September 1, 2021
When it comes to choosing a college, so many factors are involved that it seems like there couldn’t possibly be any right answer.
If a student chooses to go to a big school, he would lose out on the intentionality of smaller colleges, but the bigger school offers more in terms of curriculum though. Well, this school is further away which gives the freedom to branch out and really discover oneself. On the other hand, living close to home means mom will do laundry for free. These are just some of the many questions that arise as one has to make the decision of where to spend a college career.
All of these factors and variables can become too much sometimes. They could become so overbearing to the point that it causes a strain on one’s mental health. With this strain, parents are desperately searching for ways to help their children. The solution is simpler than they realize.
Parents need to effectively communicate with their kids. This isn’t simply done by asking questions and waiting for answers. It is done by having a real discussion about their future and about college. This can be done one or one or even facilitated by a school counselor. Having a conversation like this is the best way to help gauge their children’s mental health and readiness for college.
It is through this open communication that trust is formed and productive conversations will occur. One way to destroy this productivity would be to not include the child in these conversations. School counselors are trained for this, and they do know a lot of information on how to properly handle and assist students during these years of their lives. But, a parent should not go to a school counselor behind their children’s backs. This would just burn a bridge between parent and child.
No one knows children better than the parents themselves. They know things like the child’s maturity level and level of independence. Based on this knowledge, a parent can direct the conversation to where it needs to go. They can discuss all of the different choices and what each college offers. Ultimately, conversations like these help them to notice their own level of readiness and helps making decisions related to college much easier. They may now even seek the guidance of their school counselors on their own.
This is a stressful time for children and a parent’s job is to not make it more so. This is best done through communication. Believe it or not, children may always be children in the eyes of parents, but every day they are growing older. One day, they may ultimately make that decision to leave home and go to college. It is not an easy decision, so as a parent, do not be scared to sit down and have those conversations adult to young adult.