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Tips to Aid in Preventing Empty Nest Syndrome

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The transition between being a parent of a teenager and a parent of an adult child is yet another difficult time in parenting. While it is important to focus on the role you're playing in your child's life, it is even more important to focus on yourself at this time. Use these tips to help you prepare for or overcome empty nest syndrome.
  1. Do Something.
    Volunteer, take a class, find a new hobby or pick up an old one. Anything that will take up the time you devoted to your teenager on a daily basis. Use this found time constructively and avoid falling into boring routines.


  2. Take a trip - and take your honey.
    Rekindle your romance by taking off somewhere, talking about the future and making plans. Think of it as a second honeymoon that will start off the another part of your relationship. Even if you have more children at home, use this as a time to celebrate the love that started your family.


  3. Make use of the space.
    Although you don't want to make your child feel like you're pushing them out the door, make plans for your teen's room. Order something new that will come in a couple of days after they leave. Fresh paint, some shelves or some new furnishings will bring up your spirits. If you wait until they are gone you may find yourself putting it off, which will perpetuate the empty nest feeling.


  4. Make those care packages.
    You can still do things for your child that will help the nurturer in you when you do them. The added plus is that your adult child will appreciate it. There is nothing better than getting groceries from mom or a set of towels for their new apartment in a care package. Try not to overdo in the beginning and don't add any 'strings' to the gifts.


  5. Congratulate Yourself!
    Although the job of being a parent is never done, you have reached a goal. You have raised an independent young adult, which is no easy task. Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.


  6. Get support.
    If you find you are having a hard time with depressed feelings, get some help from your family doctor, minister or other parents. Life changes can be extremely hard and empty nest syndrome can make the baby blues look like a skip through the meadow. Find some help.

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