By tomorrow, the presents will all have been unwrapped; lots of sweet eats will have been consumed. It’s a joy to have the whole family together, and you’re looking forward to spending some special time with your college student who is home for the holidays.
Perhaps, though, you’ve become a bit unnerved when you realize your plans for his holiday break have not really been factored into the schedule she has created for herself. Maybe you are feeling a little annoyed and upset as you look at the pile of laundry she has left assuming you will do it for her.
Whatever the concerns, the truth is, after the actual holidays have passed, your college aged kids may have a whole different plan than you imagined for the remainder of their break. It may not include much of you except in the capacity of a personal maid and/or chef. What follows are a few quick tips to make the most of your college student’s visit home.
What You Can Do
1. Express your expectations
A conflict can easily be quelled by communicating clearly. Sit down with your college student and let her know how you envision the rest of her time home.
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2. Clearly define duties
Your son has worked hard at school. He may really revel in the opportunity to kick back and enjoy his break without lifting a finger. Let him know from the get go what you are willing to do (e.g. cook his meals, do his laundry) and what you expect from him.
3. Don’t feel guilty about having a life
Although you are excited about your daughter’s stint at home, it is important to remind her that you have a long list of daily responsibilities. Your college student may be so focused on enjoying her time home that she forgets that life goes on when she isn’t there.
Few things cause more tension than trying to please everyone. Clearly communicate your own schedule with her. This will cut down on misunderstandings and feelings of guilt.
4. Understanding works better than upset
For many college kids, holiday break is the only time they will be home and have time to spend with friends. Although you may want your child all to yourself, he may be more focused on reconnecting with his home buddies. Don’t take this personally; he will always be your child.
What Your College Kid Can Do
1. Present a plan
The holiday break breezes by in a flash. A college student can prevent confusion and conflict by presenting parents with an idea of how he intends to spend his time at home.
2. Offer a helping hand at home
By stepping up to take over chores and other tasks, college kids can express their appreciation toward the folks at home.
3. Set aside time for family
Holiday break is often the best time to catch up with old friends and hang out with your high school cronies. Parents anticipate their college student’s homecoming and want some time to catch up too. When family time is set aside college kids can ensure that their folks don’t feel forgotten.
4. Some situations require compromise
College kids are used to leading independent lives away at school. It is easy to forget that there are a different set of rules and expectations at home. Sometimes accommodation is the key to avoid conflict.
Nothing beats having everyone home for the holidays. With a lot of communication and a little consideration, holiday break can offer the rest and relaxation both you and your college student deserves.
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