How to Handle an Empty Nest


Facing an empty nest is similar to giving your life a complete makeover. Not only is there enormous re-organization of space and schedule, but also your identity and your connection to someone you deeply love. Confidence Coach Laure Redmond says "At times it can feel like emotional vertigo." She offers these steps are helpful for establishing a more balanced equilibrium:

  1. Facilitate an Adult Relationship With Your Child Ask them how they envision your relationship with each other changing. After listening to their input, share your hopes for the future of your relationship.
  2. Put Yourself First Before They Leave Go back to work, volunteer, take classes, hire a coach, sign up for a retreat or workshop.
  3. Help Your Child Learn the Basics Calm down doubts and insecurities about laundry, cooking, banking, etc. by teaching your child these skills in a fun way and then asking them to initiate these tasks while still living at home.
  4. Propose a Communication Plan Establish a weekly check-in routine like text updates every Wednesday or Sunday morning phone calls. Of course, let them know they can call or text anytime, but planning a weekly ritual for communication calms down the anxiety of being physically separate.
  5. Throw a Send-Off Gathering Ceremonies are a wonderful way to give everyone a chance to embrace, honor, and celebrate life’s passages. Be creative with gifts that symbolize freedom and responsibility, such as: a basic cookbook, a bottle of laundry detergent with rolls of quarters, or an uber account.
  6. Let Go Let Love Resist the urge to manage your child’s life long distance. Struggle is part of change and will grow your child into an adult. And change can and often will bring on sadness.
  7. Don’t Accelerate Your Recovery Period Allow the grieving process to occur and run its course. This is not the time to redesign your child’s bedroom, sell the house or re-locate to a different city. Ask for guidance and support.

You can listen to Laure on "Feel Good Naked Radio." For more helpful information, visit Laure's website. She's also available for private coaching for individuals or groups.