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Parents & Family


Transitioning from college to home during breaks can be challenging for parents and students alike. For both you and your student, the time apart may have led to newfound independence.

Welcoming your student home can mean renegotiating your relationship and expectations. Disagreements over curfews, chores and finances can make the visit tense at times. But establishing boundaries can go hand-in-hand with bonding as both you and your student redefine your roles in the relationship. The following suggestions may help along the way.

Parent Pointers

Build an adult relationship with your student. At college, most students gain a sense of self-awareness, self-reliance and accountability. As a result, your well-intended advice may or may not be followed.

Take pride in your student by noticing the ways your student has grown in the past few months. Though sometimes subtle, the changes may include a sense of newfound confidence and responsibility, an ability to multi-task, as well as a dedicated focus to academics.

Communication is key. Avoid power struggles by listening to your student's point of view. Define which areas you are flexible with and which ones you are not. Recognize your student's need to express opinions.

Before asking questions, consider how you might respond if your student is forthright in discussing experiences with alcohol or sexual activity. While these topics can be challenging to discuss, your student is expressing trust in being willing to talk with you about these issues.

If your student seems frustrated or angry with a BW-related issue, whether it pertains to grades, roommate conflict or something else, try to resist the temptation to fix the issue yourself. The ability to problem solve, handle conflict and communicate concerns with others will be invaluable to your student in the workplace.

Do not be surprised if your student reduces time with family. While this occurrence can be disappointing, it is common and reflects success with college socialization.

Discuss money issues openly and clearly with your student by communicating which expenses you will and will not cover over the break.

Use of the family car, curfews and chore duty are other areas that often require discussion. It is important to clearly express your thoughts on these matters.

Do not be surprised if your family dynamics change while your student is home. Siblings may or may not be pleased to share space, the family car and other items. Take these adjustments in stride and realize that tensions often reflect a change in family dynamics rather than an inability to get along.

Enjoy your student. Whether it includes dinner conversation, TV viewing or making plans for a family night out, take time to bond and have fun.