Your son or daughter has just finished their first year at university and it’s time for them to move home and find a summer job. Well, get ready; things won’t be the same as last summer. A lot has happened in the last eight months to both you and your young adult.
For example, you have no doubt established your own routine and likely enjoyed the freedom and flexibility of having one less person around to be responsible for. If there are other siblings in the home, they, too, have developed routines and have definitely enjoyed the extra space in the house.
As for your young adult, his or her life has been turned upside down and sideways. They are use to being independent and not having to answer to anyone. They have set their own time table, determined their own rules and established new friendships. Yes, things are going to be different this summer!
To ensure your son or daughter’s time home this summer begins on a positive note, it’s a good idea to establish some house rules that everyone can live with. Be sure to address things like:
- Household chores: who’s going to be doing the extra laundry, cooking meals, cleaning the bathroom, etc.?
- Paying for added expenses: will you expect your son or daughter to contribute some money toward the cost of meals, laundry detergent, phone bills, or can they do some chores in exchange for the added costs to your budget?
- Phone/internet time: with all these new friends spread across the country, there is sure to be added pressure on the phone or internet bill. You may want to consider a new long distance plan or an additional computer to alleviate disputes.
- Privacy: how will your family deal with the need for privacy? Devise a way to provide privacy when it’s needed. Using a “Do not disturb” sign or relocating to a basement bedroom may be options.
- “Coming and going: No matter how old your young adult is, he or she is still “your child.” Help them to understand that you worry when they’re out with people you don’t really know or fail to come home when they say they would. Encourage them to keep you informed without infringing on their privacy and moralizing about their social life.
- Overnight guests: What will be allowed in your home?
Whatever arrangements you develop, ensure everyone understands the parameters and can live with them. Flexibility and respect from all parties is a key to success. Patience and understanding are a must.