7 Things You MUST Ask Your Kids Before they Leave for College

I wrote a guest post for  the amazing Learning is Funny blog. Check it out:

“I am free, I am free, I am free”

I have heard both parents and teens chant this as they pack up the minivan and leave for college.  Yet, parents often watch their kids leave, with tears in their eyes and forget to cover some essential pre-freshman topics.

1) Money

Your child will most likely call you in the first six months asking for more money.  Often times, kids leave for college without any idea or guidelines about how much money they should be spending and what happens if they need to be bailed out.

Essential Talking points:

“We are giving you ______ per month.”
“You can use our credit card for  everything except ____, ____, _____.  These are things you need to pay for on your own either with your savings or from a job.”
“You _______ have your own credit card.”
“If you are in an emergency and need more money, we will loan/give/not give it to you.”

2) Contact

Many parents have an expectation in their mind that they will talk to their child every few days.  Many teens have the expectation in their mind that they will talk to their parent every few weeks.  Then, both go off to college and both get annoyed with the other for calling too little or too much.

Essential Talking points:

“I would like to talk to you ____per week/month.”
“I must talk to you at the very minimum _____ per week/month.”
“Lets make a regular check-in time of ________(Sunday afternoon at 3pm is usually good)”
“If I do not hear from you, I am warning you now, I will call your resident dorm director.”

3) Vacations

When teens leave home, they feel they have no more rules and boundaries—and maybe they don’t.  But they will come home to visit, rules will return. Talk about this now, before they come home for Thanksgiving and realize they no longer can stay out until 4am.

Essential Talking points:

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  1. Parents Countdown to College Coach » Blog Archive » Will your teen be ready for college? - June 4, 2009

    […] your teen is headed for college in the fall, take a look at this post on Radical Parenting. It gives you some topics to discuss with them before they leave the nest and head off to that […]

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