Home for the Holidays!
Sleep-deprived and burned out from finals, bearing laundry bags instead of gifts, the holidays are here--and your college student(s) is/are coming back home!
Let the disruption begin: While we can dangle curfews in front of high-schoolers, college kids are used to living without nagging parents and are unlikely to accept prohibitive rules without a fight. But, like it or not, we feel they must balance their independence with the lifestyles and schedules of family members.
Advice: Be clear about your expectations, but be prepared for mixed results.
It's midnight . . . do you know where your Saint is?: At 3:30 a.m. you hear voices outside, a car door slam, garage door open, and your college star comes bouncing in. You hear the refrigerator door open and microwave beep before your Saint finally bounds up the stairs and slams the bedroom door. You are now struggling to get back to sleep before having to be up at 6 a.m. for work.
Advice: Ask about plans and what time to expect your Saint home before he/she heads out for the evening. If plans change, ask for a phone call. I always call them at 10:30 to find out if they are coming home or are staying at a friends if I haven’t heard from them yet. It is good to remind them that if they are drinking alcohol that you would be happy to come and get them or make sure they know the phone number for a cab or have them stay put.
How your Saint feels about being home: Students returning home for the holidays have mixed feelings. Most enjoy returning to the warmth and security of home; while some are fiercely protective of their newfound independence. They want to spend time with family but friends and fun activities will pull them away.
Advice: Ask your Saint how he/she feels, and be sure to be a good listener. Understanding how they feel about being home will make Winter Break a much more enjoyable time for all. Schedule a date with your student to go to coffee or lunch. That way you are not interfering with their evening plans.
Remember one can never get to many hugs or cuddles in. The break will go fast.