Wisconsin Author Caroline Akervik, The Career Of Robin Williams, Teach Me What You Know

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A Wisconsin author takes us on a journey to late-19th century Eau Claire, to the time of lumberjacks and river rats. Then, we discuss the career of Robin Williams, in light of his death Monday. And, in Teach Me What You Know, our guest offers advice for coping with empty nest syndrome.

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  • With College-Bound Children, There's Advice For Coping With Empty-Nest Syndrome

    Back to school season is nearly here, which means many parents might be facing an empty house for the first time in years as their children head off to college.

    Jim Wasner, a professor and dean of the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University in Schaumburg, Ill., said there are things parents should keep in mind when it comes to empty-nest syndrome. With a bit of planning, Wasner advises, empty nest time can be a fertile time with potential for growth and renewal.

    Here’s his advice for a happy, productive transition:

    1. Unless a parent’s feelings of remorse or sadness about a child’s departure begin to interfere with everyday life or last for more than a few weeks, it’s perfectly normal to experience sadness as parents reflect back. It helps parents to manage and cope with a very natural process and part of life.
    1. Focus less on a perceived sense of loss and focus more on moving forward. It’s an opportunity for men and women to focus on the areas of their lives they haven’t had the opportunity to. Wasner said think about goals and bucket lists. A good starting question: “What are the differernt things you want to do in your life?”
    1. Set out to pursue a creative interests, use time to volunteer, go back to school to pursue the degree, start a business or pursue those travel opportunities you’ve had to forego in the interest of family. Wasner said the newly empty house can represent a fertile time. “There really is a lot of potential in terms of adding things to your life,” he said. He sees empty nest parents becoming closer with siblings now that space has been cleared for that renewed relationship.
    1. It’s a great time to make a concerted effort to reinvest in a relationship, to spend more time together and to get to know each other again without children in the middle. Couples can reassess, said Wasner, and ask themselves, “What does our relationship need for the future? What kind of couple do we want to be?”
    1. It’s also an opportunity to form a different kind of relationship with one’s child and to get to know them as independent adults. It’s important to form a bond that allows a child the space and room they need to mature and to make their own decisions and mistakes.
    1. Developing that new bond with children can be one way to help combat feelings about them growing up. Arranging a time to keep in touch is one way to go, advises Wasner, who said adding a Sunday evening call in place of that evening dinner is a way to keep the lines of communication open.
  • Wisonsin Authors: How A Story Of Lumberjacks And River Rats Helps Young Boys Read

    An Eau Claire librarian shares how her book, White Pine: My Year as a Lumberjack and a River Rat, helps young boys cultivate a love of reading.

  • The Career Of Robin Williams

    News of Robin Williams’ death stunned fans on Monday. An expert on pop culture and media discusses the career of the comedian and callers share their favorite Robin Williams performance.

  • Teach Me What You Know: Coping With Empty Nest Syndrome

    Fall is back to school season, which means many parents of new college students are left coping with an empty house. Today, our guest expert has advice about how to survive and empty nest syndrome.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Jim Wasner Guest
  • Caroline Akervik Guest
  • Jonathan Gray Guest
  • Marika Suval Producer
  • Amanda Magnus Producer

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