What to do and not to do when your parents visit

You should probably hide your bong…

Random family found perusing the quad

Random family found perusing the quad

I think we can all agree there’s something both magical and stressful about prospective parent visits. On the one hand, you get to see your loving parents and get some free stuff, but on the other hand, you have to avoid certain locations/people because, let’s face it, there’s just some people you don’t introduce to your parents.

So The Tab compiled a list of what to expect and how to avoid certain things when your parents visit!

Don’t let on that you have a hangover


When you have a hangover, Advil, pepto, terrible food, make-up or sunglasses, and, let’s not forget, the all-important coffee are your best friends. You can’t let your parents know you were up late drinking because they obviously wouldn’t approve. So, you do your best to cover up that hangover face and not be too obviously hungover when you request Mexican food or hamburgers and fries.

Hide stuff you don’t want them to see

Maybe it’s an empty beer bottle from the other night, maybe it’s condoms in the trash, maybe it’s even something illegal – whatever it is, you sure don’t want your mom seeing it! Do a quick precursory sweep of your room before your parents come into town to be absolutely sure.

Face the music about your messy room


Let’s be real here, it’s the end of the semester and you’re probably way too busy to clean your room – it happens. Your friends/hookups might overlook your slob-style, but, make no mistake, your mom will not be pleased by the site of it. After all, she raised you to keep your room clean, right? At least there’s some slight hope that she’ll take pity on you because of your busy schedule and clean it for you.

Don’t take your parents to your favorite drinking hole

Sign outside Jack Browns

Sign outside Jack Browns

If you’re trying to hide the fact that you party from your parents (even though they probably assume you do, since you go to JMU), don’t take them to where you always drink, even if it is a restaurant, too. The last thing you want is your favorite bar tender to come up to you with your parents there and start talking about how hilarious you were when you were wasted the other night.

Don’t introduce them to your party squad


You’d have some serious explaining to do if a member of your typical party squad were to show up raving about the party you threw and the drinks you serve. Likewise, if they were to thank you profusely for the hot chick/dude that you introduced them to with which they had, arguably, too much fun… Save yourself the brain-effort of coming up with a convincing lie and just avoid these people. Shoot them a text before your parents get there to ban them from your general vicinity for the day.

Avoid eye-contact with those you don’t want them to meet

We all have that one friend (or sometimes more) that we don’t want to bring home to our moms. You know who I’m talking about, the one she’d refer to as “the bad influence” or “that miscreant” or, heaven forbid, “that deadbeat.” Even if you want to upset your parents for some reason, don’t make this mistake. You will regret it later down the road when they start to assume all your friends are like that or, worse, that you’re like that. Play it safe and avoid them like the plague. Make sure they know that if they see you out, they’re to act like you don’t even exist – it’s mighty hard to sell “I’ve never met that person in my life!” when they’re smiling and waving at you, screaming your name.

Do minor grocery shopping before they come


You don’t want your mom to think your completely broke and destitute, desperate for groceries, time, and a nap, or maybe you do, I don’t know your life. Make sure your fridge is semi-stocked with some necessities: milk, some fruit, eggs, maybe some salad. However, you don’t want your fridge to appear bulging because then they might take pity on their too-busy and broke college-kid and buy them free groceries. Who doesn’t love free groceries? Anyone? Didn’t think so.

Delete pictures and avoid social media

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 9.17.39 AM

While some people are okay with posting last night’s drinks covered by a cat sticker on Instagram, others prefer deleting all the evidence before they can even think about posting anything. If you really believe that your parents don’t know about you partying, then I’d suggest doing a quick sweep of your camera roll. You’ll avoid them ever finding out just how trashed you got AND you’ll have extra storage on your phone. Bonus!

Stash your graded assignments

Admit it, college is hard and you aren’t always going to get the best of grades. Next time your ‘rents come into town, stash all those graded tests and papers so they don’t question your “my grades are great” statement, unless they really are great. Try to make a habit of letting them know when you get a good (or not-so-good) grade, it builds trust. A trust that all of us college students really need.

James Madison University