'The Way You Say Things Is Almost As Important As The Message'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – College-bound freshmen are just a few weeks away from leaving home and, with that, taking on more responsibilities.

Before flying the coop, kids and their parents should sit down and discuss everything from finances to sex, Eric Messinger with the magazine New York Family told CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes on Sunday.

With some important conversations, the transition to college could be easier for parents and students, Messinger said.

“Bottom line, unfortunately, most of us don’t raise our kids with money smarts,” Messinger told Grymes.

He added college is the first time teens are making serious health decisions fully on their own.

“I think with the hot-button topics, the way you say things is almost as important as the message,” said Messinger. “If you wait for those moments when they’re actually listening to you and they’re feeling good about the relationship, you can make some really good points about drinking and sex.”

Other tips Messinger offered:


  • Talk about money — budgeting for meals, social fun, etc.
  • Drinking, sex, and other areas of personal behavior and responsibility — Best that these are handled in ongoing conversations and moments of trust for years now, but at the least before they go you want to emphasize safety and respect for others.
  • Teach your child how to do laundry.


  • Studying: Go to class. That’s the best way to know the teacher’s priorities and what’s likely to be emphasized on tests.
  • Don’t assume the worst about the next four years if you’re not thrilled with your roommate or your initial group of friends. There’s more to come.
  • Be conscious of social media activities (i.e. don’t do anything potentially humiliating to others or to yourself).
  • Stay in touch. It’s pretty easy in an digital age where kids can text and Skype with their parents.

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