University & the Empty Nest Syndrome

The universities have opened their doors and many parents have been packing their older children off onto pastures new this weekend.

Cue - Empty Nest Syndrome!

Even those parents who have been counting down the days to finally get some peace and quiet, found themselves getting more and more emotional and apprehensive as the day drew nearer.

With the Empty Nest Syndrome becoming a reality with the added worries of Corona and the potential of  future lockdown – it’s no wonder that I’ve had a peak in distressed parents – seeking support and solace.

My messages have been clear:

“You are supposed to feel exactly how you are feeling”.

I’m never one to advise dismissing feelings – they are there for a reason and yes - you are supposed to miss them - terribly. It’s natural!

I do also offer words of wisdom and comfort. What I advise is to acknowledge the feeling, don’t fight it, experience it. This is painful. It’s going to hurt. But – of course it will get easier. This is part of a process that parents have been experiencing from the dawn of time. It will be okay.

I advise parents to take their time – but to know that in order to move on – things will have to change in their own worlds.

What is it they would like to do now their son or daughter has moved out?

What goals would they like to set?

How would they like to spend the newfound time on their hands? Art? Gym? Walking group? More socialising (on the other side of lockdown!)?

What would they like life to feel like and look like day to day? Because this is the time to make that happen. It’s time to be the centre of your own world.

If this resonates with you – let me also take this moment to remind you – that if your child is only a few hours away on the train - that it won’t be long before they’re back!

Christmas is around the corner and they’ll soon be eating you out of house and home!

You may find that you feel a guilty sense of relief – but a sense of relief all the same – when you drop them back off at their dorm in January!

And, whilst we're here, let me also highlight to you that the six week holidays will now extend to be more like ten!

So, have mope – but don’t let it last too long. You need to spend some time enjoying your time whilst their away!

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