How can I help my TCK prepare for college?
AnswerThere are many things parents can do to prepare their children for college. Besides teaching everyday life skills before your child leaves for school, parents would be wise to lay out their expectations ahead of time. The summer before leaving home is the time to make sure the lines of communication are open between you and your son or daughter. If your adolescent has never been communicative in the past, this may be the perfect opportunity to develop some effective ways to talk to each other. The summer between high school graduation and leaving for college is fairly stress and responsibility free. The lines of communication go both ways – listening as well as speaking. Adolescents need to know they can be heard without their parents being judgmental or offering up unsolicited advice. Sometimes they just want to be able to air their anxieties. Let them know you are there for them any time they need to talk.
At some point before their leaving, it will be necessary to hold a fairly one-sided discussion about your parental expectations. Let them know in no uncertain terms what you expect from them when it comes to finances, school work, communications, and behavior. Doing this ahead of time gives both parents and students the confidence to know there is a structure in place and a road map to follow.