While most high school students have another month before summer recess those attending college are beginning to make their way home for what is a long warm-weather break. Especially for those that are finishing their freshman year this brings what can be a dramatic shift in home life for everyone.

While there was a sneak peek during Christmas break this three month or so recess might prove to be more challenging.  The 18-year old son or daughter you sent to college in August might be a very different person than what returns home.  Their first dealings with independence include no curfews, something you may or may not have imposed when they were in high school.  I always remember by first dealings with my son when he was coming home while I was leaving for work.  I had assumed he was sleeping in his room so when I read him the riot act for coming home at 3:30am without calling he looked at me like I was crazy.  He did get the message and handled it better after.

My point is that when they are away at school it’s a little, “out of sight, out of mind.”  When your kids were home you often did not fall asleep until they came in the door.  My wife had a sixth sense when it came to this while in truth I never had trouble sleeping.  However if they are away you really don’t know where they are and if they even come home at night.  You simply trust them to make good decisions.

So now they are home for the summer.  Do you go back to a curfew or work out some other arrangement?  Remember they have embraced some of the independence that comes with being away from home although their glad to have someone else do their laundry and figure out what’s for dinner.

A word of advice.  Figure it out quickly for the sake of everyone in the home.