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  1. When to declutter. The Dilemma of the Empty Nester

    Guest article by Cassie Tillett To Declutter or not to declutter. And when?  Always a dilemma when a child flies the nest. At what point does ‘their’ room become ‘your’ room? Do you want to claim the space back for yourself, or perhaps you’re even thinking about downsizing? When young adults take their first steps towards an independent life by starting university and college courses, and “flying the nest”, parents find themselves dealing with a whole new set of emotions, concerns, lifestyle changes – and practical difficulties. Do you need to keep room free for when your child visits home? Did the ‘flight’ leave you with an empty room – or with loads of belongings to take care of until your child has a...
  2. How Do You Prepare to be an Emptynester?

    Article by Fabafterfifty You know the day is fast approaching, when you have to say your goodbyes and wave your child off as they excitedly take that next step towards independence. But how do you feel? How should you react? I asked Susan McNally to share her thoughts and experience. As Susan prepares for her third and youngest daughter to leave for university, Susan offers her insights on emptynesting- third time round! It doesn’t get any easier Susan, does it get any easier seeing your younger children leave for university? It doesn’t get any easier. There is a realisation that the stage of your life where you are needed as a ‘hands on’ parent is coming to end. If you try to hold on to them too hard they’ll go. If you let them...
  3. Would You be Happy if Your ‘Boomerang Kids’ Returned Home to Live?

    Article by Fabafterfifty It’s that time of year with many parents dreading the thought of becoming an emptynester as they wave their children off to university and an independent life. As they start making plans which don’t revolve around their children, spare a thought for those parents who made the adjustment to child free living only to have their adult children turn into ‘boomerang kids’. With poor job prospects and an increased cost of living, it seems many emptynesters who waved their children off to university and adulthood are seeing their children return home to live. So for anyone looking for a child free household and the chance to turn bedrooms into hobby rooms or even downsize, perhaps they should wait, it...
  4. Should We be Encouraging or Discouraging our Children to go to University?

    Article by Fabafterfifty As we all tighten our belts in today’s economic climate, it seems that making ends meet could well be at the expense of the education of our children and grandchildren. According to research conducted by Schroders almost 3 million of us have dipped into funds intended for family members education, with more than half of the nearly 3 million of us who have done so accessing the funds purely to make ends meet. The 2 million or so who are still contributing are on average reducing their contributions by 25% . Families less able to help with fees With many grandparents finding it more difficult to step in to help with university fees, will the tightening of the belts combined with the increase in tuition fees result in fewer taking up university...
  5. Does the Eldest in the Family Live Longer?

    Article by Fabafterfifty Will you live longer than your younger siblings? And are you financially prepared? With life expectancy increasing, research has found that first born children are more likely to reach the age of 100 than siblings born later, largely be due to them being born when their mothers were young. Interesting research has found that longer life expectancy among first born children may largely be due to them being born when their mothers were of a young age. The research investigated centenarians born in the United States from 1890-1893, and found that first borns were more likely to cross the century mark than siblings who were born later. Although there has been a vast amount of research conducted into this, there still remains no definitive answer as to why this...
  6. 12 Secrets of a Happy Marriage passed from Mother to Daughter

    Article by Fabafterfifty What words of advice could Carole Middleton possibly have given her daughter before she walked up the aisle of Westminster Abbey to marry her prince? As Kate and William made their marriage vows not just in front of family and friends, but before a global audience of 2 billion people promising to keep their marriage vows in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, and until death do they part, what advice might her parents have given their daughter? We asked Fabafterfifty readers what tips they would pass on to their children on their wedding day these are just some of the pearls of wisdom they chose to share: 1. Remember that marriage has to be worked at 2. Be open in your communication and...
  7. Top tips for dealing with Boomerang Kids

     Article by Sue Atkins They’re back! The boomer generation are increasingly coping with boomerang kids!  Most parents assume their children will fly the nest, but what if they leave home and later come back?  Parenting expert Sue Atkins explores and gives her tips for coping with Boomerang Kids. There’s a new word out on the street called the “boomerang kids” – children who return to their parents’ home in adulthood and remain there into their 20s or even 30s !!! According to a leading charity Parentline Plus they are putting enormous strain on family relations. Student debt, the housing shortage and a general lengthening of adolescence (itself a result of growing life expectancy), are all contributing to the well-documented phenomenon of boomerang kids. Young adults still living with their parents are...
  8. Bringing my Mother to Live With Me

    Guest article from Lesley Dowden What do we do when our parents are no longer able to care for themselves? It’s a situation many of us will have to confront. Lesley recently made the decision to move her mother into her home – here’s her touching account of the early days of this arrangement: My aged mother’s health has deteriorated over the last 18 months – she is after all 84 years of age. But a lot of her problems were exacerbated because she was isolated – she lived 130 miles away and I’m an only ‘child’. She became virtually housebound. And therefore depressed.I realised about 12-18 months ago that I would have to devote more time to her and so the relationship I...
  9. What to do if you think your teenager is taking drugs

    Article by Sue Atkins What do you do if you think your teenager has developed a drug habit. Not an easy issue to tackle, so we asked parenting expert Sue Atkins to advise on the best approach. I try to move parents away from thinking in terms of ‘signs and symptoms’ of drug abuse because trying to spot ‘warning signs’ is really no substitute for good effective communication. The risks of relying on checklists are that you may jump to the wrong conclusions, think the worst, get it completely wrong or more importantly create an atmosphere of mistrust within the family. If you’re concerned that there’s something wrong with your teenager, or that they are acting strangely, I cannot emphasis enough the importance of talking to them about...
  10. Grandparents to be given new rights in the case of children divorcing

    Article by Fabafterfifty Divorce can be heartbreaking for all concerned, but it is not just the immediate family that suffers. We all know that grandparents can play a vital role in the lives of their grandchildren, but sadly all contact can be lost when their own children divorce.  New recommendations as part of a review of family justice is set to change this, and  for the first time, separating parents will be expected to ensure grandparents continue to have a role in the lives of their children after they split up. Currently, grandparents have no rights of contact with grandchildren when their own children separate, despite the fact that they are increasingly relied upon for help with child care and family finances. Research has suggested that, after a break-up, almost half of...
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