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Parent Resource | Crafting a Vision for College

Parents grow and change along with their children.

In their early years, your toddler needed all of your time and attention — and lots of snacks. In the middle school years, the conversations got a bit more complicated as you helped your child navigate hormones, friendships, and big questions about self-esteem and belonging. Then high school brought higher stakes in nearly every area — academics, sports and relationships. In each season, you were called to rise to the occasion, to cater your support to your child’s ever-changing needs.

Now, as you approach your child’s final years of high school and consider what comes next, you accept the role of coach and consultant, teaching them to take more responsibility and ownership of their decisions — so they can gradually learn to live on their own — with the benefit of your safety net to catch them for a while. This is an invaluable role, even if your child doesn’t always admit how much they appreciate your support.

You are helping them to navigate the sometimes difficult process of discerning the best fit for their future — academically, personally and professionally — as they look to launch on their own into adulthood. You are helping them grow and change to learn how to meet their own needs and chart the path forward toward their own growth. What’s more, these big conversations are built on foundation you’ve laid over many years of deep investment and connection up to this point.

Even as you discuss college or career — what they will do in the days ahead — it’s critical to have conversations with your child about who they want to be in the years to come. For most, life after high school represents the first time they will be making decisions on their own about finances, priorities, the community they surround themselves with, and the faith journey that they choose to walk.

As you help them in this time, you are calling your child to rise to the occasion and make some big choices about their bright future, all while reminding them of your support and ensuring them that they are not alone.

And you can start right now.

At WinShape College Program, we are passionate about discipleship and growing students into leaders who live a full life with deep purpose in Christ through our Residential Communities and Discipleship Intensives. We’ve guided students into flourishing communities of faith for nearly 40 years. We’re here to support you and your child in this journey, to remind you that you are not alone as you navigate these key transitions and important questions.

Feel free to keep this worksheet around and update it as time passes, even after your child has graduated from high school. Close out your discussion in a quick prayer together, thanking God for His kindness in all of the opportunities to come and asking Him to order your child’s steps according to His will.

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