So, your oldest child is about to embark on their next chapter in life as a college student. You’re feeling gloomy and you know you’ll be lonely but, as a parent, you want to do the best you can to support him/her on their journey. Sound familiar? If so, keep reading as the following are some things parents need to know when it comes to supporting their college-bound child.
Give Financial Support
The rising costs of education are a worrying factor for many students. Not many parents have the funds to cover fees and living costs upfront and that’s ok as there is always the option of taking out a student loan from a private lender. The money that’s invested in your child’s education now might just be the difference between him/her being able to graduate with a medical degree and not. They can pay zero fees and enjoy reasonable repayment terms too. You can always compliment their student loan amount with a monthly allowance if you’re in a financial position to give a couple of hundred dollars to a living expenses fund.
Your Parting Words
If you have something important to say to your child, say it before they walk out your door to leave for campus. Whether it’s “I love you”, “I’m so proud of you” or if you have some life advice from your own college experience, sit down and say your parting words. If you don’t feel comfortable to express your feelings in person, write your child a letter and send it to their new address. It will say everything you want to say and it will be a lovely keepsake for him/her to hold onto.
Don’t Make Any Changes to their Room
You might like the idea of renovating your child’s bedroom as soon as they’re gone. After all, as is the case with most parents, it might be years since you had full access to the space. As tempting as this sounds, it’s not a good idea to start painting, moving furniture and changing the layout of the room. Your child’s base will be their bedroom at home until after they graduate so give them that familiar space where they can feel safe and comfortable. The first year at college can be especially daunting so it’s important to have that familiar space.
Don’t Expect the Same Grades
College is a lot more challenging so don’t expect your child to achieve the same grades that they did in high school. So many students hit perfect 4.0’s in high school but very few can maintain that grade given the variance of college curriculums these days.
It’s the first time your child gets to stand on their own two feet in the world. How they react to certain challenges will shape the adult that they become so try not to get too involved in their decision-making. If, on the other hand, your child needs support or advice, feel free to stand in and put your parenting hat on. When it comes to giving independence, it’s all about getting the balance of giving support vs. letting them make their own decisions (and mistakes).