When it comes to college, parents and kids have the same goals. However, most kids don’t have the necessary information about college applications. According to a survey by Harris interactive, 92 percent of students were interested in going to college, but 68 percent said they had little or no information about college application. Without the right knowledge, your child will be confused about how to go about the process and may end up making mistakes. These tips will help you prepare your child for one of the most critical decisions in their teens.
- Talk to your child about finances
When you are not around, your child will need to manage their money. Teach them to make better money choices, so they don’t end up dissatisfied when they don’t have enough. Start by teaching them how to write a basic budget that includes both their income and expenses. Teach them how to create a savings plan that will see them set aside some money every month for a specific goal. Your kid should also set aside money for spending and learn how to adjust their budget to accommodate changing needs.
- Talk about college early
It’s customary to wait until your child is in high school to talk about college. However, it’s never too early to start talking about career paths and universities. Start looking at colleges your child would be interested in and the requirements they need to fulfill to get admitted. If your child is gifted, talk to a college admissions consultant to get advice on what your child needs to do to get into top schools like Yale, MIT, and Stanford. You can also schedule a question and answer session with successful people in the job area your child seems interested in. Hearing the challenges and successes in the job market from someone in the field might give them perspective and help them make a career choice.
- Teach them problem-solving skills
Lack of problem-solving has been credited to contribute to mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, and suicide. Teach your child how to solve their problems using the different problem-solving methods available. College students who can’t solve problems result in avoiding the problem altogether or making snap decisions that might be harmful to them and others. Focus on the problem-solving process by helping your child brainstorm solutions.
- Get involved in your child’s classes
Research says that kids who take algebra by eighth grade and geometry by ninth grade are more likely to go to college. In addition to taking math every year in middle school, your child should also take English, history, and a foreign language. Taking advantage of any computer lessons available will come in handy in college. Help them balance their classes, so they stand a better chance to qualify for top schools.
Use age-appropriate examples and situations when teaching these skills, so you don’t frustrate your child. It would be best if you also refrained from putting too much pressure on them lest they become anxious and stressed.