College can be a difficult time in a person’s life. It’s full of changes and new challenges which, without preparation, can be quite stressful. As a parent, it is your job to help your children face these challenges, and in order to do so, it is best to prepare early.
1.Prepare your children financially. If you can, it is best to get your children working at a young age, with tasks such as a paper route, or a summer job. This way, they learn the responsibility of how to handle money and the stresses that can come along with it. You can also use this income to teach them about savings. As a parent, it may be tempting to dip into your nest egg or to take out a loan to help your child out; this is almost always a bad idea, mainly because your child will be working longer than you will. It is better to have them take out the loans. A good book to give them while they are still teens is “Rich Dad, Poor Dad For Teens: The Secrets About Money That You Don’t Learn in School,” which teaches them how to manage their money from a young age.
2.Prepare them for college emotionally. This can be a difficult time for both children and parents as the kids begin to leave the nest. You can’t always physically be there to support your child emotionally, but having a weekly call to give them encouragement when they are down is a way to show them that you care. What one father did before he sent off his son to school was to sit down and write as many rules to life as he could think of, and this became the best-selling “Life’s Little Instruction Book.” If you are too lazy to do this yourself, you can buy the book. (See Resources below.)
3.Teach them to deal with failure as well as success. Life isn’t always about having successes. In fact, most people will have more failures than success, and learning to deal with both gracefully is a powerful lesson. Teach them the value of persistence and struggle by giving them examples in your own life where you struggled, and when times are difficult, be there as support and a shoulder to cry on. Otherwise, it is all too easy to allow our inner voices to get carried away with criticism and self doubt. One good way to teach them about controlling their emotions is through meditation and visualization. A useful tool is the Neuro-Programmer, which will help them build a calmer, more peaceful and optimistic attitude.