Few things compare to the joy and happiness generated by getting the family together during the holidays. From the family traditions to the gift giving (and receiving) to the food, there is nothing like having your family around during the festive season. And while the end of the holidays may at times seem sad, it is always nice to get back to the routine of everyday life. If you are the parent of a college student who has come home for the holiday break, the return to routine may not be so simple. This is especially true if you have recently become accustomed to life as an empty nester. It is not unusual to feel a little overwhelmed and even frustrated with your college kids home for the holidays. No need to feel guilty, it is an adjustment for everyone.
So how do you manage the mountains of extra laundry? What should you do when your son or daughter is looking forward to a couple of weeks of home-cooked meals and you haven’t picked up a pot since they left to go away to school? How do you manage your anxiety when he/she wants to stay out with their friends until all hours of the night or they want to have their significant other sleepover because four weeks away from them is just unbearable?
To ensure that those weeks are spent in harmony here are some suggestions to ward off the headaches:
- Talk with your kids about their homecoming expectations at least a week before they come home.
- Don’t avoid talking about the issues that are of concern. For example, invite your kids to bring home their dirty laundry but make it clear that they are expected to do it themselves. Ask them for a list of their favorite home-cooked meals and designate one or two nights a week during their stay when you will cook for them.
- Discuss the rules before they arrive. Typical areas that can cause contention are: car use, curfew, and chores.
- Don’t be surprised if your kids assume that rules related to curfew no longer apply. From their perspective they are independent. After all, at school they theoretically answer to no one regarding this issue. This is a good time to encourage them to use perspective taking skills. Explain to them that out of sight may be out of mind at school but when they are home, house rules apply
Related: How to Not Over-Do It With Presents
Communicate clearly and honestly with your kids. If you are feeling frustrated or annoyed about something related to their visit, talk with them. The more you keep it in the more stressed and anxious you may feel. All your effort to enjoy their visit home may be lost or misplaced because you are afraid to share your concerns that can easily be addressed.
With these tips in mind you are sure to be merry and happy all vacation long.
Ho, ho, ho!
More from GalTime:
- Shocking Number of Teens Report Dating Abuse
- 10 Great Gifts for Your Son
- Great Tools to Fill Those College-Bound Teens' Stockings
- Top 10 Ways to STILL Find Hidden Holiday Deals