How To Use This Post:
Use the following 5 steps as a guideline.
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You’ve managed to get through the first 17/18ish years. Your child has been accepted to college and is ready to take that big leap into the next chapter. This transition is not easy for anyone, including you! This helpful post will start you with the basics. If you’d like the College Prep checklist, opt-in below!
1.Have a safety talk. This may be your child’s first time living away from home. It may be their first time living in a new place, and he/she will come across dilemmas they have not yet faced. Here are a couple of talking points to get you started:
- Don’t travel alone at night.
- When you go out, travel with a group.
- Have ICE (In Case of Emergency) numbers easily accessible on your phone.
- What will they do in case of an emergency? Make a safety plan.
- Walk around campus with them before school starts to make sure they know their way around.
- Ask: If they see someone that needs help, what should they do?
2.Create a study plan. Your child is most likely used to having a busy schedule with school all day and homework always done directly after school or extracurriculars. Go over your child’s new schedule with them and help them identify times in their day that they can use to study regularly. Buy them a weekly planner or help them set up their google calendar.
3.Identify school resources. What will your child need help with? If it’s emotional support, make sure they know about the school mental health center, and have them set up with a therapist as needed. When schools have limited mental health resources, many outside therapists and counselors are often willing to set up Skype and Facetime sessions with their college student clients. If it’s academic accommodations, help them set up meetings with the Academic Services department.
4.Set up a financial plan. By this, I am not referring to their tuition. What will you and your child need to do to ensure they can afford everything they need? Do they have a personal checking account created, and do they know how to use it? Set up an account where you both have access and can contribute as needed. If your child will need a job, help them figure out where to find one and how to fit it into their class and homework schedule accordingly. Help them figure out a budget for the month before you see an entire bank statement worth of Domino’s pizza deliveries.
5.Decide on regular check-in times. Your child will most likely be a scattered mess the first few months of college. Help them keep in touch with you with a predetermined phone call day and time that is the same every week. They can work it into their schedules and plan around it as needed. Adjust accordingly. Some students like to check in daily with parents and others keep it to less often. Talk to your child and figure out what they would like.
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