Teens: Tops tips to prepare for college

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Preparing your child to go to college begins before he even fills out the first application. See what our experts are saying about how we can prepare our children for college at any age with these top tips. 

 

By Brittany Dyer 

 

We have to prepare our children to survive on their own. We, as parents, must begin to nurture our children’s independence from a young age. For the purpose of this article, let us talk about what you can do for your child to prepare them for college while they are still in high school.

Help them learn to budget. Whether they have a job or earn their money from chores, allow them to work for their money and give them the opportunity to decide how to spend their own money. If they cannot learn how to spend their money before going off to college, how do you expect them to learn when they are on their own and have others influencing them on how to spend their money in so many different ways.

Provide chores for your child. In college, they will be washing their own clothes and cleaning their rooms, unless they are living at home. Eventually, they will even be cooking for themselves. Guide them learn before leaving home how to take care of themselves.

Teach them how to organize their time. Most college students, who do not finish college, have issues with time management. They do not know how to allot their time-they do not plan their classes well, study enough, or spend the duration of their time socializing. Teaching your child while he is in high school how to manage his time, will help him be successful in college.

Provide healthy eating habits. We have all heard of the “Freshman 15”, where it is said that incoming Freshmen gain 15 pounds in their first year of college. This weight gain generally happens because they have not been taught healthy eating habits or have had too many restrictions on their eating habits before going off to college. If we advise our children on how to eat a balanced diet, they will more than likely make healthier eating choices in college. Also, we should teach them to exercise in order for them to continue healthy lifestyle in college as well. Exercise is not only a means to stay physically healthy, but it can also benefit their mental health by allowing an outlet to destress while in attending college.

Instruct them on basic health care. They will not have Dr. Mom to take care of them or haul them to the doctor, so make sure to teach them when it is appropriate for them to go to the doctor. Show them what kinds of medicines are appropriate and what doses to take when they are not feeling well.

Talk to your children about drinking, drugs and sexual intercourse. I know these are uncomfortable topics to talk about with your children, but they are necessary topics of conversation in order for them to maintain good physical health and safety as opportunities present themselves in college. Talk to you kids about your stance on these topics. Talk to them about how to remain safe when these opportunities arise. Allow them to be open and honest with you when they have questions or are struggling with one of these issues.

Train your teenagers to be respectful of others. Unless they are living at home, your child will be sharing a room with another person. They will also encounter peers from many different walks of life, diverse cultures and perhaps other countries. Communicating respect of others will help them adjust better when they encounter others from different walks of life.

Prepare yourself. Your young one is growing up. It may be hard to comprehend, but she will leave and go to college or get a job in a few short years, so prepare yourself as well. Know you have done an amazing job raising your baby and remember you have taught her how to be successful on her own. Give yourself a pat on the back and take a deep breath and prepare to let her go when the time comes, but also know, you will always be her Parent.

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