The New York Times

How to Thrive in an Empty Nest

THE TRANSITION TO COLLEGE CAN BE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH FOR PARENTS AS WELL AS STUDENTS.

For Maureen Stiles of Gaithersburg, Md., it was the empty shoe rack that did her in.

After the eldest of her three sons left for college last fall, she said, “I walked upstairs and I could see straight into his room from the hallway.” The missing shoes made it clear that he was gone.

“It was weeks of real grief before I could go in there,” she said.

Although college drop-off is a moment of triumph and pride, it can also be one of the most painful transitions in parenthood. Perhaps the sadness and anxiety come from the seemingly contradictory emotions of

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