The idea is to anticipate the void your kids will leave and find ways to fill it, now. If you aren't working, consider a part-time job or make plans to go back to school (just not the same one your children will attend!). If you're working full time, volunteer, pick up an old hobby, or find a new one to take the place of all those kid-related activities. And don't forget the physical void: Make plans for the space in your home that will be freed up. You don't have to make the kids' rooms unrecognizable, but you can change things a bit. Think about downsizing into a smaller house. Or think about filling the space with a new pet. It's positively uncanny how many couples do this, consciously or unconsciously giving themselves something new to take care of. Just be sure you both want to do this, and find a good petsitter so you won't be tied down.

Accentuate the positive - you aren't losing a teenager, you're gaining a bathroom! And plenty of hot water. Clean towels. The food you like in the fridge (food in the fridge, period!). The television show you like to watch. You get the idea.

If you think you want to spend as much time as possible with your teenager - after all, he'll be gone soon - consider that your teenager probably wants to spend less time with you. That's healthy. "Disengaging is a two-way street, and parents who don't do their part end up having more of a problem with their adult children," warns Sheri Stritof, coauthor of The Everything Great Marriage Book.

Instead, focus on your friends and start spending more time with your partner. The kids may be leaving, but you'll be spending the rest of your life (you hope) with your partner. The greatest predictor of marital success is the level of friendship, Arp says, and one way to build that friendship is by going out on dates. So take dance lessons. Go out to dinner with another couple (this will help you talk about things other than the kids). Plan a parents-only vacation. Working on the senior prom with a group of other moms helped Clare Chaney let go of her son, and she enjoyed the bonds formed with other senior parents.