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How to Prepare Your Kids for College Emotionally, Not Just Academically?

Mind Mind
14-16 14-16
Sneha Sarkar
3 months ago
How to Prepare Your Kids for College Emotionally, Not Just Academically?

Your child got selected in their dream college, you feel excited and start arranging everything from documents to supplies to books. Looks like your child is ready for college!

College

No! It's not that easy peasy. Have you begun boosting your child for some of the unfamiliarities that are about to come their way? 

 

Time flies so fast it seems like it was yesterday that your child was born and now they are all set to pursue their dreams, ready to leave their home and move to college. Being a parent there can be a mixture of emotions as your child goes off to college. Fear, excitement, hope are just a few of them you may experience. Many children enjoy their first year at college but some have a hard time doing it because they get confused about dealing with so many emotions. They get overwhelmed with developing a new lifestyle, a new routine. This transition can be hard on your child's mental health and be a source of stress for both parents and children. 

 

Mental health

 

While you have taken the time to prepare your child academically for college, now you should consider it imperative to prepare them emotionally by preparing them for the upcoming emotional challenges before they are off to college. The main objective here is to make them aware that it’s normal to feel upset, confused, or even angry.
 

Also read: Importance of Socio–Emotional Development in Children
 

Here are a few ways by which you can help your child prepare emotionally for college:

 

1. Start practicing mindfulness together 

Mindfulness can teach your child to keep their emotions in check. 
 

Mindfulness
 

  • It includes slowing down and observing what you are doing, even if it's just counting your breath. 

 

  • The main purpose of practicing mindfulness is to teach your child the skills to develop an awareness of their inner and outer self and to understand how emotions manifest. 


Self awareness

 

  • Few ways to practice mindfulness with your child can be as simple as counting breaths together, practicing mindful eating, going on a nature walk together, meditating, etc.

 

2. Teach problem-solving skills

Exhibiting problem-solving skills in difficult situations might not be natural for children who have the habit of relying on their parents. But now as they are heading off to college they need to improve their ability to think beyond their comfort zone. This requires continuous practice and effort. Let them solve more problems, the more they solve, the easier it gets. Below are some tips that can help you:

Problem solving

  • Tell them to focus on the solution, not the problem :

Make them acknowledge the problem and then move their focus to a solution-oriented mindset where they can find the probable solution, rather than lagging on “what I did wrong”.
 

Solution-oriented

 

Check out: What social skills your child should know before going to college?
 

  • Teach them to simplify things and come up with as many solutions as possible:

Simplifying problems by removing all extra information and focusing on the basics can help bring out easy obvious solutions. 
 

Simplifying problems

  • Make them learn to think differently 

You cannot get many potential solutions if you cannot change your approach towards it. Make them change their approach and how they look at things. A fresh and unique approach usually stimulates a fresh solution. Teach them to try approaching problems differently without being judgmental.

 

3. Boost their confidence 

Confidence is the best gift you can give your child. Instead of being crippled by failure, confident children get up quickly, learn from their mistakes, and try again. Letting them make decisions and take healthy risks can play a vital role in building up confidence. Always back them up with your support.
 

Self-confidence

 

4. Help your child develop resilience

Working on developing resilience in your child can be a key factor in making them enjoy college life. Resilience simply means being able to withstand or quickly bounce back from challenging situations. 

Resilience
 

  • Help your child know how to acknowledge roadblocks, address them and adapt to them.
     

You might like: 7 Steps to Increase your Child's Communication Skills
 

5. Self-care, self-advocacy, self-control

  • Assist your child to build habits that make them feel better and help manage difficult emotions. Educate them about the importance of sleep, diet, and exercise.
     

Self- care
 

  • Practicing self-advocacy helps children get aware of their rights and responsibility. It creates independence and empowers children to find outcomes of problems that others might not be aware of.

 

  • Children who lack self-control often show impulsive behaviors and emotions which cause them to make poor choices. Make them practice prioritizing, by deciding what needs the most effort and time and then organizing their tasks that way. 
    Self-control

 

6. Teach them to ask for help when needed

Always remind your child that there is no embarrassment in asking for help in college. Emphasize that asking for help is a sign of strength. If your child is still a few months away from college, consider taking them to visit a therapist now to learn practical skills for managiCounsellorsal mental health crises. Counselors and therapists are equipped in employing practical skills to help people handle distressing thoughts and emotions. Children need to recognize when they need help, and you should make them believe that they'll be given help when they ask for it. 

Therapy

 

It can be complicated to deal with the feelings on the day your child heads to college. Alongside, distance, lesser contact, and empty nest syndrome, lack of emotional preparation also play a role in ratcheting up your worries. But with these few simple ways, and your belief in their ability to solve their problems and get over these uncomfortable emotions can make the transition a bit easier for you and your child.

This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.
TAGS
• emotions
• College
• Academics
• Mental Health