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Thousands of college students are returning home for summer break.  For many parents of first time returning students this can be a very challenging time.  The child that left home in September is now an adult. An adult who has lived a very different life than the one they left. So how do parents make the return smooth and welcomed? Here are some tips that may help.  

Set new house rules:  It is likely that when the child last lived in the home house rules were in place; curfew, chores, use of the family car. Review the house rules with your student, are they still applicable and reasonable. Perhaps new age appropriate rules need to put in place. Remember, while at school, your student has lived under very different (if any) rules.  

Be clear about expectations:  confusion and conflict often comes when expectations are unclear. Have a conversation with your student about what is expected of them while back at home.  Is there an expectation for the student to contribute to the household chores? Is the student expected to find employment? Will the student be required to contribute financially to the household? Be as clear as possible.  

Establish new relationship:  Your relationship with your college student has likely evolved; discuss the changes with your child openly and honestly. Set and respect boundaries.  

Communicate:  Keep the communication lines open. Reassure your student that you support them.  Let them know that they may discuss anything with you. It is often hard to hear about your students experiences but they may need a supportive understanding ear. Don't trivialize their feelings, thoughts and emotions.  

Respect:  Expect respect from your student, and make sure you respect your student. It is crucial to respect their privacy.  

Laurie Giles
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Laurie Giles, is an attorney, mediator, life coach and speaker.  She has practiced law for more than 20 years  and is the author of the What Now? Elder Planning: a Step By Step Guide To Navigating Through Your Parents Aging and What Now? Divorce Planning; A Step By Step Guide to Navigating Through Your Divorce. The  What Now? book and  workbook series help women navigate through the practicalities of life altering situations and develop a plan to create the life they deserve. She is the host of a weekly internet radio show, What Now? heard each tuesday on [Link Removed]  For more information about Laurie visit

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