5 Tips for Adjusting to an Empty Nest


1
Set a Schedule for Communication
Though your child may not always respond, he or she would probably enjoy e-mails from home.
Though your child may not always respond, he or she would probably enjoy e-mails from home.
© iStockphoto.com/jacomstephens

­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 below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

Sources

  • Angel, Sherry. "When Your Young Birds Have All Flown. Letting go of that last youngster can be a jarring experience, but there are ways to weather it." Los Angeles Times. Sept. 12, 1990.
  • Association for Psychological Science. "Is Empty Nest Best? Changes in Marital Satisfaction in Late Middle Age." ScienceDaily. Dec. 12, 2008. (Feb. 5, 2009)http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2008/12/081202133236.htm
  • Belkin, Lisa. "When Children Leave." New York Times. Sept. 18, 2008. (Feb. 5, 2009)http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/18/fashion/18Work.html?scp=4&sq=empty+nest+syndrome&st=nyt
  • Conan, Neal. "Experiences with Empty Nest Syndrome." NPR Talk of the Nation." Dec. 5, 2001.
  • Cushman, Fiery, rev. "Empty Nest Syndrome." Psychology Today. April 15, 2005. (Feb. 5, 2009)http://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/emptynest.html
  • Forman, Gail. "Rethinking the Empty Nest Syndrome." Washington Post. Sept. 6, 1988.
  • Hartocollis, Anemona. "Early Pangs of Empty Nest Syndrome When the Children Leave Home for College." New York Times. Sept. 4, 2005. (Feb. 5, 2009)http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/04/nyregion/04blues.html?scp=3&sq=empty+nest+syndrome&st=nyt
  • Levine, Bettijane. "Empty nest? Now keep it like that." Los Angeles Times. June 29, 2006. (Feb. 5, 2009)http://articles.latimes.com/2006/jun/29/home/hm-boomerang29
  • Lyon, Lindsay. "Is Empty-Nest Syndrome Nothing but an Empty Myth?" U.S. News and World Report. March 5, 2008. (Feb. 5, 2009)http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/living-well-usn/2008/03/05/is-empty-nest-syndrome-nothing-but-an-empty-myth.html
  • Nakao, Annie. "They can (and do) go home again. Empty Nest syndrome? Parents of 'boomerang' children should be so lucky." San Francisco Chronicale. May 30, 2004.
  • Parker-Pope, Tara. "Your Nest is Empty? Enjoy Each Other." New York Times. Jan. 20, 2009. (Feb. 5, 2009)http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/20/health/20well.html?scp=1&sq=empty+nest+syndrome&st=nyt
  • Raup, Jana L. and Jane E. Myers. The Empty Nest Syndrome: Myth or Reality? Journal of Counseling and Development. November/December 1989.
  • Rosen, Daniel. "The Empty Nest Syndrome." RelayHealth.
  • Span, Paula. "When the kids move out, the parents move on. Or at least they try." Washington Post. Aug. 27, 2000.
  • University of Missouri-Columbia. "Empty Nest Syndrome May Not Be Bad After All, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. Feb. 24, 2008. (Feb. 5, 2009)http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2008/02/080221133313.htm
  • Yara, Susan. "Father's Empty Nest." Forbes. Aug. 23, 2006. (Feb. 5, 2009)http://www.forbes.com/2006/08/22/empty-nest-men_cx_sy_0823dads.html

UP NEXT

5 New Opportunities After the Kids Are Grown

5 New Opportunities After the Kids Are Grown

After the kids are grown, there are new opportunities available to parents. Explore these five opportunities after the kids have grown to get started.


More to Explore