Anticipating a young adult child returning for a summer of living at home brings both delight and anxiety. On the one hand, you can’t wait to have your kid under your roof again. On the other hand, you may well have gotten used to not taking responsibility for your increasingly independent young person.
Here are some tips to consider for making the summer smoother:
- Give your kids as much advanced warning as possible that you are going to have a family meeting at the beginning of the summer to come to some agreement about who is going to do what.
- Acknowledge your children for all the responsibility they have been taking and how proud you are of them.
- Remind them of the chores they were doing before living away from home and ask them what contributions to the household they’d like to be making now.
- Ask what additional tasks (in light of the responsibility they have demonstrated) they would like to take on. Personally, I’d suggest having young adults cooking for the family a couple times a week.
- Get clear on what are you going to pay for (groceries? family takeout? family bowling night?) and what they are going to pay for (shampoo? Caramel macchiato syrup for their coffee? Going to the movies with their friends?)
- Consider what restrictions you need to keep from feeling taken advantage of and what freedoms they need to not feel like they are stepping back into childhood. You might want to restrict the number of friends they can have over or how late noise in the living room is okay when you have work the next day. They might want no curfew after not having had one the last nine months.
Finally, perhaps the most important tip is to be sure to schedule follow-up meetings every two to three weeks to nip conflict in the bud and to brainstorm new solutions where needed. Follow these tips, and you’ll be enjoying a stress-free (or at least less stressful!) summer with your college-aged child.
Elisabeth is a CCY parent coach and the author of Parenting as a Second Language, which addresses topics including the importance of developing clear expectations, being consistent, and approaching big feelings with empathy. If you are interested in working with Elisabeth or one of our other parent coaches, contact us today!