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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Coping with the Empty Nest Syndrome

Many parents are facing what is typically called the Empty Nest syndrome during this time of year when the last of their children go away to college. With some forethought and planning, the sadness that is usually associated with the empty nest syndrome can be avoided or, at least, minimized.

Coping With the Empty Nest Syndrome

What is the Empty Nest Syndrome?
Typically, the empty nest syndrome occurs when the last of the parents' children leave the household, whether it is to attend college or to go out and live on their own.

This transition can be especially difficult if parents have been almost exclusively focused on their children to the detriment of their relationship with each other.

Suddenly, after 18 or 20 years of focusing on their children, they are faced with questions and, possibly, doubts about what to do with their lives and how to interact with one another now that it's only the two of them in the household.

Not everyone goes through the empty nest syndrome. For many people who have maintained good relationships with their spouses, their own friends, and outside interests, when their children leave, they see it as a time when they can have more freedom and independence.

They might decide to spend more time traveling or engaging in other activities that they couldn't do when they had to take care of their children.

Coping with the Empty Nest Syndrome:
Planning ahead can be very helpful so that you don't suddenly feel like you're adrift.

If you know that your youngest child will be moving out in the next year or so, speak to your spouse about how this change will affect your lives.

Coping With the Empty Nest Syndrome: Rekindle Your Relationship

It might be a good time to rekindle your relationship with a romantic getaway, or maybe you'd like to make changes to your home now that your last child has moved out.

It might also be a time to mourn that your former familiar routines with your children, whether it involved taking them to soccer practice or dance classes as you take time to reinvent your life with your spouse.

Honest communication with your spouse is the key to navigating through this unfamiliar and challenging time.

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR therapist, and Somatic Experiencing therapist.

I work with individuals and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me:

photo credit: Gwen's River City Images via photopin cc

photo credit: LyndaSanchez via photopin cc

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