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  • Writer's pictureRachel Dubrow, LCSW

Home for the holidays with your college-aged child

home for the holidays with college aged child

Your college kids are home for the holidays. They're spending time with friends, sleeping in, and working out. You feel like they aren't wanting to spend time with you as much and don't really know your "place" in their newly-independent identity.

I get it. You worked so hard to raise kids that WANT to come home on breaks. You want THEM to want to spend time with you. Quality time. You want your college-aged child to still have a relationship with you. And, you're genuinely interested in what they are doing and what they want out of being a young adult.

What do you do now? Your young adult child has plans, goals, and desires that, most likely, do not include you at the forefront. And that's ok. It's actually a GOOD thing because it shows that they have newfound independence and are learning to solve their own problems. It's actually one of the things that helps prevent what many people now call "failure to launch".

Let's talk through some things you can do to still feel connected to your college-aged child while helping them do what they want to do.

  1. Plan something at a designated time. Do you want to have a family dinner together on Thursdays while everyone is in town? Do you want to do an escape room or go to a light show? Discuss as a family and plan as a family. This one will work best if everyone is involved in both choosing the activity and planning for it.

  2. Determine what your own needs and goals are for their time at home. What would be your ideal time spent with your young adult-aged child? Consider if this is feasible given what they also have planned. Remember that they are used to planning how they use their time so the expectations that were in place before they left the house may need to be adjusted.

  3. Ask your college-aged child what they want to do with and without you during the break. If they haven't thought about it already, it will get them thinking. And, if they have, it'll help them facilitate the conversation to make sure you're on the same page. Just because you took time off of work doesn't mean that they have the idea of spending that exact time with you and vice versa. So, get to talking about it and planning now.

  4. Be prepared to be surprised at what you learn about each other over the break. I'm positive you'll have at least one observation of your young adult-aged child that you didn't before. It's also likley they will learn something about you in this process, too.

I understand that every family does things a bit differently. If you've tried the above and are struggling and/or want a more individualzed approach, please reach out.


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