All parents want the best for their children, especially when it comes to education. College is not only important; it's a given for most families. While most kids would start getting ready for university life in high school, right before they get thrust into it, some would argue that it is best to prepare them earlier than that.
Here are ways to get your kids excited about uni:
Make them enjoy learning
As a parent, one of the best things you can do for your child is to instill a zest for learning as early as possible. Make learning fun for them. How you can accomplish this has a lot to do with respect. Parents need to take a moment and put themselves in their children's shoes to think if this is how they would want to be treated in a similar situation.
Homework would become a chore if you force your kids to do it on their own. Maybe they would like to do it alongside you, but not with you, like while you are computing your bills or working from home, as a sign of camaraderie. Give your kids some leeway to finish their homework on their own terms, and praise them when they do.
Foster learning outside school and the home, and take your children to historic destinations or fun museums, where they can learn while being entertained. Make it more fun by asking them questions and being enthusiastic about the subject matter at hand. If you think the activity is fun, your kids would be more likely to think the same.
Do not hover
Check yourself if you are being a helicopter parent who keeps hovering over their child. According to an article in Psychology Today, helicoptered kids get very anxious and depressed during college due to their inability or lack of ability to solve problems. Kids with controlling problems struggle with dealing with failures and independence, which are both natural parts of life.
Oddly enough, some people attribute the rise of helicopter parenting to the heightened competition in university admissions. As parents, we need to know when and where to draw the line between supporting and encouraging our children versus downright taking charge of their lives.
Let your kids choose
Allow your children to decide for themselves within safe and reasonable parameters, like the extracurriculars that they would want to participate in. This way you will be teaching them that they are a person separate from you, and who are capable of charting the course for their own future.
If you want to enrol them to special programs, like an International Baccalaureate diploma program, consult the matter with them. Do not enforce it. Explain what it is, how it would benefit them and maybe its drawbacks, and ask them if it is something they want. Respect whatever decision they make, and avoid pestering them about it.
We all want the best for our children, but they should have a say in the matter, too. Raise your child to become their own person so they're ready to take on college and the rest of the world.