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Is the Empty Nest Tougher for Dad?
Dads really feel the pain of an empty nest; some of them take it even harder than the mothers. Why do you think Steve Martin's "Father of the Bride" was such a huge hit? It certainly wasn't because of the selling power of Martin Short's impression of an unintelligible gay wedding planner.
So why do dads have it so rough? "One of the chief explanations is regret," writes psychologist and author Dr. James Dobson in a column for Pennsylvania's Oxford Tribune newspaper. "They have been so busy—working so hard—that they let the years slip by almost unnoticed. Then suddenly they realize it is too late to build a relationship with the child who is leaving home forever."
If you've got a child starting college or getting married soon, relish them and spend as much quality time together as possible. In 2006 Forbes.com published a great article with tips for empty nester dads. They suggest that it's important to open the lines of communication with your partner after your children have moved on. "This is a time when the husband and wife need to draw closer if they can," clinical psychologist Dr. Arthur Kovacs told the website. " Men are horrible about telling their feelings, and they often get annoyed at their wives if they are talking about it, so they become quite insensitive. It's an unfortunate dynamic."
Hear that, men? Talk to your child, and your partner. We know its tough, but you can do it. [PA 8 News]