Adjusting to an Empty Nest

Know that there is no “right” way to cope.

Placing expectations of feeling on themselves can make the transition even more difficult. “Parents must live into the new role and be compassionate with themselves no matter how they respond,” Scott said.


Embrace communication.

Talk with your children and spouse to set clear expectations about an agreed amount of contact with your child as well as with your partner to determine how you will fill your now child-free schedule.


Address and resolve conflicts immediately.

The transition from high school to college will be stressful for students and parents as both parties attempt to settle into their new roles. “…whatever is already a challenge within a family’s relationships—these will be highlighted during this transition too. The conflict or hurt that may emerge during launching your adult children is almost always not new conflict, but that which is brought to the surface by change. Take time to resolve it and address it.”


Find the delicate balance between supporting your children and letting them learn on their own.

“We want to teach young adults to be interdependent, and this interdependency should include their family of origin, their support structure at their college and new friends,” advised Scott.


Adapted from Becky Scott’s advice in “Life in the Empty Nest:”





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