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Spring break is right around the corner and for parents it’s often a time filled with worry as their older kids are off on spring break vacations! The media’s portrayal of college spring break is oftentimes rowdy, reckless, and dangerous. It’s not an environment any parent would want their kids in, but it’s a reality that parents can’t avoid forever. Their children will eventually make decisions on their own. They can take your thoughts and worries into consideration, but they can ultimately make decisions that go against your recommendations. Instead of arguing and demanding they don’t go, you have to accept it as part of them growing up!
This obviously won’t magically make all worrying disappear, but it opens the door to conversations that could possibly help alleviate some of those fears. If you shut them down, it also shuts the door to any productive conversations. They will end up going on their own anyways, because they technically can since they are adults. Instead of leaving on a negative note, express your concerns and worries but emphasize how you understand that they are an adult now and trust that they can be responsible.
Kids will respond positively to this and when you ask them to be wary of certain things, they will be more inclined to hear you out after you’ve shown them some respect! Be honest with them. Express what concerns you and hear what they have to say about them. If it helps, problem solve together and come up with ways to help ease worries. There can be hourly or daily check-ins or a phone call once they get to and from where they will be staying for the night.
Every situation is unique, so do what works best for your family. For my parents, when I went on spring break vacation I texted them when I got to my location, left, and when I returned to where I would be spending the night. Yes, they probably still worried about me in between, but with good communication, we were able to develop respect and trust for each other. I was able to go and have fun and my parents were able to have a little bit of peace knowing that they will hear from me throughout my trip!