My baby is going to Harvard

 In College

Ok, not everyone is going to Harvard, but you do want your child to get into one of the many other great schools that would be a perfect fit. Preparing a child for college is a team effort, and parents have an important role to play. If you want your child to have the best shot at a great college, here are three things you can do to help…

Teamwork Makes Raheem Work

Partner with your child’s education team. That includes his teachers, administrators, after-school team and coaches. Be sure to be aligned with your child’s school on academic expectations, supports needed and special programs offered. When all the adults pull in the same direction, it becomes easier to move a child in the right direction. Preparation for college starts as soon as your child enters school. Making sure that your child comes to school every day prepared to learn builds a strong foundation.

“Wait…I only have class on Tuesdays and Thursdays?!”

For most students, college will be the first time that they manage their own time. The loss of structure is one of the most difficult aspects of the transition to college. Do you know what goes through the mind of an 18-year-old college student when she finds out that she only has to be in class on Tuesdays and Thursdays? Naturally, she thinks that she has nothing but free time on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. To avoid the consequences of this logic, it is important to help your child develop good habits from the minute she starts school. Help your children develop the soft skills that will help them achieve success. Recovering from mistakes, communicating effectively, setting goals, and managing independent time are a few of the soft skills that you can work on as a family. Give your children opportunities to manage their own time. Co-create schedules and hold them accountable for what they commit to. Even when they get to high school, review homework with them. Encourage them to really think about how they are using their free time.

Put the superhero cape away (but keep it close by just in case):

Let’s face it…no one wants to watch their child make a mistake… especially not if the super-mom cape is nearby. If your child does not learn how to deal with failure and recover from setbacks early in life, then doing so in college will be difficult. As a parent, you have to decide what is best for your child. When your child is alone on a college campus, she will have to make some really difficult decisions. Providing the safe space for that to happen early in life will help.

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