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Tips for parents: dealing with empty nest syndrome

Tips for parents: dealing with empty nest syndrome


With both children away at University, Irene
Kou is now an empty nester. “To drop them off at university was really
hard. Even now, I feel like I’m quite emotional
because i still remember the scenario.” But she also says pursuing new interests is
exciting…for her children and herself. She’s joined a book club, swims regularly
and also volunteers at St. John’s Rehab. “So I try to keep myself busy. If we participate in more activities and meet
more people and learn from others, I’m sure we will feel happier.” Dr. Ari Zaretsky agrees. “Thinking about volunteer work, thinking
about other activities that you can do. Being able to talk about this with other people
you are close with to get support. And to recognize the possible benefits to
your relationship with your significant other.” Studies have shown relationships can get stronger
due to more quality time spent together. While the concept of the “empty nest syndrome”
has been around for decades, Dr. Zaretsky says, it’s changing as more and more, both
parents work and share duties at home. “Earlier on, it was associated with something
negative, a sense of loss. But the objective research now shows, it’s
far more positive than it is negative.” When children leave, he recommends parents
give them ample space. Establishing independence is a natural and
healthy step. That said, parents can take heart that with
technologies, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch. And remember that it is the boomerang generation. “Children nowadays, because of the costs
of real estate, because of how long it takes to get launched, actually come back and live
at home for a certain period of time before they then move out a second time.” For now, Irene is enjoying what she calls
the luxury of time and space. Another recent pursuit is learning to master
the piano her children used to play. “I don’t want my kids to feel like this
is a sad ending. Life is long and we will continue to enjoy
lots of things in the future.” With Sunnyview, I’m Monica Matys.

Comments (2)

  1. I get her. My fifth is leaving tomorrow and it's a rough bit, even if you have a LOT going on!

  2. Maybe she should move into a smaller space. It might help with the emptiness feeling.

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