Those were the days, when I only had to worry about potty training and keeping kids corralled from danger. Now with teenagers, I’ve entered a life that is fun but sometimes overwhelming — and definitely more expensive! As my boys approach adulthood (or at least collegehood), I feel a sense of urgency to prepare them for their life beyond our home.
At 15, my oldest, Spencer, is a smart kid with a lot of interests ranging from football to jazz band. My middle, Mitchell is 13; he is a percussionist and wrestler. My youngest, Trevor, is 11 and plays anything that involves a ball. My husband, Dave, travels this journey with me — He provides comic relief and the stern dad-voice when needed.
Two years ago, we felt confident that their college funds were well funded, given a sizable infusion from their grandparents. However, once we investigated the current costs of private and public universities, our confidence turned to consternation. How did college costs rise so much in two short decades?
The more internet searches about college that I did, the more I realized, “I don’t even know what I need to know”about the financial side of sending kids off to continue their education. And, my need to make sure I’ve instilled certain skills and values in them before they go was heavily reinforced.
This magazine was born from my desire to help my children make wise choices and help them navigate the pathway to adulthood — without me hovering. (Although, I may never quit hovering completely.). I want them to know how to drive a car safely, how to balance a checkbook, perform other basic life skills, and develop a vision for their future and work to realize it.
Also, with a looming six-figure college bill for each child, my pocket book necessitated that we get more involved in our children’s preparation. Their job is to get good grades, get involved in activities that don’t involve TV or Xbox, and prepare to earn scholarship-worthy SAT/ACT scores! High goals, I know, but all achievable with the right resources. Which is where parents come in; we are the best resource for all the information, support and motivation our teens need. We just have to know how to best deliver all of that to them. And that’s where Potential enters the picture.
Potential is designed to help you find those tools and other resources that will assist you in helping your college-bound child achieve and fulfill their potential. Our premier issue focuses on five local teenagers who are excelling in different areas and accomplishing some really cool things! Our favorite part has been talking to their parents. We love learning from parents who are helping their children reach their goals and sharing what we learn with you. Potential is for you, so let us know that you think about this issue. Our goal (the fulfillment of our potential) is to be your go-to guide when it comes to “parenting teens to achieve.” pam mashburn