You’ve already gone through the most challenging part – your son or daughter jetting off to college. But now that they’re back for the Winter Break, things aren’t quite the same. It can be tough to accept that you don’t know as much about your child’s life anymore, let alone that they’re now an adult. The first time your college kid comes home can set the tone for your adult relationship, so you want to make sure you start on a good foot!
A Guide To Help When Your Child Returns From College
Setting boundaries can be critical. For example, your son or daughter may be accustomed to staying up all night at college, but if that’s disruptive for the rest of your family, you need to make that clear. Treat your child like an adult rather than a rebellious teenager, and they’ll appreciate the open communication. Simple requests like asking them to text when they think they’ll be home or establishing a late curfew can be helpful to set boundaries without being unreasonable.
If you’re worried about your child going out, you can offer to host their friends yourself! That way, you can still be involved and even catch up with some of your son or daughter’s childhood friends and their parents. You can even make a holiday party out of it if you’re so inclined.
However, it’s also important not to be too overbearing. Like it or not, starting college is a milestone to show that your child is almost entirely an adult and they deserve your trust and respect. Giving them space to adjust and spend time with some of their home friends can smooth the transition. Similarly, constantly monitoring their time or activities can lead to a blow-out – the last thing this holiday season needs!
Your child is probably feeling a little out of place after moving out, so make sure they feel welcome. It might be easy to take for granted that your child still feels at home, but a little effort goes a long way. Organizing a family dinner or board games night is the perfect chance for everyone to bond. If you have any younger or older children, it’s a lovely way for you all to spend time together and catch up in a way that doesn’t feel forced.
You can also make an effort to get to know details about their new life. Even if you’ve been FaceTiming and calling every day, it’s different to get to hear their stories in person. Concentrating on getting the names of their roommates and professors straight can help you feel closer. It might even make them more likely to come to you for advice if you already know all the requisite information.
Christmas or Hanukkah gifts can also be a method to show your encouragement. Getting your child a grown-up style present like kitchenware or furniture can indicate that you recognize that they’re getting older. It can also bring you some peace of mind that you know they have the necessary equipment! You can even take the opportunity to treat them to some home comforts they may have missed with a bundle of homemade food or clothes.
You might even want to splash out on some specially made school spirit wear, with sites like 4allpromos to show your support. You can even order some for you and the rest of your family, so you’re decked out to show your love for your child’s college. The college years go by in a blink, so your child can keep them as treasured possessions to remind them of their youth.
If you have a spare moment, use that to check in with how you’re feeling. Parenting never really gets less stressful, and it’s normal to feel conflicted about having your baby home. It’s essential to take some time to yourself to process and adjust this new development. It might also be worth talking to your partner or other family members about how they feel. This transitional period can be rough emotionally, so try not to go through it alone if you can.
It’s tricky, but you also have to prepare for them to leave again. The first time your son or daughter returns from college can lull you into the sense that they’ve come back to stay. Unfortunately, winter break is all too short, and before you know it, they’ll be heading back to their new life. Don’t get so wrapped up feeling awkward around your child that you forget to treasure this moment. And when things get tough, just remember that spring break is right around the corner!