Your child is all grown up and in college now. You get the invitation to attend homecoming weekend and decide this is a perfect opportunity to check out what he’s up to. How do you interact with your adult child? What activities should you attend? What are the boundaries? After reading this article you will have a better handle on these questions.
1. Discuss the agenda prior to the weekend event. This will allow you to go over the activities and decide which ones you will attend together.
2. Plan on attending the events scheduled for parents and alumnae. This will give your child space to attend other functions with her friends, while providing you with some “grown up” time.
3. Schedule a one on one activity with your child, such as a brunch or a mall trip. Doing so will let you connect with him away from friends, allowing him to be more frank about his new college life.
4. Remember that your child is now an adult and respecting her privacy will keep open lines of communication. Give him space to come to you with any issues without fear of repercussions or judgment.
5. Take opportunities to touch key issues facing college kids today, such as binge drinking, hazing, drunk driving, date rape, etc. This will help you feel more secure about your child being away from home, as well as helping your child know they can come to you with any problems.
1. Respecting the boundaries of your adult child means respecting her privacy. Don’t go through her belongings or ask too many prying questions. This will shut down the lines of communication and make for an uncomfortable visit.
2. Don’t show up to the event weekend unannounced. Remember to call in advance and set the agenda ahead of time. In doing so you will avoid awkward or backfiring situations.
3. Avoid trying to appear like the “cool parent” by fitting in with your child’s friends. Take it from me: it doesn’t work. It will only embarrass him, and possibly cause a strain on your relationship.
The main thing to remember is to have fun. Your child has embarked on a new chapter of her life and you can enjoy the ride, connecting on a higher level. Following these guidelines will help maintain a healthy relationship.