Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Monday, September 17, 2012

How To Prepare Your Teen For College

Your child has grown up in a matter of what feels like minutes and now they are applying to colleges. Before you empty your nest and send your teen off to school, there are several things a parent should do:

Start early: The earlier you start preparing your teen for college the better. It gives you more time to do things you need to do to get them ready. The last thing you want to do is to rush through the college departure process. Start working with your teen the beginning of their last year of high school.

Shadow: Depending on what school your child chooses to attend, there are programs where different organizations and college departments allow your child to have a day of shadowing which sometimes includes an overnight stay on campus in the dorms. Best way to find out is to contact the department of student life or new students.

Groups: The first semester of college can be tough on any new freshman. A way to handle the shock is by getting your teen involved in some on campus groups and clubs. These groups are typically manned by upper classmen as well as professors and are able to mentor your teen. Find one or two groups that interest your teen like drama, soccer, art, politics or even religious clubs.

Basics: There are handful of basic chores and tasks that your teen should be proficient in by the time they arrive to their dorm room. Laundry tends to be a big eye opener for teens who have had their moms doing it their whole life. Teach them from start to finish how to do the laundry. Another basic is if your teen will have a car in college, they need to know what to do if there is a problem with the car and the basics of getting the oil changed and what not. Teach them basics that seem mundane and simple, a lot of teens don’t know how to do some things because their parents have always been there to help them.

Money: It’s best that they leave for college with a savings account. Go over the finances of college and what they are expected to pay or not pay. They need to be familiar with the importance and logistics behind loans, grants and scholarships. A common problem that teens run into in college is getting a credit card. Teach them how one works and the consequences of late payments and overspending. The first semester is a big adjustment for teens, but with your help it can be a smoother transition for everyone. Be sure to let them know that you are there to answer and help them through their questions and fears.

Good luck and congratulations!

Author Bio:

This guest post was written by Heather Smith, an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be reached at H.smith7295 [at]

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