Once I left home for college I thought, “Wow – This is great! I can get Starbucks as many times a week as I want, I can binge eat Ben & Jerry’s out of the carton, and no one can stop me!” Yes, it did seem great for the first few weeks, until I realized I was caffeine-dependent and my jeans were a little tighter than before. That’s when I realized that all of those years of mom’s and dad’s rules and what I thought was “annoying parenting” actually had meaning behind it.
After my first year of college, I felt that I became very knowledgeable about how to be independent and responsible. When I headed home for the summer, introducing the idea of being a young adult to my parents was not an easy task. I definitely experienced some difficulties trying to combine my life at home with my life away at school. So, I have put together a few tips to help ease your parents (and you!) into the idea that you are more of an independent woman than when you left.
Helping your Parents Transition
1. First and foremost, give your parents a call. Some parents fear that their children may leave home and forget about them. Remember, your going to college is a big transition for them too! When you are away, try your best to keep your parents in the loop. Give them a call and catch up. You will be surprised how much it means to your parents when you call home; it’s also good to know that your support system is just a phone call away. Mom and Dad always know how to change your mood and get you back on track.
2. Be patient! Becoming a mature young adult was not an immediate change for you, so expect your parents to need the same amount of time, or more, to adjust. Coming home at 2 a.m. without calling is definitely not going to go over too well. Be mindful that your parents were used to you checking in with them. Respectfully show them what your new routine consists of and ask what adjustments could be made. Find common ground and meet them halfway.
3. Let them know how mature and independent you have become by practicing what you preach. When you return home, help your parents with errands or chores around the house to show them you are a responsible adult. Assuring them of how much you have grown and what you are capable of will give them more confidence in your independence.
3. Don’t push them away. Not long ago, you were learning to drive and graduating high school with your parents right by your side. The are your biggest fans. They want you to succeed, and sometimes they can’t help but to be what you consider “over-bearing.” Most parents will have trouble letting their little boy or girl go off on their own; try to put yourself in their shoes. Looking at the situation with a different perspective will have a great impact and will help you understand their reasoning.
It is common to have a few conflicts with your parents when you come home. When you transition into adulthood, the relationship dynamic with your parents changes too. The most important thing to remember is this is a great time in your life, as you discover yourself and grow in ways you never thought possible. Embrace your personal growth and share it with your parents. If you open up and remain patient and respectful, you will definitely get your parents on board with this newest phase of your life.
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