Tuesday 8 October 2019

How to Prepare Your Teenager for College/ University

Image Credit: Pixabay
 {This is a collaborative post}

We all know teenagers have their moments, they can be a delight one minute and difficult to talk to the next. Being aware of your own style of communication is key, if you’re too forceful then you may be ignored or pushed back, and if you are too soft then you might not give them the motivation they need.

When broaching the subject of college or university however, there are a few things that you can do to keep the lines of communication open, and the parental relationship on sound terrain!

1.      Start the Conversation Early
Of course you want to help your teen consider which college or university might be right for them, and it is best to start this conversation earlier than you might think. The sooner you start the conversation, the less time pressure there is and the easier it is for them to adjust to the idea of potentially leaving home and becoming more independent.

You can ask around your friends for good experiences their older children have had, and collect some prospectuses for them. if your child has one of those rosielovescake@hotmail.co.uk kind of email address then it is probably a good idea, to help them to set up a new more professional email address. Then encourage them to independently email colleges for the information they require.

2.     Encourage their Input as Much as Possible
You have to remember that going to college or university is their choice, but at the end of the day, of course, you will still be there to support them when they need you. Why not get your having your teen to draw up a list of all the things they feel as though their ideal college should have? Look for the features that are important to them - single dorm room, close to a good local church, rugby society? Whatever it might be that they hold dear.

You can then use this information to help your child find somewhere that’s suitable for their requirements. By doing this you will still be giving them a high level of support, but without taking the choice or responsibility away from them.

3.     Take Away the Mystery of Going to College/ University
Your teen may feel as though the decision of choosing a college is overwhelming. They might also be afraid of the unknown, and this is completely understandable. You can help in this regard by fixing them up with some friends and relatives to talk to who have already been through the process of enrolling at college before. The more information they can get, the better, as this will help them to feel more secure about the whole thing and it will also give them a high degree of reassurance.

4.     Help them to get Prepared
In this day and age, every student will need their own laptop, so why not spend some time online together, helping them choose the best model for their needs. It's probably a good idea to get it a few weeks before they go away, so they can get used to it, especially if they are taking one of the more modern courses like design or coding and will use a Mac. Learning Terminal commands can be a real time-saver, so talk with them about this if you want to give them confidence in their technology. Check out https://setapp.com/how-to/8-must-know-terminal-commands-for-every-mac-user to find out more.

Of course, they'll be plenty of other items you need to help them source before they go away, like stationery, luggage, bedding, towels, cooking equipment and all the all-important old-fashioned alarm clock to get them up in the morning!

5.     Don’t Talk about Your Own College/ University Experience
You may think that by talking about your own college or university experience, you can put your child at ease, but this may not be the case because things have changed so much, and you might even make them more uncertain about the future. Remember that this is their journey and the more you can make it about their experience, the better.

All the best!

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