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How Parents Can Deal With Becoming Empty-Nesters

August 23, 2018

Your child leaving home is a tough time for any parent. Embrace the change and focus on the positives.

As back-to-school season crawls ever closer, many parents around the world are preparing for becoming empty-nesters. Empty nest syndrome is a feeling of loss and grief experienced by parents as their children move out. Though joked about often, this is a recognized condition and if you feel you need to talk to a doctor about it, you shouldn’t hesitate. But those feelings of loneliness to any degree are normal for any parent in this situation. So how do you cope with this new reality? Let’s take a look at some methods for dealing with becoming an empty-nester.

Look at the positives.

As we previously discussed, seeing your child go off to university is a moment of mixed feelings. You feel the sadness of watching them leave home, but also pride at them taking step towards their own adulthood. So why not focus on those positives. You’ve put years of love and effort into helping your child get to this point. It should be something to celebrate.

Stay in touch.

It can be a very strange feeling not being able to see and talk to your child every day like you’re used to. That’s why keeping the lines of communication open are key. As we looked at last week, you need to give your child their own space but stay in touch regularly. The easiest way to achieve this is by establishing a time each week where you’ll talk so you each have that to look forward to. Believe it or not, your child will be missing you just as much.

Embrace your other relationships

Just because your child is moving out doesn’t mean you stop being their parent. However, this is also a good opportunity to focus more on other relationships in your life. Parenting is likely not your only role in life. You’re also a spouse, a daughter, a son, a brother, a sister, a friend and much more. Dedicate some more attention to these other roles and enrich your most important relationships.

Take advantage of the space.

Empty nest, as it turns out, is a very literal term for what happens when you child moves out. You’ll be shocked by how much free space there is now. Don’t rush to changing their bedroom too much – they will be back now and then – but you certainly should put the empty space to good use. Build an office, a home gym, a rec room. This is a time for change so why not embrace that at home as well.

Make use of the ‘you’ time.

Any parent knows, it’s a job that takes up a whole lot of your time. It’s probably been a while since you’ve had so much free time to yourself. Be sure to take full advantage of it now. Find new hobbies to occupy your time. Reintroduce yourself to activities you’ve been neglecting. Go out and do things when you like. You’ve earned some time to dedicate to nothing but yourself.

While this can indeed be a sad time, there’s a lot of good to find in the situation. Keep your spirits high and enjoy this new phase of your life.


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