When students return home for an extended time period, there’s often a major adjustment to be made by both parents and students. Your son/daughter will be different and your relationship with your son/daughter needs to evolve.
Here is some advice on how to manage this new relationship:
1. Your student will want to come and go as they please. They may want to stay out until late at night.
Advice: Ask your student to prepare his/her own “rules of conduct” that address such issues as informing you of where they are going, how late is too late to stay out, etc. Generally students will come up with reasonable rules that they are more likely to honor.
2. Your student will expect you to be the parent you were before they went to college and do things for them like you did before.
Advice: Insist that your student do his/her own laundry, keep their space clean, share in kitchen, and other household duties. They did this in college, so it’s reasonable to expect they do this at home.
3. Your son or daughter will likely be taking a course over the summer.
Advice: Don’t nag your student about the course. By this time, he/she should be disciplined enough to do his/her own work.
4. Your son or daughter will probably get a summer job.
Advice: Work with your student to start saving money to pay for part of the college expenses for the next year. This will help build an appreciation for college.
5. Your son or daughter’s interests will begin to change.
Advice: Begin having adult discussions. A good way to lead into these is to reflect on what they have experienced. They can often lead into a number of very interesting topics.
6. Your son or daughter may display their independence in ways that annoy you (e.g. clothes, hair, sloppiness, tattoos, piercings).
Advice: The less you say about these, probably the better. Students will grow up quicker when they make these personal decisions for themselves.