Keep Your Expectations Realistic. Your student has gotten used to living on their own and not having to answer questions about where they are going or when they'll return home. Think ahead of time about which battles are worth fighting. Try to keep a balance between their independence and your house rules; it is possible for them to peacefully co-exist.
Revisit your House Rules. Make mutually agreed upon adjustments. Although a curfew may no longer be appropriate, asking your student to call you if they are going to be out very late may be an acceptable expectation. Have open communication about the rules and allow your student to make minor adjustments; sometimes just allowing them to have a say lets them know that you respect them as an adult.
Spend Time Getting to Know Who They are Becoming, Rather Than Who They Were in the Past. Don't allow yourself to cling to an image of who they were before college. When you truly take an interest and spend the time getting to know who they are becoming and what their passions are now, you will be able to build a much stronger relationship with them that will last!
Keep your Sense of Perspective - And Your Sense of Humor. Your student has probably developed a few habits and quirks from those that they live with and surround themselves with on campus. Many college students get used to having a 3 a.m. snack, so don't be surprised if you wake up to the sound of the microwave in the middle of the night. Again, make sure you really pick your battles rather than making every issue a big one.
Don't be Surprised - or Offended - If your Student is Homesick for School. Being away at college for so long, many students begin to think of it and even call it ‘home'. Parents often have a difficult time with this, however, it is important to realize that they have made many new friends and connections and this idea of college being ‘home' is a very healthy one. It shows that they are comfortable with life at Liberty-that is a good thing!
Talk Adult to Adult. The key to making the summer a success is communication. Students appreciate being treated like adults and when they are treated like adults they are more likely to understand a parent's need for a "check-in" phone call, and see it as a sign of caring on the parent's part rather than a lack of trust. Your student will be much more receptive to ‘adult to adult' communication.
These changes are all part of the transition of assisting and accepting your student moving closer to being a responsible adult. View these as positive changes as you too transition your relationship with your student to what will hopefully be a meaningful friendship with your adult child. We pray you and your student have a wonderful summer together.