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5 Ways to Deal with Kids Returning to the Empty Nest

        Health | Empty Nest

Change the Dynamic

This is what all those other tips have been leading up to: changing the dynamic.

It's so easy to revert to the roles we're used to -- child in need of rescuing, parent on the way to save the day. But there comes a time when a child has to learn to rescue him or herself, and you have to stand back and watch the struggle.

It can be tough -- really tough -- to get out of those roles, and at times you might have to literally bite your tongue to keep from yelling, "Stop whining and find a job! Any job!" But realize that your frustration comes from your worry. Your child has the same fears, in addition to the fear that he or she will disappoint you.

You might want to avoid each other for a while, but this can also be a really rewarding time. You finally get to start knowing each other as adults. You've been watching your child develop all along, but to him or her, you've probably just been mom or dad. When you're able to put those previous dynamics aside, however briefly, you can meet as friends -- and before you know it, you'll have the nest to yourself once again.