Table of contents:
- What is Empty Nest Syndrome
- Why does it arise
- Where this condition can lead
- How to deal with surging emotions
2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-07-28 10:38
If the chicks flew away, this does not mean that life is over.
When children have grown up and left home for an independent life, parents can experience difficult emotions. These experiences are called empty nest syndrome. We figure out what it is and whether it is possible to cope with it.
What is Empty Nest Syndrome
It is important to clarify right away: this is not an official diagnosis. It is not in any medical reference book, and the doctor cannot write anything like this on the card. But this capacious figurative expression well describes the state of the parents when their adult children left to study, got married, or simply rented a house on their own and the house - the "nest" - was empty.
Empty Nest Syndrome is a complex of emotions. It can include confusion, a sense of loss and emptiness, sadness, boredom, anxiety, a sense of loneliness, fear of the future, and the like.
Why does it arise
There are at least three reasons for this condition.
Parents have no one else to care about
Rather, at first it seems so to them. Raising a child and taking care of him took a lot of time, and in someone's picture of the world this could even be the main meaning of life.
But now the child is already an adult and provides his own needs, and his parents have freed up a lot of time and mental strength. And they do not yet know what to do with all this, so they feel restless and strange.
Parents are bored and worried
Their closest person now lives somewhere far away, it is not clear what he is doing and it is not clear with whom he communicates. What if something happens to him? What if he gets into trouble?
In addition, he no longer dines with his parents at the same table, does not do the cleaning with them, does not watch TV, does not quarrel with them over household trifles. The people who raised him yearn and want to spend more time with the "chick that has flown out of the nest".
Parents don't have a life of their own
If absolutely all the time they devoted to work and children, did not acquire interesting hobbies, dreams and plans, a couple of friends with whom it is pleasant to spend their leisure time, then after the child "fledged", it can be very difficult for them.
Where this condition can lead
Opinions differ greatly on this issue.
Some studies say that empty nest syndrome is closely related to depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders.
Other, more recent data indicate, and it is logical, that an empty nest, on the contrary, can become a source of good change. Parents have free time and a lot of energy, they begin to do what they have been putting off for a long time, return to old hobbies or find new ones, communicate more, relax and travel, try themselves in different areas, and take relationships to a new level.
Perhaps the path that the parent will eventually take depends on how prepared he is for parting with his children and what goals he sets for himself.
How to deal with surging emotions
Doctors and psychologists give several recommendations.
Prepare in advance
If you are a passionate person with many interests and a large social circle, most likely, changes do not scare you so much, at least you will have something to do. But if in recent years you've invested all of yourself in your family, it can be tough.
The good news is that children usually don't move out of the house overnight. And you can think over a strategy: what will you do when time becomes free; with whom you will communicate; where will you go. If it seems that there is nothing to do, you can think about abandoned hobbies, look for interesting courses, plan a trip. If clay modeling, Korean, or programming is a part of your thoughts, it will be easier to cope with the overwhelming feeling of emptiness.
Try to let go of expectations
Trying to observe the lives of children, keep track of their schedules and calculate the amount of free time, hoping that they will spend it in the parental home, is not very constructive. As in the case of any other expectations: that a person will call you five times a day, at the first call to help in the country, talk about everything that happens in his life, and in general live this life as you intended for him …
No matter how hard it is, you have to admit that a grown child is a separate person who may not meet your expectations and live as she likes.
stay in touch
If the children have left and you have become less social, this does not mean that you are now strangers or you are no longer loved. You need to find ways to keep in touch even from a distance in a format that is convenient for everyone. Create a family chat and correspond during the day, exchange photos, news, interesting articles from the Internet. Agree that once every one or two weeks you will definitely get together with the whole family, or at least call up by video link if the child lives far away.
Look for common interests and common ground. Suddenly both you and the children love theater. Or skis. Or Scandinavian thrillers. This is an excuse to buy tickets for a new production, spend a joint day off in the forest or discuss the latest books by U Nesbo.
Communicate more with your other half
Since you are now alone, it is logical to support each other, spend as much time together as possible and look for activities that may interest both of you. This is a good chance to get a little closer, resolve old conflicts and refresh romantic relationships.
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