Today we are excited to broaden our topics a little to include some parenting advice for your much older children! If you have high school kids getting ready to go off to college, you can’t miss out on these tips to help prepare them for going off to college. We have this lovely guest post from Zara Lewis. She is a regular contributor at highstylife.com, a traveler and a mother of two. Originally from Chicago, she found her place in the sun in Perth, Australia. Passionate about spreading the word about fantastic places to visit and creating a better world for the generations to come.
4 Things to do Before Your Child Goes to College
Your kid’s been with you for 18 years, bringing you the type of joy only children can. It’s only natural that you feel some panic thinking about their upcoming departure from home and into the unknown. To make the change slightly easier for you and your child, you might want to plan ahead and avoid the unnecessary stress. Here’s how.
Teach them how to…
In all these years at home, has your kid ever done any laundry? Have they ever cooked a meal or been to the bank? These are the things they should know how to do once they’re on their own. Make them do several loads of laundry while they’re still home; teach them to empty their pockets before doing laundry, how to iron and how to best fold their clean clothes. Make sure they know how to use the ATM or do basic banking, so that they can pay their bills. Also, show them how to cook several healthy one-pot meals. Explain how to pick the best quality groceries and how to store them properly. Show them the proper way to clean each part of their living space and maybe how to mail a letter or a package. In return, they might teach you how to use your computer or your phone, so that you can communicate free of charge when they move.
Find information together
First of all, help them find a place to live. Your assistance will be treasured, since they probably have no idea what to look for in a room or apartment. They should find a place within walking distance from their college, somewhere reputable, but still affordable. Look for reliable student accommodation in Melbourne CBD and go from there. Search for trustworthy doctors and dentists nearby, learn all you can about the public transport in the area and if your kid owns a car, find a free, but safe car park and a respectable mechanic. Plus, locate the closest 24/7 pharmacy in case of an emergency. Find out where they can eat – maybe there are communal kitchens for students in their neighborhood or a restaurant where they can eat their daily home-made meals. And most important of all, teach them how to find information by themselves.
Plan their finances with them
Develop a budget plan and explain the importance of sticking to that plan. Let them know exactly how much money they can get from you and then put all their fixed expenses on paper, so that they really understand what they will be left with once they cover everything else. If they think they’ll need more than you can give them, tell them there are student jobs they can take to earn some extra money. Teach them how to use their credit cards responsibly and advise them not to carry too much cash on them, in case they get mugged.
Help them pack
They’re probably moving to a smaller place, so make sure they don’t take too many things with them that they might not even need. On the other hand, they may leave some essential things behind. Pack only the clothes for the upcoming season. If your kid has a roommate, coordinate with them. There’s no need for two vacuum cleaners, two printers or two kettles. Pack them some tools, like a screwdriver or a hammer; make sure they bring a simple sewing kit and basic dishes. Also, don’t let them leave without some essential medicaments. You know if your child has headaches, toothaches or if they catch a cold easily and it’s your job to have them prepared for any situation. They could bring their pillow or a favorite comforter with them, and no matter how much stuff they take, there’s always enough room for a framed picture of your family.
So, use these useful tips to make your kid’s separation from you as painless as possible. And don’t forget to talk to your child as much as possible before they leave. If you’re open and straightforward with them, they will know they can come to you with any problem they come across.
These are some great tips to help get your kids ready for college and ready for a successful life in general. Where are your kids headed? What advice do you have to add to help make the transition a smooth one?