By The College Advisor
You've been off to college. You've completed your first term. It's time to go home for
the holidays. Time to see old friends, party 'til dawn, and go with the flow as you grab
every opportunity to make the most of the break until you have to go back to college.
You have changed a lot. Your parents haven't. They are still pretty much the same parents
you had when you left for school. But you are not the same son or daughter they had. This
creates a lot of tension in many homes, particularly at the holidays when the family stakes
are so high.
At college, you could pretty much eat when you wanted to, sleep when you felt like it,
and go where you wanted when you wanted to without reporting to anyone. This kind of
lifestyle usually doesn't work well with most families.
Guardian parents usually have the most difficult time adjusting to the new you. They
are naturally protective and want to ensure that you are safe and well. It is important
to them that you participate in family events. Artisan parents often have few problems
adjusting, but if you flaunt your newfound freedom, you can expect some backlash as your
freedom impinges on theirs.
Rational parents usually don't have a lot of rules in the first place. But if you end up
in a battle of wills with them over something they consider critical, expect to have a miserable
holiday. Idealist parents are often the most psychologically equipped for the changes in you.
However, like the Guardians, they really want to know that you're OK. Leaving at 7 pm one day
and returning at 7 pm the next without letting them know your plans can leave any parents
worried and then angry.
It's also important to remember that your family probably wants to spend time with you.
If you show up at somebody's house, eat their food (foraging when necessary), sleep in their
house, and can't manage to give them the time of day, that is rude. In this case, most parents
of all types are likely to feel hurt or rejected or angry.
Here are some tips in communicating effectively with your parents so you come up with
a plan that will make everyone reasonably happy.
If your parent is a Guardian:
- Keep them informed of your plans. Any change that might possibly affect them
should be reported.
- Ask them what family events are happening and which are most important so you
can be sure to attend.
- Buy some food for everyone, clean up the house, or do something to show you're
trying to carry some of your own weight.
If your parent is an Artisan:
- Spend some time with them doing what they love and/or invite them to do something
with you (with or without your friends).
- Find out at what point they will call the police so you can contact them before then.
If your parent is a Rational:
- Ask for their opinion on something. Sometimes Rational parents may feel that you
will no longer respect them since you've gone to college.
- If your parent starts to lay down the law, see if you can find out what's really
bugging them. Apologize and suggest a compromise.
If your parent is an Idealist:
- Plan to spend some time simply talking. Your parent is dying to know what's going
on in your head and how you're maturing mentally.
- Keep them informed of your general plans and let them know about any moderate or