When students come home for the summer, it requires adjustments on everyone’s part. Here are some things to consider before that time comes.
Space. Where will your student put his belongings? Do you have enough room for him to move everything home or should he find storage closer to school? (Hopefully, you didn’t convert his room into something else!)
Siblings. What will the transition be like for them having their sibling back in the house? What can you do to make things smoother?
Rules. Have you and your student talked about rules of the house? She may balk at the “same old rules” after having freedom at school, so consider discussing rather than imposing rules to create a mutual agreement. This discussion should take place before your student comes home.
Responsibilities. What do you expect your student to do around the house to help out? Be clear and let him know that you fully expect him to meet those family responsibilities.
Transportation. Does your student have their own car or will she need to borrow your car? How do you feel about that? Think about this possibility before the summer arrives.
Obligations. Is there a family reunion scheduled? Weddings or birthday parties? Be sure to let your student know about these things ahead of time so he can work them into his schedule.
Visitors. How do you feel about having your student’s friends visit during the summer? Chances are that she’ll want to see some college friends, so be clear about boundaries when it comes to overnight guests.
There will certainly be conversations that continue during the summer as you and your student figure out how to live together again. However, thinking about some of the important categories ahead of time can help you both go into the summer months in thoughtful, open ways.
You can help by serving as a sounding board while summer options are considered.
What Will Fill the Time? Perhaps your student is taking on an internship or a summer job that’s in line with her anticipated career. Or she may be working on campus, doing service or taking on a job to pay the bills. Discuss the options in order to help your student determine where to focus her energies.
What about Classes? Does it make sense for your student to take classes this summer, either on his campus or at a local school? Explore this possibility together to determine if this is the best use of time and resources.