When college kids come home... 3 steps to ease the adjustment

May is the time for finishing up the school year and shifting into summer. It's also the time when college kids return home, along with all their "stuff." I just wanted to take a few minutes to remind you things may feel different.

Tip 1: Acknowldege the changes Let's be honest, things have changed at home. Whenever a family member steps out of the dynamic for an extended period of time the remaining family members slide into a "new normal."

You may have new routines, chores were reassigned, and expectations were discussed and worked through. One topic that may be worth discussing is morning routines so everyone gets to work/summer camps/summer jobs on time.

Tip 2: Discuss your expectations

There is usually a honeymoon period when your child first returns home. You're excited to have him back and he is excited to have a break from the demands of college classes. Take time to enjoy this transition time of having your kiddo back home.

Eventually, you and your child will need to talk about expectations while he is home for the summer. Topics may include:

  • Getting his clothes, boxes, etc put away in a designated area

  • Keeping his room clean (and define what that means!), trust me, your standards and his roommate's are probably very different!

  • Pitching in around the house

  • Laundry expectations

  • Morning and/or evening routines

  • Job expectations

Tip 3: Respect his independence

This can be the biggest battle between parents and returning college students. Your child may come home expecting to have the freedom he had while living in a dorm or campus apartment. You may expect him to be home at a "reasonable hour" and that may mean different things for each of you. A few t