It’s almost time to send your child off to college to earn that much-wanted international business bachelor degree. Are you confident that your teen is ready to live away from home? Did you make sure they are equipped with real-life knowledge of how to do certain tasks? If you are doubting yourself, read on to learn which skills you can teach your kids to make sure they are prepared to deal with the real world outside of your home and without your immediate guidance.
There are certain life skills that children take for granted because they simply have not had to do them for themselves. Before your college student leaves the nest to partake in this next adventure in life called college, make sure they have some of the basics down pat.
- Laundry – let’s face it, you aren’t going to be in the dorm picking up dirty clothes and making sure they are returned freshly laundered and ready to be worn again. To keep from having to replace clothes that got ruined by trial and error washing, make sure your child knows the basics. Teach them the importance of separating colors. Make sure your daughter knows that certain delicates will become worn and tattered if put in the dryer instead of hanging to dry. To best prepare your child for doing their own laundry, have them start the summer before they go away so by the time they leave, they are ready and able to do their laundry without the worry or hassle of learning as they go.
- Banking Basics – Your teen probably knows how a debit card works but do they understand the importance of money management and balancing their checkbook? Make sure that, before they leave, they know these skills along with how to pay bills online and the importance of timely payments; especially how negative credit can impact their life.
- Cooking – Although dorm food and culinary expectations may be low, it is important that your child knows how to cook for themselves. They won’t be in a dorm forever and the expense of constantly eating out, not to mention how unhealthy it is, will soon prove to be something they are not able to maintain. Spend time together in the kitchen getting down to some of the basics and create some great memories while you’re doing it.
Not only is it important to have a firm grasp on some basic life skills, but there are also other things your child needs to know before going to college. Being in a new environment away from home can be daunting. Explain to your college-bound child that, regardless of how overwhelmed they may feel at first, to remember every other freshman is in exactly the same boat.
Make sure your teen knows the perils that can come with sharing living quarters and how important it is to compromise and manage their schedule. Juggling classes, study groups, and other outside obligations can be a nightmare if their roommate keeps a schedule they aren’t accustomed to. Communication skills and managing schedules will make for much more peaceful coexistence.
Their newfound freedom can lead to bad choices and difficult lessons. Some stress the importance of making sound decisions. Since you aren’t there to ensure your child makes good decisions, make sure they understand just because they can do something, doesn’t necessarily mean they should.
Transitioning into the real world after living at home can be an eye-opening experience for everyone. Help your child be ready by arming themselves with the knowledge and ability to look after themselves mentally and physically.