5 Ways You Can Teach Your Kids to Be More Independent So That They’re Ready for College
Photo by Keira Burton of Pexels.
By Anita Ginsburg
Many teens feel overwhelmed when they start college, and they may struggle to adjust or they make poor decisions. As a parent, you want to prepare them to fly independently, which means teaching them independence early. Here are five ways you can teach your kids to be more independent so that they’re ready for college.
Encourage Independent Study Habits
To prepare for college, you need to minimize your involvement in your teen’s academics. You can help them learn how to study when they’re young. However, you can’t check their homework or remind them to study in college (or at work), so don’t teach them to become dependent on your reminders when they’re younger. Allow your child to make their own decisions about when and how much to study to learn for themselves what they will need to do to succeed in college courses.
Allow Safe Driving
Many young adults associate driving with a certain level of independence. While it may not make you comfortable, teach your child to drive. Of course, driving privileges come with rules and responsibilities. Encourage proper driving by gradually exposing them to different situations on the road and teaching them about real-life consequences that supersede your house rules.
Send Them to College Preparatory School
College preparatory schools not only provide an improved scholastic foundation, but they also teach children the life skills they will need to get through college (and life) successfully. Experienced educators will teach them the fundamentals of work-life balance, financial planning, and effective communication skills. Prep schools like Delphian School offer a wide variety of programs. Do your research so that you can find the right one for your child.
A confident adolescent will make the decisions they want instead of following the crowd. You can teach confidence at home by praising your teen when they do well in school or extracurricular activities. You can also encourage your child to follow their passions. Finally, many children develop confidence through sports or other competitive organizations, so encourage them to participate in those.
Teach Benefits of Independence
Many children enjoy relying on their parents as a crutch. Who wouldn’t like someone managing their schedule and answering all their questions? However, you need to explain how great it can feel to accomplish something entirely on their own and how it will teach them to become a leader later in life instead of a worker bee. You can give them opportunities to experience this at home.
You want your child to excel in college, and they will with the proper balance of support from you and hard work on their part. Of course, you want to remind them that independence doesn’t mean you won’t be there when they need you. However, your relationship will evolve into something more mature as they learn to take control of their own lives.