Fostering connection while your student is home for break

Above all, try to be patient with one another as you work to enjoy time together.
Above all, try to be patient with one another as you work to enjoy time together.

As students prepare to return home for the upcoming holiday breaks, both students and parents may be wondering what it will feel like to reunite after the student has been away from home for a semester. Transitioning back to living at home for a period of time can bring both excitement and anxiousness as families adjust to changes after living away from one another.

Here are some tips on how to provide opportunities to foster connection, check in with your student’s mental health, and help your student to maintain their growth and independence.

  1. Address Expectations
    Talk with your student about expectations of time spent together and roles within your family while your student is home.
  2. Foster Open Communication
    Ask your student about how they've grown and changed. Get to know what changes they are proud of, where they may be struggling and desiring support, and what they look forward to.
  3. Identify Activities to Engage in Together
    Breaks from academic stress are a great time to enjoy each other’s company to connect while your student is home.
  4. Allow Time for Self-Care and Independent Activities
    Your student may be used to more independent time alone since moving to college and it can be helpful to encourage continued self-care and time to relax.
  5. Be Patient
    It's common that the adjustment home can bring conflict as they are used to being on their own. Remember that this is normal and it can take time to reconnect where it feels “normal.”

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