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College freshman coming home for Thanksgiving break? Here's what parents can expect…

Open Arms

Thanksgiving break is a very exciting time for parents. Having your child home again is just about the most wonderful thing that could happen (that and actually cooking a moist turkey). There are so many things to do and so much catching up. There are meals to share, rooms to clean, light bulbs to change, computer issues to resolve, things to buy, stuff to rearrange, relatives to see, family outings to go on—there are so many things to do as a family and so little time to do it.

College students get excited about Thanksgiving too. For them, it’s a time to sleep, eat, hang out with friends, and see a boyfriend or girlfriend. Oh, and if there’s time to visit and shop with parents, that’s a bonus too.

Notice the difference? What I’m trying to say is that first-year college students home for break might have different expectations than their parents. This is especially true of students whose break is their first visit home.

Things to Expect during a Visit Home

– Expect them to want to sleep a lot (college is exhausting)

– Expect them to want to reconnect with friends

– Expect them to want to spend time with significant others

– Expect them to want a new curfew

– Expect them to want to eat a lot of home cooking

– Expect them to want to hang out at night with people other than you

– Expect them to want to have some space to do nothing

– Expect them to be surprised with what has changed

– Expect them to want you to do laundry (expect the only thing you’ll get in return is lint)

– Expect them to want you to keep their things just as they left them

Being back home is like being transported to another world. The last time your child was home he or she was a kid. So much has changed. The boy is a man and the girl is a woman. The life your daughter left behind is now part of her past. Coming back home can be like being a deer in the headlights. So try not to run her over by having too many expectations. She might actually need a break.

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