Tips for Parents
The top three areas that usually cause conflict between families and college students during this extended break are:
- Expressing newly-developed or developing ideas surrounding religious, political and lifestyle beliefs. One of the benefits of college is the opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life. Students may come home with new or different thoughts and values than those instilled in them while growing up. Sometimes students are struggling with the pressure of reconciling old and new ideals. Given their increased ability to think and process differences of opinion, this is an excellent opportunity for you to engage in productive dialogue and debate, rather than arguments.
- Trying to balance reconnecting with friends and spending quality time with family. Students sometimes struggle with this over the extended break because they are receiving pressure from multiple people. Additionally, students need to adjust to the changes that have taken place in friends—and themselves.
- Readjusting to house rules and routines after living independently. While colleges and universities do have rules, students are used to making their own decisions and dealing with the consequences. As a parent, it may be difficult to allow this process to happen without interference. Sometimes a little bit of negotiation at the beginning of break can go a long way towards maintaining a conflict-free household.
Overall, the key to a successful break is treating your student like an adult. Communicating openly and honestly, listening with care and interest, and working together to establish boundaries will help you and your student continue to develop a more mature relationship.
Prepared for our institution by PaperClip Communications, www.paper-clip.com.
Copyright 2006, 125 Paterson Ave., Little Falls, NJ 07424