7 Nice Things to Do for Your Parents this Thanksgiving Break

Going home for Thanksgiving? Whether you miss your parents and can’t wait to get home, or you’re dreading this visit, try to see your time home from your parents’ perspective. They may be eager to see the child they badly miss, or they may be concerned about tensions that may result in a child coming home from college who is used to unlimited freedoms — or both.
At any rate, here are seven nice things you can do for your parents when you come home for Thanksgiving.

  1. Thank your parents. It’s Thanksgiving, after all, so let your parents know how grateful you are to have them in your life. Tell them how grateful you are to have a home to return to for the holidays. If they are helping you pay for your college education, by all means, thank them repeatedly for this wonderful gift that many parents cannot provide.
  2. Spend time with your parents. Are you going to sleep until noon and then head out the door immediately to hang out with your high school friends — and only visit with your parents during the mandated turkey time? Guess what? Your parents miss you, and hope that you see their home as more than just a hotel. Schedule some actual activities with the folks — and yes, you should take the initiative to ask.
  3. Help out with Thanksgiving dinner — and other chores. You’re a grownup, so be a grownup house guest. Do your share of the dishes, offer to make the stuffing and the cranberry sauce, and avoid being a total slob. If something needs fixing or cleaning around the house, surprise your parents and be handy. And don’t show up with a huge bin of laundry– unless you intend to do it yourself.
  4. Ask your parents about their lives. Your parents will probably have lots of questions for you about how school is going. But guess what? They have lives too, and now that you’re transitioning towards having an adult relationship, it’s a nice idea to show some curiosity about their jobs, activities, health, and so forth.
  5. Tell your parents about your life. Within reason, of course! Yes, there are details you don’t want your parents to know. However, there are plenty of things you do in your everyday life at school that are appropriate to share with your parents, and they will appreciate this.
  6. Obey house rules. For many parents and kids, rules such as curfews, mandated chores, and other “house rules” are the biggest source of conflict over breaks. After all, at college, students can do whatever they want, so these rules from high school are a real drag. However, keep in mind that this is your parents’ house, so you really do have to do what they say. However, if there’s a rule that you think ought to be amended, sit down with them and have a polite adult discussion.
  7. Bring home a gift. Everyone feels special when they’re given a present, especially a “just thinking of you” kind of present. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Perhaps you can stop in the school book store and buy a T-shirt or key chain that says “Mom/Dad of a (Fill in Your School) Student.”