5 Tips for Parents of College Students Moving Home for the Summer

It is probably hard to believe, but your once-small babies are now fully grown young adults happily thriving in college.

Since you fully admit to having more than a mere touch of Empty Nest Syndrome, you were likely delighted when your college student texted you, saying they wanted to move back home for the summer.

While you are happy to have your ducklings all back in the proverbial pond for a few months, you also realize that there will be a bit of an adjustment—for you and for them.

To make the experience as fun and stress-free as possible, consider the following five tips:

Tip One: Establish Some Updated Rules

Yes, you may still “see” adorable young children when you look at your college students. But the reality is, these kids are now full-fledged legal adults handling a lot of their own responsibilities, and many of your old household rules may no longer apply. Communicate clearly with your kids what you expect from them when they are home over the summer—for instance, you may want them to handle their laundry and let you know when they are heading out for work or to hang with friends. At the same time, you may want to drop the curfew, as this can give them the idea that you don’t trust them or their ability to make good decisions.

Tip Two: Have Lots of Food on Hand

College students are not necessarily famous for eating a lot of healthy and balanced meals. After a year of pizza, ramen noodles, and PB&J, your kids will probably be delighted to have some of their favorite home-cooked meals again. Stock up the pantry and fridge with food that they love. Ask them if you can either prepare some of their favorites or teach them how to make some of these favorite meals themselves.

Tip Three: Let Them Sleep In

Your college students may be pretty sleep-deprived when they get home. As eager as you may be to catch up over coffee and donuts in the morning, let them sleep in for as much of the summer as they wish. You will find plenty of opportunities to spend time with them, so there’s no need to ask them to set their alarms for breakfast.

Tip Four: Have Their Rooms Ready

If you have been using your kids’ rooms as a makeshift office or to store holiday decorations while they have been in college, try to return their rooms to their old look as much as you can. Wash all the bedding, give everything a nice dusting, and be sure you have their favorite shampoo and soap in the bathroom. This will show your kids you are truly delighted to have them back home with you this summer.

Tip Five: Encourage Them to Store Some of their Belongings Close to Campus

Just because your kids are returning home for the summer, it doesn’t mean that every single thing they own also has to move with them. Depending on their living situation at school, your college students may have furniture, kitchen appliances, winter clothing, sports equipment, and plenty of other things that don’t really need to head home. Renting a storage unit near campus is a great idea; most students can get by with a smaller 5×5 or 10×10 unit that is very affordable. When shopping for a storage unit, look for one that offers month-to-month pricing and state-of-the-art security.

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