supporting your commuter student
Determining what the expectations of the college student are while s/he is attending college is important to do in advance of classes beginning. Do the responsibilities at home remain the same? How can it be altered as the student's academic schedule changes each semester? Will the use of a family car be permitted? As the study schedule will most likely be more rigorous that his or her high school study schedule, what will be the expectation for attending events of younger siblings (sporting events, plays, etc)? How will high school curfews be re-negotiate? What about friends from college visiting your home-are their expectations around planning these visits around particular family traditions?
The important thing to keep in mind is that your child, now a college student, must learn skills necessary to live on their own. These skills cannot not be taught. Rather, by increasing your child's independence, you provide them with opportunities to grow. While there is nothing wrong with enforcing "home rules" while they still live under your roof, you may want to consider allowing greater decision making power. Remember, it's okay to allow your children to make mistakes. That's how they will learn.
For more information, visit your college web site and search under "commuter students." Most institutions have services and programs to ensure that their commuter students become engaged and in doing so, increase their likelihood of collegiate success.