ways to make getting your child into college easier, like financial aid. You can even take out a low-rate private parent loan to reduce the mental strain on your child. This can help your kids go to college much easier as they won’t have to deal with the responsibility of making payments. Just remember that you’re entirely responsible for the loan payments.
Help Them Set Goals
You wouldn’t believe how easy it is for your child to feel like they’re stumbling around in the dark. And with college being so demanding, it can cause unnecessary stress. Luckily, this can be easily avoided by helping them establish their own goals. This can range from pretty much anything such as taking the time to get better at one of their worst subjects to wanting to graduate with honors. Having goals gives your child, and anyone for that matter, something to strive for and feel proud of when it’s eventually accomplished.
Don’t Hold Their Hand
There’s a huge difference between giving your child advice to guide them and then just holding their hand throughout their entire college career. If you constantly hold your child’s hand, they’ll never learn to be independent. All it does is teach them to turn to their parents when faced with a dire situation and let them fix it. This needs to be avoided at all costs. It may be a little disheartening as a parent to refuse your child help, but it’s really the only way your child will learn how to live for themselves. Being involved in their life is much different than living it for them.
Encourage Them to Use the Available Resources
Most colleges these days are equipped with valuable resources to assist their students. If your child is constantly complaining about school work or even a slight mental health issue, like anxiety, encourage them to reach out to these resources. The school library, telehealth and the guidance counselor are typically available around the clock to help students with whatever they need. Encouraging your child to use these resources will also help them be more self-sufficient.