Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Preparing For College Early!

At what age is a parent responsible for preparing his/her child(ren) for college? That is a question that I have been debating with a friend for the past couple of weeks. Certainly the traditional answer would be somewhere during the High School years, during the time when grades actually start to mean something for colleges. I, however, disagree.

While grades may not mean anything to colleges until you get to high school, you can’t expect a student to simply be able to start focusing on grades and work without giving the individual a solid foundation. Not only does the individual need to have the educational background prior to high school, the individual has to have already developed good study habits. Parents have to do the same thing, develop those good habits in their children at an early age, as far as I am concerned, such an early age that the child can’t even remember his/her life without them.

I try to be careful passing judgement on other parents and the children they raise. We all have our own way of doing things and see things differently. At what age is it acceptable for a child to see a PG rated movie? How about PG-13 or R? At what age is it acceptable for a child to play a video game that involves shooting, or watch that type of show on television? At what age is it acceptable for a child to hear his/her parents swear? Ask these questions to 100 different people and you probably get 100 different answers.

My feelings on these matters are, whenever you choose to allow your child to do one of these things, it comes with the responsibility of providing an explanation. For quite some time I prevented my son from playing video games that involve shooting. Now a number of age appropriate sites he goes on involve some shooting games. I recently showed him one that I like to play but also with a discussion about the difference between reality and fantasy and games and real life. He certainly understood.

The point in all this is, parents are responsible from day one to do what they can to make their children good, upstanding, moral citizens, to teach them the proper way. By taking this responsibility seriously, you help to prepare your child for college.