When you have children, your brain goes into overdrive of all the things that you want to do before they go off to college. College seems so far away when you’re cradling a newborn baby, but before you know it they’re 17 and planning all of their applications to go to their preferred schools. Every single parent wants to see their child do well and you have to be the person who prepares their child before they grow up. You have to prepare them for life, to handle themselves, for their independence. There are so many reasons that you want your children to flourish, and part of that is for their safety.
A child who is ready to be a responsible (well, semi-responsible) grown up is a child you can feel confident will be safe in the world. You can’t protect your children from every single danger in the world, but you can prepare them for the dangers. You can get them ready to feel like they are achieving something in their future. As a parent, you’re going to support them no matter what, of course, so it’s also time to prepare yourself for the fact that you won’t be able to ‘save’ them all the time. You’ll need to arm yourself with all of the information that you need, too, from counselors and therapists to https://www.sunshinebehavioralhealth.com/texas/ programs – just in case. The more educated and informed you are, the better support you can be for your child. You want to teach them to be safe and you want them to feel like they can come to you without judgment. So, what lessons should you be teaching your kids before you send them out into the world of college?
- You can teach them to be honest. If you want your children to go far in life, you need to teach them what honesty is and how it can enrich their lives if they live honestly. From speaking out when they see something wrong to speaking up when they feel happy, you need your children to learn what being honest means. Your child needs to understand that openness and honesty are both traits that will make them feel happier, more accepted and more human.
- You must teach manners. There’s a phrase that says ‘be kind’ but kindness isn’t always the right path. However, when you teach your children to call out bad behavior, you can still teach them to do it with manners. As a parent, you’ll want to instill good manners in your children as early as possible. These good manners are going to set your child apart from a very young age and everyone is going to remember your children as the polite ones – and that carries through life. They can be kind without being rude – manners matter!
- Teach them to cook. Before you send your kids off to college, you need to teach them the basics of cooking. They don’t have to be a gourmet chef when they head out, but you can teach them the merits of not living off ramen and soy sauce. Your children are going to feel better when they are making healthy choices and living healthy lifestyles at the same time. Driving them toward the healthy food choices is the smart thing to do, and you’ll guarantee that they’ll feel better in themselves.
- Respect. Teach them respect – for themselves first and foremost. Many children who head off to college do so without knowing how to say yes to themselves and no to other people, and you have the power to change that. Teaching your children to respect themselves before others is important. It’ll help them to learn self-control and kindness, too.
- Teach them to lose. Your child won’t win at everything all the time and that’s okay. This is a lesson that they must learn pretty early on in life if you want it to stick. Life presents many situations that can disappoint your kids, and if you teach them how to accept failure, they’re going to learn how to win and lose with grace. It’s okay to come second – just make sure that you instill in them the importance of striving to win.
- Teach them time management skills. Parents may be able to instill the value of time keeping in their kids by teaching them from a young age when it’s appropriate to get up and get ready to go somewhere. When they hit college age, they’re going to need to learn to stick to a class timetable. This is going to help them later in life when they’re heading to work, too.
- Teach them to become responsible for themselves. Skills in life your kids need to learn include changing the oil in their car, doing their laundry and keeping their space tidy. You want to make sure that your kids are heading off into the world with a keen sense of self and it starts with teaching them to be responsible human beings. They need to have a healthier attitude to their environment both at home and that starts with the lesson that you teach.
- Compassion. If you can teach your children anything, it’s how to care for others. Whether this be carrying a bag for someone elderly or offering to help a friend to study, your child will be the one that others want to be around. Compassion isn’t possessed by everyone, but you can help your children to feel it, to be it and to model it to others.
- How great it is to learn. When we’re kids we want to rush. We’re so busy wanting to grow up that we forget to live in the now and we forget how awesome education is. Teach your children how much fun it is to learn and create opportunities for them to do it, too.
- How to manage money. One of the best lessons that you can leave your kids before they head to college is the lesson of money. They have no idea what it means to manage their cash, and it’s vital that you work on helping them to learn the right spending habits as early as possible so they don’t fall into debt traps.