Dealing with Kids Home from College

Kids Hanging Out

We all love to see our kids be independent and enjoy their lives at college.

But what happens when your child comes home from college yet still wants to run her own life while they’re under your roof?

Surviving kids home from college for the holidays or summer vacation has everything to do with communication.  This issue comes up more often for kids who are not yet 21 but are behaving as though they’re 40.


Let’s say your kid has just come home from college for the Christmas holiday and she’s going to be there for a month.  What’s the best way to handle situations like when she wants to stay out to the wee hours of the morning but her coming home late wakes up the rest of the family?

You know that’s what kids do in college.  The evening doesn’t truly start until 10:00 PM and sometimes kids don’t even get back to their dorms or apartments until nearly dawn.

But this isn’t something that’s going to go well in your household particularly if you have younger kids who need to get their rest.

Sit down with your college student and tell her what you expect from her activities.  Ask her if he she thinks she’s going to be out late often and, if so, find a way to give her the freedom that she has at college without upsetting the delicate balance at home.


One of the best things you can do as a parent is listen.  And sometimes that job is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, especially if you have a rebellious kid who has just had the freedom of being on his own for the first time.

Listen to what he has to say and why he wants to do some of the things that you may not be in favor of.

If it turns out that the activities have drugs involved – and alcohol is a drug – then the conversation may need to be more serious.

Borrowing the Car

Your college student may want to borrow the car to go hang out with old high school friends or even get together with new friends from college.  If it’s not a problem … meaning that you have more than one car in your family … let him borrow the car but make sure that there is a curfew. This is no different from borrowing the car while in high school.


If there hasn’t been an issue in the past with trust between you and your college student, then you can continue to trust their good judgment and know that they will call if they need you.

But trust (and respect) should also go both ways.  Your student needs to trust you and respect the rules that you have at home for the consideration of other family members.

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