Helping Your Kids Succeed in College

Have you ever heard that kids grow up in the blink of an eye? Well, it seems there might be some truth to it. One day we’re bringing our kids home for the first time, and before we know it, we’re packing them up to send them off to college. But if you’re like many parents, you start thinking about the day when they move out long before you begin touring colleges and discussing their hopes and dreams.

So how can you make sure those thoughts are constructive and positive? Check out our list of 10 things you can do now to contribute to your child’s success in college.

1. Share a love of learning.

College is about more than learning how to do a job. College is about learning valuable life skills, including making new friends, interacting with other professionals, and embracing change. That said, parents who take the time to learn (or relearn) with their children not only indirectly encourage their children to embrace a passion for learning but also get to spend quality time with their kids. So be sure to take time to help your child develop a passion for learning early on.

2. Teach your child how to ask for help.

It can be hard asking for help. And unfortunately we are less likely to ask for it when we need it most. Teach your children the importance of seeking help when they need it. This is about more than reaching out when they can’t figure out a tough problem. It’s also about knowing who to ask depending on the need. Children should know that it is acceptable to ask for help from someone other than a parent when it makes sense for them to do so.

3. Allow your child to grow their social and emotional skills.

Mature social and emotional skills are harder to develop than we might think, especially in a world of helicopter parenting. Some of the best ways to help your children practice these skills are by following their interests, teaching them how to ask questions, role-playing various social situations, teaching empathy, and knowing their limits. Encouraging your child to think for themselves and be more comfortable interacting with others are skills that will serve them well for years to come.

4. Encourage your middle schooler to learn critical skills.

Middle school is a time of transition. Unfortunately it’s also a time when peer pressure can get in the way of critical decision-making and cloud their judgment. Encourage your children to practice real-world skills, such as monotasking, studying (everyone studies a bit differently), prioritizing responsibilities, leveraging strengths to overcome shortcomings, and reading and writing effectively.

5. Talk to your kids about their goals for high school.

After middle school comes high school, and a whole new world of experiences and pressures will present itself. So long before high school begins, take some quality time with your child and talk to them about their high school goals. Typical plans for high schoolers include mastering time management, learning how to select a balanced course load, being active outside of the classroom, participating in class, taking care of themselves, learning to say no, finding their passions, and building a support network. Learning these skills in high school will play a critical role in ensuring success in college.

6. Pursue extracurricular activities.

Though academics are essential, middle school and high school are about far more than sticking noses in textbooks. Pursuing extracurricular activities early on will help make work-life balance (or student-life balance) a way of life as your child moves on to college. Whether it be sports, the school newspaper, theater, band, or whatever else they choose, pursuing extracurricular activities now not only looks great on your child’s college application but also encourages participation in other activities later in life.

7. Don’t feel the need to do it all for them.

Children need to know that it is acceptable to fail sometimes. Failing can often lead to the best successes in life. When we jump in, whether we are helicopter parents or not, we teach our children that they don’t have to push themselves as hard. Parents can teach their children that it is okay to fail and, in doing so, will teach their children about the importance of figuring things out for themselves. When we let our kids fail, we show them that it is okay to take risks and that failure is part of everyday life. By knowing how to fail properly, we can pick ourselves up and become stronger for it.

8. Let your children figure out who they are.

It’s great to have hopes and dreams for your children, but sometimes we inadvertently push them to be who we think they should be instead of allowing them to figure out who they are. Each child is unique and has their own skills and traits to offer the world. Allowing them to be their own person will help set them up for success in college and beyond.

9. Teach them how to take care of their overall health.

When it comes to creating good health habits, we need to start young. For example, we teach our children how to brush and floss their teeth when they are young. We teach them how to bathe and practice good hygiene. We take them to the doctor for well-child examinations and to the dentist for preventive dental cleanings. When we teach our children how to properly care for themselves early on, they are far more likely to practice those same habits later in life.

10. Have your child show off their pearly whites.

There are a myriad of benefits to smiling, but sadly some people aren’t comfortable flashing their pearly whites. If your child has a reason not to smile, take time to discover why and work with them to turn that frown upside down. If your child needs teeth whitening or dental crowns, why not go to the best cosmetic dentist in Dallas? Dallas Cosmetic Dental’s services include general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry. This means that we can help your child achieve their best smile. In doing so your child will be more comfortable than ever flashing their smile, and their self-confidence will grow.

Request an appointment with Dallas Cosmetic Dental today.

If your child needs a smile makeover to boost their confidence and set them up for success in college, then Dallas Cosmetic Dental can help. A winning smile is a great way to foster success personally and professionally, and you can bet that it will help during your child’s college years. Please request an appointment using our online form. We can’t wait to meet you and your child.

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