One minute you are celebrating the fact they just rolled over or took their first steps, and the next you are preparing to send them off to college. It is terrifying how quick they grow up, for both parties in all honesty, and that is why it is so important for us dads to get involved in as much of the process as possible. Yes, their prospective induction day could be an entire summer away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do the Dad thing of being (over) protective and ensuring they have all they need from bits and bobs to words of wisdom they need before flying the nest. Dad, this is your time to shine. Trust us.
Google The College
This is likely going to be the first time your kid stands on their own two feet, and that means it is going to be an incredibly overwhelming experience. To reduce that impact, sit down with them and look at their college online, and really explore the academic side of things. What their course offers, possible majors and minors, anything that will make it easier when they start.
Their Tech Needs
The days of pencil and paper are all but gone, so it is worth investing in tech that will improve their abilities. A laptop is a wonderful place to start seeing they’ll really need one in order to blossom, while a tablet for taking notes and recordings in class could be helpful. On the software side, Microsoft offers great discounts to students, so make sure you go down this route. And get security software installed, and some backup software too.
Dress Up Their Dorm
Those four magnolia walls and a single bed can become real small really quick, and can even detract from your kid’s college experience too. Don’t let this happen. Get some local movers to take those creature comforts from your home to their new home away from home, and if there is anything they want but don’t have then dip into your pocket a little. Some speakers, a nice office chair, a bean bag or two, a funky desk lamp and some art. Make them feel at home.
Have the Talk
This isn’t something a parent wants to hear, but it is nonetheless important. As a parent, it is your responsibility to teach them to be responsible and that means discussing the risks of college life. Drinking too much. Partying too hard. Sexual responsibilities. Drug abuse. Lack of sleep and lack of discipline. Your life experiences need to be shared here. Freedom can be overwhelming and it can be easy to lose your way a bit.
As a society, we don’t talk about finances enough. Even though it is one of the most important parts of life, we don’t learn about money at school. As such, make sure you sit down with your son or daughter and make a plan to prepare for the realities. You could agree to pay tuition and travel home, but that still leaves accommodation, laundry, food, bills, books and pizza, to mention just a few. Figure out what these will cost each month and whether they will need to get a part-time job to compensate this. Don’t force them too, though. Studying is more important than flipping burgers.