So, the time has finally come – your child is at the age where they are about to move out to start the next chapter of their life at college! This can be a very exciting time for them as it will be their first chance to lead a completely independent life. However, you and your partner might find that you don’t find it quite as exciting! Many parents are often quite sad at the thought of their kids moving out and leaving them. They might also feel slightly stressed about the situation as they might question whether their child really is ready to head out into the adult world.
Are you worried that your child might not be ready for their next chapter? Well, if not, there are plenty of ways you can help them out. Take all the following tips for example. If you try and carry out all the advice I offer in this blog post, you should find that waving goodbye to your kids as they leave for college shouldn’t be so upsetting or stressful after all!
Encourage Them To Study
First of all, you should help them get a place at college in the first place. There is only one way they will be able to guarantee a place for themselves – with plenty of studying! So, you need to make sure that your teens have a positive relationship with homework and studying. The best way to ensure that they are willing to carry out all of their assignments and home projects is to never pressurize them to study too much. Sure, a gentle nudge to start working is fine but if you are too strict, you will find that they might be way too likely to rebel against you and not study. As well as not being too strict, you should create a peaceful study area for them where they can get on with all their homework. Ideally, a desk in their own bedroom. If they only have a small bedroom with hardly any spare space for a desk, then it’s worth turning a spare bedroom into a study. You can always revert it back to a spare room once they have moved out.
Help Them Save
Money is one of the major downsides of going to college. Tuition fees are extremely high these days and many students end up leaving college with lots of debt. So, encouraging them to save as much money as possible for college before they move out can be a great help to them. They’ll then be able to save up a sizeable lump sum that can go towards their rent or tuition fees. That way, they won’t have to rely on so many loans throughout their time at college. If they are allowed to take a part-time job alongside their studies, then you should encourage them to do so as this can help ease the financial pressure as well. However, not every college gives their students permission to work alongside their studies, so they need to make sure that it is ok before they accept a job. Otherwise, they could end up in trouble with their professors!
Give Them Advice When Flat Hunting
If your child isn’t moving into student accommodation then they will have to find their own flat. They will be completely new to flat hunting and this could be a very alien experience to them. Your help could certainly help them when it comes to finding a suitable flat! First of all, remind them that they have a very specific budget, and it is really important they don’t end up overspending each month in rent. Not only that, though, but they should also carefully consider the location of their new flat. It needs to be close enough to college so that they can easily get to all their lectures and seminars, but it also needs to be in a fairly affordable area that has plenty of amenities, such as supermarkets and doctor’s practices. You might find that your child wants to live in a very expensive area just because it has a reputation for being trendy and has plenty of bars and restaurants. If possible, try and persuade them from the hip neighborhoods so that they can save on their monthly rent!
Help With The Move
If you’ve moved house yourself, you will already be very aware that moving everything from one property to another can be exceptionally difficult. One of the best things you can do to help is offer the use of your car for your child’s big move. As they will only have a bedroom-full of stuff to move, you should be able to get all of their belongings into the car. It might be a bit of a squeeze but at least they won’t have to waste money on a hire van!
Get Them Online
Once your child is in their new flat, you should get them online as soon as possible. It can sometimes take a couple of months for an internet company to set up a new account at an address so, if possible, you should set up their account before they have moved in. It’s really important that your child has an internet connection so that they can carry out their work and studies from home. Not only that, though, but it allows you to keep in touch via the likes of Skype. And, if they don’t live close to any supermarkets, they will be able to order their weekly grocery shop online. When you are looking for a reliable internet for your child to go with, you will need to find one that offers a decent amount of GB each month at an affordable price. Some companies now offer Netflix subscriptions with their accounts, so it’s worth looking for one that offers this kind of deal if your child likes to stream their favorite movies and TV shows.
Give Tips For Keeping Utilities Down
As a homeowner and parent, you will be very skilled at trying to keep all of your household bills down to a minimum. It’s now time to pass this skill onto your child. Otherwise, they could find that their monthly utility bills come as quite a shock! So, it’s worth telling them that they shouldn’t have their heating on all day every day, even during the winter months. It should be perfectly fine to put the heating on for a couple of hours first thing in the morning. This should keep the chill off, and their apartment should retain the heat for a good few hours. They might then need to put it back on for a couple of hours in the evening. Turning lights out in rooms that they aren’t in will also keep their electricity bill down to a minimum as well. When it comes to the weekly shop, you should encourage them to start collecting coupons as this can really cut the cost of groceries. Teaching them how to batch cook and free portions of meals will also help them keep their costs down as well.
Remind Them Of Maintaining A Good Life Balance
Sure, going off to college is all about studying and working hard to earn a degree. But it’s also about having some fun and enjoying yourself! In fact, this second part of life at college or uni can often be taken a bit too seriously by all of the students! So, you need to let your child know that it’s perfectly fine for them to enjoy a good social life and go to parties and nights out, but that isn’t the main reason why they are at college – they also need to have plenty of time to study and do all their assignments as well! If they don’t, they might end up really struggling to get the grades that they need. But, at the same time, they shouldn’t overdo it when it comes to hitting the books. In fact, this could be very unproductive as they might end up getting very stressed and burning out. It’s all about getting the balance just right!
Schedule Phone Calls
Now that your child no longer lives with you, you will both end up on very different schedules. Both of you might be very busy with your various commitments, but it’s still important that you try and find the time to have a phone call or Skype call together at least once a week. This gives you the chance to check in with your child and gives them the chance to ask you any questions or ease any feelings of homesickness that they might have. Ideally, you should find a time that suits you every week and stick to it as often as possible. That way, you don’t have to miss your weekly phone call!
Watching your children grow up and move out to college can be very upsetting, but you should also feel very proud of them. Look how far they’ve come!