Thanksgiving & Winter Break with Your Student

Thanksgiving Break and Winter Break are fast approaching, and for many students and their families, this can be an unexpected time of transition after a busy semester. Whether your student has been away living on or near campus or has been commuting from home, there are things you and your student can do to help make the transition a safe, happy, and healthy time for all.

  1. Family Expectations: Set family expectations for breaks and holidays now. Your student has spent the last semester building a sense of independence, learning to advocate for themselves, and learning more about who they are. They might have different expectations around being at home and what that means in terms of rules (especially regarding things like curfew). Talk to your student about these expectations and set mutual expectations for their time at home.
  • Scheduled vs. Free Time: Your student has had a very busy semester and most likely has been pulled in many different directions. Give your student a chance to just chill, catch up on sleep, and relax. At the same time, five weeks of completely unstructured time might be overwhelming. Encourage your student to make a plan or list of things they would like to accomplish over winter break.
  • Celebrate Accomplishments: Finishing the semester is a huge accomplishment, especially when you think about all of the stress and anxiety that returning to campus this fall brought to many students. Be sure to take some time to celebrate making it through by going to a favorite restaurant, visiting a favorite place, or just by getting together with friends and family that your student might not have seen in a while.
  • Mental Health & Wellness: Sometimes people can experience a worsening of symptoms regarding their mental health during this time of year. Be open to talking to your student about how they are feeling, and check in with your student periodically. Remember that resources are still available to them, even during winter breaks.

We hope that you and your student have a safe, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving Break & Winter Break!