When young men and women are hitting their later teens and heading toward college, parents often feel pushed away and unimportant to them. Couple those feelings with their son or daughter moving off to college, and we understand how the term “empty nest syndrome” gets thrown around describing parents’ dark spiral into loneliness and gloom!
Most parents actually report mixed feelings during this time. They are happy to see their kids’ independence growing, but they may worry or feel melancholy about this transition as well. Teenagers and college students may also feel overwhelmed, lonely, and disconnected. Expectations are high, they’re living away from home, and many times
they think they’re the only ones feeling isolated and anxious. It sometimes feels like everyone else is making friends, adjusting, and having a great social life. But actually, many feel homesick, overwhelmed with the details and new responsibilities of independence.
Instead of letting these problems rob families of happiness and excitement about these big transitions, a few positive communication shifts may help. Opening up a new style of dialogue may help avoid anxious reactions or feelings of overwhelm. Up-leveling questions and connections between parents and their kids can move the relationship to a more authentic, collaborative approach. As older children and young adults maneuver through these changes, the relationship can evolve into one with mutual admiration and more enjoyment.
Download my Free Guide to elevating those conversations between parents and teens.
Shifting from low value questions to high value questions leads to a deeper connection and more authentic relationship, and that’s a good thing!