How to Prepare Your Child for College

January 10, 2019

Going to college is one of the most crucial times in a young person’s life. It can also have an incredible impact on their parents. As a parent, you want to make sure that your child has all the necessary tools to succeed in higher education at their disposal. This is how to prepare your child for college.

1. Brush up on fundamentals

College is about education, but that doesn’t mean your child will be able to start from scratch with basic concepts, like reading and introductory math concepts, like multiplication. To prevent having to catch up, make sure that they are confident in their academic skills. If they like reading, ask them to tell you about any books they’ve read recently. College is a time for expanding one’s mind, but that’s only possible if one is willing to open up their mind in the first place. Helping your children develop their natural sense of wonder and observation will greatly help them to succeed in college.

2. Teach them accountability

Your child should already have a good idea about this, but it really needs to be drilled in before they go to college. Unlike high school, if they miss class, nobody is going to come after them. Likewise, you won’t be around to nag them about doing their homework. Therefore, it’s imperative that they learn to take accountability. You can start by giving them chores around the house that need to be done by a certain time and not giving them any reminders.

3. Discuss majors

Not knowing what you want to study in college before you start is completely fine. However, your child should at least have a general idea of what they’d like to study. This can start with considering their interests and their strengths. If they excel in science, for instance, they should consider a science-based major.

4. Ask what they want out of college

The expectations that your child has for college could be completely different from yours. If your child seems unprepared for college, ask them what they hope to achieve from their time there, beyond just a diploma. When they tell you, ask them how they think they can best achieve those results. This can help them to create an action plan to succeed.

Preparing your child for college doesn’t mean that they’ll know everything and everything. It just means that they’ll have a good sense of their strengths and weaknesses and be able to adapt to the changes that are presented. This is a time of transition and should not be rushed into. Give yourself and your children plenty of time to prepare. When it comes time to move into the dorms and start classes, you’ll both be very grateful you did.

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