College Daughter Coming Home 
for the Summer

 by Chuck Snyder
 co-chaplain for the Seattle Mariners


Dear Chuck,
Our first one to leave the nest has finished up her freshman year at college and is coming home for the summer. We need help setting up boundaries and guidelines in advance so her father and I can be a team on the same page. She is a Christian and is attending an accredited Bible college. We have noticed she has become more lenient in her choice of movies, music, mode of dress and topics of conversation. Not to mention curfews!! We love her, we are happy to have her come home. But there are other siblings who are going to be watching, mimicking and impressed with her actions. Thanks for your advice. 

Chuck's Response
Thanks for the note about your daughter coming home from college for the summer. I suggest that after she gets home, you and your husband take her out for a nice dinner and talk about her year and tell her 10 things she is doing "right." Then, after dessert, gently and kindly lay out the rules you have for the summer. I hope you won't have too many. You can't be her Holy Spirit -- she already has one of those, no doubt. Just explain that the younger kids will be watching her, so lay out the rules that are important to you. I'd even be willing to take a glance at them and give you an outside viewpoint if you would like me to. She is an adult now, even though she will still be under your roof. The highest goal for a parent is to help make their kids independent before they leave home for the final time. I hope she is mature enough to want to be a good example for the other children. This might set her on the right path. If not, then get back to me with what she is doing that is wrong ... and I'd be happy to give you my thoughts. Be sure to let me know if you want to talk further.

Chuck Snyder


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Updated 05/24/2005