How to Help Your Child Prepare for University

With the start of university looming, for those who have a child that is getting ready to leave home for the first time, you may be feeling more than a little trepidatious. In fact, if you are 100% honest, you are probably terrified!

Of course, at the same time, you are also excited for them and this new chapter in their lives. All of this is completely normal and understandable, but that doesn’t make the imminent goodbyes any easier.

Fortunately, if you are a parent who is worried about their child going off to university in the upcoming weeks, there are several steps that you can take to help prepare your child for this momentous occasion in their lives.

Teach them how to budget

If your child has not yet been taught how to budget their own money, then now is the ideal time for them to learn. One of the key aspects of university life is working out how to balance your necessary expenditures with your more fun monthly outgoings.

Try not to overwhelm them with complicated spreadsheets and instead simply talk them through the basics of budgeting.

It can also be a good idea to try and determine how your child will cope with having their own money at university (although you may already have some idea). A fun way to do this is by getting them to take this “What kind of fresher are you?” quiz. You may be surprised at their answers!

Plus, this will give you some quality time together, something that you will definitely miss once they have gone.

Offer them cooking lessons

Again, depending on your family, your child might already be able to cook a few simple meals that will stop them from surviving on noodles for the foreseeable future. However, there is always room for more recipes in their repertoire, so why not spend the next week or so teaching them a few nutritious and budget-friendly meals that they can batch cook and keep in their freezer for when they need a quick and easy meal.

Now is also a good time to take them out shopping and buy their utensils and basic cooking appliances if you haven’t already done this, of course!

Have an open discussion

If you think you are worried about your child’s imminent departure, then this is probably nothing compared to how your child is feeling. Not only are they leaving home for the first time, but they will also be taking on a full-on degree and having to make new friends.

Therefore, just before they leave, it can be really helpful to sit down and talk to them about any concerns or worries they may have. Try not to be overbearing or pushy but simply explain that you are here for them if and when needed and that your door (and your phone when they aren’t home) is always open ready for them.

Now, sit back and relax and wait for the bliss that is a quiet house!

Keep up with the top stories from Reader’s Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.