There is a lot written for mothers facing the empty nest, but if you were to do a survey of articles on it, you might conclude that fathers remain unaffected. Of course, this is not the case, particularly for contemporary fathers who are in general much more involved in their children’s lives than may have been the case in previous generations. In addition, this time is difficult for couples as well, and having some understanding of what to expect and how to prevent some of the pitfalls means that you can work together toward a new and different life with all the kids out of the house.
Prepare with Your Spouse
Awareness that the empty nest may change your relationship is a good place to start. Start talking with your spouse while your child is still in high school about what you hope to do in the years ahead. There are plenty of daddy bloggers you can follow to get ideas about how to enrich this stage of life. You might be thinking of eventually remodeling or selling your home and moving into a smaller place although you may want to wait a few years to give your child time to get settled into a new life and to make sure they won’t be coming home for a while between college graduation and a job. Maybe you want to travel or take up some new hobbies. It’s not unusual for couples to struggle with the realization that they have put their own relationship with each other on the back burner as they focused on raising children. Start working on building your new relationship now.
Consider College Costs
College costs more than it ever has, and even if your child has saved and you have saved, if you are like most families, you still don’t have enough to cover four years of education plus related expenses. Your child may be eligible for scholarships, grants and loans, but those loans can be tough for a young person to repay on the salary they are paid on their first couple of jobs. One way to help them out is by taking out Earnest parent student loans for them. A low-rate Private Parent Loan is a better idea than digging into your retirement account, and you can look for a loan amount and a repayment plan that best suits you.
Be There, But Back Off
Your kid still needs you. Most likely, they will always need you. But this is an important time for them to build independence, so you will need to find a balance between the urge to contact them whenever you are thinking of them and making sure that they know you are always there for them if they need you. You’ll also need to let them work out some things for themselves, as you can advise, but you don’t want to smother. If there are special activities you’ve shared together, such as hiking or watching a particular TV show, you can make plans to do that during a school break. That will give you a chance to reconnect and a low-key environment for talking about any issues your child might be having.