Teachable moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent.
College is where kids explore their new-found freedom. But when they come back home, the old house rules still apply…
This past year, we packed up both our kids for college. It was a major undertaking of both timing and logistics because they both moved into their respective colleges within a week of one another. It was also a major transition for us because we are the parents of twins. And while we are proud of their accomplishments and knew this day would eventually come, we found that the house was very empty with just my wife, the dog and myself.
At first, we were not used to the quiet around the house. But after a while, without their late-night coming and goings that kept us up listening for the garage door or the creaking of the stairs as one of them finally went to bed after binge watching Netflix, we finally caught up on some of the sleep that we missed out on over the past 18 years.
But our new-found peace and quiet—along with their new-found independence—will be coming to a screeching halt the moment that classes let out.
Now, soon the twins will be returning home for summer break. They have been on their own—or so they think— for six or seven months now, coming and going as they please and sleeping and eating on their own schedules. Because of this, my wife and I are anticipating the worst when they are back under our roof. They will probably want to stay out late with friends that they have missed since going to college. They’ll want to take the cars whenever they want and will basically have no plans or responsibilities for the summer… or as we like to say, “living the life.”
My wife has already laid the ground rules about the late nights out. She explained to them that with other people in the house who get up early to work in the morning, they shouldn’t be staying out to whatever hour they like as they did when they were away at college. We have also explained in several emails that we need to know their schedules for work because the number of people in our home exceeds the number of cars we have, and if someone’s going to be without a ride to work, it sure as heck won’t be Mom or Dad.
In the end, we’re extremely proud of our kids. We’re confident they’ll mature into responsible, productive adults. But we’re not foolish enough to believe that it’ll happen over the course of one year away at college. So with our kids’ first summer break, we will do what we do in life: hope for the best while preparing for the worst.
Wish us luck…
Learn more in Boys Town’s Guide to Parenting Teens.