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Prepping your kid for school

Start planning today to get your child better prepared for the world … of university

Every year, parents of high school graduates face the daunting task of preparing their kids for their first year of university. Although this rite of passage can be a difficult time for both parents and their child, proper planning can help make this major life event as painless as possible. The following three steps can help:

  • Manage your financing concerns
    One of the biggest stresses when sending a child to university is financial. The best way to prepare your kids for university is to try to save as much as possible beforehand. And, of course, the best time to start saving is now because it’s never too early or late to save.

    There are many options available when you start to save – including Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs)  – that can help reduce the financial burden. That said, everyone’s circumstances are different, and the best route is to speak to our office about creating an education savings plan that works for you.

    An important aspect of the financial element is helping your child set a monthly budget and to talk about how they can avoid end-of-the-month shortfalls. 

  • Have the talk
    It’s important you discuss financing with your child, but it’s even more important to discuss their feelings and concerns about this major step towards adulthood. 

    Although this is a difficult conversation for many parents, it’s important you let your kids know that you understand their fears about leaving their parents’ home and will always be there to talk. You may also want to discuss some more sensitive topics – like the risks of alcohol and drug use.

  • Schedule a visit
    If your child is going away to school, dropping them off and driving away will likely be difficult for you and your child. Although there’s no way to completely prepare them for the feeling of being on their own for the first time, most schools allow you to visit their halls of residence and their campus.

    Drive your kids to the school and walk around with them once or twice before their actual drop off. Show them their dorm room or apartment, the cafeteria, guidance counsellor’s office, grocery store, etc. The more familiar they are with their new environment, the better they’ll adjust on day one.

    Remember – this is a massive change and you might forget something important. Don’t beat yourself up over any snafus on the day you drop your child off. Don’t fret: a Thanksgiving visit isn't really that far off and your child is always just a phone call, text message or video chat away!

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