Empty Nest Syndrome? No Worries

Be confident in your decision to send your child to camp. Camp will be a wonderful experience, and you wouldn’t have made that decision if you didn’t believe your child was ready for it.

Now, what about you?

(ABOVE: With one child away, focus on the one at home. Courtesy photo)

Whether your child is spending a few weeks or the entire summer away from home, parents can experience a little anxiety sometimes called Empty Nest Syndrome. Regardless of whether children are 8 or 18, it is hard to say goodbye.

However, a summer separated from your children is a great opportunity for you to have a few weeks of “me” time.

With no children in the house, or maybe fewer children in the home, this is a great time for parents to enjoy a break. Here are ways to make the summer go by quickly and have fun:

1. Pick up a hobby. Ever thought about learning to knit? Have a bike collecting dust in the garage? Now is the time to start something new. Whether it’s a group activity or solo, you can impress your children with something you learned during the summer.

2. Take a trip. While the children are off having an adventure, why not do something exciting for yourself? Travel, or have a “staycation,” for a week or a weekend – somewhere you always wanted to go but knew the children wouldn’t enjoy.

3. Take a summer course. Community colleges offer great courses for the summer that will help improve your skills and knowledge. Sometimes these courses can improve your job situation too. It will even help you revisit what college is like now in preparation for when your children get to that age.

4. Enjoy the moment. Remember to pause for a second and embrace the quiet. It’s rare with children, but it is a great reminder that you’ve given your child a memory they’ll have forever.

5. Tackle those chores that never seem to get done – cleaning closets and donating old clothing is always my favorite.

6. If you have other children at home, use this opportunity to have more “one-on-one” time with them. They will appreciate every minute. Include them in some of your adventures so they can share stories just like their siblings.

7. If you have no other children at home, this could be a great time to reconnect with your spouse or partner. There is never enough time for this.

Keep in mind the summer is a lot shorter than you think. Once your children return home, you will remember these few weeks with fondness and longing. Make this time a special experience for you in addition to the one you’re giving your child. As you return to carpools and cell phone messages, you too will start dreaming about summer 2020.

Reach Helene Abrams, an advisor with Tips on Trips and Camps, a free summer camp and trip advisory service that helps parents of children ages 7-18 find enriching summer overnight experiences, at 214-484-8141 or [email protected].

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