How to Help Your Teen Make the Transition to College

Your child is now on the cusp of adulthood and laying the foundation for the rest of their lives. Whether he or she will live at home or on campus while attending college, your child is taking their final steps out into the world. However, they don’t always know what they need to know, and it is your job to help them find out. You also have to be prepared to let go, and let them take control of their own lives. In this article, we’re going to give you a few tips on how to help your teen make the transition to college.

Balance Support and Teaching Self-Reliance

Remember that your goal as a parent is to teach your child to take care of themselves. This means you can’t rush to their rescue or micromanage their lives anymore. Yet they may not know how to do everything that’s dismissively called “adulting”. Balance support with teaching self-reliance. Create a list of household chores and determine what they need to learn before living on their own.

Help them select a major, but encourage them to research the economic value of the degree and set their own schedule. Let them study for classes and handle issues with professors, but be available if they have questions or problems. Encourage them to seek out resources they can use to solve their own problems. This might be university tutoring or health centers.

You also should evaluate if you’re trying to push them to live your dream and not theirs. College might not even be the best option for what they’re trying to do. So, before they leave, you have to make sure that they actually want it if you don’t want them to come back in tears in fear that they disappointed you, or even worse, avoid you until they tell you the news.

Talk about the Risks and How to Mitigate Them

Discuss issues like drugs, alcohol and the risk of assault.  Encourage them to take responsibility for their own safety such as being aware of their surroundings and not taking unnecessary risks, while ensuring they know how to defend themselves as necessary. These are, unfortunately, essential life skills.

And give them advice on how to vet someone before a date or signing them on as a roommate. For example, teach them how to perform a Federal Court Records search. Websites like through Public Records Reviews will allow you to search up anyone with nothing but their name and last known location. You’ll be able to have direct access to arrest records, felonies, and sexual assault history among other things. Visit the following link for more information:

Talk to Them and Listen to Them

Encourage your adult child to talk about their expectations and their feelings about this stage in life. What are they excited about? How do they feel about moving away? Share your own feelings, though you need to be careful not to guilt trip them. Let them know that self-doubt is normal at this phase.

Focus on the future. What do they intend to get out of the college experience? What do they expect? You may need to adjust their expectations. This may be as simple as creating a budget so that they don’t blow next semester’s tuition on an expensive trip. Or they may need to take on a part-time job to pay for the activities they want to do. Don’t let grades be a measure of self-worth, but struggling despite tutoring may mean they should consider switching majors.

Keep the conversations going. Your kids may need to be reminded about self-care or given advice on time management. They might need to drop a class or cut back on work hours to keep their grades up. Discuss how to deal with problems instead of trying to avoid them. Talk about what they’re learning in school, and provide guidance on potential opportunities like internships. Ask about their friends and professors. However, you can’t hover over your kids. After all, the goal is for them to take responsibility for the rest of their lives.

Send Care Packages

This is a great way to stay close and connected to your kid when they live on campus. Send care packages with their favorite items or things they need. Everyone loves getting gifts, and a box of their favorite baked goods or snacks will go a long way. This is also something that you can continue when they get their own place after graduation.

Many young adults are nervous about the transition from high school to college student because it is the final step on their journey to independent adulthood. However, you can still take steps yourself to guide them in these final years of adolescence.

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