We can’t stop our kids from growing up, but we can prepare them with great tools.
My oldest son graduated from high school two years ago, and even though I was aware the day was coming, it still hit me hard. This kid I carried, nurtured and watched grow into a confident young man was now moving through a huge life transition. And while I was very proud, realizing he would soon be out of my everyday life hurt my heart.
Whether your teen is off to college or moving out on their own, this is a major life change for both of you. It can be exciting but also a little scary. Taking steps to prepare your teen for this transition will help ensure their success and help with your peace of mind.
Here are four tips to consider in prepping your teens:
- Teach them to budget and save. Many students are surprised by how quickly they spend their funds and will need to learn the value of a dollar. Help them to set up a bank account or use a money management app (Dave Ramsey has great resources). Make sure they understand how credit cards work so that they don’t get stung by late fees and interest.
- Help them to build self esteem. It’s normal for young people starting out on their own to have days when they feel sad, homesick, or a little lost. Encourage them to find ways to keep busy and try to enjoy their new experiences. They might join a club or team, visit with old friends from high school who live nearby, reconnect with their faith community, reach out to college-age friends who have moved in the area, or take advantage of cultural events in the town they are living in.
- Encourage them to stay on track with their studies. It’s easy for students to fall behind, especially if they are not used to studying independently. Help them to schedule their time and to develop a system of tracking assignments, tests, and projects. Encourage them to review their notes the night before a big test and find a study partner to quiz them or do practice problems on topics they’re struggling with. It’s also a good idea to teach them about getting a decent night’s sleep and avoid skipping meals or cramming for exams.
- Don’t be a helicopter. It’s tempting for parents to want to keep an eye on their child’s every move but this can be counter-productive. In fact, it may even cause a student to shut out advice from their parent completely. Parents need to be able to ask their teen how they are doing without prying too much or being overbearing. For example, allowing them the freedom to spend their own money in a responsible manner is a huge part of growing up. It is an opportunity to learn valuable life lessons and will give them the confidence they need when they go off on their own. Hopefully, they will not overspend or have credit card debt but it is important to let them experience some of these lessons BEFORE they leave home.
It’s also an excellent time to teach them how to cook, do laundry, clean, and shop for groceries. These are all skills that will serve them well heading into adulthood. And it all helps you feel confident they will thrive on their own.
I realize this is only a short list, by setting your teen up for success with as many necessary life skills as possible is good way of knowing you did a great job of preparing them for greatness.
If you are personally struggling with letting go, find someone to talk with, a friend, another family member or a counselor. Using your teen as a sounding board could create feelings of guilt and hesitation in beginning the natural journey into adulthood.
Envisioning their success and all of the great experiences they will have is another way to channel feelings of sadness and lonesomeness.
I hear you, and understand your pain as I am about to watch my next son graduate from high school and head off to the college he’s been dreaming of. It’s their turn to shine and our turn to be proud!
If there’s any support I can provide, feel free to visit heartsofwellness.com/you along with my archive at https://usadailypost.com/2022/09/07/wendy-bjorks-commentary-featured-on-price-of-business-digital-network for more important commentaries on Unlocking Your Greatness!
Wendy Bjork, founder of HeartsofWellness.com/you is a pioneer in advocacy and mentorship. Wendy is leading a global revolution of women walking in purpose and peace as she illumines their path ahead with the light of HOPE: Harmony, Options, Peace & Empowerment.
She empowers women to step into their boldness, stand in their resilience and own their Truth. Through Wendy’s guidance, they are finally seen, heard and understood.
Wendy has authored two books and co-authored a third, “Fired Up!,” a #1 International bestseller. She is a regular contributor on the PriceofBusiness.com digital platforms and to the National MS Society’s Momentum Magazine. She is regularly invited on discussions, podcasts, interviews as she shares her story and hope to inspire others.
Follow Wendy: wendy.sololink.me