Thursday, April 14, 2016

Some Graduation Advice for the Empty Nest Parents Out There

Graduation. It’s that time of the year where our children get older and some move on to bigger education in far away lands. This is great, right? We’re proud of them and excited. But the truth is, it’s a big shift for the parents. Many mothers especially, regardless of how close of a relationship they had, can become very depressed as they lose what they’ve focused on for a solid 18 years.  As your student moves on to university life, you might find these techniques useful to help you get through the exciting, but still difficult change as well.
Stay in communication
It is important for parents to stay in touch with students, but it isn’t necessary to talk several times a day, or even every day.  Consider a weekly or bi-weekly phone call or Skype session to check in and catch up.  Then use other forms of communication like texting or email to fill in the gaps.  That will enable you to tell your student something on your mind, but she can respond in her own time. Feel free to send your student a private Facebook message, but avoid filling his Facebook wall or liking all of his posts. That will just become annoying.
Invest in your friends and community.
Since you are probably finding yourself with more time than you used to, invest in relationships that can provide you with community, connection, and encouragement.  If married, take this time to get to know your spouse without having to plan around a child’s schedule.  Go out with friends and have fun!  Ask a co-worker to go to a movie or ask a neighbor to go on a walk.  Even if you don’t feel like being with people, you will find if you make up your mind to do it, you will be glad you did.  While you still might miss your student, you won’t be as lonely.
Get to know what makes you excited!
Think about what you used to do before a child consumed your time.  Perhaps writing, crafts, exercising, or going to school got put on the back burner.  Now is the time to find something you are interested in and jump in with both feet.  Do you just miss having someone to help?  Find a cause you are passionate about and volunteer your time at a local organization.
Adjusting to an empty nest takes time, but try to be an example to your student that life changes can be exciting, adventurous times.  You will always be a parent, even as your relationship changes and grows with your adult child.
And remember. This is an exciting time for your child. Be attentive and share your bigger emotions with a close friend or spouse. This will free your child to enjoy this exciting new phase without feeling guilty or concern.
Ontario Bakery wants to celebrate with you. Don’t forget to call us, when you’re ready to order your custom baked cakes and other party desserts!

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