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‘Empty-Nester’ Tips to Note When Your Kids Leave for College

Guest Blogger #860, Entry #2072, February 5, 2012

When kids go off to college, parents commonly experience bittersweet feelings of joy and sadness. You’re surely proud of your children for coming so far and growing into fine young adults, but you probably feel some trepidation about sending them away. This is perfectly natural. After all, you’ve raised these kids from birth, and they’re taking their first shot at flying out of the nest. This is a time of progress and change, so make sure you’re ready for these life changes when your kids leave for college.

guest room empty nest

Are you ready for your college student to move away?

Image via: Muse Interiors

1.    Peace and Quiet

How long has it been since you’ve had a quiet evening to yourselves as parents? Some kids spend more time out with their friends than others, but you’ve likely grown accustomed to having your kids around most of the time. You get so used to their presence that it becomes part of the backdrop of your life. When your kids leave for college, the house will be much quieter. Some parents are soothed and relaxed by this new-found peace, but others may find it unsettling.

2.    Feelings of Worry

In the past, your children have always been close by. Even when they’ve stayed out late or slept at friends’ houses, you’ve always known that you could expect to see them soon. When the kids go way to college, you really can’t keep tabs on them anymore, and this becomes a source of worry for many parents. Try to trust that they’ll make mature decisions, but check in once in a while to see how they’re doing. Remember, your kids are probably enjoying this freedom, but they might be enjoying it too much.

3.    A Full Refrigerator

No parent needs to be told how much a growing teenage eats. They seem like bottomless pits at times, consuming every morsel of food that comes their way. Be prepared for a bit of a shock when you realize how long groceries last with your kids away at college. You may actually have to trim your usual shopping list to keep from buying more food than you can eat. Many parents wind up wasting food because they don’t realize how much slower it moves without their kids around.

guest room empty nest idea

Instead of focusing on the empty nest – use these tips

Image via: Lori Smyth Design

4.    Lonelier Days

With your kids away at college, one or more members of your family is gone. A lot of parents get empty nest syndrome around this time, and feel lonely without their sons and daughters under the same roof. Find ways to occupy your time to combat these feelings. Get back into some of your favorite hobbies to make productive use of your time now that the kids are away. You could even use this extra time to pursue an online MBA in marketing or any other field to advance your career.

5.    Evolving Relationships

Now that your kids are growing up and going away to college, your relationships with them are going to change dramatically. When your kids are around every day, they grow with you, and you get accustomed to their quirks. You may find that when your children come home from college, they seem very different. This is natural. A lot of growing up happens in college. It may come as a shock, but accept it and be proud of your children for growing up so well on their own.

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Stagetecture combines my passions - architecture, home staging, organization, food recipes, decor, and everything home! Poke around, stay awhile, there's something here for you!

-Ronique Gibson, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

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