Starting college is a big step, especially if your child is attending a college that’s far from home. There’s a lot of areas of preparing for college that parents regularly help their kids with. However, adjusting to their new life doesn’t tend to be one of them. A lot of parents make the mistake of thinking that their children will adjust more quickly if they’re left to get on with it, but that’s not the case. To help kids adjust to college life, there are plenty of things that as a parent you can do.
What should you do before they leave for college?
To give your child every chance of having a successful college career, you need to prepare them for the changes that are coming.
Most teenagers are so excited about getting their freedom that they fail to think about all the changes that come with leaving home. It’s a big transition and one that a lot of kids struggle to cope with. It’s not easy saying goodbye to all your friends and family and moving somewhere so far away. The best way to do this is to tell them what to expect. Explain to them that it’s normal to feel homesick and that sad or scared about living away from home is to be expected. You’ll find that by preparing them for these feelings, they’ll find it easier to cope.
The other worry that a lot of parents have it how their kids will cope living alone. Will they eat well, keep on top of their cleaning, and ensure that they focus on their studies? Before they start college, teach your children how to wash their laundry. Give them lessons in basic cookery so that you know that they can keep themselves fed without the need for takeaways. As for their studies, make sure to explain to them the importance of organization.
To help your child excel at their studies, make sure that they have all they need. The most important things are a laptop, notebooks and pens, a planner, and a desk to work at – most dorms contain these but it’s still worth checking. It’s also worth researching the best books for their course, and the best website resources as well. There are sites that have assignment help and tips, as well as advice for various essay types, such as good cause and effect essay topics. These can be a useful resource for your child to know about.
How can you make the transition easier once they move out?
Once your child leaves home, there are still plenty of ways you can help them to adjust.
It’s important that you encourage your children to keep in touch, to ensure that they share any problems that they’re having. Send them a text message two to three times a week to see how they are getting on with college life. Then, once a week give them a call to chat properly. They might not want to admit it but most teenagers miss home when they first start college. Encourage them to talk to their old school friends and other relatives, as this will help to beat their homesickness.
Most college kids will spend too much money on a night out and end up living off pasta for weeks. To make sure that your child always has enough money for food, send them vouchers for their local supermarket. That way, they can’t spend it on nights out or other luxuries, and you’ll know that they always have money for food. You’ll find that if your teenager has enough money to live comfortably while they’re away, they’ll adjust much more easily.
You might be bored of nagging your teenager to do things but to help them find their feet reminders can be good. Just little things like sending them a message on Sunday afternoons to remind them that the shops close early. Or telling them that it’s their father’s birthday coming up, can help make life easier. They’re probably used to you reminding them to do every little thing, so to help them adjust a few reminders could be useful.
College isn’t always easy for kids to adjust to, but as parents, there’s plenty we can do to help. To some extend your child will have to find their own way. However, there are little things you can do to help make their life easier. Whether your child is prone to homesickness or constantly runs out of money for food, you can help them to adjust to living independently.