What to Learn From Rob Lowe’s Tears

Parents facing an empty nest may need the advice we've gathered

Rob Lowe recently confessed to uncontrolled weeping when his firstborn left home. He told David Letterman: "I cried like a little girl."

He also said his wife was stoic, which shows the range of emotions parents have as their nest empties. You know it's coming, but the emotional outpouring, or lack thereof, can't always be planned.

Getting Perspective

Next Avenue has tackled empty nest issues from a few angles and can offer the following articles to future empty nesters. That includes Rob Lowe, who for now seems to be handling his second child's imminent departure for college with acceptance, but who may be caught off guard at the door of the dorm, waving goodbye. 

1. Take Time to Adapt
Elizabeth Fishel and Jeffrey Arnett, co-authors of Getting to 30: A Parent's Guide to the 20-Something Years, offer five pieces of advice, including giving yourself time to adapt to the change and taking a look at your work and relationships.

2. It's Different But Not Necessarily Bad
Author Wendy Aronsson says it's natural to question your parenting as your children leave. She also sees this major life shift as an evolution of the family instead of as a loss for the parents.

3. Empty Nests Aren't Really Empty
Photographer Dona Schwartz's series of portraits of parents taken in their children's former rooms reveals some surprises and truths about self-discovery.

4. Ask If It's Time to Re-Fill the Nest
If the silence isn't golden, consider whether it's time for one of these pets.

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