We Are Empty Nesters. Now What?!

empty nest

What do you think of when you hear the term “empty nest?”  Do you think of loss or do you think of freedom?  Do you wish you could keep your kids close or glad they are going out into their own world?  Are you scared for them or happy for them?  Are you asking yourself what you are going to do with all your time, or are you chomping at the bit to get out there and live life?

There are couples who have been doing their best to prepare their kids to be successful in life and now have plans to travel, stay out late, develop new activities together, etc.  There are also single parents who are looking forward to  maybe revving up their social life, maybe meeting new people, and possibly getting married.

There are also couples who have been so busy raising kids and working, that they have not built a strong relationship between themselves and now are wondering what they have in common at all.  There are single parents who dread the empty nest and have no clue how to proceed.

Wherever you land in this, please remember that change always demands adjustments.  The fact is that your kids are going out on their own.  Yes, they will make mistakes and fall, but the same God that brought you through struggles will do the same for them.  Believe it.  You will not agree with all of the choices your kids will make, but you aren’t their parent now;  God is.

One mistake many parents make, and we did this too for awhile, is want to protect their grown child from hurt, so they step in front of what God may be trying to teach them or lead them through.  Covering their bills, co-signing for purchases even though they PROMISE to pay the bill, allowing them to come back into the house to live off of their parents, just keeps them weak.  They rely on the parent instead of the Parent.

I learned not to give my opinion on what they were doing unless I was asked, and even then, I would be careful with my words.  When it came to paying for their education, we only required them to do their best and focus on their studies.  If they had not done that, they would have had to find another way to pay for it.

Prayer, words of encouragement, suggestions, when asked for, go a long way in helping our kids succeed.  Nagging, enabling, unsolicited advice, belittling, and ignoring them keeps them in Mommy’s and Daddy’s arms or completely away.

“Empty Nest AND Adult Children?  HELP!” is the topic of this week’s Chained No More Talk Radio program.  Our guest is Michele Howe, the author of “Empty Nest: What’s Next?”  She will be addressing the many issues of the transition of having adult kids.  Tune into www.toginet.com at 2pm ET on Tuesday, March 15.  Don’t miss it!

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

When we train our kids to have wisdom and discernment, they may fly the nest and fall a few times, but we can be there to love and encourage them to keep flying with the Lord’s guidance.  Keep going, parents!  Our job as parents, from day one, is to help them become independent; NOT dependent.  Let them fly! Time for YOUR “new normal”.  Have fun!