Megan Williams
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Jun, 11

Kids Going to College: A Survival Guide for Parents

All parents of the world have something in common – worrying for their children. It starts even before our children are born and it never ends. We all think that we’ll stop worrying as soon as our children grow up, finish school, get a good job, get married, have children of their own, etc. However, worrying never actually stops, which is normal when done in moderation. Of course, big changes and events require more worrying and one of these situations definitely is going to college. It is a time of great change both for children and parents. The whole relationship dynamic changes, as usually the child leaves home and starts living on their own in another city. At this point, the parent starts having much less control and surveillance over their child and needs to rely on hope that they raised their kid right. In that respect, let’s see some of the main college concerns of parents in Australia and how to cope.

Parting words and attitude

Where you leave things before sending your child into the world is very important. Whether it’s laying some wisdom on them, posing threats, letting them know about the dangers of doing drugs or telling them you’re there for them, the way you do it matters. First of all, it’s a chance for your children to assess what they will be telling you and what not. So, try not to be too strict or at least not too scary as you definitely want them to confide in you. Regardless of what you choose to say, make sure to let them know that you’ll be there for them, regardless of what stupid thing they might do and that they should always come to you for help.

Change of relationship

The fact that your child won’t be living with you anymore most of the time is probably making you feel discomfort. You won’t get to see your child as much as you’d like to and the way to compensate that should probably be by calling or texting. Of course, try not to bother your child too much. Have in mind that they’ll be seeing and doing many new things and their schedule will be full, as opposed to yours which will stay the same. So, don’t be pushy and let them call you, or at least text to check when it’s convenient for you to call. Make sure to ask about things and stay interested in anything they tell you. Try not to be very judgmental, as it will probably affect the amount of information you get from them in the future.

Accommodation

When it comes to the issue of where your kid is going to stay during college, there are different options like commuting, renting an apartment or staying in a dorm. Since we’re talking about kids that leave home, we’ll skip commuting and focus on the latter. Needless to say, it’s better for your child to stay in a dorm, as it’s more affordable, safer and more convenient. There are amazing student accommodation options in Melbourne CBD. Being here, your child or you wouldn’t have to worry about the proximity of university, gym or getting to the city center. It’s pure delight living in a good neighborhood close to anything you’d like to see on a daily basis and yet quiet enough to be able to study and relax without any distractions.

Obligations

Another important thing parents worry about is whether their children will work hard enough to achieve their goals regarding exams and grades. It’s a big change compared to the way school worked before, so worrying is justified, as they will be facing new challenges and a completely different system. There isn’t a recipe on how to motivate your kids to study, but some of the factors do include their impressions of classes and teachers, as well as the people they make friends with. Students who are friends with high achievers are proved to try harder than ones who are friends with non-ambitious ones. Unfortunately, you cannot control who your children are friends with, you can just hope they’ll choose right and offer a piece of advice here and there.

Lifestyle

Naturally, with all these changes, your child’s whole lifestyle is bound to change. That means they may change their eating habits, as well as physical activity and sleeping arrangements. It’s possible that they start living a less healthy life and a good thing would be to remind them of how important staying healthy is. This is best done though conversation. If your child doesn’t want to prepare food, they can eat at a canteen. It’s practical and healthy, as opposed to pizza, burgers and other junk food. Talk to them and make sure they keep some important healthy habits they had at home and tell them to try and walk instead of using public transportation and maybe even join a gym or a sports club.

All in all, there sadly aren’t any 100% accurate recipes on how to properly send your child to college or how to cope with the whole situation. The only thing you can do is trust your child and your own instincts, hope you raised them well and they’ll be able to make good decisions and make sure to always be there for them.

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