Preparing Your Child For College

As a student prepares to leave for college, it is common for parents to worry about their son or daughter being on their own for the first time. Once your student leaves for college, it can become one of the most challenging times as a parent.

Here are some tips to keep in mind about how to successfully parent your son or daughter through the college transition:

  • Talk about finances throughout the summer so your child is prepared before they leave for school. Every family handles college finances differently, but no matter who is paying for books, room and board, and tuition it helps to talk about budgeting with your student before they are on their own on campus. Encourage them to download a budgeting app to help them track their spending. Check out Mint, Wally and PocketGuard to see which one fits your student's needs best.
  • Take the time that you have to teach new skills! Ensure your child knows how to do laundry, check tire pressure in a car, mail a letter, purchase groceries, recognize if food is spoiled and deep clean a bathroom.
  • Meet the roommates and their families. While you may not have the opportunity to do this until moving day, do not hesitate to introduce yourself to your child's roommates and their parents and exchange contact information. It may be helpful down the line.
  • Prepare yourself to stay in touch with your child, but do not overwhelm. After leaving, allow your student to have the time and space necessary to adjust and immerse himself or herself in college life. Make sure that he or she knows you are always there when they need you. Check in every so often and schedule your visits and phone calls ahead of time.
  • Pray. As you anticipate this new transition, the most important thing you can do for your child is pray. They will be faced with new decisions and challenges that they have never come across before. Pray that the Lord would continue to reveal His truth to your child during this new season!