After semesters of freedom, moving back home can be confusing for college students. Greeted by gushing relatives, overflowing refrigerators, and clean bed linens, who wouldn't begin to expect continued concierge service?
The problem? Your "hotel" isn't staffed for that. If you're anticipating a tiny bit of transitional friction, you're not alone. No one ever said launching children into adulthood came without frustrations. The teen tug-of-war between dependence and independence can leave the best parents confused. But if you're trying to keep your cool, setting the ground rules at the onset is always a wise move. Here are 5 light-hearted reminders that just might get your student back into the family zone.
Reminder 1. A morning wake-up call is actually in the a.m.
Reminder 2. Sure you miss your college friends and university stomping grounds, but bite your tongue before you suggest that the tuition check writers have chosen a boring lifestyle.
Reminder 3. The kitchen is open 24/7 but you are the clean-up crew. Please refrain from burning the grilled cheese, because three a.m. smoke alarm sirens are frightening. PS: Never deactivate a smoke alarm. A loud smoke alarm is always better than no smoke alarm.
Reminder 4. A wet towel on a dorm floor means you took a shower. A wet towel on your bedroom floor means a lecture on mold and water stains.
Reminder 5. Think of your parents as professors. As they hurl tons of questions at you, try to answer like you're being graded. Omit eye rolling, sarcasm and that catchy phrase, "You can't tell me what to do -- I'm in college." Then focus on all of the perks and free meals the summer will bring.
Follow Nancy Berk, Ph.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nancyberk