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Top Tips For Parents With An Empty Nest

Premier Inn has developed a helpful guide to support parents as they adapt to life once their grown-up kids leave home.

Two-thirds of parents whose children have flown the nest would gladly have them back again.

A study of 2,000 UK-based moms and dads whose children have left home found they would like their children to live no further than 14 miles away on average.

But 90% were keen to support their child’s dream and let them have their own adventure.

As a result, 53% traveled with them for their moving-in day, and 15% stayed in a hotel to ensure they were settled.

For 14% of those, this stay ended up being as long as a week to ensure their child was okay.

The research was commissioned by Premier Inn, which has created a downloadable ‘Empty Resters’ guide in partnership with content creator and parent Tracey Lea Sayer, to help parents through this change.

She said: ‘It can be hard when your kids leave the nest.

“Driving them up to university for the first time, for example, is the last big thing parents get to do for them before they become an adult.

“Our tips cover lots of the issues parents will face when helping kids leave the nest.

Two-thirds of parents whose children have flown the nest would gladly have them back again. PHOTO BY MARCUS AURELIUS/PEXELS 

“From packing advice to making sure kids have essential life skills like how to use a washing machine or plan a food shop, it’s all here.

“Helping to focus on practical matters can be really beneficial for parents who might feel overwhelmed with emotion – and it can also really help them feel useful to their kids.”

The study also revealed 36% proceeded to redecorate their child’s bedroom after they’d shipped out.

But 28% of these simply spruced up the room, making it more comfortable, for when they come back for the holidays.

It also emerged kids are slightly more likely to move out and stay local than move a good distance away (57% compared to 41%).

And 29% of parents find their children come home weekly.

Most kids moved away for university (32%), but 29% moved in with a partner and 10% got their own place with friends.

But while 65% would be happy to have their kids move back in with them if needed, 45% said their relationship with their child has improved since they left.

While 65% would be happy to have their kids move back in with them if needed, 45% said their relationship with their child has improved since they left. PHOTO BY GODISABLE JACOB/PEXELS  

However, kids shouldn’t expect a free ride – as 55% of the parents polled, via OnePoll, would be expecting some cash in rent every month.

And their child moving out has led to 28% traveling more, 26 percent having more disposable income and 23 percent eating out more.

Tracey Lea Sayer, 51, from Bromley, South East London, said: “My eldest daughter, Frankie, flew the nest when she went to university in September 2022.

“Preparing her for her university life helped us bond over the little things that signified a new chapter in her life.

“From the obligatory shopping trip for essential bits and bobs, to teaching her how to make the perfect scrambled eggs and navigate laundry instructions.

“Buying essentials in advance made us both feel more prepared, it meant Frankie and I could spend some quality time together too.

“Equipped with a checklist of essentials well in advance, the daunting moving-in date had arrived.

“Having already familiarised myself with the layout of the city, the location of her accommodation and the proximity of nearby hotels for visits during term time, I found a certain sense of comfort when we arrived in her university city, which is a fair distance from home.

“Learning these in advance put my mind to ease and made the moving process a lot smoother.”


1. Spend quality time with your other kids:
When Frankie left for university, I spent quality time with my younger son. He is quieter and doesn’t need as much attention but now he has me all to himself.

2. Create a New Routine:
Establish a new daily routine that fits with your new schedule. Don’t think you will have loads more free time though. The admin that comes with having a child at Uni is relentless. Your ‘To do’ list won’t get any shorter. Student housing, finance and travel all need organizing.

3. Focus on Self-Care:
Prioritize you for once. Your physical and emotional well-being is important. Try to exercise, eat well and de-stress.

4. Connect with Other Parents:
Sharing your experiences can be hugely comforting. I chat to the ladies at my exercise class who are all going through the same thing. We share notes, get it all off our chests and have a right good laugh about all the things the kids are getting up to.

5. Embrace the three Stages:
Grief, relief and joy. Of course, you are going to be sad and grieve when your child leaves home, but you will get used to it and weirdly quite quickly. There is a sense of relief once they have settled in and made new friends. It took about three months for it not to feel strange just coming home to the boys.

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

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