When adult kids come home to visit for the holidays, it can fill parents with joy and memories of years gone by.

Whether we are new empty nesters or our kids have been away for a while, we want our “children” to feel welcome and at home during their stay.

Here are some things to consider as you prepare for your kids to visit this holiday season.

Be clear on rules:boundaries:

For example, if there are any non-negotiables such as church attendance, collective family gatherings, sleeping arrangement for guests, or no alcohol – it’s important to be clear about those issues early on. Have this discussion prior to the visit or as soon as possible upon arrival. Keep in mind that you also want your kids to feel comfortable and welcome, so any flexibility on rules that aren’t set in stone will go a long way to helping them feel at home.

mixing new traditions with old ones

Manage your expectations and focus on acceptance:

We may want to recapture old traditions and relive memories, but we also need to remember our kids are more independent now and have made many changes as they have taken on adult responsibilities. If there are traditions important to you, talk with your kids and let them know, but also be accepting of the changes in their lives and what they might want. Maybe even create some new traditions—together.

Check your need to make everything perfect:

Remember, while we were raising our kids the years were filled with ups and downs, chaos, and craziness along with all the fun and joy. Their whole childhood was imperfect, so instead of trying to make this one visit perfect, consider just focusing on being together and making new memories. Family connection is where the true holiday magic resides and treasured memories are created.

Enjoy your holidays and be sure to appreciate this time you have with your family and your friends.

Mia Mikesell, MS, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern
Mia is one of the talented psychotherapists available at Growth & Recovery. An area of specialty for Mia is helping families navigate the transformations in relationships and dynamics that occur when our children become adults.

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