How to cope with an empty nest

Drive 23/02/2018

It's that time of year for parents when sons and daughters leave the nest to start the rest of their lives at university. 

Drive host Stephen McIvor is one of those parents, so he got parenting expert John Cowan to help him through the pain.

In what is often a time of big change for families, Mr Cowan says that fathers can often feel the worst of it because mums will mentally prepare themselves.

Dads are often left thinking "what the hell happened? I haven't taken her on that big daddy/daughter date" he says.

What the hell happened? I haven't taken her on that big daddy/daughter date.

With things that you can't stop, you might as well welcome them, Mr Cowan says. 

When children grow into mature young men or women, the relationship is forever going to be different he says, but you get to enjoy them being a grown-up pal rather than the child down the hall.

Mr Cowan added that a lot of relationships depend on the dynamic of having a child present.

So when parents are left with an empty nest, it's sometimes important to make deliberate attempts to maintain the quality of the relationship.

Mr Cowan recommends keeping in touch with a Facebook group chat, which he says is a great way for the whole family to stay up to date with each other's lives.

Listen to the full interview John Cowan above.

Drive with Stephen McIvor, 3pm - 6pm Weekdays and streaming live on 'rova'channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.