School Transitions: College Edition

(Feat. Michael Manning)

How To Connect With Your Spouse During The Holidays

Do you have a kiddo heading to college this month? How are you feeling? 

Suzanne automatically gets a lump in her throat anytime she talks about sending a kid to college because it is a BIG DEAL! As parents, our hearts are wrapped up in this transition and we are invited to help our kids leave our house well. We have experienced a lot of “college transitions” as a family and we want to help your family do it well! 

 In today’s episode, we are joined by Michael (5th kid and junior in college) to talk about the College Transition. He loves college and has discovered new passions, found his people, and is living out his God-given purpose. 

Parents, we say this all the time but you only get so much time with your kids under your roof. Do you have a high school junior or senior? How are you equipping them to make this upcoming transition to college? 

In this podcast, we share our heart regarding college transitions. We also share several practical ways to help your kids start college well. We encourage you to listen AND share this podcast with anyone who is preparing to send their kids to college! 

No matter what season your family is in, it is time to start preparing them for independence and encouraging them to build their own belief system. 

This podcast will challenge and inspire you to start the conversation, with your kids, about the transitions ahead!  

What do parents need to know about getting your kid ready for college?

  • It is not a natural transition
  • Go from “bell to bell schedule” to ample amount of free time
  • For the first time young people have free time and capacity for a life!

Michael shared how college season is a time to “waste days” and if your kid isn’t careful, they will waste their days because they have so much free time. As parents, we get to equip (not control) our kids and help them learn how to spend their time. 

If you have a kid who spends a lot of time on video games, or struggling to be productive, encourage them and help them know they are about to have a lot of time on their hands. Give them education on how to build a schedule.  

Help your kids make the transition by helping them see what they did in high school and how it will translate into college.  

Parents, encourage your kids to build skills that will take them past high school and help them see it will be lifelong skills they will be proud of in the long run.  

What Do College Kids Do with the New Freedom? 

Manning kids didn’t have a lot of rules, but when they went to college, they met friends who did. The extreme parameters created a jolting affect. The friends who had little/no freedom had a crazy first few semesters because they hadn’t experienced freedom.  

We encourage parents who have juniors and seniors, start creating freedom for your kids. You want them to share life with you while they are under your roof. So, once they leave, they will still include you in their life.

Understand you are about to hand over the reins at 18. What can you do before hand to ease them into the culture shock of independence?  

How Do Kids Feel About Leaving Home?  

Every adult asks the senior “what are you going to do with your life?” and it is nerve racking. It’s challenging because you feel alone but it is good to figure it out. Being dropped off in the deep end is good. Parents, Michael shared how this transition actually started in his junior and senior year of high school. It’s a whole season of preparing to be launched into independence. 

Parents, we can help the junior and senior prepare for college by…  

  • Remind them it is just a season 
  • You won’t have to think about the SAT/ACT forever 
  • High school isn’t the end game (encourage them to think ahead)  
  • Go to college campuses and tour with them

How to Protect Innocence and Prepare Our Kids for College?  

  • Find the balance by knowing your child
  • Share how the majority of the world functions through open (not accusatory) conversations
  • Keep innocence but solidify beliefs (encourage beliefs)

Michael credits the building of his character and beliefs to men of God who he walked with through high school. It helped him discover who he is and what he believes. Parents lay the foundation and invite disciples to come along side and help your kid build their own beliefs.  

Practical Ideas: 

  • Every kid is different – take this season to know your kid!  
  • So much is going on, so give grace if they don’t call after the first week 
  • Give space in the beginning to figure it out  
  • When they come home, let it be a place of refreshment  
  • Pray with them before they leave  
  • Buy them something when you visit 
    • Groceries, a blanket, peanut butter crackers

To speak to the moms, it’s okay to help them prepare a space. Help them get all the things they might not know they need. It’s good to be their mom one last time as you send them off!  – Suz

We remember dropping Madeline off and sobbing. The feeling lasted for a while and it took space to release the emotions that come with it. Sending a kid to college is a big transition and it will affect the whole family. Give yourself grace in this transition and remember it is a big deal! You may stumble over words, actions, and your relational dynamics with your kid. Just remember you were put in their life for a reason, so send them off well!  

This is an exciting and a fun time! You can do it! 
How To Connect With Your Spouse During The Holidays

If you have a question or a parenting issue that you’d like us to discuss in a future podcast, email us at [email protected].

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