CBA Parent Newsletter from Dean Plowman - 12/17/14

The holiday decorations are going up and you have checked your lists at least twice as you prepare for the holidays and winter break with your college student. The door swings open and in stumbles someone new and familiar all in one. Hugs and greetings are exchanged, and now what?
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 everyone navigate these next few weeks of holiday celebrations and adjust to being under the same roof again? It is fair to say you should expect some culture shock from both parties. So here are some winter break survival tips for parents that you may find useful.
Don’t be completely available. It can put a lot of pressure on your student if they think you are expecting to be with them every minute. Keep in your routine with small adjustments. Negotiate some events or days for family time so everyone can be together but still have time to do their own thing.
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. Returning to family routines may feel restrictive to your son or daughter, both parties may have to compromise. 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 this may be 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 second semester challenges.
I have also attached a letter regarding programs and scholarships available to your son or daughter. I hope you will take a moment to read through the information and discuss it with your family.
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