HappiNest provides a road map to help parents navigate new paths, evolving relationships and existential challenges when their kids leave home. This book distills the latest research and presents vignettes from interviews with more than 300 experts, including psychologists, sociologists, seasoned empty nesters, and fledglings.
Journalist Holland provides advice for empty nesters, pulling from over 300 interviews with a diverse group of parents, in her instructive debut. With a focus on managing one's relationships during this transitional period, Holland suggests reinvigorating one's life with double dates and social plans (while also being wary of "suffocating" friends and family) and engaging in activities such as volunteering, taking classes, and reconnecting with old friends. Holland also explores why marriage can be more difficult after children leave and offers strategies to make the transition less rocky. While much of the advice is directed toward women, there are tips for men, as well particularly in relation to reforming friendships at an older age. A significant portion of the book addresses creating new and respectful relationships with adult children after they leave, or if they "boomerang" back home, with helpful advice on setting boundaries. This shrewd guide will be useful to any empty nester concerned about next steps.