I don’t know about you but for me, that first day at school is enough to turn you into a blubbing mess. Your baby is all grown up and no longer needs you for everything, or so you think. Afternoons with mum soon turn to raising their hands to answer teacher’s question.
So, can you imagine them heading to university?
For some, that is a long way off, but no doubt there will be some of you reading this that the prospect of their children venturing out into the big wide world on their own is closer than they care to admit. One minute, you are holding their hand on the way to school, the next you are waving goodbye as they move to a completely different city to study.
Setting Them Up
Preparation for university, if you think about it, starts much earlier than when they start to consider their GCSE and A-Level options. It starts from a much earlier age as university is a completely different beast to primary and secondary school. It bridges the gap between adolescence and being a fully-fledged adult in that it forces you to become responsible for yourself.
At school, you have a set timetable every day that you must attend with teachers’ quick to question any absence. At university, if you miss a lecture that is your choice – the lecturer isn’t going to chase you up. You have to ensure that you are able to hit your deadlines and hand in work that is up to standard and presented correctly.
The level of responsibility and discipline required to succeed at university is something that is learned over time.
Ownership and Responsibility
As parents, it is up to us to set up our children with the tools they need when they fly the nest. From allowing them to take responsibility, making their own mistakes and pursuing their own interests – these are just some of the things that we should be encouraging.
All of this will help our children to grow as people by gaining an understanding of how the world works. They will learn that they will only get out of something what they put into it, which is one of the key lessons that consultants such as Allen and Jain Education put across to those looking to be accepted at the top universities.
Some of the best ways to help our children grow include:
- Owning (and looking after) a pet
- Pick their own clothes at the shop
- A weekly/monthly allowance (and no extras if/when they run out)
- Decorate their bedroom how they see fit (and cleaning it up)
- Learn a musical instrument
Letting Them Go
Those three words strike fear into every mother. To let them go doesn’t mean not being there for them, it means giving them their space to be their own person, but being there to pick them back up when they inevitably fall.
At university, the chances are they aren’t going to have their mum to come round as soon as life gets difficult, which is why granting them their independence as soon as possible is important. While you will always be there to lend an ear, if you are in different parts of the country they will have to be confident that they can look after themselves.
Watching your young ones grow up isn’t always going to be easy. You are going to pine for their days when they looked up to you with a look of equal parts wonder and love because they only thing they know is that they can trust you. In the end, when they grow into adults you can be proud of the job you have done.
So could you imagine your children heading to university? Because before you’ll know it, you will have blinked and they will be!