Five Sure Cures for the Empty-Nest
(NC)—The resonating silence of a house or a leisurely drive past a soccer field can often make an empty-nester weepy. When teens leave home to begin their adult lives, many parents experience sadness and a sense of loss. The truth is that this transition isn’t just survivable—it can even be beneficial. Here are some ways to take charge and ensure that this stage of your life is one to look forward to.
Throw a send-off party
Embrace and celebrate this life’s passage. Plan a fabulous party for your teen and invite your family and friends. Go with a theme that symbolizes freedom and responsibilities and send your child off with practical gifts like a basic cookbook, a box of laundry detergent, grocery store gift cards and tableware.
Cultivate an adult relationship
Establish a weekly check-in routine with each other. Stay in touch by e-mail, phone or Skype. Let them know you are there for them to calm their insecurities about life away from home. Use your experience to create special bonding moments with your child long after they leave.
Fill the void and rediscover your passions
Parents often give up some interests to be available to their children. Now is the time to throw yourself into those hobbies and activities again. Join a book club, learn a new language, volunteer, or sponsor a child through a non-profit organization like Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (www.ccfcanada.ca), and help bring hope and lasting change to children who need it most.
Take care of yourself-and a pet
Adopt an exercise routine to stay physically healthy. Poor physical health can aggravate feelings of sadness caused by empty nest syndrome. As for pets, if you don’t have one, consider adopting one. Not only are they loyal and loving, they also relieve loneliness, provide good companionship, and increase social exposure for their owners. Pets are especially beneficial for widowed empty nesters.
Connect with your spouse
In all the craziness of raising children, parents sometimes lose track of their most important relationship and support person—their spouse. Quiet evenings, long walks, impromptu trips and romantic dinners out are all possible now that the kids aren’t around.