As your kids continue through high school and head toward college, it is a good idea to educate them on how to manage their time and resources so they can be more independent. You can teach them everything from bill paying to first aid to laundry. Preparing your kids, and yourself, will make the transition much easier when it does come.
Start Planning Now
When your teens are at home, they likely don’t manage their own schedules. Instead, they might depend on you to wake them up for school, get them to doctor’s appointments, and maybe even scheduling get-togethers with friends. If you want to make the transition easier for them and reduce anxiety, allow them to manage their time, starting now. Allowing kids to do this allows them to become more familiar with the process once they are on their own.
It is also a good idea to start planning the financial aspect of school for your teens. If you haven’t started saving yet, now is the time. It’s also a good idea to look into the other options, such as low rate private parent student loans. That allows you to shoulder much of the financial burden for your student so they can focus on doing well in their classes.
Your teens may not have handled money on their own beyond handling their allowance or other cash. However, once they are in school, they will need to be able to budget, even if you are paying for the bulk of their college expenses. From dealing with student loans to paying bills, it is important for them to know how to balance checkbooks and come up with a budget.
Spend a bit of time talking about how to manage money so your teen will make better decisions and avoid overspending. By talking to them about these things now, you can set them up for success. There are apps and software available to help them make better spending decisions. And these apps can also help your college-bound students prioritize the most important things.
Ensuring Kids Stay Safe
One of the harder aspects of college transitions is that they are often not close enough to their kids to keep tabs on them. It’s easy to worry about your child’s safety when they are living far away from you. And your kids might be naïve and assume that most people are generally safe. However, it is important to not rely only on your college to keep your kids safe.
Colleges do try to create a safe space, but you also have to be responsible for your safety. Educate your students on some common-sense safety tips, such as not walking in an unlit area alone at night. That will help your kids have the best possible experience. Let your teens familiarize themselves with rideshares so they can leave an uncomfortable situation at any time. And encourage them to put safety apps on their phones, so they can easily alert someone if there is an emergency.