Parenting College Kids at Home — The New Frontier?

So many of our friends and acquaintances have sent their kids (or rather, young adults) off to college with mixed emotions.  It may seem strange that my two oldest are living at home while attending college.  Our oldest son went his first year locally, next moved away and lived on campus about four hours away, then  moved home and changed majors and is attending another local college now.  It was a good move for him.  I’m sure it was an adjustment but he handled it well and is doing great with college and living at home, even after being out of the nest for a while.

I’ve tried not to be to “motherly” but it is nigh impossible.  He is patient with me and has learned to endure my motherly inquiries with tactfulness.  Our next oldest, who is my oldest daughter, is doing college at home through College Plus which incorporates distance learning/online classes/credit by exam/and ties it all together with individual coaching.  It is a great fit for her!  Especially with her ongoing health needs and her start-up art business the flexibility is a huge plus!  I recommend College Plus!

When your child/young adult leaves home there is a natural distance that can even be more than is good for them, but it is there nevertheless.  Some parents stay in touch better than others, and some students stay in touch better than others.  At home, there is not as much of the excitement of a breaking with the past for new adventure, but it is still new and it is exciting and should be cause to change gears a bit, and acknowledge their adult status.  It’s harder somewhat since they are the same person and so are you, with the same day in and day out issues over which you relate to one another for better or worse.  They still need you and yet need to establish that they are an adult.  They need you to relate to them as an adult.  But let’s face it, sometimes they still act like little kids, and it makes it hard.  You don’t have the limited access to them that makes every visit a time for celebration and a break from routine.  You still have the day in and day out.  I like having my young adults home.  I am glad they are getting to spend more time with me as well as the rest of the family.  I want them to feel included yet not too bogged down in the rest of the household goings on so it is an ongoing effort to balance that.  I am trying to relate to them with respect that they really are adults and have achieved that status.  I have a way to go yet.  They are being patient with me.

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