Changing Family Dynamics


Latinx family at graduation

As your commuter student is transitioning into a new world of college, the rest of the family is adjusting to changing schedules and behaviors at home. Here you’ll find some common changes to family dynamics.

Lack of Quality Time alt= “ “

Your student may not be able to commit to being around or spending time with family casually. Planning chores and meal times with flexibility will be beneficial to your family and your student.

My brothers and sisters don’t understand that I’m tired when I get home. They want to be with me, but I just need some time by myself and time to study.

Second-year economics major

Schedule Challengesalt= “ “

Your student’s schedule may change as the year progresses. Communication is key in terms of ride-sharing. There may be times when your student comes home late on some evenings and is home early on others – asking about their schedule on a weekly basis can help with managing family meals and activities. It also helps to identify a way to share unexpected schedule changes.

I just kind of feel guilty that I’m showing up late and they really don’t know what time to expect me. Like I try and send an email or whatever, but I can never really tell what time [I’ll be home].

First-generation business management major

Fewer Helping Hands alt= “ “

If your student helped around the house a lot in high school, there may be less time for housework and chores during college. Having conversations about what can be negotiated and being alert to stressful times like exams or major homework projects is important for both of you

I had so much homework to do. Then my little brother came in and asked me for help on his math homework. So, I ended up spending like an hour with him, helping him out and then I was like an hour behind on my homework; and then I had to go and help out with my grandma and so I mean it just can get kind of stressful and overwhelming trying to balance all the new schedules and stuff.

First-year math major