1. Do not volunteer them for events they have not chosen to attend.
I know it can be a drag at times to still be supporting your child in some way when you thought college was supposed to provide them with a better life, a decent paying job with benefits, or just a job in general. But times are hard and if your kid is trying to get a job, any job, I say give them a break and remember not to volunteer them to attend events they have not chosen to attend. Yes, you did raise them and have given a huge chunk of your life to their betterment but forcing them to do things or manipulating them to do things will put a strain on any relationship.
2. Do not constantly ask where they are going, who they are going with, or when they’ll be back.
In middle school and even in high school, this would have been acceptable behavior because they are formative years and children are fairly impressionable. Who they hung out with and what they did could ultimately fall back on you if they chose to be with the wrong crowd. However, by the time most students graduate college, they are less likely to make dumb decisions. Even if they do, the result of their actions fall on them, not you.
3. Stop saying, “my house, my rules”.
This may be more of a Southern saying but saying “my house, my rules” can easily come across as, “I see this relationship as a dictatorship,” not a relationship in which differences can be discussed in safe and loving environment. It often cuts the cord of communication and is damaging to the relationship. Saying this does not make you a good parent and it does not make you a bad parent. Just remember your post-graduate is an autonomous human being with feelings.
4. Do not pester them about getting a job if they are looking for one.
I promise you, most graduates are not thrilled about having to live with their parents after graduation and if they could magically get a job—they would. You may think a constant reminder of their unemployment would rev up their motivation and depending on your kid, it may. However, having positive “next step” discussions can go a long way because it gives them an idea of how to execute a plan instead of mindlessly flopping around like a fish.
5. Do not express constant annoyance with their different lifestyle choices.
The generational differences between parents and children throw a monkey wrench into a lot of situations. You may believe your kid is supposed to behave or talk a certain way because of your beliefs or how you have been raised. If their lifestyle choices are not hurting anyone, let them be (offending and hurting others are two different things). Feel free to express your concerns but keep in mind, everyone has their own journey and you are no longer their guide.
6. Do not ask them to reconnect with old friends.
Sometimes, parents believe their children are still just as close with their high school friends or even some college friends as they were in the past. But that is not always the case and if they wanted to reconnect with Sally from down the street, they would shoot them a text or call. Most people are intentional with the people they choose to surround themselves with and if their actions do not show a desire to meet up with someone, there is no need to remind them to do so.
7. Do not treat them like a burden.
It can be really easy to feel as if your child is a burden. It does not mean you love them any less and since you have raised them for 18+ years, I would say it is only natural and post-graduation is probably not the first time you have felt this way. However, treating them like they are a burden is not the best way to handle the pressure that their residing presence is putting on the household. If they are trying to become more independent and get out, give them some grace.
8. Do not treat them like a child.
The opposite of treating your post-grad like a burden is treating them like a child. This is possibly the second biggest struggle I have seen from multiple parents in my own life. They do not want to let go of their “little baby” and this can result in a parent treating their young adult like a young child. This is not only detrimental for your kid but also stunting for you as the parent. Treating your young adult like a young child may result in them taking on less responsibility or becoming resentful and it may make it more of an issue for you when it is finally time to let go.