It’s that time for college students to return home for holiday break!
What your expectations of your child’s visit will be and their expectation may be two very different things.
For months now, college students have enjoyed being accountable only to themselves and with the end of a semester for some, there could be anxiety being experienced. Combine this with missing school friends and trying to see “home” friends and expectations can be vary greatly between you and your child.
So… after a few months of not following your rules, here are some suggestions on how to manage this time with your child (whether over Thanksgiving or Christmas or both):
- Remember- You are still the parent but they are now considered adults.
- Share your expectations and decrease misunderstandings.
- Find a balance – Let them have that time with their friends and schedule time as a family.
- Remind your student that connecting with younger siblings is important and that the at-home sibling may need time to adjust to not being the only child in the home again. So be prepared for a little stress for the other child. Make adjustments like having that college student take them to events instead of you and giving them time to talk and connect again.
- Avoid interrogation -the 50 questions drill will not work and will cause anxiety for you both.
Instead, communicate with positive remarks about what they are experiencing and is school what they expected. These questions can open up discussions.
Remember that accountability looks different in your relationship now but open communication and setting proper expectations on both sides can lead to a much more enjoyable time together.