Transition to uni can be challenging for both teens and their parents, but with the right support before and during, things can go smoothly.
With both parties having to navigate a new normal potentially hundreds of miles apart, what can parents do to help ease the transition and give their teens the tools and knowledge they need to help them start living independently?
Consider Their Safety
Safety is a huge concern for many parents. Not knowing who your child is talking to, where they are going or what will happen can be worrying. However, sitting down and talking to them about different situations and how to approach them can be helpful for everyone. Simple things such as not drinking and driving or getting in the car with a drunk driver, how to get home in the event they are too intoxicated to be out, guarding your drinks or knowing what to do in the event of unwanted attention can be helpful for teens and provide some peace of mind for parents.
Visit The Uni Beforehand
Spend some time in the local area and learn the route between accommodation and the uni or their part-time work and uni/home. Aim to visit a couple of times before moving so you can get to know the local transport links, nightlife, amenities and more. The more you know about the site before you move there, the easier the transition will be and the more familiar you will be with the area your child is moving to.
Help Them To Pack
Your child will need a whole host of items they might not have realised. Things such as kettles, cutlery, dinnerware, cooking utensils, tea towels etc., are often overlooked as typically you will be the one providing this at home. Helping them make sure they have everything they need for a comfortable life can be a great way to help them settle in. Transition to uni can be tricky without the essentials in place first.
Teach them how to pack effectively for when they come home too and look at student storage options for when they are home, so their belongings are safe, especially during the long summer break.
Teach Them Basic Skills
Everyone needs essential skills to help them live independently or with others. After all, you won’t be there with them. Being self-sufficient is a vital adult skill, from learning how to make basic meals and budget their income to cleaning up after themselves, maintaining their living space, and doing laundry.
Allow them to practise at home before leaving instead of just telling them what to do so they’re familiar with different appliances and settings.
Support With Timekeeping
Your teen will need to know how to manage their time effectively to make it to class on time, meetings, appointments, and work if they have a job. Without these skills, transition to uni can be tough. Knowing how long different activities can take, such as commutes, will help them better plan their day, so they don’t miss essential lessons, shifts at work, etc. They will be solely responsible for getting up each day, scheduling their day, and ensuring they have the time to fit in everything they need to do.
Ensuring that these five things have all been put in place prior to starting uni can really help to improve your child’s experience of higher education. Good luck!