How You Can Best Survive the Empty-Nest Syndrome
Whether it’s your first child to leave or the last one, things will definitely be different around the house once they are gone.
This fall, many parents will go through the experience of seeing their young adult child leave home and head off to college. Whether it’s your first child to leave or the last one, things will definitely be different around the house once they are gone.
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Here, according to clinical psychologist Scott Bea, PsyD, are four things to keep in mind as you adjust to your new child-free world:
If you are among those parents who are sending their youngest or their only child to college, there may be some good news.
Research has shown that many times, marital satisfaction improves for people who become empty-nesters, Dr. Bea says.
“This is a good time for spouses to practice growing their own life together, while still being attentive to the needs of their child,” he says.
Even for people who are not married, this can be a new era of personal freedom, he says. Now you have time to take up or renew hobbies, re-connect with friends or focus on interests that your schedule didn’t permit while raising your child.
It’s important for parents to avoid isolating themselves during this time, Dr. Bea says. You can benefit greatly by connecting with someone who has gone through the same thing.
“Try to make some contact with other people who have been in similar circumstances,” Dr. Bea says. “They can provide support by helping you feel more normal about some of the sentiments you’re experiencing. Through their experience, they also can help you to understand some of the feelings that your kids might be expressing.”