Your child has finally fled the family nest to surround themselves with fellow millenials in a once in a lifetime experience: university. You’ve constantly felt their absence as their empty room remained empty and the family dynamics around the dinner table altered. You’ve cried about it once or twice and wished that they’d call you more often. But now is the time to dry your tears and rejoice, as Christmas is on the way!
Here is the most important thing you need to know about this Christmas: it’s all about them. For the past three months they have eaten unhealthily, experienced being ill with no one to nurse them back to health, and they’ve run out of clean underwear more than once. They’d been so excited about gaining some independence all summer. Now that they’ve fully experienced freedom there is only one thing they want: some family loving.
So in the spirit of helping you host the best Christmas of all we thought we might give you some tips on to dos and not to dos over the holiday period. Follow our every word and your student shall return to university bawling their eyes out and wishing they’d never have to leave your side ever again. You’re welcome.
TO DO: COCOON THEM
Stock up the fridge and cupboards with all their favourite foods, cook their favourite meals, and offer to do their laundry. Let them sleep for as long as they need to sleep, if all they want to do is sit around and do nothing all day, leave them be. Remind them that now is the time for them to relax and you are oh so happy to tend to their every need.
NOT TO DO: “PARENTING”
They have survived the past three months without you constantly having to know where they are and what time they’ll be home. It is essential to remember that they are now a grown-up human. If they want to go out and party with their friends, don’t give them a curfew.
TO DO: ASK ABOUT THEIR NEW LIVES
Their lives have completely shifted in the past few months. They haven’t just left the house; they’ve also left their hometowns and friends. Some might be having a great time at university and loving it, others might hate it. Get them to talk about it, how are they adjusting to all the changes, are they enjoying their lectures? Make sure you don’t sound like you’re interrogating them, ask interesting questions rather than intrusive ones. Good question example: what’s your favourite module? Bad question example: are you having protected sex?
TO DO: PRESENTS
Think practical! There are two things that students absolutely do not have in their first year of university: money and space.
Gift cards are always a wonderful idea, especially when the January sales are just around the corner. As winter is now here and settled, make sure they have everything they need to stay warm: jumpers, socks, hats, onesies… Think comfort: mattress toppers, soft duvet covers, and fluffy towels. Think of essentials they’d rather not spend money on: shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste, moisturizer… Think of foods that will last a while: treats, easy-to-cook meals.
Include a little materialistic item or two in there and get ready to receive the parent of the year award.
Written by: Ophélie Hocquard
With thanks to our little Santa helper Lucy Nixon.