You are currently viewing 3 Things to Do Before Your Kids Graduate High School

3 Things to Do Before Your Kids Graduate High School

No matter what your kids plan to do after high school, senior year is a crucial time in their lives. If college is in the cards, high schoolers may be busy with applications and campus visits. Students planning a gap year, heading off to trade school, or planning to work full-time all have a lot on their plates. As a parent, it’s natural to want to contribute and support them, so, here are three things to do before your kids graduate high school.

Teach Them the Basics of Personal Finance

Many young adults enter college or the workforce without a good understanding of personal finance. They may get into serious credit card debt or miss out on opportunities to save. Help your kids avoid this by teaching them how to create a budget and stick to it.

These days many young people seek out investment tips online. There’s a lot out there, so you may also want to help your kids understand where to find credible sources of information when they’re looking for financial advice.

If your kid plans to start working full-time after high school, introduce them to some the ins and outs of various financial products such as Roth IRAs, 401(k)s, and pensions. Let them know about various insurance options, like health insurance, dental insurance, and life insurance (including whole life insurance, universal life insurance, and term life insurance). Not every teen will use these products right away, but a primer from a parent or guardian may help them make better decisions later.

Help Them Prepare for the Next Stage of Life

If your kids are planning on going to college after high school, you can help them prepare by joining them on campus visits, researching financial aid options, and filling out applications together. If they’re not planning on going to college, help them explore options such as trade schools or apprenticeships.

In addition to academic or professional skills, there are many life skills that your kids will need as adults. You can get them started on the basics of cooking, home maintenance, and more. Some parents also teach their kids to drive and perform routine maintenance on their car. The more self-sufficient your kids are, the easier the transition into adulthood will be.

Understand Your Changing Role as a Parent

The last year of high school can be difficult for parents as their kids become more and more independent. This doesn’t mean you ever stop being a parent, it only means that your role in your child’s life may shift and evolve. Be supportive and respect their boundaries as things change.  Encourage your kids to learn new skills and to pursue their interests. Hear them out when they talk about their life goals and plans. Spend time with them and find things to do together. You’ll always be their parent, but as your kids age your relationship will evolve and mature.