Now that your child is all grown up and ready for distance study in Cape Town, what can you do to help students prepare for the next phase in their life?
After all of the challenges that parents face during their child’s life, from the toddler years to the first day of school, tweens and teens, it can be both exciting and scary when children reach the age where they are ready to go out into the world and study. Traditional universities can be especially scary for parents, with a number of challenges faced by students that include very real risks. Luckily, the rise of distance learning campuses has made it possible for students to have more choice in where they study than ever before. Distance education in Cape Town and South Africa enables students to either live and study at home or move out at their own pace when the time comes, without the added pressures of campus safety, housing and transport.
Helping Your Child Prepare for Distance Study in Cape Town
Even if there is less pressure when studying remotely, making the move from school to distance study is still not without its share of stresses… for students and parents. Some of the ways that you can help your child prepare for distance studies include the following:
- Be supportive. This does not mean being a ‘helicopter’ parent, hovering over your child’s every decision. What it means is simply being there for your child. Give advice, provide guidance and try to let your child make their own decisions without thinking about what you would do. Remember that college today is very different to how it was when you were at school. The challenges faced by today’s youth are very different, too. By listening, providing support and encouraging your child, you will be showing them that you will be there, whatever they decide to do.
- Be practical. You may find that your child decides to stay at home while they study, but you may find that they decide to spread their wings and find a place to share with friends. If it is possible, encourage your child to consider part-time work to help with study costs. One of the many benefits offered by distance education in Western Cape and other areas is that it is flexible. Your child may choose to wait tables or babysit, or they may find work in their chosen field while they study after-hours. By staying practical and encouraging your child to make pragmatic decisions, you will be able to help them create a calm and stable environment, whether they are at home or not.
- Be fair. Parents may get frustrated at times – this is natural. If you are finding it hard to understand why your child has chosen a specific course or qualification, or why they insist on getting a Higher Certificate in Management for Real Estate Agents when you are sure they would be better in a retail environment, you are not alone. It is normal to feel helpless when you do not agree with the decisions your child is making. No matter how hard it is however, it is essential to be fair and try to put yourself in your child’s shoes. By trying to control their choices or force them into making choices that you yourself would make, you may end up causing more harm than good.
Every child needs to go through the process of coming of age. Whether your child is setting off for distance studies in Cape Town or further afield, the only way to truly help them is to provide guidance and support so that they learn how to make their own destiny.
Interested in learning more about distance education in the Western Cape? Contact REGENT today for details on our Cape Town campus.