There are just two weeks left in the Spring semester (this includes the week of exams). Before you know it, your student is home, clothes are everywhere, and they are sleeping all day long. It’s time to have a conversation.
Transitioning your student back home may require some planning and conversation to ensure that each of you have an enjoyable coexistence. Your student has discovered a new found freedom and since of independent responsibility while away at school. Establishing a plan of action, instead of reaction, is the key to a successful summer.
Topics to discuss:
Curfews. Are there curfews? A student not accustomed to curfews for many months will have issues. Discuss them thoroughly and come up with a compromise that works for everyone.
A room full of stuff. Are they going to bring everything home from their residence hall or possibly rent a storage area in Springfield so the amount of moving is limited. Are you going to help them move their possessions home or are they taking care of that? All residence halls close on May 19th at 8am. Your student will have to check-out with their Residence Assistant before they leave.
Summer jobs and finances. Is your student expected to contribute to their school bills or their lifestyle needs? How much should be budgeted for summer fun and how much needs to be set aside for the upcoming school year? This is very important to discuss before your student announces they are taking a summer trip to the coast with their months of savings.
Household chores and family responsibility. Is your student expected to participate in family chores or assist with transporting siblings? If you have no expectations for participation in routine family schedules then a family member who comes in at four a.m. and sleeps until five p.m. may not be a problem. However, if you come home from work and are internalizing irritation at the sink full of dirty dishes and the overflowing trash, eventually that irritation is going to show and perhaps not in the most construction way for either you or your student.
Communication. What are reasonable and minimal communication expectations? Do you want to know where your family member is at all times? Is it necessary to know if they will be home for dinner? Do you expect a check in before you go to bed?
Do yourself and your student a favor. Sit down to discuss the plans for summer. This will ensure you all have a satisfying and productive few months.
Adapted from www.collegetipsforparents.org