Many parents may fear the empty nest because they worry that their little bird has flown away permanently. And though Junior is just a few hours away at college, it may in fact seem that he's disappeared off the face of the planet. You're worried he'll never call, write or return home again, no matter how much dirty laundry he may have.
To ensure that you don't go insane with worry, try setting up a regular phone date with your child. While you may like to know what happened every day at school, that's likely not a reasonable request for your child. A once-a-week call, however, may give you the satisfaction of knowing that Junior is still alive, while giving him a reasonable degree of freedom.
For more on the empty nest years, see the links on the next page.