SEPTEMBER 2019 THE
Our oldest son, Drew, is just about to leave the nest and head to the University of Montana Western in Dillon, Montana. While it is only 110 miles from Bozeman, the thought of Drew living on his own is still foreign. With this as a backdrop, I begin to wonder if transitioning Drew’s room into an extra office is a bigger issue for me than it is for him. I keep telling myself that a natural and healthy progression takes an adult child from high school and into adulthood. While other parents are doing cartwheels and measuring for new drapes, Heather and I have had some disagreement about how soon is too soon to convert a college kid’s room into something new. The balance between letting your adult child move on into the real world and allowing them the security of having a place to call home can be difficult. While there will be more reminders of Drew in our house than of us in his dorm room, keeping a connection during this transition is important for both parents and their child. Raising kids can be a challenging endeavor. When Heather and I married in 2013, she agreed to take on not only a husband but also two boys: Andrew, 12, and Chandler, 11. The boys are now 17 and 18 years old and face growing up in a world very different from the one Heather and I knew when we were teenagers. We are far from perfect parents, but we do our best. Our newsletter chronicles some of our successes and some of our less-than-stellar moments. We hope you can learn from some of our failures and find some entertainment in the moments we share. BECOMING AN EMPTY NESTER WHAT TO DOWITH YOUR COLLEGE KID’S ROOM
I have read a number of articles that describe many of the feelings that go along with becoming an “empty nester.” I have seen one very consistent theme: Keep your child involved in how much to let go. Although it is your decision what to do with that room, communicating with this new adult is critical to continuing a healthy relationship as that young adult moves on.
One article I came across on the website FamilyLives.org.uk had some very sage advice for parents who are sending kids away.
• Find a new interest. After investing so much into your child or children, you may find yourself with some free time on your hands. Perhaps there’s something you’ve always wanted to try, like taking up Bridge, volunteering for a local charity, or even going back to school yourself and starting a new business venture.
• Get to know your partner again. Some parents find that without their children at home, they need to rebuild their
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