LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It’s graduation season which means many parents are thinking about the day your children move out of the house. It’s a huge milestone, but one expert says it can take some adjustment for soon-to-be empty-nesters.

Licensed marriage and family therapist Emily Pardy told 8 News Now that parents should not be surprised if the feel this way, “Acute feeling of both grief and anxiety, sending kids out of the home into the real world can be difficult to cope with.”

Pardy says a lot of times empty-nesters need to recognize that even though it is a normal and known phase of life it can come with sadness and can feel lonely even if you have a spouse.

She suggest you make extra time to communicate with your spouse after your child leaves. As empty nesters are prone to depression and other factors that may lead to dissatisfaction within the marriage. Keep in mind, the opportunity can also come with new found freedoms. “This can be a time for self discovery, self care, new interests and activities you haven’t done in a while,” Pardy told 8 News Now. “And it’s OK to be able to not feel guilty for that, a time to learn and relearn who you are, in this next chapter.”

“You can tackle something new and challenging hobbies for yourself, and as a couple,” Pardy added. “Add some new adventures in traveling, art, dining and cooking together or volunteering.”

Pardy adds the following suggestion if there are still younger siblings in the home. “A great time to reignite that relationship in a new way and different way, where your attention isn’t spread quite as thin, as maybe it was before 2:30 give them a chance to let them share how they are feeling through this experience.”