Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Kid Is Going Off to College. How Do I Prepare?

There’s a lot of planning and preparation that goes into choosing a college for your kid to attend. And speaking from experience, there will never be more angst than when you say “goodbye” to your child that last time before you drive away. No matter how many phone calls you make, or purposely don’t make, in a sense, they’re on their own. How can you make the transition easier? Here’s the best advice I’ve heard, from Pastor Marcus Zill on his March 12 Issues, Etc. appearance:
I would encourage parents – take time, go to the place where your kid is gonna, your young person is gonna go to school. Go to church with them. Get them as familiar as you can with the church, the campus pastor if there’s not a campus pastor or a campus ministry run out of a church. We have many wonderful campus ministries that are run out of local congregations. But take them to church. Take them multiple times. And that first week of school, stick around for that Sunday and make sure you go with them. And then come back, you know, three, four weeks later if possible and go to church with them again. Most young people have grown up in the same church, seen the same people, having a pastor that they’re familiar with, and going with their parents. When they go off to school, don’t assume that they’re going to just get up on their own, walk down six flights of stairs or take the elevator and walk down to a local church, especially when they don’t know anybody and it’s a completely new experience. So anything that parents can do to get their son or daughter in touch with those that can care for them in this way is really crucial so that relationship can be established, even long before they show up on campus.

photo credit: jeremy.wilburn

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