This is the 3rd blog in a special series on sleep.
Last month Dr. Grigorian shared with our readers’ her insight to understanding sleep habits at college. In her final blog on sleep she focuses on the issues parents face when their children return for holiday break. Nyiri has been in private practice for twenty-five years treating children, adolescents, and adults, as well as families and couples. Dr. Grigorian not only specializes in anxiety and depression, but has treated couples in Parent Guidance for decades. She supervises a wide range of therapists professionally who are in the mental health field. Dr. Grigorian has lectured and conducted workshops on a wide range of topics, including sibling therapy, early intervention in childhood development, and prevention in mental health. She has also served as a consultant to many school districts and non-profit organizations identifying high-risk children and families. She has contributed to the body of research on treating siblings together as an alternative to traditional individual treatment. She has been part of long-term research group studying trauma.
When the kids are home and living under your roof, life tends to be status quo. But what happens when they go off to college (or boarding school), and come home for winter break? For a month, they are back in your life. Be honest. You're happy, but not
Relationship expert Nyiri Grigorian is here with some undercover insight on the bumpy days (and nights) ahead.
You think they're gone. You even cried; but dry those tears. Your college kid is home for a month.
Why is this so dramatic?
You are in a new rhythm, they are in a new rhythm and the music is out of tune.
They are still your babies, but functioning on their own.
You have experienced new found freedom and are thinking of reinventing yourself.
The lay of the land has been unearthed with boundaries taking on a new configuration.
This dynamic is played out in many ways.
They want to come and go as they please, but still have you, somehow, one hundred percent available.
Alone time with them is mutually desired, but often misfires and creates disappointment when it doesn't happen.
They need money; a lot of money.
Somehow, being home from college means eating in every restaurant, for every meal. Meanwhile you have stocked the house with all of their favourite foods.
Your new style is cramped. You have to reorganize your time and space.
It is a scene out of a movie: visitors coming and going as if they have been gone for years.
You tread lightly, as the parenting style has shifted.
You try to refrain from being overly intrusive or heavy-handed with advice.
They have formed a new life, with a new set of friends and a new self-identity.
You need to suspend judgment and it's difficult at best to hide your feelings.
And bedtime is disrupted.
The tenor of the whole house is changed when our college kids come home.
They seem to reset the tone of the bedtime atmosphere.
Simply put; you are up again, worried when they are out.
Siblings are ignited and think it is party time for them too.
And as if it's not disruptive enough you may now have strange kids sleeping in strange places in your home...get out the blankets and lock your bedroom door.