Photo by Charles DeLoye
The transition from high school to college is a weird time for children. For one, it’s their first taste of adulthood. Selecting the educational institution they want to spend their four years is one of the significant decisions that can affect the course of their life. The second decision lies in the course they will take.
Though you might not get a say in these two things, it is still your duty as a parent to support them. Some parents get a condo in Pasig, so their child doesn’t have to spend hours on travel. Others accompany their kid while sitting on their admissions test in Manila. As a parent, these are the ways you can show you support your child’s decisions. Here’s how.
1. Express your enthusiasm over their choice
Your child will be faced with endless options starting from the college or university that he or she plans on attending. Understand that this is your child’s choice. Feel free to offer your insights and opinion if your child consults you but know that your child will be the one to make the final decision. The best you can do is to gently point out the things that your child will have to consider before making his or her choice. If your child is bent on a decision, then you should be happy for him or her. It shows his or her determination on pursuing the goal he or she set for herself/himself.
2. Research on different educational plans and institutions
Although the decisions should ultimately come from your child, you can help him make an informed one by researching with him. Learn as what you can about the environment and culture associated with a particular university so that your child is ready to be immersed in it. Also, you should look into different financial grants especially if you know that your child qualifies. A lot of college applicants aren’t aware of scholarships and college financial aids. You can save your child from student loans by ensuring you secure your source of finances.
3. Maintain communication
Whether your child will still be living with you, staying in a dormitory or you plan on getting a condo in Manila, you should maintain the communication lines open. Your child is sure to encounter a myriad of changes before coursework, and other requirements can become daunting. It’s vital that your child knows that he or she can go to you for anything. Regularly check on your child on how he or she is doing. Allow him or her to vent about his or her experiences.
4. Allow your child to practice independence
Be confident knowing that you raised a responsible child. Allow him or her to make decisions on how to live his or her life while in a dorm or a condo unit in Metro Manila. Try not to keep your child on a tight leash and learn to let go. Let him or her to enjoy this phase of his or her life. You should enjoy your new found freedom too.
5. Inspire him or her to join extracurricular activities
Volunteering, joining the student council, being on the debate club or learning to play an instrument are some of the things that improve your child’s college application paper. Your child may not have the ideal GPA in high school, but having activities on the side can boost your child’s confidence during admissions interviews. Even before he or she steps in college, he or she should have events on the side. You can inspire him or her to find her passion early on by joining different activities together. You can try out different sports, enroll in classes, or volunteer in your community. When children see that the person they admire are doing things they haven’t tried, then they are likely to do them as well.
6. Make progress based on their pace
Each person has a specific pace. Your child might be staring at the TV while looking chill when he or she still hasn’t finished filling out the forms. It might tempt you to nag them, but it wouldn’t help ease the pressure of getting the college of their dreams. Instead of nagging them, you should spend quality time with them. Invite him or her for a walk. Get iced coffee at his favorite cafe. Catch up. It doesn’t always have to be about their career options. You should also see how they are doing now and then.
7. Get a coach
Though your child might seem like he or she has under control, it can be the opposite. Most of the time, they are unsure of what they’re doing. They aren’t confident of their options. They are worried if they picked the wrong course. They are anxious about the looming deadline for college applications. Often, these things are out of your hands. Therefore, you should consider getting some help. Hiring a coach can help your child build confidence and feel more prepared to face what’s in store for them in college.
8. Discuss expectations and experiences but don’t poison them
Before letting your child free of your grasp, you must first have some heart-to-heart talk. It allows you to impart your expectations of your child’s performance. You can also use this to share the experiences you had when you were in college, but it doesn’t mean you should poison them. You shouldn’t fill their thoughts of outdated notions on what’s it like to be on campus, traditional college application process, and test taking.
The best thing you can do as their parent is to support their dreams. Allow your child to find their purpose and contribute to society. Though getting a degree is not always part of the vision, you should make them understand the difference between making decisions when you have achieved higher education over those that did not.