This post originally appeared on the Emory Office of Health Promotion blog as a part of Stuck on You, a month of posts about healthy relationships.
Healthy relationships aren’t just romantic. For me, one of the most rewarding/challenging/awesome/frustrating parts of being at college has been establishing and maintaining a healthy adult relationship with my parents. It’s a huge step in establishing myself as an adult in the eyes of my family, and has made the time I spend with them on breaks and weekends generally rewarding, rather than a constant power struggle as a turn into a petulant 16-year-old again. If you’re interested in doing the same, these are the four things that have been the most helpful to me.
Make your own choices: It blew my mind when I figured out halfway through freshman year that I didn’t have to tell my parents anything about my academic performance. There was something really freeing about that. My academic successes happen because of my own motivation, not my parents checking up on me. My academic difficulties are the same way–as are the solutions I find to fix them. I realize that there are some families where this won’t fly, but if it’s possible for your situation, try not asking your parents for advice during the course registration process. They’re your courses. Sign up for them yourself. Feel free to tell your parents what you’re taking, but the buck stops with you. This helps to establish you as an adult who can make her own decisions.