It can be hard to transition from actively parenting your children to doing life alongside them once they become adults. Whether you are quickly approaching this season or are currently in it, I want you to know that you can experience a richer, deeper, more fulfilling life (and relationship with your kids) than ever before.
My guest, Jim Burns, not only writes and speaks on strong marriages, confident parenting, and empowering kids, but he is also the author of Finding Joy in the Empty Nest and Doing Life With Your Adult Children. Jim is passionate about combining his personal experience of becoming an empty-nester with extensive research to help others navigate their own journey into this new stage of life.
In this episode, you’ll hear:
- How to support and accept your kids even if they don’t embrace your values.
- The importance of having new experiences in the empty nest season of life.
- Tips for handling “boomerang” children.
- Why you have to let your kids make mistakes.
- How to use this season to rediscover your passions.
This topic is SO important, and Jim does such a great job speaking to the heart of parents in this season of life. Listen in!
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- [Book] Empty Nest, Full Life by Jill Savage
- [Book] Finding Joy in the Empty Nest: Discover Purpose and Passion in the Next Phase of Life by Jim Burns
- [Book] Doing Life with Your Adult Children: Keep Your Mouth Shut and the Welcome Mat Out by Jim Burns
- Homeword (Jim Burns’ Website)
- Connect with Jim on Instagram and Twitter
- As a thank you for listening, get your 3 free eBooks.
My Key Takeaways:
1) It’s normal to have “empty nest syndrome.” Parents tend to experience some sadness and even a level of depression once all their children move out. This is completely normal. As our children fly out of the nest, they begin to have adventures and experience new things, and we often forget that we need to do the same. Now is the time to create a dream list, try new things, test out a new hobby, and more!
2) Take time to invest in yourself and your relationships. As a parent, we often put ourselves on the back-burner to take care of our children. As your children start to leave the nest (even if you’re not fully an empty-nester yet), this is the perfect time to put yourself first. Take some time for self-care and rediscover who you are as a person. Invest in the important relationships around you. Be intentional to find out who you are and cultivate the relationships you desire to have.
3) Ask permission before giving advice to your adult children. This right here is one of the biggest struggles of transitioning to doing life with older kids. We have to stop assuming our kids want our input and instead start asking permission before giving advice. Like Jim says, unsolicited advice will sound like criticism. On a deeper level, you have to release yourself from the responsibility of preventing your children from the consequences of bad decisions. They need to be allowed to grow and make mistakes!
Jim Burns, Ph.D, is an author, speaker, and president of HomeWord, a nonprofit dedicated to educate, equip, and encourage parents and churches to build God-honoring families. Jim lives in Southern California with his wife, Cathy. They have three adult daughters and are happily settled in the empty nest stage of life where they get to dote on their three grandchildren.
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