As parents, we want our kids to be successful. For many parents thinking of their kids future, the path to success starts with a good education. What if your child doesn’t share your enthusisam? Many kids know that they want to go to college and are eager to apply, some procrastinate while they are trying to figure out their future, and some mean to get around to the application but feel overwhelmed or uninspired. Choosing what to do with your life – and going after it – is a tough decision, especially at 17.
We think we know what’s best for our kids. Our eagerness to help them through the fears and navigate this challenging (and sometimes scary) time of their lives can sometimes find us pushing them into a situation that they may not be ready to handle. On the other hand, some kids that are ready for college, they just don’t know quite how to get the ball rolling in the application process.
If you find yourself struggling with this, please take a few minutes and watch this video. This will give you some insight as to when (and when not) to push your kids to apply to college. You may be surprised!
Before you have this difficult conversation with your high-schooler, you may want to ask yourself these questions:
Why are they putting off applying?
Are they procrastinators by nature? Your child may be ready for college but they just don’t know where to start, so they put it off. Some kids are afraid they won’t get into the college of their choice, so they put off applying or apply to schools they feel are safe because of fear. Then there are some who really don’t know what they want to do and may not be ready for college. Which is your child?
Can they achieve their career goals without college?
Some kids may want to opt out of college and may prefer to take up a trade. Skilled trade jobs often only require technical training versus a four-year education. If your child really wants to be an electrician or a steam fitter, getting into debt going to a four-year school isn’t the best choice. What do they really want to be when they grow up?
Are they really ready for college?
Not everyone is ready to go to college right out of high school and that’s OK. What’s not okay is not having some type of goals to work towards and a long-term plan. When your kids finish high school it’s time for them to start being an adult. Whether that is going to college or taking a full-time job where they have adult responsibilities like bills and contributing to a household, it doesn’t translate to a free ride or vacation. Be upfront with your kids about your expectations.