Is your teen graduating from high school and going away to college this fall? If so, this article could help you to prepare your teen to make a smooth transition from home to college. Parents are well aware that college entails a greater responsibility to shoulder, increased choices to make coupled with having to cope with academic pressure. A combination of all three happening together could become overwhelming for your teen. It is would, therefore, be important for you as a parent to prepare your teen adequately to transition from home to college.
Consider it to be your privilege to help your teen to make an easy, smooth transition when the time comes for your teen to leave the nest. Keep in mind that during this transitional period, your child could be overwhelmed with mixed feelings, sadness at the prospect of leaving home interspersed with the excitement of life ahead at college. Your unwavering support could be of crucial importance during this critical period in his/her life. In fact, an early year-long preparation can be the key element to a successful transition.
Here are four proven tips for parents who are preparing their teen to transition from home to college:
By consistently communicating and spending quality time with your teen, you would be better able to understand your teen’s growing needs for personal power, independence, self-esteem and a sense of purpose. To build your teen’s sense of positive identity and competence one step at a time, understand your teen’s changing needs.
Understand that your teen needs your confidence in his/her capability to handle all of the life’s important decisions. Your understanding of this prime need would be of crucial importance in preparing your teen to transition from home to college. It is your attitude that can empower your teen to move forward confidently.
Teenagers need greater freedom in their drive towards independence. Respect your teen’s right to individuality and independence. Make sure to give your teen an added dose of freedom in the final school year. As soon as your teen indicates responsible behavior, begin to expand limits to the rules you may have set before; this trend allows your teen greater freedom with minimum supervision from your end.
As far as possible, avoid being in strict control of your teen’s behavior; it is the time you let your teen make his/her own decisions and choices. This can be one of the most important preparatory steps to transition from home to school.
#3 Let go
It is a challenge for most parents to let go of the control they once had over their child. However, it is important that you remind yourself: Your teen will soon be leaving for college and you will need to prepare him to fend for himself/herself.
As a doting parent, you want to do everything possible and make things easier for your child, especially in the light of his/her upcoming departure. This is a crucial time for you to let go and make a deliberate effort to stop hovering around and refrain from unnecessarily interfering in your teen’s activities.
Encourage your teen to express feelings and identify what is really going on in his/her life. It might be that he/she too is experiencing mixed feelings of loss, anxiety, and expectations due to the anticipated changes of college life. As parents, you need, to be honest, and open in your communication with your teen; but guard against being over reactive to any mishap or mistakes made by giving way to anger, disappointments or frustrations. This could dissuade your teen from freely communicating with you in future.
Do not allow your fear for your child’s safety thwart your teen’s drive towards self-reliance. Practice being an effective parent by making effective preparations for your teen’s transition to college.
You will need to keep in mind that now your teen is an adult in- the- making. Make good use of the time you have as you prepare him/her to transition from home to college. Let your teen know that you will always be available if and when needed. Rejoice at having had the wonderful opportunity to play an impressionable role at this critical stage of your teen’s life.
After all, it is your caring and dedication that will not only equip your teen with all the essential tools to prepare his/her transition from home to college, but most importantly help him/her to be a productive, responsible and successful adult.