Just yesterday you have been helping your child decide what to wear or what to eat. But suddenly you realize how time flew by and your little one is ready to go to college. Each and everyone has to go through this phase sooner or later. As parents we dream for our child to be successful, then why not we prepare ourselves to deal with the empty nest positively.
- Trust Your Child: Parents need to give the teenager all the information and support the child’s decision. Its important to understand with Teenagers the parental role changes to coach. Its important the teenagers make their own choices and feel responsible. Be there to guide the teenagers whenever needed
- Budgeting and Banking: Parents should introduce the concept of financial budgeting to their college going teens well in advance. They should understand how to divide the finances on food, groceries, transportation etc. This helps avoid them running out of funds in just 2 weeks. Similarly, with this tech world, its necessary every child is introduced to the online banking and shopping, credit cards, ATM and all different sorts of money transfers or transactions.
- Academic Goals and Expectations: Every student enrolls at an university with a goal, its always a good idea to sit with your child and discuss about the academic goals and your expectations. The child needs to understand his responsibility towards his goal and plan his work accordingly.
- Communication Method: As the students are still settling at college and dorm, don’t be surprised if they do not answer your call or forget to call back. They are simply not used to answering daily calls. Therefore, its helpful to have a mutual agreement where both the party agrees on daily Good Morning or Good Night message or a phone in every 2 to 3 days. Sometimes teenagers prefer just talking once a week, although may girls love to share every experience. Also, its important you share what’s happening at your end. Your ward should know that you went for day trip with your friend and then for a coffee with a cousin. Its a good way to keep them updated and involved in your life. They should be aware about your friends with whom you spend time.
- Drinking, drugs & Partying at College: Every freshman should understand the pros n cons about drinking alcohol, or drugs and going partying with friends. Every country and university has their strict rules regarding Alcohol and Drugs. Students need to make sure to follow the rules. Have a conversation with your child about these.
As parents, the most important thing is to take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise regularly, sleep well. Meet friends, revive your hobbies, spend more time with your spouse. Spend more time with your own parents. Let your child make mistakes and learn from them. This is how they grow and mature. Its good to be with them during their tough times, listen patiently, encourage them and avoid being a helicopter parent.
Children are in a new environment, anxious and trying to settle in. Its important that parents don’t transfer their anxiety on to the children. Usually, parents are satisfied to see them happy. Stay Calm and Enjoy
by Shilpa Dhokha
Do share your experiences as a parent when your child went for higher education in the comments below >>