How Do I Help My Child Prepare for College?

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Number one, hands down is how to be resilient.
How to go through hard things, how to adapt.
So the concept here is adaptability.
The ability to adapt to new environments and new stressors.
We know that there's usually high anxiety.
We know that there's high stress in new environments,
and in fact, we also know that the college Campus
counseling center, it's hard to say those Cs all together,
college Campus Counseling Center, they're, they're inundated
with college students needing emotional support.
So the first is the ability to adapt, to change,
and helping your child adapt
to change is helping them prepare the
emotional response to being alone.
Uh, we look at the research on children going into college,
and it's one of the loneliest times
because you're leaving this haven of, of, of a home,
and now you're going into a social world.
That's typically why a lot of college students,
they do things that they normally wouldn't do.
They drink more than they ought to drink,
uh, or should at all.
And what happens to them is they get in trouble
and then they begin to feel ashamed.
They feel embarrassed. They're missing classes,
they're not doing as well as they wanna do.
And so helping our children pre mentally rehearse
and prepare how they're going to adapt to that situation,
helping them get into good relationships
and good friendships, developing rapport there,
getting engaged in, in, in good groups of friends.
So helping them with their social skills of how
to communicate, how to understand people,
those meaningful conversations.
So concept number one is teaching them adaptability.
Number two is the rigors of it.
It is a mentally stressful time, and it's not just
because of the homework, it's because of the social world.
And so, again, we realize as a culture,
and the research is really clear on this,
when people have emotional support, connection,
they're way more likely
to be effective at school and at college.
So human connection really important there.
So really helping them get support.
The other part of it as a parent is helping them understand
that you are there for a support.
If they need to contact you, if they need to message you,
you staying in contact with them
so they know that they have your support.
Now, some kids are like, I'm outta here.
I don't need you, mom and dad.
Just know that I'm always here.
As a parent, you might actually send a
message, Hey, just thinking about you.
Hope you're having a great day if we stay involved.
How did that test go? How, how do you feel about it?
Well, the, it wasn't, it wasn't great.
Okay, tell me about how it went and what was the hard part.
And just having that kind of support
and accountability can be very helpful.
It also helps you as a parent adjust
because when children go to school, you also feel a loss.
I know that because I've sent six of my children to college.
And so from personal experience,
I know there's a loss in emptiness when my children leave.
And so I know that they too feel this empty nest.
And so there's times last year when my
twins, I had two go at the same time. That
Was really not very pleasant.
I had two go at the same time, different colleges.
But there were times where one day in particular,
I was on my way to work and it was literally on my way
to work where my daughter was.
I mean, it was like a three minute off the
interstate to her apartment.
I took her a donut
and said, Hey, just thinking about you, find a way
to stay connected that will help your child adapt.
One final thought, if I can add a fourth
concept, and that is this.
Um, you teach them that they're going to have times
where they don't walk out of a testing center
with the grade they want, and you help them understand that
that's inevitably going to happen.
So when you don't get the grade that you want,
it's not about you, it's about your effort.
You just put in the best effort you can.
And as my wife says, there are times where you have
to realize C's get degrees.

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Dr. Kevin Skinner