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Surviving Family During the Holidays

Surviving Family During the Holidays

By Kathryn Knight

November 19, 2010

During the holiday season, we’re inundated with messages about how much the family means. However, when your mother enforces your 10 p.m. high school curfew after months of staying up until you see the sun, it can be difficult to retain that message.

Surviving the holiday season is just as important as celebrating the season. These tips and tricks will help you keep the peace with your parents, allowing everyone to enjoy your time at home.

Talk to your parents. It may seem like a no-brainer, but you need to let your parents know of your plans ahead of time. Do you plan on visiting friends over the break? Ask them about their plans—what do they expect you to attend while you’re home? Letting them know how you plan to spend your break beforehand will help diffuse potential blow-ups once you’re home.

Save the meet-and-greets. Have a new college sweetheart? It may be best to delay their introduction to your parents until after the holiday season. Bringing home a new boyfriend or girlfriend to Mom and Dad only adds to the chaotic gift-wrapping, relative-visiting frenzy. Chances are your parents have been looking forward to your holiday break ever since they dropped you off for the first day of school. Postpone the significant other meet-and-greet to a three-day weekend or spring break.

Curfew and chores. In the past four months, you have let the dishes pile up until mold appears and been suckered into more 4 a.m. infomercials than you’d like to admit. But your parents may want some help around the house and may even expect you to abide by your high school curfew time. When it comes to chores, suck it up and be thankful that they didn’t just ask you to write a 10-page term paper.

The curfew, however, might be something you want to touch on before you head home. Mention that you haven’t had a curfew for a few months but be understanding if they still require you to be home by midnight. After all, it’s their home and their rules.

Different views. There is an old saying that politics and food don’t mix. Chances are your opinions have changed since you’ve taken Intro to Political Science or a current events course. While the food may have gotten cold, voicing your newfound views isn’t the best way to heat dinner back up, especially when they may contrast so much against what your parents believe. Save the debate for the classroom and just keep holiday family time low-key.


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