How You Can Help Your Child Make the Right Education Choices
As a parent, you want nothing but the best for your child. It starts from birth and continues well into their adult years. Of course, as they get older, it’s no longer you that is making the choices for them, yet you can still be supportive and helpful in those major life moments. Choosing the right education is exactly one of those moments in life where ultimately it is up to them regarding which path they take, but you can certainly help them, offer support, and ensure they have all the tools needed to make an informed decision.
If your child is currently trying to make up their mind as to where to attend university or college, what courses to take, and so forth, now is the time for parents to step up to the plate and help in any way possible. These tips and advice will ensure that you’re able to help in an effective manner.
Remember, It Is Their Choice to Make
This first tip is ultimately the most important, but it can be the hardest to come to terms with. Your child’s education choices and path are just that – their choice. This is their moment to tap into what makes them happy, what challenges them, what skills they possess, their strengths, and what would interest them. You can certainly be there to listen to them and offer support, but this is a journey they need to make on their own.
Parents can often be guilty of pushing a child into a degree, career, or even school that they think would be ideal, but that may not mesh with what their child – who is a grown child at this point – wants.
Help Them with Their Research
One actionable thing you can be doing is helping them with their research. Let’s say, for example, they ask, ‘what does undergraduate and postgraduate mean?’ There is a very clear distinction here, so you can certainly help them to understand better. For example, the two of you can research together such important topics as the benefits of an integrated Masters, what subjects would even be available as an integrated Masters, what upgrades would be available, and more.
Visit the Campuses with Them
Once your child narrows down the list of possible contenders, you could also schedule campus visits with them. A campus visit will give them a better look at what life would be like at university or college. It’s also a good way to tour the facilities to figure out if it has the kind of tools, equipment, and environment that would be helpful for them and the future career path they hope to take.
Don’t forget to also tour the surrounding area, as there is no doubt that they will venture off campus for such things as dining, entertainment, shopping, and even a little sight-seeing if it’s a new to them city/town. This is exactly why some cities and towns are considered top university cities.
You’ll want to pay close attention to such things as proximity to public transportation, if it is a walkable city/town, how safe it is, how far housing/accommodations are from the school, if all the basic amenities are within walking distance, and so forth.
Support Them Through the Application and Waiting Process
Perhaps the most stressful part of the entire experience is the application and waiting process. After carefully filling out the applications to the schools of their choosing, they will be left waiting to hear back from each school. This can be a very stressful time, especially if they had their eyes set on one or two schools in particular. Clearly, they are hoping to be accepted at their top choice school, especially after all the research they have done.
Just remember to be kind and show patience through this process, as they are no doubt feeling the stress. No matter the outcome, let them know you are there to support them, and you are very proud of them.
Help Your Child Sort Through the Offers and Pick a Winner
Next comes the sorting of offers. If your child is accepted into more than one school, it will be time to weigh the options. Again, you can be that ear to listen, you can offer tips and advice, and of course your support in whatever decision they make.
The Opportunity to Play a Big Role
While the choice of program and school ultimately comes down to your child, as a parent, you will still have a very large role in the education choice they make.