Loneliness and Empty Nesting in the Middle Years with Dr. Jim Burns

We’re back in the middle of life with another installment of our “For the Love of the Middle” series. This episode marks the return of the amazing Dr. Jim Burns to the show. He is an author and founder of HomeWord, a non-profit organization aimed at helping families and individuals strengthen their relationships. Dr. Burns has over three decades of experience as a speaker and is the author of books such as “Life With Your Adult Children” and “Finding Joy in the Empty Nest”.  

With his typical humor and self-awareness, Dr. Burns draws from his own experiences as a father in the middle of life–and also shares insights from his vast experience working with families and individuals. In this interview he touches on topics like loneliness in older adults, coping with post-divorce friendships, and enabling versus helping your adult children.

Join Jen and Dr. Jim Burns as they discuss: 

  • Navigating the loneliness felt by those 50 and older and how to prepare for that early on.
  • Finding meaningful friendships as a single person in a coupled world.
  • Giving advice to adult children without sounding critical.
  • When helping becomes enabling with adult children.
  • Easing the burden of the Empty Nest by investing in hobbies and community.

Jen and Dr. Burns offer practical advice for maintaining and cultivating adult friendships and how to move through the challenges of parenting adult children with grace.

Parenting Through All Stages: When To Hold On & When To Let Go with Dr. Jim Burns

Parenting is a lifelong job, even after our children have flown the coop and are tending their own broods. Throughout the various stages, from the early “no sleep” baby years to the endless carpool years, we barely have the bandwidth to think about next week, let alone the next few decades. But what happens when our kids grow up and start making their own decisions? How do parents lay the groundwork for happy, healthy relationships with their adult children? And how do we, as daughters and sons, honor our adult parents as we forge our own way in the world? Today’s conversation helps walk us through reframing our parental relationships. Dr. Jim Burns is an author and executive director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Dr. Burns tells us how parents can be a sounding board for their adult kids (without being a clanging bell). He also helps us think through scenarios like what do you do if your child partners up with someone you’re not crazy about, what kinds of boundaries to maintain if your child moves home, how to stay connected to a child who shuns a relationship with their parents, and how you, an adult child yourself, can create a healthy bond with your own parents.