After years of helping your son with homework, caravanning him to piano lessons and ball practice, and eagerly awaiting his SAT scores, your son is officially moving away.
Whether he’s leaving for basic training, moving into a college dorm, or transferring for work, he’s off to start his new life away from home. You did a great job! You’ve successfully raised your child to be a confident, independent adult who is ready to take on the world.
But maybe you’ve noticed you don’t feel as happy as you thought you would. Of course, you’re proud of all you’ve both accomplished. It’s a big moment in both of your lives: all of the years of hard work and sacrifice have paid off.
Still, your son moving out is an emotional time. You may be experiencing feelings of ecstasy and freedom alongside a sense of loss.
How To Cope With an Empty Nest After Your Son Moves Away
Complicated feelings around this phase of life are entirely normal! Not only is your son beginning a fresh chapter in his life, but you are as well.
This is an exciting time full of new opportunities and experiences. Maybe you have an empty nest for the first time in years, or perhaps you still have other children at home but are missing your son’s presence.
A child moving away can feel overwhelming sometimes, which is why we at Lovebox have collected our list of the seven best ways to cope with your son moving away.
Let’s discover the best ways for you to cope with your son's new journey!
1. Celebrate His Successes—And Yours
Although you miss your son terribly, it’s essential to continue celebrating his successes and letting him know how proud you are of his accomplishments.
You’ve done your job as a parent! You’ve raised a human being who is prepared to spread their wings using the skills and talents he needs to thrive. So, take the time to pat yourself on the back and give yourself the recognition you deserve.
If you changed course or paused your career after becoming a parent, now is the perfect time to turn your attention back toward yourself and your job. This is also a great opportunity to follow a new passion, too!
2. Be Honest With Yourself and Others
The relationship between a son and their family is a special, unbreakable bond. Of course, it’s entirely natural to feel a sense of loss or sadness when they are gone.
Before those moments come, prepare yourself by deciding how to be happy for yourself and your son’s accomplishments. Express your feelings to a trusted friend or relative, and then decide how to reframe the situation. Look around for all the fantastic opportunities you now have to grow into this season of life!
3. Take Up a New Hobby
Is there a hobby or interest you never had time to try? Have you always wanted to learn to play the guitar or paint on canvas? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to write a novel or a play. Now is the time!
Take some time to discover what you’ve always wanted to learn. You currently have the time and energy to pour into your hobbies and tap into talents that you previously didn’t have time to pursue. With time and dedication, who knows where your hobbies may take you!
Here are a few hobbies to try if you’re not sure where to start:
- Build a garden
- Write a book
- Join a book club
- Learn to play a musical instrument
- Learn to paint or draw
- Join a hiking club
Join a local sports league
The key to success is trying new hobbies until you find one that makes you happy!
4. Volunteer With a Cause You Support
Now that you have more time in your days, you have a beautiful opportunity to give back to a cause or a mission you support by volunteering.
Whether you’re reading to children at the local library, organizing a food drive, or sitting with the elderly, now’s the perfect time to share your free time with those who need it most.
Volunteering is also a great way to meet other empty-nesters and bond over your shared experiences. Research what you really care about, and sign up to volunteer!
5. Get Creative With Communication
Now that your son has moved away, try to connect with them by phone or video chat at least once a week. Agree on a time that works for both of you to catch up on each other’s lives.
Thanks to modern technology, there’s an endless number of options for communicating with your son, including FaceTime, email, texting, Skype, and snail-mail. Take some time to see what form of communication you prefer and try to stick to a schedule.
Sometimes traditional forms of communication can get boring. To truly connect with your son who lives away from home and deliver instant expressions of affection from a distance, get Lovebox for Parents.
Lovebox is the best gift to help you cope with your son’s absence. Our Lovebox for Parents is the first connected messaging device that pairs with a free app to send pictures, colored messages, stickers, and fun drawings that can instantly bring a smile to both of your faces!
Just create your unique message on the app, then send it instantly or schedule it for later. When you or your son receive a message from each other, the heart on the Lovebox will spin. After the recipient has received their message, they can choose to send back a waterfall of hearts to cascade over your screen. It’s the perfect gift to stay in contact with your son!
6. Trust the Process
It may not feel like it now, but you will eventually replace these feelings of sadness with happiness. Once you’ve adjusted to this change, you’ll be filled with joy over the success of your son’s journey (and your own).
You’ve been a fantastic parent while guiding him into his new life, so keep moving forward. You’ll be just as stellar guiding him through this next phase and the next after that, too.
Every new season in life requires a time of transition. Unfortunately, there isn’t a formula that works for everyone because we all experience change differently. Thankfully, it will get better over time.
The best way to cope with your son moving away is to accept these changes and focus on the beautiful new opportunities in you and your son’s lives. Always trust the process, and soon you’ll be thriving as an empty nester!
7. Find a Support System That Works for You
As wonderful as change can be, sometimes you need people in your life that can understand what feelings you are experiencing. These are the friends and family members that can be there for you in the challenging moments.
Everyone needs support sometimes. Find a trusted counselor, pastor, friend, or someone in the community whose son has also moved away, and be honest with them about your thoughts and feelings.
It’s okay for your feelings to fluctuate, as well. For example, some days, you may be elated for your new freedom as an empty-nester, and other days you just want to go through all of the old home videos and picture albums from your son’s childhood. Don’t be alarmed!
There’s nothing wrong with how you spend either day. Just trust that it does get better. You and your son are a success story for good parenting.
8. Learn To Be Happy
Fake it before you make it. If it’s taking longer to find joy in this new season of life, that’s okay. Happiness is a choice we have to make while we’re going through a recent change. Embrace the journey, and you will begin to find true happiness for both you and your son.
Prepare yourself for the transition before they move away so you can start to see what works best for you and your family. Finally, take pride in your accomplishments as a parent!
All in all, finding ways to cope with your son moving away takes time and is different for each parent. What might work for some parents might not work for you. Take some time after your son moves away to trust the process and find a support system to help you cope.
Look for ways to spend your time that make you happy. Whether that’s volunteering with a cause you support or taking up a new hobby you’ve always been interested in, your new season of life is a fantastic opportunity to discover what gives you joy.
Seek out support from a trusted source when you need to share and express your emotions with someone else. Finally, finding new ways to communicate with your son who has moved away—especially our Lovebox for Parents—is a great way to stay up-to-date on each other’s new lives.
Remember, you did a great job raising your son, and you should be proud of your accomplishments! We hope our suggestions help you find the best way to cope with your son moving away, so you can find joy in this fresh start.
Sources:The Best Empty Nest Advice for Parents Whose Kids Are Leaving the Coop | Good Housekeeping