Dealing With Empty-Nest Syndrome - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/28/04-Tyler

Dealing With Empty-Nest Syndrome

Back to school means the first year of college for many young people. For some, it's their first time away from home and for parents, letting go can be a difficult adjustment.
Empty-Nest Syndrome is common to moms and dads who are sending their sons and daughters out into the real world.
Laura Newsome will soon hug her son Justin goodbye when he arrives at Lousiana Tech in a few weeks. The former John Tyler Lion is her youngest child and the last at home.
"It definitely worries me, him going out, the small little things," Laura said.
When school begins many parents will be in Laura's shoes.
Althea Roeland is a counselor at ETMC's Behavioral Health Center. She's helped parents dealing with Empty-Nest Syndrome.
"There's a lot of things that you can do, re-evaluating your role basically," said Althea.
Health officials say parents should find ways to fill the void before their child leaves. "College classes, dance classes, cooking classes, clubs," said Althea, "there are so many wonderful avenues now for staying busy."
Officials also say parents should try to instill the final lessons to ease their own anxiety. "Teach them the very last things you possibly can," said Althea. "Cooking, cleaning some of those things that they're going to need those skills."
Most importantly,officials say parents should love their children enough to let them make their own mistakes. "They're going to fall on their face every now and then. It's okay," said Althea. "You'll be there. Your role has changed now. You are more of a nurturing supporter now as opposed to someone who tells them what to do."
Laura Newsome says she has some concerns for her son, but recognizes both their lives are changing.
"My role now as a mother changes for them," Laura said. "I've been the nurturing, always fix it. That's not my role anymore. I know that the final end, the final drive away, when we leave him at college is going to be difficult." 
Counselors say if your symptoms last longer than 6 months you may have an adjustment disorder and depression, anxiety and fear can often set in. They suggest you seek professional help to work through the loss.

Story by Maya Golden, mgolden@kltv.com

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