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Preparing for college

Green Shoot Media
Preparing for college
Photo: Green Shoot Media

Preparing your child to attend college is a lot like preparing him for life. He will need skills such as organizational skills, money management, time management and social skills. It’s really never too early to start teaching these skills at home and at school.

Here are some critical lessons student need in order to gain valuable life skills.

Allow them to fail. Failure happens. It’s important that your child has the emotional fortitude to get back on her feet after failing. The only way to learn this skill is through experience. Yes, it’s hard to let our kids fail. But it is absolutely necessary. Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” This wisdom will serve your student well.

Teach them how to find the resources they need. According to Psychology Today, this might meaning just plain saying “no” when your student asks for homework help. Every college campus has resources available to students who are struggling with their studies. From an early age, resist the urge to do everything for your child. Teach them how to find and use the resources they need to solve their problems.

Teach them about mental health. Students will face stress, anxiety, bullying and disappointment. They need to learn how to cope with these challenges. Talk openly to your child about the importance of mental health and the fact that there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help. Make sure they know about counseling services offered on campus, as well as suicide prevention hotlines. It is crucial to speak about mental health without presenting bias or stigmatizing mental health issues.

Teach them about money. College can be a crash course in what not to do in regards to personal finance. Encourage your children to use their allowance or income from a part-time job wisely. Teach them about budgeting and investing. When they are away at college, they will face temptation to overspend and sign up for credit cards. Making sure they have a solid foundation in financial education is critical to preventing mistakes that can follow them for a lifetime.

Teach them about time management. College presents a seemingly endless barrage of events, social gatherings and obligations. Make sure your child has experience in managing their own schedule and knows how to leave themselves enough time to study and socialize.

Teach them about safety. College students face many safety issues, including binge drinking, sexual assault and theft of personal property. Be sure your child knows how to get help in an emergency and how to avoid dangerous situations.

From the “Parent & Teacher Resource Guide No. 2,” Green Shoot Media

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