Perhaps, there’s nothing more difficult than guiding your kids through what college course to take. As much as you want them to choose the best path for themselves, it’s hard to watch them get confused about where they want to take their lives. So, here you are, in the middle of the night, researching and researching about what courses have the best careers after college. But is that what you want for your kids? For their courses to be reliant on how much they will make after graduation? Don’t you want them to pursue their passions and interests?
It’s hard not to talk about money when it comes to picking a college course to take. After all, you’re either taking out a huge loan for your kids’ college tuition or your kids are going to be in so much debt for the next years to afford their university of choice. It’s only practical to think about how you and them are going to pay off the student loans. And yet, it feels bad to consider money when your kids’ future is on the line.
Seek Professional Help
Whenever you feel boxed in the corner, seek professional help. There are people who specialize in every facet of one’s life—business, finances, career, relationships, etc. Find a life and career coach who can guide your kids through the process of choosing the right career path. They will undergo a series of interviews and consultations, as well as take assessment tests, to determine the best career path for them.
Be Supportive at Every Stage
How much help do your kids need from you? The extent of support they will demand will depend on how undecided they are about which course to take. If they have an inkling of what they want to pursue, they may not need more than the occasional show of support from you. But if they have no idea what subject they want to study, then they might need more help from you.
Words of encouragement are always powerful in making sure your kids know that you are here for them. Maybe you, too, don’t have an idea how to help them get to where they should be, but you have to be there every step of the way. Be the friend, parent, and counselor they need.
Attend Open House Events with Them
The pandemic might have changed the college experience of many kids in the past year, but there should be no reason why colleges and universities cannot host open house events with safety protocols in place. Or, if that is not possible, the least these colleges can do is host a virtual open house. If your kids want you to be there, then attend these virtual events for them. Sure, it’s not the same as physically being on the campus, but you can still get so much out of these events. You will, at least, get to know the kind of university life awaiting your kids once face-to-face classes resume.
Talk Money with Them
Be open to your kids about finances. Sometimes, parents tend to not want to talk about money with their children. However, how sure are you that avoiding the topic will suddenly make the tuition affordable to you as a family? Be honest with your kids about how much you can shell out and how willing are you to take another mortgage on your house for their college education? Who knows? Maybe your kids have already researched different scholarship programs and want to talk to you about it.
Talking about finances with them will help them decide where to go, what course to take, and what scholarship grants to apply for. It’s going to bring them back to reality—that more than choosing what course to take, this is about, above all, how you are going to afford college as a family. Sometimes, families have to make the ultimate sacrifice for the dreams of one. Your future college kids should know of these sacrifices.
Always maintain open communication with your kids. You have to know what they want and compromise from there. Of course, college dreams can be so expensive especially if your kids were not able to snag a scholarship grant. But there are still many options to get them to where they need to be. That’s your role as a parent. You have to guide them not just in choosing what course to take, but in ensuring that even if some opportunities are closing, you’re going to kick some doors wide open for them.