There are just some things that are better left unsaid, especially when you're speaking to a new empty nester. A seemingly innocuous suggestion -- "why don't you start a new hobby?" -- can be an unpleasant reminder of all the time one will have on their hands.
We asked our Huff/Post50 Facebook fans what were some things one should never say to an empty nester, and the answers came pouring in.
"Never say, 'Don't worry. They'll be back.' What kind of parent would wish for their child to fail?" wrote Cheryl De Primio.
At The Huffington Post, we've written about things you should never say to a tall woman. We've written about things you should never say to a single parents. We've even written about the words you should never utter over the age of 50.
And, now, here also are 9 things you should never say to someone with a new empty nest. Do you have anything to add? Let us know in comments.
1) "Get over it and move on with your life." Uh, too harsh... too soon.
2) "Got room?" Don't think so!
3) "I bet you're glad to have the house all to yourselves now." No, we're missing the chaos and noise that comes from having children around.
4) "You'll be all better in three weeks." More like Thanksgiving.
5) "Believe it or not, someday soon she will visit and you will be happy to see her go!" Don't count on it.
6) "Maybe you could have another?" Baby? At our age? You've got to be kidding.
7) "Why don't you get a pet?" Do you honestly think a pet will fill the void left by a child leaving home? Maybe for some people... but in time.
8) "Now it's your time to fly." Sure, but we actually had a lot of fun when our kids were around.
9) "Don't worry... soon enough you'll have grandchildren running around." Truly not helpful.
So what should you say? One of our readers offered the following advice. Do you agree?
"You did the important job God gave you, now give them the freedom to spread their wings without guilt that you feel so lonely. Decide what you like to do and go for it... redo a room, volunteer, take a class, join a group, get outside that house, and use music that you love (upbeat) to fill that silence and one day you will realize that you're okay with the kids moving on and they will be proud that you did," said Barbara Perry.