CBA Parent Winter Holiday Message from Dean Plowman - 12/10/13

You’re making the finishing touches to the holiday decorations and everything is on its way to perfect for your student’s triumphant return home for winter break. The door opens and in he or she stumbles with bags of clothes – some clean and some not. A sight to behold, but you’re happy to have them (laundry and all) home. Hugs and greetings are exchanged, and now what?
If this is your son or daughter’s first holiday trip back home, it is fair to say you should expect some commotion; each side is likely to experience a bit of culture shock. Your student has been on a six-month sabbatical experiencing newfound independence of college life. You have been at home with the memories of how things were, and possibly keeping busy with siblings still at home. So how will your family navigate these next few weeks of holiday celebrations and adjust to being under the same roof again? Here are some winter break survival tips for parents that you may find useful.
Schedule time to be together. Your son or daughter may have a list of high school friends to catch up with during break. They aren’t saying family isn’t important as well, but they likely set their social schedule in motion before coming home. Negotiate some events or days for family time.
Household courtesies are still in place. Especially with siblings still at home, your household needs to maintain some order. Remind your student there are rules of conduct that apply to the household, and they may differ from those of the dorm. Structure and responsibility are just as important now as they were six months ago.
Don’t be afraid to discuss curfews and schedules. It is fair to express your expectations, but be prepared for a flash of an independence streak. Talk about your thoughts together in advance of the first outing.
Enjoy your time together. The holidays are special times to reconnect with each other. Perhaps you will relish in long-standing traditions, or maybe this is an opportunity to start new traditions. Whatever your plans, just remember to take a moment, look around and take it all in. All-too-soon they will repack their bags and return to campus to tackle their second semester challenges.
Have a wonderful holiday season. The doors of CBA communication are open, and I welcome your messages any time.  
--Dr. Donde Plowman, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean