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Life Skills and Lessons for your College-Bound Kid

Here you are. The day you’ve either dreaded or have greatly anticipated for a very long time. Your child is on his way to college.

There are probably a myriad of thoughts and emotions racing through your head right now. One overriding question is: is he ready? Can he take care of himself? No doubt, you’ve taught him all about safety and careers – you know, the big things. But, as we’ve often heard: it’s the little foxes that spoil the garden. It’s those little things we often don’t even consider until the time has passed and it’s too late.

If he is ready, that’s great! If not, what are some things you wish you could tell other parents whose kids are a year or two away from the big move? Things you wish you would have taught your child?

Here are a few valuable life skills in which every young adult should be proficient:

Many parents find out the hard way – college meals are not cost-effective. And, numerous colleges do allow an induction burner. Why not take advantage? And, as an added bonus, picky eaters like to eat things they’ve cooked themselves. This is one skill that is good to get under the belt at a very early age. Start taking your children to the market as soon as possible. Give them a little clout when it comes to choosing fruits and veggies. And then, let them participate at cook time. This skill will blossom through their home years. And when they’re on their own, they’ll know exactly what to do.

Banking, budgeting, shopping and paying bills
Again, important skills to learn as soon as possible. All families do this a little bit differently. And, usually from varying ends of the spectrum.
It’s always a good idea to teach your child where money comes from, how to earn it and how to use it wisely. This includes the logistics of how to write a check and use the ATM. And, of course, how to save and budget.

Using a credit card
Colleges are notorious for inviting banks to set up tables at orientation in hopes of luring children into the world of debt through credit cards. Don’t allow your child to fall prey. Teach them the dangers of debt and interest and the importance of a good credit score, so that, if they do get a card, they will know not to max it out partying and buying shiny new toys and clothes.
Teach them to only use the cards for emergencies and to move heaven and earth to pay the balance off monthly.

Though no one needs to know how to be a master mechanic, it can be a lifesaver to know a few basics, such as how to change a tire, how to jumpstart a car and even how to make sure all the fluids, such as oil and windshield wiper fluid, are full. Accidently running out of oil can cause the engine to seize rendering it completely useless. And, having a flat tire out on a dark and desolate road in the middle of the night is a very dangerous position to find yourself in.

TOWBIF: tires, oil, windows, brakes, interior and fluids.

So, we’ve talked about some of the most important life skills to teach your child, let’s look at a valuable life lesson.

Life is fluid
If your child hasn’t already noticed, change is eminent. As much as we’d like everything to stay the same, they won’t. He’s a young adult now and striking out on his own. Though you will always be there for him – only a phone call or text away – and though home will always be there waiting for him, it simply won’t be the same when he visits.

One thing he might notice is his room could be different. In fact, it might not bear any resemblance to the room he left. It could have transformed into a hobby room. It might now be a home office. Or it could have even morphed into a home gym.

It’s ok. Just make sure he has a place to sleep and assure him that you won’t get rid of items he holds dear.

That’s why we always recommend not holding a huge garage sale or donating his treasures to charity (right away), but to keep them safe. The perfect place to do that is a self-storage rental unit.

After all, he may need that ripped poster or that scruffy desk or that threadbare rug someday. You just never know. One thing you do know is that he will have his own home one day. And, he will need to decorate it with something. And, you do know that today he might be a little unsure about striking out on his own as he heads off to college. He will feel much more secure to know his belongings are safe and sound. Let him choose the perfect time to let them go.

AAA Platte Self Storage has the ideal storage solution for all your needs from economical 5’ x 5 foot units to spacious 12’ x 30’ storage units. If you are still unsure about the right size unit you need call us at 719-572-0101 or reserve your space online right away.