Empty Nesters and their chicks are sitting on a fence. No one really knows what will happen in regards to the job market or how long they will fluff their nest, again.

It is not looking good for some grads and for others; they are living their dream launch of the paycheck. They might have four roomies, but they aren\’t coming home.

Key, as you know, is to communicate feelings and thoughts:

  • You must be so disappointed that you worked so hard and can\’t make enough money to have your own place.
  • Dad and I are thinking the way to share the space and responsibilities are to…… and then ask, HOW DOES THAT SOUND and WHAT IDEAS DO YOU HAVE?
  • They may not have concrete ideas because it is not real to them and they aren\’t thinking about the things you, the parents are thinking about: responsibility, dirty towels and dishes, mom the maid, bills, friends over, girlfriends and boyfriends, late nights, sharing a car, noise and looking for work.
  • Coming back home is a journey of negotiating and not falling back into ROLES you no longer want to live. They haven\’t had authority around and you worked hard to let go and move forward with your life. You can all talk about that, BRIEFLY. Brief talks mean while you are cooking or running errands. Casual conversation, not the rage that pins someone against the wall, WE HAVE TO HAVE A TALK.
  • Anger will rise. It is normal. Sorry and meaning it is healing.
  • Some families can set up work spaces for their children outside since it is better weather. Screens to separate rooms, helps. Thrift stores for filling in a table, lamp, etc.
    Don\’t sweat the small stuff. There are two sides to every joy and challenge. What are yours in this situation? Good news is….. Challenging part is…..? Chat with yourself before others.

    • Love wins and resentment still emerges.
    • Know who you are and aren\’t.
    • Know who they are and aren\’t.
    • They aren\’t you.

    You don\’t have to solve the problems immediately or have a solid plan worked out. Life is complex and we forget that. We like to manage and get jobs off our list. This is a life style and needs time to be lived.

    What works for me, is being good to myself, and being a role model I respect. I lose it. I get angry and disappointed and I know how TO RECOVER.

    Wishing you tolerance, fun, and respect on this new journey,

    • Private consultations on the telephone
    • Support groups
    • Speaking engagements
    • Featured in Time Magazine, New York Times and more

    Natalie Caine is the founder of Empty Nest Support Services. When her daughter was a senior in high school, she realized that as a soon-to-be “empty nester,” she would be undergoing a major life shift. Not wanting to confront this transition alone nor have her many friends face this abyss without strong support, she created a support services group, which quickly grew into a new career and an exciting full-time business.