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A Cabrini student with his mother

10 Tips for Getting Along with your Parents over Summer Break

Summer break is just around the corner. You can feel it coming: the sun, the fun, the long days with nothing to do but lazing around.

The only problem is that this may not be what your parents have in mind!

The summer break from college can be a wonderful opportunity to refresh yourself but it can also pose some significant challenges and conflicting feelings.

#1 Pitch in. 
Help out around the house. You might have forgotten what it is like to have someone telling you to do household tasks. Chip in. It will make your family happy which will help you feel better as well.

#2 Keep quiet. 
Be respectful of your family’s schedule. They may not be used to the new hours that you keep.

When you are up at 2:00AM, try to be as quiet as you can be. They, in turn, may not wake you at 8 o’clock in the morning!

#3 Negotiate with your parents. 
The old household rules might not feel fair anymore.

Openly discuss the rules of the household with your parents. Express to them how you have changed and matured while in college. Work with them to come up with new, more appropriate rules that meet both their needs and yours.

#4 Respect the rules. 
When you have negotiated the new rules, don’t break them. You helped to come up with them so prove to your parents that you can abide by them.

#5 Know what the expectations are.
Ask your parents directly what they expect from you over the summer break.

Think about what your expectations are for the summer. Talk to your parents about them and come to an agreement about what will be reasonable.

#6 Be considerate. 
If you say you are a responsible adult, prove it.

Clean your room, put away your dishes, and maybe even do your own laundry. Your family is also adjusting to having someone else in the house again.

#7 Put yourself in your family’s shoes. 
Try to see the situation from your family’s point of view. They might not be intending to treat you like a child but are simply trying to adjust to having you in the house again.

#8 Remain calm. 
If you have made some drastic change while away, like pierced something, gotten a tattoo, or dyed your hair, expect a reaction. Take responsibility for it and move on.

#9 Be present. 
You might miss school and friends a lot over the summer but enjoy the niceties of being with your family.

Summer break is short and it won’t be long before you are back in school. Enjoy your family, your pet, your local friends, and other comforts of home.

#10 Be patient. 
Remember, this too shall pass. School will be here soon enough. Enjoy it while you can!

College is hard. The stresses of college life take their toll on you and your body. If you can get along with your parents over the summer, you will get the time to be lazy and have fun!


Sara T. Maggitti, PsyD, Director, Counseling and Psychological Services

Adapted from Moustaki, N., “10 Things You Gotta Know about Your First Year of College.” Spark College.

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