Sunday, October 30, 2011

Send Your Child to College Prepared

Sending your child off to college can be an incredibly nerve-wracking experience. Are they ready? Are you ready? You’ve taken care of your baby for 18 years and are sending them off into the world on their own. By preparing your child for college throughout their lives, you can rest easy when you send them on their way. Follow these tips to be sure that your child will be able to cope successfully without you.

Teach Them the Basics

As your children are growing up, involve them in the day-to-day running of the home. From cooking to laundry, teaching your children these essentials will assist them greatly for life on their own. Woe is the college freshman that doesn’t know how to wash a load of socks!

Get Involved

It has been shown that children whose parents are involved in their education are more successful academically than those students whose parents are hands-off. Help your children study, get involved in their sports activities and volunteer as a classroom aide. When the time comes, help them study for their ACTs and SATs.

Create a Budget

One of the most common troublemakers for new college students is money. This fact isn’t surprising when you consider that children often don’t contribute to the household income or contribute to the family’s bills. Before your children leave for school, sit down with them and help them create a budget. Whether it’s with money earned from a part time job or money gifted to them at graduation, your child will need to stick to a budget if they hope to have any money left at the end of the school year.

Encourage Extra-Curricular Activity

While your child is in middle and high school, encourage them to participate in things outside of school. Whether those things are sports or volunteer activities, college admission counselors love applicants who have a life outside of school. When your child does involve themselves in things outside of school, keep a close eye on their health and their grades. Being too busy can have ill effects on a child’s health and psyche; it can be a fine line to balance.

Back Off

As parents, it can be incredibly difficult to let your children fail. People often learn life’s best lessons through trial and error. While it’s never a good idea to allow your children to make a foreseeable mistake that will harm them in some way, allowing them small mistakes will help them to grow as people.

While it can be tough letting your child go away to school, if you follow these tips you can be sure that you’ve done all you can to help them be successful once they’ve gone into the world. You’ve been preparing your children for this moment for their whole lives; take heart in the job that you’ve done and know that you’ve done it well.

Thomas Masterson is a career advisor and content contributor for, a website providing a list of cheap online schools as well as college rankings for a multitude of specialty programs.

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