Child Not Attending College

When Your Child Feels College Isn’t the Right Fit

A Guide to Help You Understand and Support Their Decision

As a parent, you certainly want the best for your children. While a college education is important, it is only one of many roads to success.

Shamrck encourages you to use the following tactics to understand and respect your child’s choice. While it may not be the choice you want them to make, they are growing up and it is ultimately their decision. Allow your child room to grow, while ensuring they understand the value of a college education. However, give your child room to explore other options besides college as that may be the path they are meant to take.

  1. Give Him a Chance to Explain. Be glad that you’ve raised a teen that has his own ideas about life and wants to carve his own path to success. Give him a chance to explain exactly why he believes that chasing a college education is the wrong direction for him. Of course, try to keep an open mind.
  1. As a parent, hearing, “I don’t want to go to college right now” can seem like the end of the world. However, refusing to attend college right now still leaves the door open for him to get a degree in the future.
  1. After twelve consecutive years of schooling, it’s understandable that your child wants to take a break from academics to focus on finding out what life’s all about.
  1. Strive to be supportive and listen with an open mind.
  1. Come to an Agreement. If your son or daughter’s mind is made up about foregoing college this year, meet him or her halfway.
  1. Allow him or her to take a year or two off from schooling in order to pursue different dreams. If your child tests the waters and finds them to be deeper than he or she expects, they’ll probably return to school. If your child is successful without school, celebrate his or her success.

Utilizing Shamrck early on can help your child with a career path specifically tailored to their interests and dreams. Your child is more likely to want to attend college if they see a benefit to their coursework and how it will help them pursue their goals. 

  1. Provide an Incentive. If you truly believe that your child’s only true shot at attaining a successful career is by attending college, entice him or her to your point of view. Offer a financial incentive or other type of reward that he or she can earn with solid, specific academic progress.
    • If you offer an incentive for your child to attend school, he may attend only for the reward. If so, he may lack the academic effort, waste his time and throw away your money in the process. If you tie the reward to specific academic goals, you’ll ensure that he’s serious about school.
  1. Will your child be living at home? If so, consider offering a $3,000 bedroom makeover if they enroll in college. Offer a new car or reduced rent.

It’s only natural to want the best for your children. And college generally is the best route to success for most individuals. However, it’s important to understand that college is only one of many paths to success in life. Your role in your child’s success is to support and encourage him to chase after his dreams. Ultimately, he has to decide on the path that’s right for him.

Trust in your parenting skills. You’ve raised a talented, intelligent, and self-sufficient young adult. It can be hard to let go, but you’ve instilled in your child the values you deem important. As he goes through the trials of life, he’ll stay true to those values with or without a college degree.

Go to the Shamrck Dashboard today to learn a little more about your child’s interests and which courses can help prepare them for the future.

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