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The Kids Are Headed Home!

Winter Break is officially here!

Football season and finals have come and gone and now your once stressed-out college students are coming home for some much-needed relaxation. I repeat… THE KIDS ARE COMING HOME! Whether your student is a freshman who is excited to come home or a senior just waiting to graduate in the spring, the students on break can change the dynamic of your household. Here are some tips for surviving the long winter break from both perspectives.


Parents:

1. Manage Your Expectations. Your kids have been away at college, without you. They have learned how to live on their own and what works well for them. They have been working hard in school, and they are looking to relax. Try to remember these things when they come home and don’t immediately convert back to how they acted when living with you full-time. Have a conversation with your student to help avoid any unwanted tension and create a mental outline of what y’all agree on.


2. Set Plans. Your student will probably stay busy during winter break, even if it is just relaxing on the couch. Make plans with your student to have family time outside of holiday events. A few ideas are movie night, dinner at your student’s favorite hometown restaurant, game night, and any family traditions you want to do.

3. Your Child Needs Sleep. College works on a different timetable. Classes start early, go on all day, and social events start late. They have just finished finals and may have pulled some all-nighters that they never fully recovered from. Do not take sleeping in or a daytime nap as your student is lazy. They might really need the extra sleep.

4. Different Schedules. As much as you want to spend every moment with your student, you must understand that their friends may take some priority over you. This is why it is important to make sure you set plans with your student!

5. It Goes By Quickly. This break which your student probably feels is much needed will go by quickly with the holidays and plans that are done in this time frame. You will see your child packing up to leave for campus sooner than you would like, so take a few moments in this time to appreciate the time you get to spend with them!


Students:

1. Manage Your Expectations. Just like your parents, you need to realize your parents’ lives have changed. They have more empty space in the house and free time to fill up. You coming home does not immediately change what they have done for themselves. Your parents may want you to help around the house while you are home, and you have to set realistic expectations for what you will do. Have a conversation with your parents to help avoid any unwanted tension and create a mental outline of what y’all agree on.

2. Take Time to Self-Care. This time is some of the most needed after a tiring semester. It is the holiday season, and you get to spend time with your family and friends, but make sure to plan some time for yourself. Spa nights, read a book, movie nights, holiday activities, etc. Doing things that make you happy will allow you to feel better in between semesters.


3. See the People You Miss. The winter break is a great time to catch up with hometown friends at different schools or in different places than you. If you have been wanting to catch up with people and see people that you don’t get to see every day, plan it out. However, you know that you have missed your family, so make sure to spend some quality time with them.

4. Maintain Your Friendships. The friendships you make at school can be some of the best ones of your life if you maintain them. Keep in touch, set up times to FaceTime, and talk about the great times you are having.

5. It Goes By Quickly. You probably feel this is a much-needed break for you, and it will go by quickly with the holidays and plans that are done in this time frame. You will be packing up to leave for campus sooner than you would like, so take a few moments in this time to appreciate the time you get to spend with your family and friends!


These tips are suggestions meant to help you; it is not an exact guideline to follow to a tee. Do what works best for you and your family. Let us know if these tips help! And Merry Christmas!