Tips For Parents With Children Living at Home During College
The college years can be some of the most memorable years of a person’s life. We relish the newfound freedom that comes with living away from our parents and being on our own. We feel like adults for the first time in our lives, and people begin to treat us like adults. However, college can seem like four more years of high school for students who live at home and commute, and that’s a shame.
If you have a child living at home while attending college, you will have to give some concessions and loosen your rules a bit. Why? Because if you don’t, you can rob them of the college experience and stunt their growth. Here are some tips for helping your child feel comfortable and supported while living at home during college.
Give them more freedom. Colleges give their students considerable freedom when they live in the dorm, but for kids living at home, many find themselves being treated like high schoolers. Loosen up the reigns on the amount of freedom that your kids are afforded. That means extending their curfews, respecting their privacy, etc.
Give them their space. I mean this literally. Encourage them to reclaim their bedroom by redecorating it to me more befitting of an adult. Create a lounge area where they can hang out with their friends or study. If you have a finished basement or attic, let your kid turn it into their own apartment. If they want to invite their friends over, stay out of their way. You and your spouse may want to go on a date or hang out with friends to give your kid their space.
Encourage them to connect. To stay connected to their campus and its happenings, encourage your child to join a campus club, an intramural team, or even a fraternity or sorority. This allows them to get more of the full college experience and also meet new people. The friends that we make in college are often with us for the rest of our lives.
Pass on the savings. When kids stay at home while in college, parents save a ton of money on room and board. Use some of this money to do something nice for your kid. But them a new car if it’s in the budget. If not, a spring break vacation in Cancun is an option.
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