Your graduate has finished high school and is about to transition to college—time to celebrate! It was a long journey to get here, and you couldn’t be more proud of their achievement.
However, you also know that this is an important time in their lives, as they transition to living independently as an adult.
Even though your child is about to leave the nest, there are still several things that you can do to support them in this process. Consider then these tips.
Help with the Logistics
As a parent of someone about to transition to college, you can help your graduate with the logistics of getting there.
Even if you have never been to college, you’ve probably had to move to a new apartment or home. This will most likely be the first time that your graduate will be living on their own away from home. Therefore, there is a lot that you can do to help, including:
- What to take and what not to take
- Packing boxes and loading them into the car
- Buying necessities at the store, such as toiletries and towels
- Moving them into their dorm room
Pass on Practical Life Skills
Another way to support your child is passing on useful life skills before they leave the nest. Perhaps the most practical and obvious life skill that they will need is knowing how to do their laundry. That’s right, laundry! You’d be surprised how many young people don’t know how to do their own laundry.
Other helpful skills include:
- Personal organization, such as maintaining a schedule or calendar
- Financial skills (important if they are receiving aid)
- Knowing how to maintain a vehicle
- Cooking a meal
Remember, even though they think they have everything figured out, your graduate still has a lot to learn when it comes to life.
Let Them Know You Care
As your child makes the transition to college, it’s beneficial that they know you care about them and that you are always available to listen. Even though they may be a thousand miles or more away, they can always reach out to you.
Of course, they will want to forge their own path, which means not calling home every single day. However, it’s good for them to know that no matter what, you are there to provide emotional support and encouragement.
It can help bolster their confidence that even though this is their own experience, they can always rely on you to be in their corner.
Watch Out for Being Overinvolved
On the other hand, you want to make sure that you are not overdoing it by being overly involved in your child’s life. It’s important that they be able to be free to make their own decisions.
College is a chance for your graduate to begin to understand who they are as an individual. It’s a time when they are able to forge new relationships and have new experiences.
Of course, you still want to be involved in their lives. However, your role will be changing as they transition to college.
Parenting Counseling for You
As a parent, it helps to receive some parenting counseling for yourself. For instance, it might be harder for you to let go than you realized. If that’s the case you can work with a therapist to refine your parenting skills as you transition from being an active parent to more like a coach.
They will always be your child and you will be their parent. However, the role that each of you plays will also change as your child transitions to college.
Starting college is a wonderful time for many young people. You can better facilitate the transition to college for your child both by providing tangible support as well as emotional support.
If you are having trouble with this, don’t hesitate to participate in parenting counseling as you transition to a new role in life, too. Please, visit here to learn more about how I can help.