You are a mother of a high school student, and you are freaking out about the empty nest ahead? Together we will channel your freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy! You will THRIVE as your child(ren) prepares, heads off to, and experiences college. ~ Christine, Your Empty Nest Coach
Christine: It is time for a Quick Tips Tuesday episode of the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast. I am your host, Coach Christine, and this is episode #66 of my podcast. If this is your first time listening, I invite you to check out my Friday episodes, as well, where I provide bite-sized coaching assistance to guide you along your empty nest transition years – it is an amazing time of our lives but it is easy to forget that through the bumps in the road in our journey. …
[Music: Intro – fades out]
Christine: It is time for a Quick Tips Tuesday episode of the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast. I am your host, Coach Christine, and this is episode #66 of my podcast. If this is your first time listening, I invite you to check out my Friday episodes, as well, where I provide bite-sized coaching assistance to guide you along your empty nest transition years – it is an amazing time of our lives but it is easy to forget that through the bumps in the road in our journey. My hope is that you discover how amazing you are and find the excitement in your years ahead.
A reminder that all of the Quick Tips Team members and their contact information may be found on my website YourEmptyNestCoach.com – look for the Quick Tips Team button on the home page.
And if you have a quick tip to share with listeners of this podcast? I would LOVE to share it with them! See this episode’s show notes for a link to record your audio submission for this podcast. Happy recording, friend!
Wait, Christine, where are the show notes? That might help you, huh? You’ll find those in the description of this episode – on Apple Podcasts click, “Details”; on Spotify, Click “See More,”: on Overcast press the I for information – button – Get the idea?
Or of course, visit my website for full show notes with links to everything we discuss in this episode and a full episode transcript – those reside at your empty nest coach dot com forward slash p for podcast and 66 (for this number’s episode). I can’t wait to hear from you.
[Music: Sponsor Music]
Thanks! Thank you. It’s time to thank our sponsor. This Quick Tips episode is sponsored by my community: the Green Popsicle Sticks. Ready to find the GPS of your life? Then sign up for my Thursday Thoughts about email where you will gain immediate access to the GPS Life Principles document, and will receive a link to join our community – and it is all FREE! See the link in this episode’s show notes, or head to my website YourEmptyNestCoach.com and click the Thursday Thoughts About button to get started. See you there!
In this episode, this is the first time you’ll be hearing from our team member, Gretchen Hoffmann, she’s another team member who I met through Instagram – can you tell yet that I like to hang out there?
[Music: Guest Intro]
Gretchen: Hi, this is Gretchen Hoffmann, also known as The Planner Freak. I am the mother of two amazing kids, and in a former life, I was a marketing exec in the travel industry.
When Christine first asked me to be part of her quick tips team, I was honored, but at the same time, I was a little bit panicked. Where would I start? What would be my first tip? How would I go about compiling my tips? I said to myself, “Take a deep breath, sit down and think about it.”
So, my quick tip for today is to clearly know exactly what you are trying to accomplish; write it down on paper; and then break everything down into baby steps. Remember: start at the beginning and break down your steps.
The other advantage to this approach is once you have it laid out on paper, you can also see exactly which steps you may be missing, which ones you need to add, which ones you need to delete, or which ones you are going to need someone else’s help on. I hope this helps. Until next time, this is The Planner Freak.
[Music: Back to Christine]
Thanks, Gretchen! If you are a regular listener of my podcast, you’ve already been introduced to the following three ladies, so I’m going to let them do their magic without interruption. If you’d like to be formally introduced to them, be sure to check our our earlier Quick Tips episodes!
[Music: Guest Intro]
Carolyn: Hi there. I’m Carolyn Caplan, also known as AdmissionsMom, and I’m an independent college consultant.
My Quick Tips Today are about More Mindful, Meaningful College Visits.
Definitely, sign in at the admissions office and go on the official tours and info sessions. Pro tip for you, parents: go with a different tour guide than your child. That way you can feel free to ask as many questions as you want without their feeling like they need to sink into the ground and disappear.
And, If your child has learning or mental health issues, be sure to visit student support and counseling services and ask questions.
Then, I want you to get lost. Just wander aimlessly, but try to pay attention to what’s going on around you and your child. Put your phones away for a few minutes, and be mindful of their surroundings. See anything beautiful? Overhear any interesting conversations? Do the students look happy?
Head to the dining halls and try the food — your child might be eating it for the next four years!
Wander over to the gym, the library, the student union, an academic building or even the religious organizations if your child has a spiritual side. Can they picture themselves working out here? Studying here? Hanging out and making friends here?
Go to the bookstore and check out the gear. I like to add to my magnet collection, but maybe they’d prefer stickers or snow globes.
Ask questions. Lots of questions. Don’t be shy. Odds are they’ll never see these people again, and college students remember what it was like to be in their shoes. Ask current students what they like to do on a Saturday afternoon or a Wednesday night, or what their favorite spot on campus is.
Most of all, encourage your child to imagine how they’ll fit in on the campus. Can they easily picture themself here, happy and excited? They might need some space for this, so don’t hesitate to wander away and give them time to absorb and learn more about what feels right to them.
Good luck! Happy Visiting!
Christine: Next up is our traveling light expert, Katherine.
[Music: Guest Intro]
Katherine: When I carry my 28-liter day bag that weighs 11 pounds on my back, I’ve got everything I need. I have my capsule wardrobe, my toiletries in tiny jars in travel size containers, I’ve got three pairs of shoes – one of which I will be wearing, and other things like a rain poncho, a headlamp, a tiny first aid kit and lastly my very important hair straighteners.
I know, that sounds ridiculous, but to me it’s not. I have uncontrollable curly hair, and I like to make some effort.I sacrifice other things, like a fourth pair of shoes so I can take my essential straighteners. When I simplify my packing, I simplify my life. I’m not carrying extra stuff that I don’t care much to focus on.
Everything I need to survive and have fun with is on my back. I’m compact, comfortable, warm and safe with just the basics. So, my tip for today is take what you need. As in, you need to take what you need. If you have a skin care regime that uses five products, take all five of them but in little containers. If you have medicine, take enough for the time that you are away. I would never leave home without my asthma inhaler.
If you feel cold, take extra layers, just make them lighter versions, like a down filled jacket, rather than a bulky coat. And if the forecast is for rain, take a light rain coat, a rain poncho or a travel umbrella. And if you are going out to nice restaurants, include something that you feel good in for going out, but instead of taking multiple outfits, mix and match tops with skirts and pants. Taking what you need in smaller or lighter amounts is absolutely key for traveling light. Happy light travels!
Monica: Hi, everyone, this is your scholarship mom, Monica Matthews with another quick tip for you. My last tip introduced the SMART – S – M- A-R -T method of applying for college scholarships, and how you need to start right where you are, no matter how old or young your student is.
Let’s go into detail about each part of this method starting with the S in smart which stands for Share personal details. Scholarship judges have a great desire to learn more about each applicant, and the essay is usually the only chance a student has to share personal details that are not included when filling out the boxes on each application.
They want to know exactly why the student would be the best choice in representing their organization, and their final choice for a winner. Students need to view the college scholarship essay as an opportunity to set themselves apart from the many other applicants. Their goal should be to prove to the judges that they are the very best choice and deserve to win the scholarship money.
To do this, students can tell a story, in their writing, about how they’ve overcome personal obstacles in their lives, making sure to share specific details including feelings, lessons learned, and life changes made. Every effort should be made into avoiding turning personal details into a sob story, however, as this could have a negative effect.
Students need to write from their hearts in a mature fashion and use their personal stories to answer the college scholarship essay question completely, keeping it relevant to the prompt provided. Sharing personal details in the scholarship essay is something that each student trying to win money for college must do. And the bottom line is that students will win more scholarship awards by sharing personal details in their essays.
Don’t miss my next tip when I’ll share the second part of the SMART applying method: the M – market yourself.
Another great way of standing out from the crowd and getting noticed by the judges. Have a beautiful day!
[Music: Back to Christine]
Christine: My empty nest friend, I have a special bonus guest for you today! Leah Carey has stopped by!
[Music: Guest Intro]
Leah: Hi! I’m Leah Carey from the Good Girls Talk About Sex podcast.
If your nest has recently emptied, you’ve probably spent the last few months or years imagining how much fun you and your partner can have in the bedroom once the kids are gone.
But now that your nest is actually empty, it’s not unusual to discover that you’ve spent so much time and focus on your kids that you forgot to keep up the intimacy of your relationship … and now you don’t know how to get back into the groove in the bedroom. It’s time to re-learn how to be intimate with your partner.
Most important: don’t try to jump in all at once! If you and your partner are more like roommates than lovers, don’t surprise them with a big romantic gesture with candles and rose petals. Chances are good that you’ll both end up feeling even more awkward because you’re out of practice.
Instead, focus on initiating small bits of intimacy every day. Put your hand on their lower back as you cook together in the kitchen. Whisper a compliment in their ear before they leave for work (the specific compliment doesn’t matter – it’s drawing your partner into a moment of quiet warmth that is special for just the two of you.)
When we’ve gotten used to one way of doing things for a long time, it can be hard to wrap our mind around change – even if it’s change we want! So treat the re-establishment of your intimate relationship with your partner the same way you would a skittish cat – no sudden moves, no loud noises, let them sniff your hand and run away several times before they gain the confidence to inch closer. Here’s to your better sex life!
[Music: Back to Christine]
My amazing listener, if Leah has piqued your interest, be sure to check out her podcast because, let me tell you, she has a whole lot more to share with you – definitely. She will be back with another tip in the upcoming months but in the meantime, find her on her podcast: Good Girls Talk About Sex. Thanks for stopping by Leah!
[Music: Guest Intro]
And from me, today, I’d like you to consider discomfort.
[Music: Guest Intro]
Recently, what have you done – that you’ve chosen to do – that has made you uncomfortable?
Life has discomfort, whether you look for it or not, so why not choose discomfort as you work toward something you want?
It has been saying, “yes,” to requests to be a guest on other people’s shows. Audio is one step – video, well, that is a whole ‘nother level of discomfort for me. I know you are probably wondering, “Why is that even a problem for you, Christine, you’re on Instagram all the time in video?”
I guess because I don’t have the power to hit delete – not that I do that often for my posts, I actually rarely do it, but having that ability there, as an option, kind of gives me an out. It’s like an insurance policy, I guess. Knowing that, that isn’t there when I guest for others, that has the potential to drive me to inaction.
But, what’s happening is that I’m not being who I’m meant to be and I’m not serving those who need me.
And, here’s the thing, each time I step out of my comfort zone, it does get a little bit easier.
I’m thankful I chose the discomfort, and am learning from it.
See my show notes for a link to one of my first full video interviews with the lovely Amy Waterman and if you haven’t already heard my guest appearance on the fantastic podcast Hot Flashes and Cool Topics, pop over there, too – links are in my show notes!
[Music: Back to Christine]
I am thrilled you listened today. If you enjoyed this episode, and want the next quick tips episode to make its way to you in your favorite app, take a moment to subscribe to this podcast – it’s free, after all!
My next episode is titled “Becoming the CEO of Your Life: Part 3 of 5.” Did you hear the first two? Are you curious? Well, I hope so! If you are subscribed to my podcast, you’ll find it in your feed on Friday by 6 AM. You can start that series right now by listening to episodes 64 & 65. As always, I invite you to take a listen.
[GPS Exec Thank you music]
Thanks! Thank you! A huge shout out to my GPS Execs: the executive producers of my podcast! Visit my website or see my show notes for a link to learn how you may become a GPS Exec, where you will gain bonus access to me – and more!
If you aren’t driving and are able to do a screenshot of this episode and share it on social media to help others to find it, that would be super helpful to me and the team. Tag me @emptynestcoach so that I may thank you. OR if you can think of one other person who would enjoy this podcast, please, don’t keep it a secret.
And before I go, please remember that YOU ARE AMAZING!
This episode topic comes from a Green Popsicle Stick Group Facebook member. Once again, when I sat down to organize and script this out, I had no idea that I had so many thoughts on the subject. Too funny.
Katie asked, “What skills are you glad you taught your daughter before she went off to college? And, is there anything you wished you’d spent more time on with her?”
These are fantastic questions from Katie, whose daughter is already ahead of the game, as you will hear in this episode.
Take a listen, or read the transcript, below.
⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll all the way down ⇓ so you don’t miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓
Want to subscribe to this podcast? Great news – it is free!
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 32: What Life Skills Should My High School Child be Mastering Now, to be Successful in College? … Today’s episode comes from a Green Popsicle Stick Facebook group member. Katie asks, “What skills are you glad you taught your daughter before she went off to college? Is there anything you wished you’d spent more time on with her?” What a fantastic question. Thanks, Katie! Your daughter is well, well ahead of most students in 8th grade, and to be honest, she’s more ahead than many college students in her life skills.
00:00:00 Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 32: What Life Skills Should My High School Child be Mastering Now, to be Successful in College? This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that has been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it is freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
00:00:43 Hello, my future empty nest friend. Happy summer! My goodness, I just looked at a calendar, and when this episode goes live, my daughter will be home for only five or six more weeks of summer. I just don’t get it. Time flies, doesn’t it? A quick reminder that all of my episodes are brought to you by my free seven-day program, “The Empty Nest: A Guide to Uncovering My Future.” To be clear, we are talking about your future, not mine. Hop on over to my website, youremptynestcoach.com, and sign up today. Look for the link that says “Uncover Your Future.”
00:01:24 Today’s episode comes from a Green Popsicle Stick Facebook group member. Katie asks, “I have a question, I’m working on getting my 8th grader more independent. She knows how to do laundry, how to cook, bake and follow a recipe, how to clean and vacuum. The general principles of a healthy lifestyle and various other things. I think next is money stuff, like getting a bank account, a checkbook, balancing a budget, shopping on a budget, she can sew a bit, as well. What other skills are you glad you taught your daughter before she went off to college? Is there anything you wished you’d spent more time on with her?” What a fantastic question. Thanks, Katie! Your daughter is well, well ahead of most students in 8th grade, and to be honest, she’s more ahead than many college students in her life skills.
00:02:12 My listener, Katie lists fantastic skills that her daughter already knows. Let’s start there. I can only speak to our family’s experience, so if you have something to add, join us in our Facebook group to share with us. Katie first mentions laundry. Yes, 100 percent. This is huge. It is something I had barely ever done before my own college years. Along with clothes, mention how often towels and bed sheets should be washed, and get those in the rotation, if they aren’t already. I would venture to guess that many college students only take bedding off their beds around break times. I would be sure those are in the rotation at some point, ahead of time, especially since you have multiple years to prepare.
00:02:56 I also recommend letting the laundry not be perfect. If your child does their laundry and then leaves all their clean clothes on the floor, in a pile, for three days before putting them away, they are clean, and wrinkles aren’t the end of the world. Maybe they’ll wear their wrinkled clothes, receive a comment, and then be better about it in the future, and maybe not, they’ll just stay wrinkled. I’ve gotten really good at picking my battles and laundry isn’t one I care enough about. Just keep that in mind.
00:03:26 Next, Katie mentions cooking, baking and following a recipe. Interestingly enough, I didn’t stress these skills. While I probably should have, here were my two reasons at the time; much of it was that my daughter left a few years early for college, so I couldn’t get everything in and I had to carefully choose the skills that we were going to work on. The other reason is that while on campus, she has a dining hall. She has access to a kitchen, but it isn’t easy to get to.
00:03:54 Cooking definitely is a fantastic life skill, and necessary for sure, but if your child is in a dorm at a residential college, there’s a different skill that is necessary. That would be figuring out how to eat well, in a college, when you don’t have control over the ingredients, the meals and the groceries. This can be daunting. I recommend that once your child knows where they are headed, have them explore all of their options. Maybe have them look at a few days of their eating at home, and see how it lines up with the options at their new school. Then have them figure out their work arounds. I say this because food is so important. A hungry college student isn’t a good thing. A college student who only eats garbage food because the vending machine has better options than the dining hall, in their mind, isn’t going to be on their A-game. It won’t be perfect their first year. Make them aware of that going in. Encourage them to find some go-to healthy snacks that they are able to find anywhere. Encourage them to be creative with food in a limited scenario.
00:05:05 Next up, Katie mentions cleaning and vacuuming. Yes, definitely. Things like using wipes to wipe down door handles when you are sick and someone in the house is, and in the future the dorm is sick. This is a helpful life skill. Maybe even pick up a small vacuum and put them in charge of their spaces in the house now, if they aren’t already. One of the points here, to keep in mind, is that your child may or may not be in more of a shared space than they are used to now. Communication on how that will work is really good practice.
00:05:38 Katie’s daughter can sew a bit. This is fantastic. I would encourage a small sewing kit and a tool kit, now, that is theirs to keep. When something needs fixing in their room, or one of their own personal items is broken, encourage them to use their kits for these things, then they’ll be used to it when college comes. If they are one of the few people in the dorm with a phillips head screwdriver when someone desperately needs one, and they’re used to going to their tool kit, it is a great way to make new friends. If they lose the kit, they have to buy their own replacement, of course.
00:06:14 Money. Let’s talk about money. I am by no means a money expert, so use what resonates with you. I do believe that having our children learn about money management when they are young is unbelievably important. Your child should have their own money to manage now, so they understand its value. My daughter has a debit card for school, and my name is on it, she’s under 18, which is handy because I’m able to transfer funds in if it’s needed. Those last minute school fees that pop up, it’s been super helpful.
00:06:47 Going back in time a bit, when our daughter was about four or five years old, and I’m not exaggerating here, either, we gave her “kid pay.” It was more than most four or five year olds see for sure. But it taught her to save. Some of the money had to go to savings, some to giving, some for education, and some for fun. I think there was another envelope, but it’s escaping me at the moment what that was for. It’s probably obvious. When I listen back, I’ll be like how did I forget. Anyway, I think she ended up with $10 of fun money a month. The beauty was that meltdowns in stores completely disappeared because she learned very quickly that if she didn’t bring her money, she couldn’t purchase an item. Does she want it? Sure. She can absolutely have it. It’s her money, if she has enough money. I would make recommendations to her, but if she wanted to spend all $10 on crayons, that was for her to do. Spend it all in a month, and you have to wait until next month. It only takes a few times of that before you learn your lesson.
00:07:50 The younger your children learn that, the better off they are. Had we not done that earlier in her life, I would right now take the time to calculate all the things that we purchase for her on a monthly basis, toiletries, clothes, educational supplies, lunch money, and I would, with hubby’s support, give it to her monthly in a sum, and tell her she’s responsible for all these things going forward. Want to use some lunch money towards something fun, then you can pack your lunch. Encourage creative money solutions now. Another thing I encourage is being open about things, like your expenses, your rent or mortgage, your insurances, utility bills and your paycheck. So I have to pay every year for my car registration, for the inspection, the upkeep, the gas and the insurance? Wait, how much is that? These are important things for our kids to know, if they don’t already. If they don’t already have their own job, where they see all the impact of the taxes on their paycheck, consider showing them yours. Why not?
00:08:51 Speaking of jobs, if your child doesn’t have one yet, here are things that are helpful to know for their future. How to fill out that I-9 form is one thing. You can find a copy online, show them how they would fill it out if they got a job today, and explain what it all means. Google is your friend here. Not that they’ll remember all of this, when the time comes, but having a baseline, a familiarity, won’t make it so darn scary when they fill the first one out.
00:09:16 If they haven’t already, get them working on memorizing their social security number, or figure out where they’ll store it safely. Take a look at the identification proof needed for the I-9 form. If your child’s heading off on their own, do they have the documents to allow them to prove employment eligibility? Safe storage of these documents is really good to teach now, too. How about that W-4 form? How intimidating is that the first time you need to fill it out? Knowing what the W-4 form is for, is super helpful. Again, just giving them a familiarity with these forms will make life easier.
00:09:54 What else should they have? This one is something they should be learning to not to need, and that’s the Mom Organization Method. Sorry, mom, but that needs to be ditched before they head out on their own, be it college or moving out permanently. Do you wake them up? Are you their alarm? That’s on you, not them. You should tell them it’s their job moving forward. Let them figure out now, how to make it all happen. Do you remind them to do their homework? You won’t be on campus in college, so try to get out of that habit, for both of you.
00:10:27 Do they have a family car that is being used, but you or your partner take it in for maintenance? Next time, have them make the appointment and handle the whole thing. You’re available via text. Do they know when family birthdays are? Figure out now how they’ll know. If they look to you to remind them the week prior, they’re going to be completely lost when they’re at school, and if they forget your birthday, don’t be surprised. Get the idea?
00:10:54 Look, none of us have tomorrow promised to us, either. If you weren’t here tomorrow, can your child function on their own, best they can? If they are 10 or 12, no one expects that, but if they’re nearing 18, they should be pretty darn close. I know, it isn’t a fun thought. I do find it a motivating one. How about you? I adore you, my friend, but that Mom Organization Method needs to fade off into the sunset, before your child leaves for college. This will benefit both of you.
00:11:23 On this note, your child needs to figure out how to manage their school and personal time on their own. Encourage them to try new things if something isn’t working, and don’t expect whatever works for you to work for them. Encourage them to find a way to have a school/life balance. School/life balance leads me to something I feel very strongly about. If you have a child that has hobbies that energize them, if they are lucky enough to have found such a thing, please encourage those hobbies. If they find art calms their mind, also, with loud music, take note of this, out loud, in front of them, and let them know that making time for whatever it is that energizes them, is super important. Why is it important? School/life balance turns into work/life balance. If they only do school work and run into a season of classes where none of them are of interest, then your child’s hobbies have the ability to get them through the drudgery and frustration by giving them a form of escape. Music, art, yoga, running, tech, it will be different for everyone. For the music major, maybe building a website might be a fun hobby. For the science major, maybe they love to read horror fiction. These energy building activities are important. Finding their balance is important, and be sure to notice the moments when they are doing really well with the balance. If they are never taught to make time for these things, they may not in college, and that might cause undue stress. Be sure to set an example here, in your own life.
00:13:02 What if they don’t have hobbies? I certainly wouldn’t force anything on them, but I’d encourage exploration and be open to them having hobbies that you, personally, would never consider. Remember, they are not you. Finally, and really, this should have been the first thing I talked about, but be sure to provide them with great tools for their emotional health. Friendships ending, disappointments, going through emotions, handling depression, a whole bunch of things are going to happen in their life ahead. If they always come to you, they may not know what to do if you aren’t there. Make sure they know it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be angry. It is okay to have times when you don’t feel great. Help them to learn tools to get through the emotion, rather than run from it. If you understand my Empty Nest Prep episodes, chat with them about circumstances in their life. Offer to them that they have the ability to choose their thoughts, at the right moment. Encourage them to notice the feelings caused by their thoughts. Doing this for non-major events is better than large events happening to start. What better gift can you give your child?
00:14:18 By the way, if you purchase “The Empty Nest First Steps Towards Success program,” I give access to all of your children for free, the same program. Keep that in mind. Also, give them permission to talk to a therapist when needed. Make sure that’s an okay thing in your family. Especially, when they are in college, and more than likely have one available to them for free. As your child nears heading off to college, take notice when they mention things that might be resources to use on campus. Check out episode 28 for more on that. For example, when it would be a good time to head to the health center versus handling something on their own. One more thing, and I don’t know why this feels like a big stretch to throw out there, but getting them involved with their medical records and appointments now, will create great skills for life. Why not have them call to make their appointments? Is it something you even need to go to? If not, have them handle it themselves, entirely, or if that’s just too much pressure, mom, I get you. I can hear the push back already. Go along, but encourage them to be in the driver’s seat, even when the receptionist looks right at you. Give your child the opportunity and permission to learn these things while you are here to assist. They should understand what a HIPAA form is. The extreme importance of their insurance card and how all of that works. Maybe they have a sick appointment and need a prescription. Explain how that works with the pharmacy and if/when they might want to look at mail orders. Think through together how they would handle this in college. Now is a great time to walk through these steps, well before an emergency.
00:15:56 This episode ended up being a lot longer than I thought it was going to be. I’ll stop there, but if you have something to add, please share. Join our Green Popsicle Sticks Facebook group, and add it there. If I get enough suggestions, I’ll do a part 2 of this episode. Please don’t hesitate to fly on over to our Facebook Group. Our name is Green Popsicle Sticks. Want to know why? Listen to episode number 17, or head to my website, youremptynestcoach.com/community for link to join our flock. Why should you join our group? The adjustment to not having your kiddos at home full-time isn’t always easy, but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends. We look forward to seeing you there.
00:16:39 If you are ready to begin the journey to find future you, and use her as your GPS, definitely sign up for my free program, “The Empty Nest: A Guide to Uncovering My Future.”Episode 13 covers the high-level concepts of that program, if you would like to check it out. To dive deep into concepts, take my free program, as I provide videos and worksheets to assist you on your journey. The questions I have for you in this episode are: number one, do you have something to add to my life skills for college list? Number two, if you attended college, did you feel prepared? As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that positively impact your life. You’ll find the show notes for this and every episode on my website. My next episode’s title is, “How to Prepare Your Home for the Empty Nest, with my guest, April Force Pardoe.” Don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast. It is free and you’ll be notified when I post a new episode every Friday.
00:17:40 If my show has helped you in any way, please share it with one other person you think it will help too. You’ll be giving them a free gift. Thanks for your time and energy with that, and thanks so much for listening, my empty nest friend. Remember, you are amazing!
00:00:00 Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 24: With My Child Heading to College, Are the Thoughts I’m Having Normal? … My future empty nest friend, I want to talk about the normal thoughts that you may expect to have, as you prepare for your child heading to school. But first, a story. I wear glasses.
00:00:00 Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, with Coach Christine, episode number 24: With My Child Heading to College, Are the Thoughts I’m Having Normal? This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that has been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it is freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
00:00:37 Hello, my empty nest friend! A quick reminder that this and all of my episodes are brought to you by my free seven-day program, The Empty Nest: A Guide to Uncovering Future You. Hop on over to my website and sign up today. My website? You guessed it, youremptynestcoach.com.
00:00:57 My future empty nest friend, I want to talk about the normal thoughts that you may expect to have, as you prepare for your child heading to school. But first, a story. I wear glasses. I used to wear contacts, but my eyes didn’t love the contacts entering in and out of my eyes, day after day, after day. One year, I decided just skip paying for the extra contact exam, and only get glasses. I haven’t looked back. With glasses, there is the issue of them getting dirty. Say a drop of water gets on my glasses, like when I walk to work and it’s raining. Or maybe, hypothetically, I get really messy with my coffee, my bulletproof coffee, in particular, in the morning. Say I were to, hypothetically, shake my travel coffee mug before the lid is on tight, and now the coffee’s on my glasses in a few different spaces. I wish I could tell you that I’ve only done this once before. I so wish I could tell you that, but I can’t.
00:01:59 Anyway, with coffee drops on my glasses, I have a few options. One, is to leave the coffee drops on my glasses. Have it be noticeable from time to time, it probably bothers others more than me, and it kind of stays in my line of vision, reminding me it is there, and that I should be a better human and clean my freaking glasses. My second option is that I could not clean them, and focus on the coffee drops, complain about the coffee drops and not take my eyes off the coffee drops. How productive do you think I would be in life, for as long as I do that?
My third option is I could pick up a cloth, quickly clean them off, and go about my day. Which would you do? It seems obvious with coffee drops on glasses, doesn’t it? But how about our thoughts? Does this apply to your thoughts about your child heading off to college? Let me tell you. You might have thoughts like these pop into your head in the upcoming weeks, or maybe, they’re already there. Will my child ever bathe in college?Will they find a community that welcomes them? How will they focus enough to study with the many distractions available on a college campus?What the heck am I gonna do with my time? Will they eat well?What if they party too much and drop out of school? What if they take seven years to get through college? Motherhood is over.
00:03:25 You could have those thoughts. You could just as easily have thoughts like my child is going to thrive in college. My child will make so many friends in college. I’m going to find my purpose with my newfound time. Right? But our minds run to those first batch of thoughts. Those coffee drops on our glasses. Thoughts that make us feel all queasy inside. Remember in episode 3, I shared with you how your thoughts are in boxes, being delivered to your mind, or a house? You may choose to accept the delivery and do something with it, or you may refuse the delivery.
00:04:04 These coffee drops are simply another visualization alternative for you. Your thoughts are like drops of coffee on a pair of glasses. Glasses that you need to see to function in life. You can choose to focus on the drops, or thoughts, and have them keep you from moving forward in life, in a clear manner, or you can choose to pick up a cloth and quickly clean them off. Two seconds. You see the thought, identify it, and clean it away, or refuse the delivery, especially if it makes you feel all queasy inside.
00:04:36 Catch your thoughts and use your amazing mind to decide if it is a thought worth keeping. I didn’t answer the question, yet, did I? Are your thoughts normal? I’m going to ask you another question. If I have a thought like my child is going to fail out of school, let’s say that thought pops into my head. If I then catch my thought (Yay, me! Step one is complete!), but then, I think that is an awful thought. Do you think the queasy feeling is going to go away? Probably not. I want you to treat all thoughts like they are perfectly normal. No matter what they are. Rather than beating yourself up over a thought that pops into your wonderfully creative mind, I want you to notice it, and think why wouldn’t I have that thought? You can even add why wouldn’t I have that silly thought? If it makes you smile. All we want to do is identify the thought. That is the first step to allowing it to lose power in your life. Then, we disregard it, and it will be like a balloon with a hole in it. The power will deflate.
00:05:47 Yes, your mind might fight you. With enough practice you will get better and better at all of this. You, my friend, are perfectly normal. Your mind is creative and you have many, many thoughts. Some will provide you with the ability to create value in your life, and in the lives of others. Other thoughts will slow your actions, as if you’re stuck in a bucket of molasses. Don’t you have days where you feel that way? I know I do. Next time you feel that way, check your thoughts.
00:06:17 In episode 20, I shared the idea of someone making a comment, and you treat it as if you just told you that you’ll wake up tomorrow and be a turtle. Remember that? Try that with your own thoughts. Don’t let your bossy mind boss you around. You need to use your incredible mind for good, for good in your life. Create fantastic thoughts. Create incredible actions. Create tremendous results and value in your life, and in the lives of everyone around you. You can do this all by noticing and adjusting those boxes, those drops of coffee on your glasses, those thoughts. You can do it, my friend. They’re all perfectly normal. Don’t think otherwise. I can’t wait to see how you change your world and the world around you. If you are ready to begin the journey to find future you, and use her as your GPS, definitely sign up for my free program, The Empty Nest: A Guide to Discovering Future You. Episode 13 covers that program, as well.
00:07:17 The questions I have for you in this episode are:
1) What silly thought does your mind like to present to you?
00:07:42 Why should you join our group? The adjustment to not having your kiddos at home full time isn’t always easy, but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends. We look forward to seeing you there. As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I am able to provide you with the thoughts that positively impact your life. You’ll find show notes for this and every episode on my website.
00:08:04 My next episode’s title is: My Partner is Driving Me Crazy. Yes. Exactly like that. If my show has helped you in any way, please share it with one other person you think it will help, too. You’ll be giving them a free gift. Thanks for your time and energy with that, my friend, and thanks so much for listening. Remember, you are amazing!
Anne (my guest) and I touched on this in my last episode – how to be the emotional adult in the room. College is a significant change – and when they go far enough away that they can’t stop by for dinner – it is a REALLY SIGNIFICANT change.
You can handle it. I know you can. Take some deep breaths, do some thought work and you’ve got this.
Take a listen, or read the transcript, below.
⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll all the way down ⇓ so you don’t miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓
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Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 15: Being Brave When Your Child Picks a Non-local School, or Going Far Away to College; How to be The Emotional Adult in The Room. … Today, we are going to chat about what to do when your child goes to college far away. I’m going to make the assumption, for this episode, that the decision has already been made, or it’s being made and finances do not impact the decision. This would also be relevant to your child moving away permanently.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 15: Being Brave When Your Child Picks a Non-local School, or Going Far Away to College; How to be The Emotional Adult in The Room. This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that has been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it is freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
Hello, my empty nest friend! Before I dive in, this episode has a lot of references to my Empty Nest Prep Series episodes, so if you feel confused at any point, or need a refresher, you may want to go back and listen to those. They begin at episode number 3. Today, we are going to chat about what to do when your child goes to college far away. I’m going to make the assumption, for this episode, that the decision has already been made, or it’s being made and finances do not impact the decision. This would also be relevant to your child moving away permanently.
Guess what this situation means to your life, my empty nest friend? Do you know? Think about your answer? Got it? It means whatever you want it to mean. That answer that you had just a second ago, you decided to have that answer. You chose it. You can choose another answer. How do you feel with the thought that you were just having, about your child being far away? Were you feeling good? If not, you can change your thought. If your thought brings you to a feeling that you don’t want to have, let’s change it.
Grab a piece of paper, or just picture this in your head, if your driving. The circumstance that your child is moving away has absolutely no drama. It is a fact and it is neutral. At the top of the page, I want you to write, or picture, my child is moving away. You can even be specific, my child is moving 15 hours away. My child is moving 2,000 miles away, to Antartica. I’m not saying that’s together, but even if it was, Antarctica, that would be interesting? Wouldn’t it? Anyway, when this circumstance shows up on your doorstep, the doorbell rings in your mind that triggers a thought for you. What thought box, or thought, do you automatically run to? Take five minutes to write down all of the thoughts you are having about your child moving away. All of them. You know the drill by now, no drama, no editing. Write them all down. Look at them. Pick one of the thoughts. Focus on only that thought. How does it make you feel? If you don’t love it, do you want to keep that thought? How can you change your thought to create a feeling that you like?
Let’s say your thought is,”I’m going to miss them so much.” Do you want to have this thought? I had this thought originally. What I found is that thought, for me, created only sadness. When I made a slight variation to the thought, I felt better about the emotion created. I’m going to miss them so much, that thought comes off as 24/7 I will do absolutely nothing, nothing at all, other than miss them. Is that true? Not really, because I sleep, so there’s six hours. I don’t sleep much. I work and need to concentrate on things that distract me. I can turn my original thought into, “I will have moments where I miss them.” This a thought I can believe. I can use it for a bit, and then, I can work on moving forward with more pleasant thoughts such as, “While they’re learning to be independent, I will have moments where I miss them.” I will tell you, I’m almost a bit over one and a half years in with my daughter being out of state. There are tremendous benefits. Your child will learn, they have to, how to be more self-sufficient and independent. From things like food and toiletry items, prescriptions, and that awful first time being sick with no way for mom and dad to visit and help.
Here’s an example: my daughter went from hating to talk on the phone, to being able to handle a fraud charge on her credit card, with no interactions from us. Pretty much just a couple of texts, it happened, and then on follow-up, they’re sending me a new card. This independence and self-sufficiency forces them to mature faster. I can vouch for that. Their friendships that are formed are closer. As friends really need to rely on each other quite a bit when they can’t run home in 15 minutes. With no option to go home on weekends, they learn how to work through boredom, heartbreaks, medical issues, awful food choices and so much more. Your child has the experience of geographical diversity that comes with living in a new area. We all know someone, maybe it’s even you, who has never lived further than a hour from where they grew up. Some personalities thrive like that. But for others, as the years move forward, they only feel less confident to venture out of what they know and where they’re comfortable. This next one’s real. Coming home is special, for them and for you.
Speaking of you, with your child moving away, you have more time to do those hobbies you’ve been putting off. More time to get projects done, and spend time with your partner. More time to get to know you, to plan future you and to crush it. There are negatives, of course, but there are also negatives with staying local. You missed all of the things I just mentioned. The grass is always greener on the other side, if you choose thoughts that can make you feel that way. The goal for you is to allow your child to make the decision that is right for them, free of your feelings and thoughts about how much it will impact your life. No matter what they do, you are responsible for your feelings. They are not. Be the grown up, and be there to help them find the best answer for them, not the best answer for mom. While they are planning their future, you can get to work planning yours. Future you is waiting for you and I created a resource to help you find her. More on that in episode number 13. You’ll find that in my show notes.
The questions I have for you in this episode are: 1) Are you having to deal with this situation? 2) Have you dealt with this situation and do you have advice for others who are about to go through it?
Fly on over to our Empty Nest Flock at youremptynestcoach.com/community [new link] to share your answers with the entire flock. Why should you join our flock? The adjustment to not having your kiddos at home full-time isn’t always easy, but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends. We look forward to seeing you there. As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I am able to provide you with the thoughts that impact your life in a positive way. My next episode’s title is: How I Lost Almost 50 Pounds, And I’m Still Losing! I am! So exciting!
I have some answered questions from a prior episode. This question comes from episode number 8: if you could give your past 19-year-old self advice, what would it be? One member shares, don’t let other people talk you out of something you really want to do. Great advice! So true. Michelle shares you will always be able to handle every situation in your life, so instead of stressing over it, embrace the challenge. You will be stronger in the end. Love that! Don’t forget to sign up for my free Thursday Thoughts About email. Sign up and every Thursday, you will receive a thought from me, and I also share Your Empty Nest Coach updates. If you have a question you would like me to answer on the podcast, you may submit it in my Empty Nest Flock or email me at podcast AT youremptynestcoach.com. Thank you so much for listening, my friend! Remember, you are amazing!