When your child is no longer a child and is very much a teenager instead, parenting as you know it definitely changes. While you would have had one set of responsibilities and views on parenting years before, you can often find that things are quite different now. Once, you would have been the main provider and done everything for your child. Now, your role is much more of the supportive cheerleader that is looking to guide, rather than smother. You also have to think about dealing with very different subject matters too. One of which is college.

Now, not every child, parent, or family knows which college will be in their future - although some definitely do. It’s not always easy to know if college is on the cards. But as a parent, it’s safe to say that your role here is to guide them, steer them in the right direction with what they want to do after school, and prepare them for what to expect. If you went to college, things might be a bit different, but the approach will largely be the same. So whether your teen is fifteen or seventeen, you are going to be able to help them with their college preparations, application, and generally get them ready for this next phase of their life. So let’s take a look at what you can do.

Supporting The Application Process
First of all, the very first thing you’re going to want to do is to think about supporting their application process. Because a huge part of parenting is helping with schooling, keeping them on track, encouraging their extracurriculars, and generally helping them to do what they need to do to get into their adult years. Make sure that you help them research, that you work with them on their applications, and that you’re really there for them during the stress of the process.

Visiting Schools
As a part of that process, and the idea of applying to college in general, is picking out the schools. Even if you all kind of know which school they want to go to, it’s always good to go out and visit to then figure out what you want to do. Sometimes, they will have a few schools in the mind and then change their opinions after visiting. At the same time, they may fall in love with a different school after paying a random visit. So make sure you see a range of places to help them pick out the right place.

Teaching New Skills
When your kid goes off to college, they’re going to be more independent than they’ve ever been before. So, you’re going to want to make sure they have as many skills as possible. Make sure they take the American Safety Council learners permit test and drive, can cook, and know how to do laundry as a minimum. When you know they’re a little more independent, you’ll know they’ll handle college life easily.

Improving Their Independence
From here, you’re also going to want make sure that they’re happy being a bit more independence. Leave them in charge of the house every so often, encourage them to travel a bit, and try to push them into feeling comfortable taking care of themselves a bit more.

Build Their Experience
Next, they then need to have some experience to help them with their applications. Take a look into the Live Career first job tips, sign them up to volunteer, and recommend internships that will help them with their applications. If they want to stand out, this is often a good way for them to do it.

Guide Their Goals
It’s also going to be handy for you to work on their career goals together. If they know what they want to do after college, it’s never too early to get started. Think about what they want to do and where they hope to work and then work backwards. Knowing what their career will look like is a great way to figure out what you can do now to get them there. And it’s also healthy to get them into a goal setting frame of mind to benefit their career in the future.

Balancing School With Work
It may also good for them to get a part time job at the weekends or during the holidays. This is a great way for them to put something extra on their applications, but also get them used to the idea of working through college too. Choosing to do so can help them to earn some extra cash, continue to build up their experience, and get used to life in the working world.