Your child’s first time going to college is a transition time for everyone. They are adjusting to life as a young adult and leaving the nest so to speak, and you are adjusting to the new household dynamics. Luckily, there are some ways to make this transition easier.
Consider Supporting Them Financially
Even though paying for your child’s college tuition may not be in the budget right now, you can still help them out in other ways. You can help them get a student loan by being a cosigner on it. In fact, it is often hard to decline to be a cosigner when the only thing preventing your student from going to college is money. However, know that not everyone should cosign on a student loan. If you are considering taking out a mortgage, cosigning could make things more challenging, so it’s a good idea to learn more about whether cosigning is for you.
Understand Their Schedule
You can ask your child how they are doing in classes and whether they are struggling. If you think they are frustrated, you might want to do some research to figure out why. They might be having trouble keeping up with certain classes, or they might be missing assignments. You should not ask them about their grades, but you can ask if they feel they are able to keep up with their assignments.
One way you can support your kids is by getting them a planner to help with time management. If they have a paper due on the last Wednesday of the month, they can write down smaller goals in their planner. You can also write down milestones so you can encourage them around these things.
Check-in With Them Often
Even if it’s just sending a text, make sure you are checking in with your child. When you speak with them via video call or phone call, you can ask open-ended questions, like what they are enjoying in college and why. Texting is something you can do more than a phone call, and it allows your child to respond on their own terms.
Consider checking in at least once a week at the same time. If you have other kids, encourage them to reach out to your college student as well. Many times, college students are trying to balance both school and family and knowing they have the support of the entire family can help make their transition easier.
Ask the Right Types of Questions
Don’t just ask your child questions they can answer with a quick yes or no. Instead, ask questions that will force them to think about their life. You could ask about the challenges they are facing, if there is a better time of the day for them to study, and whether they are taking the time to take care of themselves. There is a fine line between asking open-ended questions and prying into their lives. Even asking a few questions will help your child see you care about them.