A child going to college is a major event in most families, and with good reason! Not only is your teen preparing for their future career, they’re also likely getting their first real taste of independence.
While you and your child are likely both excited about the milestone, it can be a stressful and overwhelming time as well. No matter how much you’ve prepared for the moment, you may still make mistakes that put extra stress on your teen.
To help your child excel, remember these 5 things to avoid when your child leaves for college:
Don’t Miss Out On Funding
College is expensive and of course you’ll want to ensure your child graduates with as little debt as possible. But, if you haven’t looked into potential scholarships, you could end up paying more than you need to.
There are a variety of online websites, like Going Merry scholarships for college students, that list available scholarships your child may be eligible for, and info on submitting an application.
At that point, you can start to calculate how much more your child will need to pay for their tuition and living expenses, and decide how to cover those costs.
Don’t Call Too Often
It’s only natural to be worried about your child being away from home for the first time. But resisting the urge to check in constantly is needed if you want your child to learn to navigate the world on their own.
Often, when your child leaves for college, it’s their first real taste of independence. And while they may often welcome your support, waiting for them to reach out first is always a good idea.
Make sure they know that you’re thinking of them, and that you’re always available if needed. Then, leave them free to enjoy their time on their own.
Don’t Be Afraid of Email
A great way to emotionally support your child in college without running the risk of smothering them is by using email.
Sending an email is a low-pressure way to check in on your child and let them know you’re thinking of them, without the pressure of having to answer immediately or spend time on a phone call.
Keep your emails upbeat and positive. It’s not unusual for college students to feel homesick at first, so don’t dwell too much on things they might be missing out on at home.
Instead, focus on them and their accomplishments. Ask about their courses and life on campus, and let them know you’re proud of them.
Don’t Give Them Unlimited Spending Money
One of the best lessons your child can learn at college (and one that’s not taught in the classroom) is how to manage their money.
While it’s only natural to want to give your child some extra spending money while they’re working so hard to achieve their dreams, it’s important to set limits.
So, rather than handing over the family credit card or giving them access to an unlimited bank account, set your child up with a specific amount of spending money each month.
College can also be a great time to set up your child with their own first credit card. If you have any concerns about their budgeting skills, look into a secured card.
Even the most responsible young adults can make some pretty big financial mistakes, so take steps to set them up for financial success now!
Don’t Dwell On Mistakes
Even if you’ve done your best to ensure everything goes off without a hitch, there’s bound to be a few hiccups along way.
Whether your child’s dealing with a failing grade or an overloaded schedule, there’s no benefit in judging them or making them feel guilty.
That being said, you also don’t want to swoop in to save the day. Give them advice if they ask for it, but let them learn from their mistakes.
That way, they’ll learn how to be responsible adults that know how to handle themselves if things go wrong.
College is your child’s first step towards becoming an independent adult. As a parent, it’s a time to let go and see your young adult become their own person.
It can be hard to see your child head off without you, but it’s a necessary part of becoming an adult.
And by remembering these things to avoid when your child leaves for college, you’ll be able to look back in a few years with pride at your child’s success!