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Dealing with an “empty nest”

August 10, 2022 | Healthy You | Mental Health | Wellness

Kids moving stuff into their apartment.

Here are some tips to handle this big life transition.

While some parents may have been planning a few years for their child to leave the nest, others find themselves feeling a bit unprepared for this big change as it seems like their teen was “just born yesterday.” Either way, when the day comes for your kid to move out it can be tougher than you imagine. It’s important to start preparing for this milestone in advance.

Be planful

Set your kids up for success at school by making sure they have their necessary vaccines, books, etc. Items like a small first aid kit, box of basic tools, starter set of cleaning supplies, etc. in a kit will help ensure they’re prepared. Be sure to check with the school to see if there are any rules about what they are allowed to bring.

Stay connected

Emotions can change quickly as you watch kids transition from senior prom to graduation to moving out and into their first dorm or apartment. During this time, it’s important to start setting long-term boundaries and regular check-in times. Staying connected can make the feeling of an empty nest less worrisome.

Stay social

Even if you’ll still have other kids at home, participating in healthy hobbies can help you feel fulfilled. Finding like-minded individuals or people with kids that are also going to college can be beneficial. Calling a friend while on a walk, joining a book club and other activities like this are important for your long-term health as well.

Seek support

Many parents do not fully understand how much time and care they have devoted to their child until the house is a little quieter. If you can’t overcome the sadness of your home feeling “empty,” reach out to your primary care provider for some advice.