Sibling Relationships

Helping Your College Student with Siblings at Home

As your student heads off to college, you may be feeling the "empty nest" syndrome, even though there are still other children at home. The family is different now, with one or more students off to college. We know that things are different and we work to adjust to the new family dynamic. However, parents and college students are not the only ones making an adjustment. When your college student leaves home, siblings remaining at home will be feeling the change, and the loss, as well. There are some things that we can think about as parents, and that we can help your student to think about, to make this adjustment go smoothly for siblings remaining at home.

Obviously, how we deal with siblings at home will depend on their age. A sibling in high school, approaching college himself, will have different perceptions and needs than a young child. Family dynamics are also unique and vastly different. But certain actions and conversations may be helpful to anyone.

Sibling relationships are some of the most unique and enduring relationships in our lives. These relationships change and grow throughout our lives. With a little bit of forethought and attention, the changes that occur between siblings during the college years can be productive and exciting and can strengthen the relationship for years to come.

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