FRIENDS & FAM­ILY

Woman & Home (South Africa) - - Boost Your Self-esteem -

Psy­chother­a­pist Chris­tine Web­ber is the au­thor of Too Young to Get Old (Pi­atkus) and the e-book Get the Self-es­teem Habit (Blooms­bury).

MOVE WITH THE TIMES In midlife, we of­ten say good­bye to life as we knew it. Our kids grow up and leave the fam­ily home. Your re­la­tion­ship with your folks may switch to them need­ing you in­stead of you need­ing them. Re­dis­cover your sense of pur­pose to find out who you now are – and what your role is.

RE­THINK YOUR RE­LA­TION­SHIP WITH YOUR GROWN CHIL­DREN The tran­si­tion from de­pen­dent child to fully fledged adult can be tricky and you want your re­la­tion­ship to be strong at the end of it! Re­mem­ber they can no longer be ex­pected to do what you tell them. Of­fer ad­vice when asked, but don’t be hurt if they ig­nore it. See­ing them out­side the do­mes­tic con­text – for a meal, a movie, or shop­ping trip – can help nur­ture your new re­la­tion­ship. You’ll al­ways be Mom – now build a solid friend­ship, too.

NUR­TURE OTHER FAM­ILY RE­LA­TION­SHIPS Re­search shows that as we get older and think more about our past, our re­la­tion­ships with sib­lings be­come more cru­cial to our hap­pi­ness. Sib­lings knew you best be­fore life got com­pli­cated. When par­ents can’t keep you all in touch any more, ac­tively nur­ture all those bonds. Cre­ate a fam­ily What­sapp group and ar­range get-to­geth­ers.

LEARN FROM YOUR KIDS You’ve seen how im­por­tant friends are to your chil­dren – but the de­mands of fam­ily, home and ca­reer mean we have of­ten ne­glected ours. Re­con­nect with old friends and make new ones. Set up a reg­u­lar slot with a col­league or neigh­bour – aer­o­bics Wed­nes­day evenings, lunch ev­ery Fri­day?

FOL­LOW YOUR PAS­SIONS See this new space as a chance to put your­self cen­tre stage and re­ally ex­plore. Are there night classes that in­spire you, for ex­am­ple? Fol­low­ing your pas­sions will open new doors and in­tro­duce like-minded peo­ple.

‘Empty nesters can nur­ture oth­ers’

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