3 crucial conversations to have with kids before college

IIsabel February 23, 2024 7:01 AM

Sending your kids off to college is a major milestone, both for parents and their children. It's a time of mixed emotions – excitement, anxiety, hope, and often, a fair bit of stress. As a parent, you want to make sure your kids are well-prepared for this major life transition, and a crucial part of this preparation involves having some important conversations. Here are the three crucial conversations you should have with your kids before they head off to college.

Money matters

One of the most important conversations to have with kids before college revolves around money. Many students are handling their own finances for the first time when they go to college, and it can be a challenging learning curve.

  • Explain about the cost of living: It's important to discuss the cost of living, including housing, food, books, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses.
  • Discuss budgeting: Teach them how to budget and manage their expenses. This includes setting aside money for emergencies and for fun activities.
  • Talk about credit: Discuss the use and misuse of credit cards. It's important they understand the implications of debt and how to use credit responsibly.

Academic responsibilities

The second key conversation revolves around academic responsibilities. College is a significantly different environment from high school, and it's crucial that your kids understand what's expected of them.

  • Discuss time management: Talk about the importance of balancing school work with other responsibilities and activities.
  • Talk about study habits: Discuss the need for good study habits and the importance of staying organized.
  • Discuss academic integrity: It's important for them to understand the consequences of plagiarism and cheating, and the importance of doing their own work.

Emotional readiness

The third key conversation to have with your kids before they go to college is about emotional readiness. College is a major transition, and it's likely they'll experience a range of emotions.

  • Talk about homesickness: Discuss what to do if they start feeling homesick, and reassure them that it's a normal part of going away to college.
  • Discuss mental health: Talk about the importance of taking care of their mental health, and encourage them to seek help if they're feeling overwhelmed.
  • Talk about social pressures: Discuss the various social pressures they may face, including peer pressure to drink or do drugs, and the pressure to fit in.

Having these conversations with your kids before they go to college can help ensure they are better prepared for this major life transition. Remember, it's important to keep the lines of communication open, so they feel comfortable coming to you with any worries or concerns they may have.

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