Your grad is coming home; five survival tips

It used to be that when a student graduated from college, they would begin their own lives, which included moving out of the house they grew up in. Not anymore. A college education no longer guarantees that your son or daughter will be able to get a job paying enough to be able get a place of their own. With 53% of recent college graduates unemployed or under-employed, many graduates are forced to move back into the room they lived in as a child. That’s what happened to me.(This is part one of a five-part series: A GUIDE FOR PARENTS WITH A GRADUATE LIVING AT HOME AFTER COLLEGE. Parts 2-5 will be published over the next five weeks.)

By Michael Christina, Degrees2Dreams Content Strategist

It is tough out there in the real world. And we students fully appreciate the graciousness parents display when accepting us back into their homes.

With that being said, it is certainly not the easiest situation in the world to welcome with open arms that newly-found and often boisterous version of the kid you sent off to school four years prior.

Parents will often have their patience tested on a daily basis with this new living arrangement. But it is imperative to remember that this set of circumstances is becoming more common by the day.

So what steps can you take in order to avoid losing your mind? Just ask my mom.

‘The woman is a saint for having to deal with me on a daily basis. And just for the sake of full disclosure, she never got rid of me in the first place. I stayed at home in Winthrop and commuted to Suffolk throughout my college tenure. That means the 24 years I have been on this earth I have lived in my mom’s house. If anyone is inclined to dole out some advice as to how to deal with a kid living at home, I think she might just be the perfect candidate.

Here are my mom’s Top Five Secrets to Surviving When Your Graduate Comes Home:

1) IGNORANCE IS BLISS: It may not be the easiest thing in the world, but sometimes you just have to simply ignore someone. The less you pay attention, the better off you are.

Now this is easier said than done, especially when it comes to your own children. All parents want to see their kids succeed, and not just lull around the house watching TV all day. But sometimes, for the sake of your own sanity, it may be best to just let your son or daughter do what they are going to do.

To focus in on every single move your kid makes is a mistake. All it will do is create a festering resentment that will eventually lead to one, if not many blowups between all parties involved.

2) KEEP DOING YOU: One of the best secrets to surviving when your graduate comes home is to go about your life and don’t change any of your plans.

Now there may be financial restraints tied to your child moving back in that prevent you from doing everything that you would normally do. But don’t allow that to become a crutch as to why you have to completely alter your life. Make sure to keep on enjoying the things you have already become accustomed to before your bundle of joy came back home.

And if that means your child has to find some sort of employment, whether it be a part-time job or even just mowing a few lawns, make it clear that you will not be supporting every move they decide to make. They are young adults now and it is time for them to take care of themselves in some sort of way, shape, or fashion.

3) AVOID CONFRANTATION: This may be the hardest out of all of the secrets to apply to your everyday life. But it is key in keeping a healthy household intact.

Let’s face it, there is eventually going to be some sort of confrontation. It’s simply just human nature. What you need to remember is to limit those confrontations as much as humanly possible. This ties in directly to our first secret of being able to ignore your kid. But as we all know, sometimes that is just impossible.

So when faced with the opportunity to avoid an argument, do so. But in those instances, in which you feel something needs to be said, make sure you pick and choose your spots. It is better to have a productive conversation once in a while rather than constantly letting frustrations boil over into an all out war of words.

4) SUPPORT THEIR JOB SEARCH: One secret that is imperative is making sure your child is actually doing the right thing. Being lazy a few days out of the week is one thing. Being lazy all the time is a completely new ballgame.

It is best that you encourage your kid in the best way you know how. Whether it is helping them to find employment by assisting with a job search, or just simple things like going over a resume, these techniques can often help to show your child you support them. Many kids lose their confidence after a few rejections from employers. To know that at least their parents still believe in them might just be the boost a kid needs to get out there and keep fighting to find something.

By providing this support, you are also making sure that your child does not become stagnant. It is an underhanded way of keeping your kid’s morale up and keeping them in the game of finding employment. The amount of confidence that can be built up through the simplest form of support can go an extremely long way.

5) ENJOY THE TIME YOU SPEND TOGETHER: The last secret is to just simply enjoy the time you have together. It may not be the ideal situation, but more often than not it provides more time to spend with your child that you probably would have ever had.

Take advantage of the moments you have by making time to do things that you enjoy doing together. Go out to lunch, catch a ballgame, and spend a day at the beach together. There may not be another time in your lives where you will have the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company as much as you do now. So take advantage of it because you may not be willing to admit it now, but deep down you’re going to miss having them around all the time.

And there you have it. The “Top Five Secrets to Surviving When Your Graduate Comes Home.”

Have advice of your own? Did I leave something out? Parents certainly always have an opinion as to what works and what doesn’t. We’d love to get some tips from you as to what successful secrets you have to survive when a kid moves back in after college. Send them to me at .

So parents use these tips and please do not kill your child. It may seem like a solid alternative to them living in your house now, but it won’t be worth it in the long run.

 

Hi, my name is Michael Christina and I am the Content Strategist of Degrees2Dreams. I recently graduated from Suffolk University with a BOA in Journalism, and I am always looking for a good story.  My inquisitive nature never allows for me to be satisfied with just one simple answer. I always want the scoop. I also have a sick obsession with the New England Patriots, which needs to be mentioned in order to get to know me. It’s just part of my existence. Always joking, I have found that life is much too short to be serious all the time. To me, laughter is the key to success in life. You can’t ever have enough laughs in life.

 

John Wilpers

John Wilpers

Founder & CEO at Degrees2Dreams
I am the founder and CEO of Degrees2Dreams, a company I created to empower college students and recent grads to leverage the power of social media to build a rewarding, fulfilling, fun career. I have been working in media for forty years, and continue to speak and consult with media companies around the world, including newspapers and magazines in Norway, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Washington, England, Korea, The Ukraine, Austria, and others. Prior to launching Degrees2Dreams, I worked with major media companies including the Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, GlobalPost.com, The Miami Herald, the San Diego Union-Tribune, and BostonNOW. I have also been the editor of multiple online city sites in AOL’s Digital City network. Outside of publishing, I am the founder of a self-esteem building soccer program that has graduated 4,000 girls since 1996 (hotshotssoccer.org). I am also a long-board surfer, and have performed as “Mother Ginger” in a Boston production of “The Nutcracker” for the last 15 years. My wife of 36 years and I live in Marshfield, MA with my two daughters.
John Wilpers

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