When Your College Kid Comes Home For The Holidays

by Amy Schmidt
Originally Published: 
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Can you believe it’s Thanksgiving break? I had a conversation with a friend this morning and I wanted to share what we talked about.

For those of us that have been around the block a couple of times with college freshman coming home for this particular break, here are my words of wisdom.

When my kids came home for Thanksgiving break after being away since that college drop off, which we have replayed in our minds a zillion times, my kids were:

Sick, tired, and ready to collapse.

But keep in mind, they will probably have homework, group projects and finals to start preparing for — given they probably head back after this break and will be home a few weeks later.

They probably will want to reconnect with their friends, more than spend time with you. I know that is heartbreaking — but true.

Remember this is a time in our kids’ lives where social media is at the forefront. They are seeing everyone else’s greatest hits from college. They may be overwhelmed with feelings of things like…

Are they really having that much fun?

Do they really have that many new friends?

Do they really want to go back…or are they feeling overwhelmed like me?

Your kid may walk in the door with heaps of laundry and the first thing you want to do is take photos to post to Insta or Facebook, have grandma and grandpa and every aunt and uncle there ready to ask them every detail about college.

But your kid may literally just shut down…

And that’s okay. It’s normal.

Courtesy of Amy Schmidt

Believe it or not, there are big changes you will see that have developed in the weeks since your kid left for college and you pulled the car away.

Think about it — they have kept their own schedules. They haven’t had a curfew, they eat whatever they want at any time of the day (or night). This is the time when your kid may be struggling keeping it all together.

Classes may not be going as well as they had expected. Those A’s and B’s may not be coming as easy as they did in high school.

They’ve made new friends, people you don’t know.

Your kid has changed. They are learning to live independently. They are learning to manage their time. They are learning their strengths and weaknesses.

My advice with all of this is: Let them sleep in. Don’t ask them a million questions. Hug them tight. Love them boldly.

There will be some bumps in the road when they come home. But give them the gift of grace. Give them the gift of patience.

It all works out.

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