How to Talk to Your Student Over Fall Break

The temperature is starting to drop, soon the leaves will start to turn, and Halloween is just around the corner, so it must be that time again. It’s Fall Break! This is one of my favorite breaks all year, not because it is very long, because it’s not, but because it comes at just the right time to allow me the chance to relax a little.  While it is one of my favorites, it has also sometimes been a challenge to communicate with my parents during this time frame about how I am doing. I know that this is a problem that many students have so I would like to give you four tips for successfully navigating Fall Break with your student.

  1. Give them space. When I go home, the last thing that I want is my parents immediately being all over me asking about everything that is going on in my life. Fall Break is my chance to relax and get away from school. I don’t mind talking about it, but it is definitely not the first thing I want to do when I get home. I would much rather hear about things that I have missed while away, or just take a day to not think about school.
  2. Be understanding. Fall Break happens to fall right around the time of midterms, which means that there are a lot of stressed out students. Many midterms take place either right before the break or right after and this is a cause for a significant amount of stress. There have been times where I have snapped at my parents unnecessarily simply because of how I was feeling at the time. I did not mean to do it, but the stress had gotten me so tense that it would just happen. If your student does something like this, don’t take it personally, try to understand where they are coming from.
  3. Provide support. There have been times that I have gone home for Fall Break knowing that I messed up on a test, or done poorly on a different assignment. I knew this already without my parents saying it. What helped me the most was knowing that they supported me and wanted me to succeed. Sure, they may have told me that I screwed up, but they made sure to talk about why it had happened and what I could do between now and the end of the semester to fix it. We are still early in the semester, and there is a lot of time to put in the work to turn the semester around.
  4. Ask questions. Up to now you may be thinking that I don’t think students should be asked anything at all about school from their parents. That is definitely not the case, I just believe that it should not be the first thing that happens when they get home. I like when my parents ask me questions about how I am doing or about classes. I enjoy telling my dad about something neat I learned in a class and having him ask questions about it. You also should not be afraid to ask some of the harder questions. If you believe that your student may be struggling, ask them about it. This is an excellent time to figure out ways to make things better.

Have an excellent Fall Break and enjoy some time with your student!



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