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How to Handle Tough Feelings About Having an Empty Nest

By Julie Ryan Evans
Reviewed by Susan Ko, Ph.D.
September 16, 2022

The kids have grown up and left home, maybe to start college or to move to another town. Now what?

There’s a huge range of what parents may feel when anticipating or experiencing an empty nest, says Roni Cohen-Sandler, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist who splits her time between Norwalk, Connecticut, and Los Angeles and is the author of the book Anything But My Phone, Mom!: Raising Emotionally Resilient Daughters in the Digital Age.

Some parents feel a sense of relief or excitement for this new phase in life. They may feel as if they have more time to do the things they enjoy, like traveling, socializing, or practicing a hobby.