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Parenting, Caring, Procreate

 

5 Steps You Can Take To Ensure Your Kids Are Ready For College

College may be many years away… or it may be just around the corner. Whether your kids are 6 or 16, it is important that you prepare them for college long before the time comes for them to attend.

For many children going to college is a rite of passage. For others it is an unknown, a world of mystery.

You never know, your child may not even be sure if they want to attend college to begin with.

You’ll never know if you don’t take the time to sit down and talk with y...

College may be many years away… or it may be just around the corner. Whether your kids are 6 or 16, it is important that you prepare them for college long before the time comes for them to attend.

For many children going to college is a rite of passage. For others it is an unknown, a world of mystery.

You never know, your child may not even be sure if they want to attend college to begin with.

You’ll never know if you don’t take the time to sit down and talk with your kids about college. While you are doing this, you should also consider participating in 5 steps that will help prepare your kids for college long before that first monumental day.

Step 1: Communicate with your child about their goals and dreams. You have to keep the lines of communication open at all times. If you never talk to your child about what they want to do later in life, you won’t have a sense of what their goals, dreams and aspirations are. If on the other hand you regularly engage your children in conversations about education and their future, you’ll learn early on the types of studies that might interest them and can help them make important decisions about their college career when the time comes.

Step 2: Stay involved in education. You have to be involved in your child’s education from day one. It’s not enough to take an active interest their first day of college. Ask them how they are doing in school regularly, talk with them about the classes they like and the ones they are struggling with. They will be more likely to lean on you for support during their college years.

Step 3: Encourage your children to explore new things and subjects early. Don’t wait until they are about to head off to college to encourage them to try new things. Start when they are young. Expose them to different subjects, music, sports and other creative activities so they have a chance to experience as much of the world as possible before they make the giant leap to college.

Step 4: Don’t push. You should be available for your children when they have questions about college or pursuing a career, but you shouldn’t be overly aggressive about pushing them toward attending or even going to a particularly school. Why? Your efforts may actually backfire and you may find that your teenager decides to forgo an education all together, not because they aren’t interested, but because they want to defy your strict orders.

Step 5: Teach your child to start saving early. College is expensive. As time goes on your child may find themselves spinning a wheel of deeper and deeper debt. Teach them to be financially responsible early on by helping them set up a savings account. It doesn’t have to be for school or college only, but it will help teach them the value of saving a dollar. While you are at it, save some money too.

Preparing your children for college is a big step, but a worthy one. You’re children will thank you one day for taking time out of your schedule to help them through their college years.

 

A Teen Life Coach on the College Homesick Blues

A teen life coach offers tips for college freshmen on the process of adjusting to being away from home for the first time.

teen life coach,college life coach,life coac

Leaving home and beginning your college career can be absolutely wonderful and extremely stressful. So whether you are a senior in high school preparing to go to college or you are at college looking for information about how to adjust to this huge change that has become your life, the following advice from an experienced teen life coaching may be for you.

You are entering college, a new world. You have left everything that is familiar to you behind, including, your family, friends, and school, community and your dog and cat. You may be an hour away by car or six hours away by plane. You are feeling out of sorts, lonely, too much time on your hands, awkward, etc.… Your roommates are not saying any of this out loud and neither are you.

You want to call home and tell your parents that you just made the biggest mistake of your life and they should get in the car immediately or send you a ticket to come home. However, as you look around at the upper classmen, they look like they are okay, have it all together, wow- they even have friends! You are determined to figure out what is going on with you. “Why am I so homesick?” you wonder.

The first thing I want you to know is that your feelings are 100% normal and that the majority of freshman are experiencing exactly the same thing that you are. I have put together for you a list of things you can do to feel better.

This is not a recipe, with each ingredient dependent on the other, rather these are choices you can make to make this huge transition into college life and get rid of the homesick blues.

• Talk with your roommates about what you are feeling. Most likely they are feeling it, too.

• Stay in touch with your family and friends, but not in place of college activities.

• Write an email to a friend at another college and share your feelings, compare notes.

• Do something you enjoy like, exercise, art, writing, reading, and taking a walk. Don’t sit around your dorm

room alone waiting for life to happen.

• Ask someone to go the cafeteria with you for a meal. No one wants to eat alone.

• Try to eat in moderation (watch the junk food), get enough sleep (invest in a good set of earplugs) and watch your intake of alcohol and drugs, which can all act as depressants. (In your effort to take a break from your depressive thoughts, using drugs can throw you into even a more depressed mood.)

• Give your self-time, don’t put yourself down. You are entering a new phase of your life.

Sometimes teens can’t get going. If you feel that you need an extra push, nudge, support, consider a free Teen Life Coaching session. In one 45-minute call you could develop a plan to help you on your way to ridding the College Homesick Blues.

 

Saving For Your Childs College Education

Paying for college is one of the largest expenses a parent will face in their lifetime, other than paying for a house. Because of this, care needs to be taken as well as special planning and allocations of finances in order to take the burden away from this expense. Starting early is the best option, even when your child is a toddler is not too soon. Consider the following timeline for saving for your child’s college education.

When college is 15 years or more away, then y...

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Paying for college is one of the largest expenses a parent will face in their lifetime, other than paying for a house. Because of this, care needs to be taken as well as special planning and allocations of finances in order to take the burden away from this expense. Starting early is the best option, even when your child is a toddler is not too soon. Consider the following timeline for saving for your child’s college education.

When college is 15 years or more away, then you should open and education IRA that will allow you to save conservatively for your child’s college. Also, since there is a lot of time before your child will need the money this is the time to invest in aggressive funds or stocks. As the time for college nears, you will want to save money in conservative ways, but now is ok to be aggressive if you wish.

When college is 10-15 years away for your child, then there are some additional things you can do. First, consider prepaid tuition plans that allow you to pay for college over a period of time before your child ever reaches the first day of school. The problem with this is you take the decision away from your child of which college they want to attend. Also, talk to your accountant about different savings plans your state offers for college savings. More than likely, there are some plans that will help you meet your savings needs or receive tax breaks. Also, make sure your portfolio is more secure and stabilized. Try to get your investments in order and start saving more conservatively.
At the five to 10 year mark, you will need to start moving your money into different accounts or bonds. For example, bonds are a good option as well as fixed income. If you are unsure, talk to a financial planner to help you make the decision.
When there are only five more years until your child enters college, make sure your investments are safe and secure and not in any aggressive funds. This is the time to guard the money rather than risk it on aggressive markets.

If you realize that even though you have been saving for more than 15 years, you will not have enough money to pay for your child’s tuition, you can consider different student loans that do not need to be paid back while the child is enrolled in school and that have low interest rates. There are loans available for the parent as well as the child, so whatever works for your family is the best option.

Also, once your child is actively enrolled in college there are different tax breaks that you can file on your tax return that will help out significantly.When it comes to paying for college, starting early and making a plan is the best way to go about it.

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