Communicate your expectations to your child and anyone else who will listen. Let your children know right from the beginning that you expect them to go to college (even if you don’t-I don’t believe that college is for everyone, but that’s another story). Back up your expectation with a gesture. Get one of those sparklette water bottles and label it “College Fund.” Give your child a nickel, every day, to put in the college fund jar. When your child turns 18 will you have enough for college, NOT EVEN, but you will have demonstrated the expectation and communicated to your child that you believe in him. The hard part comes when that little one has gotten on your last nerve for the day. Don’t use the nickel as a punishment; you must still complete the ritual of putting the nickel in the jar. This lets your child know that you know that even though he/she is not
perfect, and even though “I am not liking you right now”, I still believe in you.
One day my 7 year old came home from school and said “Ma did you know that
you don’t have to go to college after high school?” My response “No sweetie that’s only true in China.”