Practical Tips for Preparing Your Children for College (It’s Coming Quickly)



You are celebrating kindergarten graduation and can’t even believe it is already happening.  Fast forward 13 years later and now they are walking the stage to receive their high school diploma. How did we get here so quickly? Is my child ready for the next chapter?

For parent and child, this is a very transitional time. At 5 years old they don’t have the option to leave home to start 1st grade. Many of our children make the decision to live on a college campus at 18 years old. Even if they choose to live at home, the world still considers them an adult. They want the title of adult. Are we ready to give it to them? 

Back to school shopping for the dorm room is a fun part of the college experience.  But it is a very small piece of the equation in preparing our children for college.

Their World is About to Get Much Bigger

When my son entered 6th grade, he dealt with anxiety. It was so bad that he would throw up every morning. He had never reacted this way in preschool or elementary so I did not know how to help him. We decided to let him see a trained professional. The therapist explained to me that his world had grown from 800 students in elementary to a middle school with 1200 and he could not control the unknowns he was facing. But a key statement the therapist said to me was, “Be thankful this is happening now, and not when you leave him on a college campus someday.” That stuck with me as 7 years later, he went to college in Illinois – very far from his home in Miami.  

Corey graduates college with his wife and mom!!!

Decision Making for Toddlers

Some ways to prepare our children is to allow your two-year-old to learn to make some decisions on his/her own.  Begin small, like outfit for the day or what books we will read at bedtime. Learning along the way helps it to not be so overwhelming as a young adult. When they are under our wing we can tend to jump in and save them but we may not be there when they oversleep for that College 101 class.  Why not allow our 12-year-old to set their alarm and get themselves up each morning for school? The consequence of oversleeping at 12 may not weigh as heavy as it does at 22.  

There are No Stupid Questions

Another way in preparing our children for college is to encourage your child that it is always ok to ask questions.  And there is always someone that they can talk with. It is very natural that they are pulling away from the parentals to find their place in the world. So, it may not be their parents that they come to in a time of need or not knowing. But there is someone to speak with and ask those questions that they don’t have answers to…the important thing is choosing the wise inner circle. It is ok to not have all the answers. None of us have all the answers and it’s good to be a life-long learner.

Amber’s graduates from F.I.U. in 2013!

I prayed that their belief system would stand firm on the foundation their father and I set for them. Students without a firm foundation seem to lose their way in college. Making those decisions and even failing at three & thirteen helps them to learn and become stronger. In life, it is not if the problems will come, but when. Let’s begin early to teach them skills they will need so they can experience some of the best years of their college life!

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Holly Farver
Holly has built her life around the value of family first. She is a native of Miami and has lived between Hialeah and Cooper City over the years. She is happily married to her husband of 36 years. They have two adult children that are both married with a child each. Pouring into the next generation is a passion she and her husband share as they both work in local public schools. Entering the season of being a Mimi has been exciting and she loves the giggles of toddler grandchildren. Holly’s faith is very important to her and she enjoys serving her community through the local ministries led by her children. Holly also loves music, reading, traveling and sweet tea. Her heart is to share with other mom’s that the role of motherhood can be hard, but she is living proof of the great rewards to come. You are welcome to follow along her journey of faith and family @hollefarv on Instagram.