When Your Children Have Left For College

In Lifestyle, Parenting by Elizabeth Stephenson

We love our children and spend countless hours doting on them, keeping them entertained, tolerating their teenage years, and planning for them to go to college. But what do we do when it actually happens and your children leave home for college? Referred to as “empty nest” syndrome, the sudden absence of your children from your daily life can be a shock to the system. There is a big gap physically and emotionally, which can lead to sadness and restlessness. It is therefore important to be mindful of this change and to take steps to exercise self-care. Here are some friendly suggestions

  1. If you are in a relationship, reconnect with your partner. So much of your time and energy has been spent in your relationship with your children that you may find one-on-one time with your partner a foreign concept. Unfortunately, many couples find their relationship lacking when the children leave the house. Make a real effort to start “dating” your partner again.
  2. Resume a social life. Make plans with friends, host parties at your house, or join social groups. Try Meetup to find people and events related to your hobbies.
  3. Explore new interests. Even if you do not have plans to retire anytime soon, you still have a lot more free time on your hands. Explore informal classes at the University, or enroll in community college classes. Have fun! Pick a class at random.
  4. House cleaning. It is cliché that a parent turns their child’s bedroom into a workout room as soon as they leave the house. However, this is an opportunity to de-clutter and find some space in the house for yourself. If you choose to start selling and donating things in the house, be sure that you check in with your college kid before clearing out any of their books, comics, toys, or video games. These items carry a lot of sentimental value and in some cases, can be of collectible value later.
  5. Create a running list of your dreams. Write down small goals and big dreams. Discuss these dreams with your partner. Try to make them all happen.

New Direction Family Law

New Direction Family Law is a family law firm that handles separations, divorces, child custody, and child support cases. Our attorneys passionately advocate for the legal rights of clients. Our team has built a reputation as knowledgeable, compassionate professionals who work tirelessly to achieve our clients’ goals. Call New Direction Family Law today at (919) 719-3470 to schedule a consultation, or contact us at our website.