Coming Home for the Holidays

Martha - posted on 12/02/2008 ( 17 moms have responded )

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The holidays are a wonderful time, but they can also be pretty stressful. If your child is away from home at school, winter break is usually the first long stretch they come home for and it is exciting, but also is an adjustment for them, for us and any siblings at home, etc. We discussed this to a certain extent following Thanksgiving. What can we do to prepare for this and to make sure the winter break is as friction-free and enjoyable as possible?

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Shannon - posted on 01/20/2009

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I have 2 boys in college.  One is a freshman playing baseball at Methodist University and the other is a sophmore at Pembroke.  My freshman is a 10 year old in a 19 year old body.  He comes home and it's like a tornado came through.  He thinks I'm still the maid and we are the bank and he is growing up a little but I mean it's just a little.  My 20 year old has his own apartment that he shares with 3 other roommates and has taken to living on his own.  Cleans up after himself, spends time with the girlfriend, cooks, cleans everything.  It's like night and day.  But then again he was the same way his freshman year.  I am hoping that my younger one will grow as he gets older and that college baseball will teach him the dicipline that highschool ball did not.

Mary Kay - posted on 01/19/2009

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My son is going back to school tomorrow. I think we're both ready.



We had a good time, but not really a lot of "alone" time.



How can time go so quickly and slowly all at once???

Laura - posted on 01/19/2009

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Winter break went pretty well in our house. I have one son in college 200 miles away and he came home at Christmas for the first time since school started. I had to remind him of the basic house rules and had to schedule family time so that he didn't spend every moment with his friends that do not go to his University. There was a little friction, mostly relating to curfew, but otherwise the visit was nice. It is amazing to see how much he has matured in the last five months!

Jeanette - posted on 01/04/2009

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I have 4 children 27, 25, 22, and 18. They all live on their own. It was wonderful to have them all at the house for Christmas. My Mom and her sister(aunt) were also over. It was a blessing.

Valerie - posted on 12/31/2008

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I actually have enjoyed this visit from our sophmore daughter. I made sure that we had plenty of activities that were fairly cost free and involved spending time together. The first thing I did was asked her what she wanted to do for "her" vacation. I made sure that all of that was built in to make this a stress free time. This made it really not about her, but in fact got "her" out of the way. We could then focus on family and fun! It turned out to be a dynamite vacation. She goes back to school on Sunday and I'm really sad to see her leave. What a switch from last year! She feels that her needs were met and yet Christmas was still more about family and the true meaning of the Season! Hooray!

Brenda - posted on 12/17/2008

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My daughter is in her 3rd year of college. She doesn't come home for more than 3 to 4 days at a time, due to activities and her work schedule. Sometime that is to long of a time for her and her sister to get along. I just try to have things for all of to do, not always together either. I make sure that her younger sister has places to go part of the time so that they don't have to much time together to get on each others nerve.

Jane - posted on 12/07/2008

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Hello all,
I am Jane Hanna, mom of Eric who is a first year at University of Virginia School of Architecture. We live in Amsterdam (Americans living overseas). Eric has decided to spend Christmas with his grandparents in Florida, as he recently saw us when we flew over for the family weekend on campus. I am a little worried about how this will work out. He hasn't spent much time with them since he was very young.

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I know the big provoker in our house is unclear communication. Our son told us he would spend most nights with us on break last year (he's in an out of state school while his twin brother is at a local u. close by). We knew he would spend a couple nights with his brother at his rented house. It ended up being one night and when I lightly said something the day before his last day, he blew up, saying I didn't understand the pressures on him...how many high school friends wanted to see him etc. His phone had not stopped ringing, but he hadn't shared with us what was going on or explained how he had (or wanted to) change his plans. Clear expectations (even if it's clear that they have to be vague!) and communication became vital.

Glynis - posted on 12/03/2008

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ELLEN,

Fess up ! WHAT are you putting in their food???? You said, "hey also participate in family activites, such as church activities, traditional family Christmas activities as well as certain chores around the house. They are all really nice about cleaning up after themselves"

How do you get to this point? Come on, spill it !!! We all want to know the secret ! We'll PAY !

Cindy - posted on 12/03/2008

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my son is a junior in college & daughter is a freshman at local school. they always were close but now when he comes home they fight "like cats & dogs" then he goes back to school & they make up usually via texting or facebook. I try really hard to stay out of it, but it's awful & i don't know what to do. He does his own laundry at school & rarely brings any home, she expects me to do all hers. i have raised an independent son ( sometimes i wish he wasn't so independent) and a dependent daughter...and now i'm trying to have a life of my own so i am not interfering so much in hers and feeling so bad when he goes back to school.

Carmen Mercedes Bauza - posted on 12/03/2008

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Nothing more true!

I have two College sons, one in his freshmen year and the other is already in her first year of his master degree! Both are very different, but enjoy each others company at the most. Things change at home, and the climate becomes a little bit tense. Both are already having their own apts and they come for vacations, so I try to meke them feel the best I can. I can't even think when they get marry , and this wiil be no longer their first home.........For now I'll enjoy them at the most!

Mary Kay - posted on 12/03/2008

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Like everyone has said ~ set some rules (basically, reiterate your "home" rules), don't be too concerned about a few late nights, pick your battles, and enjoy your kids. About the time you're ready to kill them, they'll go back to college! *phew*

Carolyn - posted on 12/03/2008

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Thanksgiving is a blessing, not just because we are thankful for our children but its prep for what's to follow in 3-4 weeks. Our rules are pretty much the same as Victoria's. My biggest thing is I know they're safe when they're out with friends. They do their own laundry, I cook when I want to cook, but always make food availible for a "everyone for themselves night" I need a head count before I cook because I hate cooking and no one is here, so the texts go out around 3pm "Will you be here for supper" I have two in college, and my daughter is a senior and busier than the guys. I've been going to weight watchers and have lost 40 pounds in the past year with them all being away, and cooking and living for myself. Thanksgiving was stressful ( as far as ww goes) because once again I put them first (which I think I should). I gained 5 pounds in five days, no one's fault but my own (you are what you eat). Christmas scares me and I have to have a better family plan. I love cooking for them, but at the same time I love eating what I cook for them. I tried making spaghetti with ground turkey meatballs, you would have sworn I was trying to feed them ground up birdseed mixed with some onion soup mix. Any suggestions.

Lynda - posted on 12/02/2008

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I'm a new "college mom", but Thanksgiving break went really well (our son had 10 days, a little unusual), and I thought I'd share some things our family did. First, he did a little volunteer work, just to have something to do while the rest of us were at work/school. We have already told him we realize it will be very difficult to get a part time job this year. We are encouraging him to spend his free time at home volunteering; he spent a year with City Year (an Americorps program) and he is going to volunteer this December while he is home. These days, our youth can really have an impact with people not as fortunate as we. We also made sure to give him plenty of time to spend with his friends, making sure there were clearly scheduled family events that he kn ew about, but still trying to be considerate of his need to see friends. All in all, it was a wonderful ten day visit, his little brother was in heaven, we stuffed him full of all his favorite foods, and sent him back to college ready for those final exams!

Ellen - posted on 12/02/2008

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I have 3 boys in college. One is living at home and the other two are away. Having them all home for the holidays will be wonderful and wild! I let the boys come and go as much as they want to as long as they also participate in family activites, such as church activities, traditional family Christmas activities as well as certain chores around the house. They are all really nice about cleaning up after themselves and taking care of themselves. That makes it nice when they are home. We have lots of laughs and fun. The basic rule is I don't wake them up in the morning if they don't wake me up at night! :)

Victoria - posted on 12/02/2008

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My eldest daughter is in her junior year. Each year has been a new experience. She couldn't wait to come home her freshman year ... and then it was full of friction because she wanted to have the same rules she had while away at college ... NONE. We are going to be on our third Christmas break at home and I think we finally have things ironed out to where it will be enjoyable for all of us. Rule (1) I allow her the freedom to enjoy her time out with friends while she respects my need to know what time she will be home or if she is staying somewhere else. I no longer require a "curfew" ... just the knowledge of whether to be expecting her or not. Naturally, I am a mother and I worry so ... she cooperates. Rule (2) She does her own laundry, etc. unless I offer to take care of it for her. If she were at school, she'd be doing it herself. As a Mom, it's nice to take this burden away sometimes but I don't want the assumption to be "well, I'm at home so Mom will do it." Rule (3) I don't make "working" an issue. If she wants to earn some money while she's home doing something part time – that is her choice. However, I also understand if she wants to take that time to really relax and recoup before heading back for the next semester. My daughter is a college athlete and softball is paying her tuition. Softball IS her job and she can't have one during the school year and she spends her summer's and every break having to do a workout plan, taking lessons, as well as playing on extracurricular team's to keep her skills up ... so "working" for money is optional. "Working out" is not. LOL As for me ... every time I hear her and her younger sister arguing over clothes or debating over who is going to take the trash out ... I just remind myself that in a few short weeks it will be quiet again. Maybe too quiet ...

Lisa - posted on 12/02/2008

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Freshman yr we picked our son up about every other weekend, till the spring when he started work on campus and gas prices went threw the roof. This yr we could not pay for his college so he has been on campus working like mad. Thanksgiving was nice to have him with me. He is my mama's boy. Christmas will be a mixed blessing. I will be thrilled to have him home on the other hand he will be loosing like 4 wks of work. Thankfully God is on the throne.

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