A Parents Guide for College Winter Break

December 5, 2013

If you are like many college parents, you’re probably really excited about the opportunity to see and spend time with your child during college winter break. However, it is important for you to realize that some issues might pop up during your young adult’s stay. Fortunately, being prepared for these challenges and knowing how to handle them can help make this holiday season go much more smoothly for the entire family.

Be Prepared for Changes

Although you might want to think of your child as the same sweet teenager that he or she left home as, it is important to brace yourself for some changes. College is a time for fun and exploration for many young adults, and there is a good chance that your older teen will come home with a different outlook, schedule or appearance than what you are used to. Unless things seem really serious, it is best to try to embrace your child’s changes and the fact that he or she is growing up, and you should try to be supportive when possible, even if it’s difficult.

Stay in Communication

Just because your child has gotten older doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t communicate with him or her; in fact, this communication is even more important now than ever before. Talk to your child about how college has been going, what his or her grades are like and if there are any pressing issues that you need to talk about. There is a good chance that you and your young adult can learn a lot about one another during these adult conversations.

Try to Be Flexible

Although you might have certain ideas in mind, such as spending the next few weeks hanging holiday decorations and baking cookies, it is important to be flexible. You have to realize that your young adult is accustomed to living a much more independent lifestyle, so it is important to let him or her have a little bit of space.

Speak Your Mind

Although it is important to be somewhat flexible if you want to enjoy spending time with your child over winter break, you shouldn’t let your college-aged child walk all over you, either. In these situations, it is best to pick your battles and speak your mind when something is really bothering you. In most cases, college parents and their children can strike up agreements in these situations if both parties look at one another as adults.

Embrace Your Time

Whether you are ready to admit it or not, your young adult is growing up more and more every day. Therefore, it is important to embrace the family time that you have together over your child’s college winter break. Try to schedule a few activities that you and your entire family will enjoy. Also, remember to capture the joy in small moments that are spent together; things are sure to change quite a bit after graduation.

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