Considering that school for many of our teenagers is going to end soon and they will be off to college, we decided to bring on Dr. David Henderson who is a board-certified psychiatrist at Four Stones here in Dallas.
As parents, one thing we need to keep in mind when it comes to the transition for our kids is that it’s a totally different world in terms of academics and social environment. They often enter into the college world completely unprepared and parents end up being blindsided because of how difficult the transition is for their teenagers.
If you are worried that your teenager may not be ready to go, there are 3 ways to determine if they are capable of handling that next step in college:
- Academic Skills – Do they read at a good level and observing literature as they should be, are they writing well with well-thought-out points, and are their math skills at the level they need to be to handle adult tasks?
- Basic Life Skills – Are they able to cook for themselves, can they do their own laundry, and how do they handle normal adult social interactions? (Handling their own appointments, paperwork, etc.)
- Reading – Studies show that teenagers that read a lot are much more successful in college and academic settings.
If a teenager is not ready to go, there are specific things that they can do to be ready.
At the end of the day, the parent that is afraid of the idea of sending their kids away needs to trust what they have already instilled into the life of your teenager. It’s easy for us as parents to be critical since we’re with our kids all the time so we often see a lot of the bad. However, you need to recognize that your teenager has had very positive things instilled into them because you loved them, cared for them, and wanted them to be successful. Even though you are sending them away and don’t have direct access to them, you can still set parameters in their life that will reign them in.
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