Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and teaches at California State University. She does not hold a license to practice therapy....Full Bio

 

5 Signs and Symptoms of Empty Nest Syndrome

Lovely kids kissing their grandmother

Photo: Getty Images

1. A Loss of Purpose – Parenthood was BUSY. Despite your friends, family, work, and other activities, your days may still feel a bit empty. after an adjustment period, you can find new purpose in your life. This is particularly true if you use the time to pick up a new hobby or tackle a new challenge.

2. Anger about the loss of control - For years, you had quite a bit of control over scheduling your children’s lives—but that has now changed. With your child being on their own, you won't know as many details of their day as you used to.The lack of control over when your child is attending class, going to work, going on a date, or hanging out with friends can be frustrating. You might also feel a bit left out when you don't know the details of your child's day-to-day schedule.

3. Emotional sensitivity - If you burst into tears watching sad commercials or driving down the road, know that this is normal. You're in an emotional place right now, and it's not surprising that situations or comments that you normally wouldn't be affected by become a much bigger deal.

4. Anxiety About Your Children - it’s normal to worry about how they are faring after they've left the nest. What isn’t normal, however, is to feel constant anxiety about how your child is getting by. Checking in multiple times a day or investing hours into checking your child's social media accounts won't be helpful to either of you.

5. Marital Stress - In the process of raising a child, many couples set their relationship aside and make the family revolve around the kids. If you've spent years neglecting your marriage, you might find your relationship needs some work once the kids are gone.

Instead of trying to have control over the details of your child's life, focus on coping with your discomfort in healthy ways.

Try one of these ideas:

• Pursuing interests you didn't have time for when your kids were at home

• Taking a class on an interesting topic

• Reconnecting with friends

• Learning a new skill

For more information check out Very Well Family.


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