Every parent wants to be their child’s best friend, but serving simultaneously parent and friend can be a challenge. Setting a good example is hard in itself and becomes more difficult with each birthday your child has. You may think at times the only rules they have to listen to are their own, but if they are still living under your roof, even if it’s only during school breaks, they will not be pleased with your authority. Remember you are the parent, it is your job.
There’s a time to be a pal and a time to be a parent and when it comes time to talk finances, grades and living arrangements, playtime is over. If your child signs up for a credit card and runs up a huge bill they can’t afford, you will probably sit down with them and determine how they are going to pay for this costly mistake. Ideally, you’d want to go through school-related purchases; anything else – take-out, clothing, or extracurricular expenses – is their responsibility. If they still can’t pay down the amount, set up a schedule that will allow them to pay you back little by little. They may need to pick up a part-time or work-study job to do so. Instead of using credit cards, you can suggest a stipend for each semester. Once your child exhausts these funds, they will be on their own financially until the next break so they will be more likely to learn the importance of money management earlier on in their college career.
Typically, grades are released a few weeks after final exams through the mail and online, in your child’s name. If you are paying tuition, you’ll surely want to see if your money is going to good use. When grades are lower than expected, don’t automatically assume your child skipped classes and neglected to study; average to sub-par grades during the first few semesters are often due to the difference between college classes and high school classes and it’s likely your child is still learning the proper study skills needed to succeed. If poor grades continue into sophomore year, however, your child may not be trying their hardest or is neglecting classwork in favor of outside distractions. This is when you need to discuss the possibility of your child using a tutor or visiting professors and teaching assistants during their office hours to review the material. Unless your child lives with you, you won’t be able to tell if they are taking the steps necessary to improve their grades so if their marks continue to spiral downward, it’s time to consider having them move home, transfer or take a semester off. They may not be thrilled with the prospect of leaving the life they’ve made for themselves on campus but it will be worth it if their grades and enthusiasm for school improve from doing so.
Your child is technically an adult now but they’re a long way from knowing the answer to every question. As a parent, you too may not know what to do in every scenario but by remaining firm in your decisions, your child will learn by example and remember these lessons next time they find themselves in a difficult situation. Parents focused more on befriending their children than discipline allows their children to end up poorly prepared when dealing with the realities of life. Although your child may say they hate you for it, but they will appreciate it when they see your teachings to good use.
Latest College & Financial Aid News
November 18, 2021
When asked the question, “Who was your favorite teacher or coach growing up?” For most anyone, an image of that educator’s face immediately pops up in their mind. What was it about that person that made them stand out? Maybe it was the way they encouraged or inspired you as no others had previously done. Perhaps they saw something in you that helped you to gain the confidence to achieve a goal that had once seemed unattainable. The truth is, there are as many answers to this question as there are people in this world. One common denominator unites them: it all started with the foundation of mutual respect and trust this individual established with you. [...]
November 12, 2021
Since the beginning of our nation, Native Americans and Indigenous communities have been a powerful influence on modern U.S. society. Although art, beadwork, music and dancing may first come to mind when you think of Native American contributions to today’s culture, did you know that many of the foods we consider to be staples, such as potatoes, wild rice, beans, corn, and peanuts were first grown and harvested by Native Americans? Not only that, but Native American groups also taught European settlers some of their farming techniques to help them survive and live off of the land, many of those practices are still used today. American Indians were also the inventors of goods we rely on every day, like topical pain relievers, baby bottles, and even rubber products. [...]
November 8, 2021
Are you a high school student looking for opportunities to help others around you and set yourself apart on college applications? With the holiday season in full swing, this is the perfect time to start your search for volunteering opportunities in your area. Along with strengthening ties to your community, serving as a volunteer demonstrates to colleges that you have given your time and energy to help those in need, and that you have applied the knowledge you’ve gained in your studies to real-world settings. Many college applications and scholarships have a minimum number of community service hours that their applicants must complete in order to be eligible. But just because it is a requirement, doesn’t mean it cannot also be a meaningful experience. [...]