You and your siblings probably had your fair share of drama growing up; in fact, you probably had some straight-up family drama too. Every family has their baggage, but the truth is, no matter how quirky their quirks, time spent together is always precious. And once your last sibling heads off to college, your parents will miss that together time more than ever. As empty-nesters, your folks might feel a little bummed without the kids around. Here are five ways you can team up with your siblings to give your ‘rents a pick-me-up during the transition.
1. Host Parent’s Weekend. Have your parents bust out their old “University of ____” Mom/Dad shirts and continue to celebrate Parent’s Weekend even after graduation. Parent’s Weekend at college is a great excuse to celebrate, get together, and do activities, and while you might not have tailgates to rely on, you can always plan the trip around a concert, sporting event, or festival that’s unique to your city. That way, you can all bond while you enjoy that special alone time with them.
2. Set dates in advance. Anticipation is an extremely powerful emotion, and if your parents are feeling a little lonely as empty nesters, having something to look forward to will definitely perk them up a bit. Additionally, knowing that a little slice of home is heading your way will keep you from feeling homesick. That’s why if you do plan to travel to visit each other, planning ahead will 1) save you money and 2) let the anticipation last longer.
3. Be excited for them. Being an empty-nester can be a little bit of a bummer, but there’s also the exciting fact that, for the first time in decades, your parents are pretty much free to roam as they please. How amazing is that?! Remind them of the opportunity they’ve been given. If you’re excited for them, they’ll feel even better about the adventures that lie ahead.
4. Team up with your sibs. Now that you and your siblings are all out of the house, think about teaming up to surprise your parents. Having the family all together is something they’ll probably miss a lot, and with the rare exception of holidays, it’s probably pretty hard to accomplish. After your youngest sibling moves out, work together to find a date that all of you can rendezvous. Staying in touch is great, but there’s nothing your parents want more than to have all their birds in the nest again.
5. Give the gift of travel. When thinking about anniversary, birthday, and holiday presents, consider gifting your parents travel to come see you (or vice versa!). Gift-giving is a great excuse to brighten your folks’ spirits (and create that anticipation thing we were talking about).
6. Stay in (relatively) constant contact. Remember in high school when you’d sit at the dinner table and your parents would make you tell them about your day? Keep the spirit of that teenage tradition alive by updating your parents on your life as often as you can. Add them on Snapchat, or make them get an Instagram; whatever way you communicate with the world, let them be part of it.
How do you help your empty-nesting parents? Let us know @BritandCo!
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