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Dad and the Empty Nest

We often hear about that “empty nest” syndrome that parents go through when their kids move out.  Often, we associate the phenomenon with Mom only, but since we have just celebrated Father’s Day, we figured we couldn’t leave Dad out.  Dads suffer from empty nest syndrome, too.

Empty nest syndrome comes is when parents experience their children moving away -whether to get married or go to college.  The feelings of sadness, loneliness, loss, role adjustment, and change can be overpowering to some.  One thing most of us don’t realize is that when the kids move out, Mom and Dad need to figure out how to relate to each other as husband and wife again – without the offspring getting in the way.

Here are some tips for fathers to get through the empty nest experience.  So, if your kids are about to move out or just have, you may want to pay close attention.

  • Recognize the reality of the change.  Sure, the kids moved out.  There are positive aspects to his as well as negative.  Just accept it and try to manage.
  • Now is a time to focus on relationships – with your spouse and with the kids as well.  Spending time together is still important.
  • Take care of yourself.  If you’ve been putting things on hold, now that the kids are gone, start chipping away at that to-do list.  Play more golf.  Enjoy the beach more often
  • Dream with your spouse.  Sit down with your spouse and make a list of the things you both have always wanted to do.  Now that the kids have relocated, you may actually be able to do them! 

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