How to get your child ready for college. As the college process has started, I am in panic mode and asking myself if I have prepared my son for college life.
Actually, would he be ready for life away from home?
Have I trained him to take care of himself on all personal facets of his personal life?
Mother’s questions, of course, but essential to me. I have seen so many children leaving the parent’s nest so unprepared that their first year of college suffered.
So what can I do as a parent to help him become a well-rounded man that can be self-sufficient and in charge of his life, his new home life.
How much do they know?
How much does your child help out at home? Fair questions that will set up the path of adulthood.
Does he/she clean the kitchen after dinner? Put away his/her clothes? How clean is their room? Bathroom? Can they do laundry? Can they cook a basic meal? Do they know the basics of balancing a checkbook? Table manners that will come on hand when they are going for that sought-after job interview.
My head spins with so many questions and planning the next year of “what I need to do as a parent”; to prepare him for the next giant step: college life.
So, let’s start with the basics:
Making your bed and room. Easy task, but can your child know when to change the sheets? And how to make the bed?…
Meal planning/cooking/basics dishes that can be prepared in a dorm.
Seeing that most dorms now have a common area, what words can I teach him/her so they will not live on mac & cheese, even though fun and easy or frozen pizza. I would start with simple how to make pasta, fish, vegetables, chicken and move on from there…
A small handmade booklet with your child favorite recipes, easy of course, is a great way to send them off. Teaching them some basics recipes is a key prior to them leaving. Start now with them being in charge of once a week meal for the family.
How to do Laundry/cleaning.
I started doing laundry at the early age of 10. I am giving away my age here, but years back, Kleenex was not your norm, and we still carry handkerchiefs. I still do with my evening purses, and it feels super feminine to have an embroidered one with me always, back to the point.
I am 10 doing laundry, and I have the machine filled with whites. At least I thought there were all white. In between all that white, a red handkerchief from my dad sneaks in.
My beautiful white sheets and everything else was pink, and so was my dad and brother’s underwear. Let me tell you; I never disliked so much the smell of bleach in my life.
Teach them the basics of color separation as well as fabric. May sound trivial however you do not want to destroy your favorite sweatshirt or jeans.
A clean space is an healthy space. Basic cleaning, dusting or vacuuming. As my grandmother always told me: Everything has a place, everything at its place. Putting away the dishes, food boxes, or anything else will not only make your place look clean, but more welcome when you return to from a long day in class.
This is another issue that should be brought up because there are tuition costs on your mind. But there are other costs involved with the college experience too.
You need to do a little research for grants, FAFSA, or even an IRA if you’ve been saving yourself. While at school, your student needs to stay on top of a budget. When making a budget, don’t forget to include expenses back and forth from school to home.
To control spending and stay out of debt, remind your kids not to apply for any credit cards while at school this will teach them to manage their spending.
To save on college books that can be expensive go used, buying used books can be a lifesaver for a budget.
I am sure I am forgetting so much and this list will grow even more exponentially the close my son is ready to leave.