Dave and I don’t get out much, but have our routines that give us the “us” time we need. We get up at 5 for a cup of coffee together before we have to get the kids going for school. We send the kids to their bedrooms at 8 to get some time on our own to chat or enjoy a show, and we work on writing projects together (a blog and a book). We maintain a Monday through Friday school and work schedule that gives us time on the weekends to catch up on odds and ends and spend time doing things together as a couple and as a family.

Then Kira comes home from college. We are thrilled to have her home, don’t get me wrong. But it is a huge adjustment having an extra adult in the house all the time. Suddenly, our two bathrooms don’t seem enough – the kids are in ours more often because she is in theirs all the time. Now, when we are ready to settle for the evening and share a program or sit and talk, Kira is there to be part of the evening.

She’s working at a fast food restaurant, so her schedule varies each week and she stays up late and sleeps in some mornings until long after we’ve been up and around. And, because Parker took over her room last summer, she’s camped out in the spare room, which also houses my art supplies, several of my book shelves, and other things I like to have access to.

It’s an adjustment, to be sure. There are some things we don’t accommodate, and that makes it easier for us to deal with. The new boyfriend might come to visit her over the summer, but he’s not staying with us. She can sleep as late as she wants, but we won’t be tiptoeing around the house all hours of the morning. She can stay out as late as she wants, but she has to be quiet and careful coming in at night and be responsible enough to lock up after herself. And, she’s free to dominate the bathroom at any time except when the kids are getting ready for school or getting ready for bed.

I am certain that over the course of the summer, there will be nights she comes in late and isn’t as quiet as I’d like and depending on my mood at being awakened, she might get snapped at. I’m sure Dave and I will have moments as a couple where we will miss having our quiet evening time to ourselves, but Kira has offered to babysit her siblings so that we can get out together – something we’ve really missed.I also know that the end of August will come much too quickly and she’ll be heading back to school…and then all those little things that we took time to adjust to will be missed!

Tips for Getting Along with Your Adult Child During Summer Break

What makes the adjustment easier is that we do treat Kira like an adult and allow her to have her own life. Because of that, there is very little friction. She does her thing; we do ours. We love it when we all have time together. She respects the requests we make that help us keep our sanity and she has grown into a lovely, intelligent, well-spoken person with whom we love to spend time, and not just because she’s our daughter.

  • Realize your college student has been living on his or her own and is used to making decisions for himself or herself and won’t adjust well to suddenly having to follow the same rules that were in place during high school
  • Because life has not stood still while your college student was gone, realize there might be some insecurities on his or her part in dealing with the changes. Since Kira left home, we’ve radically changed our diet, stopped using a microwave, and reorganized the whole house.
  • Remember that no matter what changes in personality or style your child has made (Kira pierced both her tongue and her belly button) that home is the safe place for most kids, and they just want to be able to come home and be accepted
  • Show your adult children that you respect their independence by allowing them a reasonable level of freedom
  • Establish some ground rules about expectations, but listen to your adult child, too, about what they want
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate!