Empty nest survival guide

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The Independent Online

Are your children about to go off to uni? Don't worry, you’ll still get to do their washing...

Keep your sense of humour – their washing will turn up when they come to visit, and they will still continue to expect you to sort out their crises while they go to the pub. There, you see, they still love you

Go and find a life to keep yourself busy and keep things in perspective

Give your partner a break – they miss them too, more than they will admit

Train your son or daughter to ring or text regularly – feel free to use emotional blackmail. They may hate you for it, but at least you’ll sleep at night

Mark the wine bottle so you keep an eye on how much you’re drinking while waiting for a call

No response to your six texts does not mean they’re dead in a ditch. Don’t always assume the worst – being a student can be pretty hectic

Remember that thousands of other parents just like you are going through exactly the same things

Try to think about all the important life lessons your offspring are learning

Be nice to your own mum – she had to go through this and you didn’t notice

Remember, your child could be studying and living at home. Is it really so bad they’re at uni?