If your child is off to university this autumn, then the whole family need to do a lot of preparation. It's important to have some frank and open chats with your student child as they prepare for their first taste of independent life.
Here are our five top tips to help your child prepare for university:
1. Make sure your child knows how to manage their finances. Set up a student bank account with them and discuss how to budget. If your child is going to have to get a part-time job make sure they can manage a job with their university work.
2. Find out what they get supplied with in their halls of residence and what they need to buy. Make a full list of the supplies that are needed, including any supplies for their course, and then buy the cheapest version wherever you can as things at uni often get broken. Then make sure your child has student insurance!
3. Away from home, your child can be tempted by the excesses of student life. Talk to them about balancing partying and study before they go and make sure that they know to phone you if they get into difficulties once term starts.
4. Does your child have study skills, the ability to touch type and speedwriting? These are all very helpful to have during a degree. See if there is anywhere that they can learn these skills - their university might even offer classes, or you could hire a study skills tutor for a few lessons.
5. Expect to feel sad when they leave. You might even see a few tears from them when you say goodbye. Luckily, mobile phones and email make it easy to keep in touch, so remember that it's au revoir rather than adieu.