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How to Prepare for Your Child Leaving for College


You never stop being a mom, but the role changes as your child grows. When they're finally reaching college-age, you're faced with the reality that you won't be there every single day to cook their meals, do their laundry, and be their backup call. Your job is far from over, but it can still be tough accepting the fact that your baby is now a burgeoning, certified grown-up. To make the transition easier, it's helpful to plan ahead and be involved in the college-prep process. This starts in high school and spans beyond, giving you time to adjust and embrace this new chapter of motherhood.

Talk About Different Schooling Options

Don't assume your teen has it all figured out. Even if they're passionate about going to art school in New York, there could be closer opportunities worth exploring as well. A lot of young adults feel pressured to choose the perfect school and earn a degree from a particular institution. But the fact of the matter is that where you study is often less important than how well you perform and what you learn during your program.

Discuss different options with your child. Maybe they aren't even fully sure if they want to live in a dorm and just assumed they had to. Even if you would like them to stay local, make sure that you accept the fact life could be calling them elsewhere for the time being. Support their decision to move away for school as long as they also know what relocating across the country entails.

Get Finances Squared Away

Will your child be working, relying on savings or still turning to you for spending money in college? This is okay for some moms while others believe moving out means cutting financial ties. Every family is different, and it's okay to set your own rules. When it comes to tuition and other expenses, you should discuss loans with your child if they're part of their college life. You can become a cosigner on your child's student loan to assist with approval. This will give them access to greater financing throughout their college career, and there are options to remove yourself as a cosigner after they're financially stable through private refinancing.

Make Your Own Plans

Don't let your baby moving away become the sole focus of your existence. While it is hard to let them go off on their own, this also means you'll have more time to do things for yourself. Being a mom doesn't have to mean being busy all the time or constantly consumed by your children's needs. They are eager to start living their own lives, and when they fly the nest, you may be able to nurture areas you've neglected over the years.

Having plans for your child's departure can also help you balance your natural sadness with some anticipation and excitement. Maybe you'll take a weekend trip with your partner or leave for an entire summer break in a foreign country. You could transform old spaces into new ones like your own yoga studio or mini-library. The future still has plenty in store for you and your family; don't let the impending shift in dynamics give you tunnel vision.

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