"Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays,
'Cause no matter how far away you roam...
When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze,
For the holidays you can't beat home sweet home!"
The above might not apply for hosting your college student for Thanksgiving break...But it can!
Parents, with your adult child on the brink of returning home for the break, how are you feeling? For some of you, you might have seen them several times since school started. For others, you might be seeing them for the first time since they flew the coop!
Either way, it will be a little different having them live with you again. While they might not have dyed their hair purple, or pierced something, your offspring has tasted independence, and as a doting mother or father, you might find some of their new habits difficult to swallow. Here are some ways to make the break goes as smoothly as possible.
- As much as you might want to pull in the reigns and try to control some of the new tendencies your student might have developed, try not to remove all of the freedoms they have become accustomed to over the past few months. You trust them to live on their own out of your watchful eyes, right? Trust them to make mature decisions under your roof.
- Communicate with your child to set a calendar of events for the family to enjoy together. While your college student might want to spend a large chunk of their time catching up with their friends, allowing them to have some input on family outings shows your respect their time.
- Naturally, parents stay parents. Your student is still looking for your approval, even if they won’t admit it. Find some positive things to weigh in on pertaining to their choices, classes, appearance or work ethic. When asked advice, be honest. If you aren’t asked (we know it’s hard), try to avoid nitpicking their life decisions. If they aren’t doing something dangerous, degrading, deceitful or delinquent, try not to be disparaging.
- Try to keep the communications open on a daily basis if possible. Whether you just send a text, email a helpful article or leave a supportive voicemail, your student still needs to know you have their back. Send your child care packages periodically that show you miss and love them. That way, when these holidays approach, you have maintained the continuity of relationship that allows your son or daughter to ease back into their home environment.
- Help encourage mutuality, respect and empathic communication. This requires you to respect your son or daughter’s privacy, need for rest and desire to spend time with their friends. This goes both ways though, mutual means you can ask for periodic check-in calls to ease your worrying mind. ☺
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