Listen on Apple!!!

Listen on Spotify!!!

It’s the holiday season! And that means that college kids are coming home for their long winter break. There will be excitement, there will be nervousness, even some anger probably. All the feels will come up for parents and kids alike.

It’s an age-old problem. It’s an exciting time, especially when it’s your first kid, coming home for the first time. But everyone who’s been through it knows how hard it is. Like re-entry always is.


Your kid comes home from college: what makes it so hard?

We like to see college as one big social experiment. During those first few months away, kids change a lot. They’ve had more freedom and responsibility than ever before and if they’ve managed to successfully juggle all of that, they’ll feel empowered because of it. So, when they come home and have to follow your rules again, it likely won’t sit well.

But your college kid is likely not the only one who had changed. Both parents and siblings will have adapted to your college kid being away.

We could look as a working family as a puzzle where every family member is a puzzle piece. They all match together and everyone knows how everyone works. When one person goes to college and changes, their piece changes. So when they come back home, their piece doesn’t fit in the puzzle anymore, causing tension and conflict.

“It’s going be hard and your kid can be healthy.
Both can be true at the same time” 

At the same time, it’s also a very exciting time! In today’s podcast episode, we provide tips and strategies to make this time run smoothly, and you’re able to find joy in it so you can honor the new adult coming back from college.

More about Active & Connected Family Therapy and the Lewis Practice

Active & Connected Family Therapy is a mental health practice serving individuals, families, and our community. Our practice is designed to help people at all stages and from all walks of life by offering therapists and physicians with diverse backgrounds and specialties via face-to-face, walk-and-talk, and telemedicine appointments. Throughout, we are committed to developing strengths-based, authentic, and long-lasting relationships with you and your children. We hope to provide you with the support and insight you need to help your family navigate life’s hard times and joys.

Contact us here.

Sarah Lewis practices at the Lewis Practice in Crozet, VA.  You can contact her directly at

In this episode on parenting strategies when kids come home from college, we cover:

  • Why it’s a hard time when kids are coming home from college (for the first time);
  • Tips & strategies to make this time run smoothly
  • Ways to find joy and honor your kid as the new adult it’s becoming.

Resources and links mentioned in this episode

  • Are you or your child struggling with mental health? We have a team of psychologists and psychiatrists who can help you out. Don’t hesitate to contact us here.
  • Please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback.
  • Connect with us on Instagram.
  • Did you know we made an episode especially for teens on mental health? Have a listen here!

Disclaimer: Please remember we are real live therapists, however this is a podcast and is not considered a therapy session. Not only because there is no co-pay but also because we can’t speak to your individual experiences. We are here to help you keep raising healthy kids. And remember, if you are an imperfect parent, we are right there with you. If you or someone you love is in immediate danger, please call your local crisis hotline or go to your nearest emergency room.

Fostering growth through connection.

Contact Info

Fax: 844-705-0170

Locations throughout Virginia & North Carolina. 

Quick Links

Therapy Payment Portal