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Student and Parent Communication Tips for a Happy Holiday Break

Publication Date: 12/17/2012

While being home for the holidays can often be a welcome break from the stresses of exams, there sometimes are adjustments for students returning home with parents and siblings. Dean of Students Carol Casey has a few pointers to make the transition as smooth and seamless as possible.

She says first-years, who have been faced with new responsibilities, should be up front with parents about problems or changes, especially when it comes to grades.

“Students whose grades might not have gone well may want to prepare their parents before grades even come out. I have found that more and more parents either directly have access to BannerWeb or ask their students to print out their grades.”

Likewise, some students should be ready for parents initiating a conversation about spending. Whether it is a student’s first or fourth year of living away from home, spending habits and credit card statements may need to be addressed once the students are home for the holidays.

Equally as important, says Casey, is talking with parents about curfews and allotting enough family time. “It is also important for parents to give students a few days after being home to sleep and relax.”

“I think it is helpful for students to first think about ‘What is most important for my family? What are some things that don’t need to be negotiated?’ And move those things off the table right away,” she adds. “If students have had older siblings who have gone to college, they might want to think about how parents have handled similar situations with their siblings in the past, and even talk to them as a guide. That could certainly help.”

Casey says the bottom line is that communication should be initiated by both students and parents. “Students should remember that their families are excited to see them and want to spend time with them,” says Casey. “Parents have a huge investment in their children, and that doesn’t change when they turn 18. Good communication will go a long way to make the break enjoyable and the process of returning much smoother.”

(information compiled by Rhodes Student Associate Lucy Kellison ’13)

Tags: Staff, Students

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