One of the key milestones students must meet to show readiness for college is independence.
A student needs to be able to do the following on their own:
- Wake up on time
- Get to class on time
- Be responsible for their medications
- Manage their school assignments (knowing what they have to do and when it’s due)
- Manage their free time effectively
- Advocate for themselves with teachers and administrators when necessary
We hear more and more about parents being involved in their child’s schooling. While there is a place for parental involvement, the day-to-day should be managed by the student. It’s not too much to expect a 17-year-old to get himself up and ready and out the door. After all, he’s been performing this routine for 12 years by the time he’s a junior in high school.
If your child is not showing signs of readiness, you can work with her toward independence for the next 15 months. Put more responsibility on her for managing her own life, because soon enough, you won’t be there to do it for her.
It’s very hard for parents to let go of the natural instinct to save their child “just this one last time,” whether it’s around issues of tardiness or late homework or missing assignments. But control your impulses; the best way for children to learn is through the natural consequences of trial and error.