Tips for Parents
Home For The Summer: Tips For Peaceful Living With Your Student
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By Danielle Wirsansky, Uloop
Having a child go off to college or becoming an empty nester is a difficult transition for many parents. When your life has revolved around your child’s life for so long, it can be difficult to handle the sudden change.
But having your student come home for the summer can also be difficult. Your living situation and relationship will not be exactly the same, and it cannot really go back to the way it was no matter how much you wish it could. Why not?
Both you and your student are changed by the separation. In the end, the separation is for the best. You get to focus more of your time on yourself and your student is learning to be independent and take care of themselves.
It can seem simplest to fall back into the same rhythm and relationship that you and your student had before they left for college, but this will often cause friction between the two of you. You do not want that! Instead of bickering all summer and causing resentment to simmer between the two of you, you want to enjoy the time you actually get to spend with your student (and the older they grow, the less time you will have).
So how can you avoid blow ups and run a happy home for the summer while your student is home? Read on for some tips for peaceful living with your student!
Remember Their Independence
The first thing to keep in mind is that while your student will always be your baby, your baby is pretty grown up and they have been living on their own for a while now. They have finally tasted independence and have largely been responsible for themselves while away at college.
So it can be jarring for them to return home and be treated like a child again who does not know how to take care of themselves. Your student was able to keep themselves alive and kicking a whole school year. They might resist being told what to do or bristle at being overridden by you and your own thoughts on how they should be going about their lives.
While you may not be able to stop yourself from trying to regulate their lives completely, just try and keep in mind the fact that they successfully managed to live on their own for an entire school year and that they achieved some independence. Keep this in mind as you deal with them, and it might really help you to keep the peace.
An aspect of keeping your student’s newly discovered independence in mind is to find compromises. As discussed, it can be very easy to fall back into simply giving your students commands when they return home from the summer. If it is your house, then it is your rules. Why can’t everything go back to the way it was before?
Your student is no longer used to being told how to live their lives. Curfews, chores, and other edicts can make them become indignant. That does not mean you are wrong and that your student should not listen to what you say or follow your guidelines. But it also does not mean you are always right and that your child has to do what you say just because you said it. Your child is an adult now (or at least is trying to be). So take the time to hear them out.
Find a middle ground that both of you can accept. Be willing and open to compromise and find ways that keep you both satisfied.
Remind Instead of Nag
Finally, as parents, it is literally a part of your job description to nag your children. But the older your student gets, the more your nagging is going to irritate them. If you push your nagging too far, you could end up pushing your child away.
This is not to say that you should let your student behave and act willy nilly. But find ways to temper your tone. Remind them instead of nag them. Treat them like adults and not children. And of course, most importantly of all, treat them with respect and do not speak down to them. You want to empower your student, not make them falter in their confidence in themselves. Keep the peace this summer and choose your words carefully when speaking to your student.
Hopefully, with these tips, you and your student will be able to avoid all-out warfare this summer and be
able to just enjoy the warm weather, the long, sunshiny days, and being home together again before
your student graduates and goes on to lead their own life. Wishing you a peaceful summer!
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