Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Emptying the Nest

Emptying the Nest

Launching Your Young Adult toward Success and Self-Reliance

Brad E. Sachs, Ph.D.

St. Martin's Griffin


Trade Paperback

In today's rapidly changing world and challenging economy, young adults increasingly find themselves at a crossroads between financial and emotional dependence and autonomy. Drawing on Dr. Sachs' extensive clinical experience and his illuminating discussion of the latest psychological research, Emptying the Nest will support parents in their efforts to cultivate their young adult's success and self-reliance while simultaneously maintaining healthy family relationships. Parents will:

- understand the family dynamics that either impede or nurture self-sufficiency;
- foster a higher degree of academic, professional, and fiscal responsibility;
- effectively encourage young adults to establish realistic goals and create a meaningful vision for their future;
- learn how to gradually let go, so that young adults discover how to resolve their own problems.


Praise for Emptying the Nest

“Offers guidance on how 20-somethings can be encouraged to move forward while maintaining healthy family relationships.” —Baltimore Jewish Times

“Sachs' wonderful book, Emptying the Nest, is wonderful blend of valuable insights, innovative advice, and much needed 'loving accountability' for young adults and their families. This book is a 'must have' for every parent seeking to foster not only self pride and independence for their adolescent/emerging adult, but for themselves as well.” —Jeffrey Bernstein, Ph.D., Child and Family Psychologist and author of 10 Days to Less Defiant Child

“In Emptying the Nest, Brad Sachs once again insightfully maps out the challenging terrain of contemporary parenthood. Skillfully and gently, he leads readers through the complex choreography required not only to help young adults achieve the well-documented need for healthy separation and self-sufficiency, but also to help them cultivate what is often overlooked - that a life well-lived must have significance and meaning. Practical and compassionate, innovative and empathic, this book provides parents with the necessary tools to finish the job right. Emptying the Nest will help empower family members of two generations to evolve into the next stage of development, growing towards a new and deeper maturity.” —Madeline Levine, Ph.D, author of The Price of Privilege

“Finally a book with wise, clear and do-able advice for parents not only as their children emerge into adulthood, but also for the parents themselves as they them selves emerge from the responsibilities of the nest into a new stage of their own lives.” —Ruth Nemzoff, author of Don't Bite Your Tongue

“Brad Sachs has produced an excellent book that captures the obstacles, challenges, and joys of helping young adults achieve independence … a wonderful resource for parents and professionals alike. ” —Robert Brooks, Faculty, Harvard Medical School and co-author of Raising Resilient Children

“Finally, there's a timely book that thoughtfully addresses the dilemmas plaguing parents and their "not ready for prime time" young adults who won't or can't leave home. In Emptying the Nest, family psychologist Brad Sachs zeroes in on the parent/grown child issues which interfere with a healthy and self-assured departure. With piercing insight, compassion, and a measure of firmness, Dr. Sachs helps us to chart the course for the modern young adult's march towards independence and maturity. Beautifully written, informative, and filled with vivid real-life vignettes, it's a must read for all parents concerned about their child's lingering, and their own difficulty letting go.” —Neil Bernstein, Ph.D., parenting expert and author of There When He Needs You

“For almost three decades, family psychologist Brad Sachs has written about parents and children with wit, warmth, and wisdom. In his newest and much-needed volume, Emptying the Nest, he offers us unique insight and realistic counsel when it comes to addressing the dilemmas and conflicts that arise when young adults have returned to their parents' home, or are having difficulty leaving. With an unwavering focus on the reciprocal needs of parent and young adult, Sachs reassuringly guides readers through the last stage of hands-on parenthood with a generous helping of care, candor, and sensitivity.” —Jerrold Lee Shapiro, Ph.D., Professor at Santa Clara University and author of The Measure of a Man

“This wonderfully written book is chock full of useful concrete advice and insights. With specific suggestions for defusing chronic family impasses, Sachs provides a roadmap to family resolution that will benefit parents and children. Therapists will find the numerous case examples especially helpful in understanding how to work with families whose offspring cannot quite make it out the door to adulthood.” —Geoffrey Greif, Professor of Social Work, University of Maryland

“Young adulthood has become a perilous journey of late, filled with detours and dead ends that leave all too many young people side-tracked. Emptying the Nest by Brad Sachs provides a compassionate, thoughtful roadmap toward a successful adulthood that is likely to be useful not only to parents, but to young adults themselves. The book is chock full of compelling stories documenting both the detours and the successful the paths to young adulthood. It provides guidance not only for emptying the nest, but for sending our youth off on a successful flight toward a fulfilling adulthood.” —Joseph P. Allen, author of Escaping the Endless Adolescence

“This book is filled with sensible advice for parents of emerging adults. Drawing on his many years of experience treating young adults and their families, Sachs presents their stories with insights that will surely help others through this eventful and sometimes difficult time of life.” —Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, Clark University, author of "Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens through the Twenties

“With wisdom, warmth, and wit, Brad Sachs puts the fun back into parenting.” —Armin A. Brott, author of The Expectant Father and The New Father, on The Good Enough Child

“As soon as I looked at the title I thought, 'YES!' I know it will help a lot of parents...” —Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., author of Ten Talks Parents Must Have with Their Children about Sex and Character, on The Good Enough Child

“A thoughtful, intelligently written, yet readable book with much wisdom and insight to offer on parenting, family life, and marriage... an extremely valuable perspective.” —Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., author of The Explosive Child, on The Good Enough Child

“A truly remarkable book…provides a wealth of information about parenting skills, but does so within a framework that helps parents to learn to accept their own strengths and vulnerabilities as well as those of their children.” —Dr. Robert Brooks, co-author of Raising Resilient Children, on The Good Enough Child

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Brad E. Sachs, Ph.D.

Dr. Brad Sachs is a psychologist and author of the nationally recognized parenting books, The Good Enough Child and The Good Enough Teen. He has appeared on over three hundred radio and television shows, including 20/20 and The Diane Rehm Show. He regularly contributes to Redbook, Parenting, Parents, Child, and American Baby, and is on the faculty of the Cape Cod Institute. He lives in Columbia, MD.

Brad Sachs Ph.D.

Brad Sachs at Psychology Today

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Griffin

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