For the past 18 years, you’ve had to deliver many important lessons to teach your daughter but in the last few months before she begins attending college and living on her own, she still has much to learn. Consider passing on these lessons to teach your daughter before you drop her off at her dream school on move-in day.
1. Focus on School
With college comes the temptation of constant partying and socializing. That’s why one of the most important lessons to teach your daughter at this point in her life is that it’s imperative she continue focusing on school. Having fun is important too, but what she will be most thankful for in the long run is earning good grades and learning about her field. It’s hard for college freshman to think that far in the future though, which is why you need to remind her.
2. Make Connections
College is a great place and time to make connections that will help your daughter in the future. Future employers, colleagues, and business partners are all around her. There are no benefits of staying in her shell throughout college, but there are infinite benefits of networking and making lasting, valuable connections!
3. Eat a Balanced Diet
Every teenage girl dreads the “freshman fifteen”, and for good reason! Living on your own makes it difficult to avoid unhealthy foods. Plus, on a college budget, it’s easier to survive on a diet of coffee and ramen than on lean meats and organic veggies. Still, you should stress to your daughter how important it is to maintain a balanced diet. She’ll perform better in school, feel better, and stay healthier if she adheres to this advice! Remind her that she can always shop at farmers markets if money is the concern.
4. Join the Right Crowd
College campuses are boiling over with adventurous youths. And while it may seem that everyone there will be a devoted intellectual, that illusion will fade fast once your daughter begins meeting her peers. Encourage your daughter to join the right crowd. She should join clubs, teams, or sororities that are conducive to her learning style as well as her lifestyle so that she doesn’t get herself into too much trouble while she is away.
I’ve yet to meet a college student who doesn’t stress at least a little bit about his or her finances. Before your daughter enters the big bad world without you, teach her a little- or a lot- about budgeting her money. Hopefully, she’ll be able to land a part time job on or off campus so that she will have some income. If this is her first job, make sure she knows her entire paycheck shouldn't be devoted to shopping sprees! Help guide your daughter through making her first budget; she will be thankful!
6. Trusting the Right People
Trust is a strange and confusing thing, especially to teenage girls. Some girls trust no one and always have their guard up. Others are so trusting that they become gullible and find themselves in dreadful situations. In order to be safe but also happy, your daughter must find a middle ground. Reinforce the concept of stranger danger to your daughter and teach her how to be self-reliant, but also reassure her that it’s okay to trust others once you’ve gotten to know them.
7. Ask for Help
Lastly, it’s critical that you remind your daughter that she can always ask for help. Sure, she’s technically an adult now and she has to fight a lot of battles herself, but let her know that you’re still her mother. Make sure she knows that she can call or visit you when she needs to, and that you’re full of many more amazing lessons to teach her!
Watching your daughter leave home is just as hard as leaving home as a young, scared teenager. Still, this should be an exciting time for the whole family, and as long as you’ve instilled these important lessons in your daughter before she leaves, you can rest a little bit easier. What other important lessons do you plan on teaching your daughter?