Time certainly flies. One day you’re showing your little one how to ride their bike without training wheels, shuttling them back and forth to their little league games and kissing their bumps and bruises. Then, before you know it, you’re opening college acceptance letters and watching them walk across the stage to get their high school diploma. Sending your child off to school can be an emotional, unnerving experience, but these tips can help you guide your young adult into the next phase of their lives:
- Stay in tune. Separation anxiety can evoke emotions that may have not been present in your child before, so it is important for parents keep an open line of communication. In a relaxed setting, spend time engaging them in conversation about what they’re looking forward to about going to school, any uncertainty they may feel and their hopes and goals for their college career. Encourage them to be transparent with you and understand that you support them, no matter what.
- Have a plan. Ensure that your child knows they always have a safety net. Create a list of contacts for them to refer to in case of emergency. This list should not only consist of family and friends (both back home and nearby), but it should list the campus security and health and counseling services. If able, have your child create a savings account that can be used in the case of emergency situations, like if they have to take an unplanned trip back home.
- Teach them the basics. They may have taken a backseat to watching you perform everyday chores, but now it is time for them to step up and grab the reins. At minimum, show them how to wash their clothes, cook a basic, healthy meal and how to manage their finances (including how to write a check and balance a checkbook). These are all essential skills that will pay off in the long-term.
- Show them how to “rise above.” Your child will face a number of pressures while they’re away at school, so it is important that they are well-equipped to manage these situations in a smart way. Continue to build upon the foundation they’ve had since their youth and explain the consequences of partaking drugs and alcohol.
Now that you’ve for your personal checklist down, be sure to pass along these under-the-radar tips to pass along to your child to help surviving college a breeze.