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With fall fast approaching many of us will be facing the much anticipated empty-nest. The house will seem larger, it will defiantly be quieter, and the day to day juggling will be a memory. For many parents this is a very tough time; life will forever be different. The key to remember is different doesn't have to be a negative. Make it a new and wonderful chapter.
Here are some tips for coping with the empty nest syndrome:    

5 tips for parents on coping with the empty nest

1. Find a new hobby or activity-  something adventurous, out of the mommy- daddy box. Try one of your "someday when I get the time" projects. You now have the time. Just one word of caution; in the beginning stay away from things like scrap booking that will have you spending hours sparking memories of your child.  

2. Let them go in small doses- Pre college programs are great for parents.  While your child is away during the summer between junior and senior year of high school, you will have some time to get used to the idea of them being away.  

3. Get over the fear that they can't handle things on their own - Let them take on more responsibility for themselves, laundry, cooking, shopping.  You will be able to see where they are and help get them to where they need to be when they are off on their own.  During my daughters last year of high school she and I developed a budget for her to live on: lessons, clothes, school lunches ect. At the beginning of each month I gave her that amount of money less any income she was making from part time jobs. The first month, her hair and nails looked great with her expensive new outfits, but I don't think she liked taking pb&j sandwiches to high school nor missing out on activities.  After that she did great. And now as a college junior she is usually right on target.  

4. Get support-  Develop an informal support group of other parents same issues. Talk to someone who has been there.  

5. Develop a new routine - If Friday night was family pizza and movie night, find something else to do on Friday nights. Get together with the girls, have a date night with your significant other.  

Please add your comments, remember things are always easier when we help each other out.  

Laurie Giles
Attorney, life coach, author, radio host.  


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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cathie Beck wrote Aug 4, 2010
    • Wonderful!  

      Similarly to your tip #4, when I faced my empty nest in the mid 1990s, I invented a women's group. I ran a $1.75 ad in the Boulder, Colorado newspaper:

      WOW (Women on the Way)—
      to an insane asylum, a bar, wherever.
      Smart, sassy women's group forming.
      Mutual support, networking, etc. Weds.
      7 p.m. 239-4666.

      The response to the ad was mind-blowing, to say the least. Dozens of women called — the young, the old, the stoned and the ill — one woman called from a hospital bed. I am not kidding.

      The group was just what I needed. One of the women, Denise, showed up and the rest, as they say, is some wild-a__ history.

      From this life-altering friendship, came my memoir, "Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship."

      The empty nest was only the beginning ;)

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