It is that time of year when the kids go off to college, join the military, start work, or an adventure.
Empty nest syndrome is a feeling of grief and loneliness. This is not an actual clinical condition. It is completely normal.
For 17 or 18 years you have wrapped your world around your children. You have driven them to all their activities, activities, parties, and school. Now that you have all of this extra time. You may even have to reconnect with your partner. You may begin to worry about the child's safety, miss the daily involvement in your child's life.
Not to worry, research shows that your empty nest might actually reduce work and family conflict along with many other benefits. The parents can reconnect with each other, friends, and hobbies that have gone to the side-lines in that past due to no time.
How to cope:
1. accept the timing, focus on how you can help your child succeed instead of comparing your child's time table to your own.
2. keep in touch!. keep in regular contact with your child. email, visit, text, skype, or talk on the phone with them.
3. seek support: if you are having a difficult time you can contact me lean on family or friends.
4. Stay positive: Think about all that time that you can spend with your partner, on a new or lost hobby. Read or write a book, go to the grocery store and buy what ever YOU actually want to eat!
Shannon Shadman, LPC, MSMHC, NCC, M.Ed.