Weekend at Home
The first day of college marks the automatic fall break countdown. Students live for long weekends that provide a significant pause from the noise of university life. For the past few weeks your son or daughter has lived independently. Free from curfews, a higher authority, and bedtimes. The college motto goes something like this “I’ll take care of me, you take care of you, and everyone is happy”. Family systems differ from these independent routines. Don’t waste limited time fighting over petty misunderstandings with your son or daughter during a long weekend. Read through the following Do’s and Don’ts of weekends at home to keep the peace and provide the perfect college getaway for a maxed out college student.
- Don’t inquire. At least for the first few hours at home, keep the conversation light and allow your son or daughter to lead with information. Definitely do not ask about grades, exams, or stressors. A break from school is also a break from the constant GPA monitor that is programmed in your son or daughter’s brain.
- Don’t order out. Hot homemade food is the best cure for grouchiness, weariness, and exhaustion.
- Don’t wake up your son or daughter even if it has been a full 12 hours since he or she has emerged from the cave. A well rested student is a happy student.
- Don’t plan out the weekend without your son or daughter’s input. Limited time at home means a limited time with high school friends. Be considerate of reunions.
- Gently reinforce family expectations. From curfews to chores, it is best to give notice up front that dirty dishes must be put in the dishwasher.
- Set aside family time in advance. Friends or significant others factor into precious weekend hours, but a tentative family schedule will help your son or daughter coordinate dates with ease.
- Encourage. Words of affirmation and loving actions are greatly appreciated. Stock up on favorite snacks and sweet words. It will do a world of good.
- Be patient. Sometimes, the perfect weekend means lounging in pajamas and watching movies all day. Throw on your PJ’s and join the film fest.
- Recognize outlets. It is hard to find time to be creative, musical, or athletic at college. Setting aside time for these activities boosts self-esteem and satisfaction.
College is stressful, but home shouldn’t be. Your hard working son or daughter will greatly appreciate your wisdom in tactfully dealing with mini hibernations, movie marathons, and abandoned dirty dishes.