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    Parenting Your College-bound Teen

    A leader in Christian education offers timely advice.

    Frank Brock

    Think about those questions you had when you got ready to send your child to pre-school or kindergarten:

    Is this really the best place for him?

    Will she be OK?

    What will his teacher be like?

    Why do all the other kids look so much bigger than my kid?

    Questions like these, of course, found answers along the way, and were eventually replaced by other questions—about elementary school … middle school … high school.

    And now … college.

    As you think seriously about—and worry over—the next step in your child's life, you've got a whole new crop of questions that can possibly be boiled down into one:

    How do I prepare my child for college and the rest of life?

    Always There for Them

    Asking questions about your child's future is a healthy sign. It shows you care! Think about the time you spent reading to and with your kids. Remember those times you made them listen to some instructions over and over until they "got it right"? Then there were the times you directed the way they played with others.

    You undoubtedly made some mistakes along the way. But you've always been there for them. Throughout grade school, middle school and even high school, they needed you to be involved and interested in their lives. And you were. Guess what? They need you now more than ever.

    As you think about offering guidance for the college search, here are a few reminders of things you already know about your son or daughter:

    • Your child is made in God's image.
    • Your child is full of amazing potential.
    • Your child is uniquely gifted by God.

    Believing these truths about your child is the first step to preparing your child for college, and for the rest of life.

    Practically Speaking . . .

    Treating your child as someone made in God's image should set the stage for any discussions you'll have about choosing a college. This, of course, means taking them and their opinions seriously. As you do, you'll find it's much easier to come alongside them and offer specific direction and guidance in five specific ways:

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