Tips for Parents
Getting Used to One Another Again
It may be time for your student to come live under your roof again this summer. And that's going to take some adjustment all the way around!
How do you get used to one another again so you can enjoy this summer reconnection? Here are some tips:
- Determine what ground rules you feel strongly about and share those with your student in a discussion-oriented way, rather than just mandating them
- Ask her what she feels strongly about and see if you can come to a compromise that feels good to all
- Be prepared for your student to keep different hours than you may be used to
- Work together to plan a few simple things you can do together within the first few weeks — whether it's going out to lunch, visiting a friend, cooking a meal or playing basketball — to reconnect and get used to spending time together
- Also realize that your student will likely want to spend a good deal of time with local friends and that he may want to go visit college friends, too
- Discuss major issues, such as car usage and curfews and chores, right off the bat so they don't come up during a "heat of the moment" moment!
- Listen to what your student has on her mind, as she likely has new ideas and values and perspectives as a result of everything she has learned this year
- Try not to be offended when your student disagrees with you — he may just be testing out some of his newfound knowledge and ideas — and try to engage in meaningful discussion instead of an argument
- Don't over-rely on tech tools to communicate — get some face-to-face time in there instead of relying solely on texts, Facebook and Tweets
It takes love, understanding, patience and listening to reconnect for the summer. And you can do it. Good luck!
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