Empty Nest Syndrome

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Empty Nest Syndrome When you are a new parent your immediate thought is not about the child eventually leaving home, it is about getting through the first year. If you are a stay at home caregiver then time seems to go by slowly, and if you work outside the home time slips away from you and before you know it they are graduating from high school. There are many mixed emotions that are experienced during the empty nest stage. According to Feldman, parents experience unhappiness, worry, loneliness, and depression from their children’s departure from home (Lauer & Lauer, 1999). As parents we encourage our children to become independent and when they do, we feel lost and normally do not really want to let go. We miss instructing them, their dependency and being a guiding force. And if anyone felt the way I did when our son left home, “what do I do now?” It took me longer to recover than it did with our daughter and honestly I have not fully recuperated from the separation. But I did recognize that it is a normal reaction to be sad when your child leaves home and even go into their room and sit there for a while, just do not allow depression to set in. This is also a happy moment, now you have the opportunity to see the revealing of what you have taught your child come to fruition. Depending on the strength of your marriage before your last child left determines the impact the empty nest syndrome will have on your marriage. Having to face your spouse alone without interruption, could be extremely challenging for some couples who have not formed a bond amongst themselves through the years. This can cause conflict, separation or divorce. And for the mothers who lived vicariously through their children, there may be an identity crisis. You must focus on helping your child to succeed in their future endeavors. Keep in touch with regular contact, but not smothering.
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