What are the different topics of discussions you need to have with your teen before college?
Dreams are fulfilled, goals are achieved, and the hard work of your child has finally paid off. They are no longer a small child anymore, in fact, they are soon going to join college. Deciding upon which college to join among numerous options can be a daunting and confusing task.
Parents play an important role in helping their teenager to choose an appropriate college suiting their needs and requirements. Apart from choosing a college, there are various other discussions you should have with your teenager. He’ll undergo many changes and you can be a guiding force to him. It’s also probably the last chance for you to bond before they leave for college.
At the last moment you might get up with dorm shopping, packing and moving and many other things and your teenager might be busy trying to squeeze in every last second with his loved ones. Parenthood is all about helping and preparing your teens of what’s to come and what should they expect. They have to take responsibility for themselves.
Before your teenager leaves, you can have the following talks with him:
The magnitude of going to college: It was much expected of them to go to college. But your kid needs to consider the magnitude of going to college and how important it is for their future. This is their chance to learn and discover before they enter different work cultures.
It is a great opportunity for them to be independent, self-reliant and develop different skill-sets. They should have fun and enjoy their college years but shouldn’t waste their time only in partying, getting drunk and playing video games.
Budgeting: Apart from the usual expenses of the college which includes the tuition fees and dorm fees, there are many other expenses of a college student. It’s the first time your kid is being entrusted with financial responsibility and has to be guided to spend his money appropriately.
Talk about how they are responsible for allocating their finances properly and are accountable for every penny they spent. They shouldn’t spend their money on frivolous expenses and should take matters seriously. You can also set some ground rules initially to help them out.
Expectations: Make it clear that there are some expectations from them and they should fulfil them. They shouldn’t be only indulged in partying and having fun but also be focused on their academics to get good grades. You can talk to them about the importance of going to class every day and not skipping classes unless it’s an emergency.
You can highlight other factors like eating healthy, getting a sufficient amount of sleep and being responsible for their day to day life. Ask them to build healthy relationships with their friends and also with their professors, it might be helpful for them in the future.
Drinking: A teenager has a rush to try out and experience new stuff. They are at an age where they want to try something new at every chance they get. Some of them might be good and some of them might be bad. Some things can turn out to be addictive as well. It can be a challenging topic to discuss with your kid but it’s an important one. Keep this conversation as practical as possible and highlight the pros and cons.
Binge drinking is a common occurrence among the teenagers in college campuses and your teenager shouldn’t be influenced by it. Add stress to the fact that not only it is against the law, but it invites a variety of problems as well. Highlight the adverse health effects it brings and how they should refrain from participating in any such activity.
Sexual safety: Your teenager must have knowledge about sex education. They shouldn’t engage in unhealthy sexual relationships. It is also important that you talk to your child about sexual misconduct and how to stay safe on campus. They should know the importance of consent and shouldn’t do anything without a person’s consent.
Mental Health: It is important to talk to your teenager about the importance of mental health. They shouldn’t hold back or be embarrassed or ashamed when it comes to mental health. Teenagers go through a variety of mental health issues during college. They should be aware of the symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. Assure them that you are always there to help them out. You can also suggest ways to cope up with the stress of college.
Taking care of themselves: Life in college can be quite pressurizing and sometimes teenagers ignore taking care of themselves. Under stress, they might develop unhealthy eating habits and even consume alcohol and smoke. They need to find a balance and eat healthily. They must have adequate amount of sleep as well. Your teenager is transitioning into a new phase and it can be overwhelming. But with time and proper guidance, they’ll adjust quickly.
• Dreams are fulfilled, goals are achieved and the hard work of your child has finally paid off. They are no longer a small child anymore, in fact, they are soon going to join college.
• Parents play an important role in helping their teenager to choose an appropriate college, suiting their needs and requirements.
• Apart from choosing a college, there are various other discussions you should have with your teenager. Your kid’s life is going to change and it takes time to experience that.
• Parenthood is all about helping and preparing your teens for what’s to come and what should they expect.
• Your teenager is transitioning into a new phase and it can be overwhelming. But with time and proper guidance, they’ll adjust quickly.