Is your daughter ready for college? There are things to teach your daughter beforehand. I’m not talking about prepping her for the SATs or for writing college admission essays. Is she prepared for the real world? As fathers, we face the reality that we cannot protect our little girl as she ventures off into a new world of personal responsibility.
1. Teach her that she has intrinsic value.
How does your daughter measure her self-worth? In college, her beliefs will be tested. Students and professors will question everything you taught her as a parent. If she knows where her intrinsic value lies, she will be less prone to an existential crisis. Remind her every day how brave, determined, and independent she is becoming. Give specific examples of when she upheld her self-worth and how proud you are of her. Do not be afraid to embrace her when she does fall prey to self-doubt. The closer you are to her, the more likely she will come to you when trouble happens at college.
2. Teach her that diversity is good for her well-being.
She needs to understand that diversity, while challenging, is important. College offers a blend of cultures, philosophies, and races. At first, she will try to make friends with people she has something in common with, like students from her home state or city. Making friends this way will help her transition into a new environment, but it should not be the only way. The more she embraces those who look, think, and act differently, the more her brain will expand. Our minds grow as we obtain new experiences and patterns of thought. Diversity will make her more compassionate and kind.
3. Teach her not to become a silo.Not taking risks to connect and collaborate is a missed opportunity.
Having a group of friends is one thing, but networking with people in your field is another. Working with others is the way of the world. Not taking risks to connect and collaborate is a missed opportunity. Often, the connections made in college help your future career prospects. Teach her how to connect well with others by practicing small talk and listening with intent. This practice will give her a competitive advantage by thinking collaboratively. If she has siblings, make them complete a challenging project together. They may want to kill each other at first, but be their coach throughout the process. The more she collaborates, the better her experience will be in the real world.
Earn some points: Are you married? If so, share this iMOM article with your wife: 8 Things to Teach Your Daughter About True Womanhood.
Sound off: What is the biggest obstacle you face when trying to talk to your daughter about important life lessons?