The Conversation You Need to Have with Your Kid Before They Leave for College
College is an exciting time for children and an emotional one for you. You spend weeks buying all the necessities they need to take with them, stress the importance of calling home, and hope they’ll be able to look after themselves properly. Unfortunately, there is one more thing you need to do – have The Talk with them, and there are two main subjects: health and safety.
Maintain their Health
College is a stressful time for any student and most look for the convenient eat-out option. Unfortunately, that often means burgers, pizzas, and fast food; not the best for any student, and it can quickly pile on the pounds. So, it’s essential to speak with your child about their health and wellbeing.
You shouldn’t be afraid to approach the following subjects:
- Eating a Healthy Meal
- Avoid Snacks Late at Night
- The Importance of Portion Control
- Healthy Outlets for Stress
- The Dangers of Drugs and Alcohol
Students aren’t known for their clean-living habits, so you need to stress just how important it is to take care of themselves.
Don’t Skirt Past the Issue of Mental Health
Parents never want to consider the emotional toll college has on a child because it’s a frightening prospect. Unfortunately, students are under immense pressure and it may take a toll on their mental health. Poor mental wellness can create problems with self-care, school attendance, and even socialization.
Nearly half of all students have some form of anxiety, while a third feel depressed. The National College Health Association has conducted research between poor mental health and suicide. So, you need to ensure your child understands the need to take care of their mental wellbeing.
It’s important you talk to your child about the potential warning signs, which include:
- A Loss of Interest
- Being Less Social
- Changes in Attitude
- Being Afraid
- A Change to their Sleeping Habits
- A Change to their Eating Habits
Knowing the early warning signs can potentially save a life, so stress the point to your child.
The Talk About Safe Sex
You probably don’t embrace the idea of talking about sex to your children; however, that is a talk every parent needs to have. If you’ve had ‘the talk’ already, that’s great; however, it’s a good idea to stress the issue of safe sex again. Remember, this is the child’s first real venture into the world, and they can get overexcited and make some awful decisions.
It’s important the child understands the difference between forceable and consensual sex. While it’s an uncomfortable subject to talk about, college-bound children must understand the seriousness of their actions. They need to know the emotional, moral, and sometimes legal, consequences of sex. You also need to discuss sex and pregnancy.
Give your child the facts of sex, including:
- Safe Sex and Using Protection
- The Physical and Emotional Consequences of Casual Sex
- No Means No, and Never Being Pressurized into Having Sex
- Using the Buddy System to Stay Safe at Parties
- The Feelings of Sex
- How to Stay Safe on Dates
- How the Body’s Reproduction System Works
- What They Should Do If they’re a victim of assault or rape
These are not the easiest of topics to discuss with children at any age, but you must as it’s important for them to understand sex in all its forms. You can’t hold their hand throughout their education, but you can give them the knowledge to understand sex in greater detail.
Of course, it’s still important to encourage good grades and having fun at college. Stress you’re there for them, regardless of what they want to discuss. Your home is their home, and always will be. It goes a long way in reassuring a child.
Send them Off Ready for College Life
College is an exciting time for your child. It’s a new chapter in their life and they need to be prepared so that they are confident with anything college life throws at them. Preparing the child for college is important and you may feel a little less nervous too.