Teaching Your Kids Basic Skills Before They Leave for College

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Sending the kids off to college inspires mixed feelings in the hearts of parents all over the world. You may be simultaneously proud of your kids for coming so far and working toward their goals, yet also sad and lonely as empty nest syndrome starts to set in. The most common sentiment for parents of new college students is worry: every parent worries about their children for a variety of reasons, but now that they’re going off to college everything is magnified. Reduce your own worries and help your kids find their footing in this new chapter of life by teaching them a few basic life skills before they leave.

Every college student should know how to cook. When you have them living under your roof, it’s easy to promote a healthy and wholesome diet for your children, but all bets are off when they leave for college. Many students put on the Freshman 15, extra pounds that come with the average freshman’s tendency toward junk meals. By teaching your children some basic recipes and cooking techniques, you can help them save both their money and their health by cooking nutritious meals on their own and avoiding the temptations of pizza and french fries at dinner time.

The ability to manage money is a skill that eludes many people from childhood all the way to retirement. One of the best things you can do for your children before they head off to college is teach them the basics of managing money. Budgeting, staying on top of bill payments, and being able to responsibly use credit cards are all important skills that should be developed as early as possible and carried on throughout life. This is especially important in a time when students are graduating into a tough economic climate. Skills of thriftiness and smart money management are highly valuable and very important.

It’s often surprising how helpless young college students can be when left on their own. Skills as simple as doing laundry can become major obstacles for kids who have spent their lives thus far living with their parents. It may not seem that important, but teaching your children to do laundry before they leave for college will make sure that at least one aspect of healthy living is accounted for in their lives. Cleaning is another important skill that is closely related. The state of some college dorms would make most parents turn and run, so teach your kids how to keep their living space clean when you’re not around.

The basic life skills that you can teach your children before the head to college will carry them through their first undergrad studies, possible BSN online programs in the future, and even their professional lives down the line. All parents want their children to be happy, healthy, and successful in college, and starting them off on the right path will make sure they rise to the top. Send them off with pride in your heart, and basic life skills in their heads.


  1. These are excellent tips and life-long skills to teach kids before they head off to college. Thanks! 🙂

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