THE EMPTY NEST SYNDROME

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR WHEN PARENTS AND CHILDREN ARE NEEDING TO MAKE THE ADJUSTMENTS TO A CHANGE IN THE FAMILY DYNAMICS AS A CHILD GOES OFF TO COLLEGE AND AWAY FROM HOME, OFTEN FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME.

SEPTEMBER MARKS THE TIME OF YEAR THAT PARENTS NEED TO LEARN TO LET GO AND CHILDREN ARE MOVING OUT AND TOWARDS MORE INDEPENDENCE.

WHO NEEDS MORE HELP? THE PARENT OR THE CHILD? PERHAPS THE TRUTH LIES SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE AS EACH NEEDS TO MAKE CERTAIN ADJUSTMENTS TO ACCOMMODATE THE CHANGING NEEDS OF THE FAMILY MEMBERS.

I CAN REMEMBER IT AS IF IT WAS YESTERDAY, THE WRENCHING AWAY, THE SENSE OF LOSS AND YET, ALSO THE SENSE OF EXCITEMENT AND ANTICIPATION FOR THE BEGINNING OF A NEW PHASE OF LIFE FOR OUR DAUGHTER.

THE RANGE OF FEELINGS CAN REACH FROM ONE END OF THE SPECTRUM TO THE OTHER, AND IT CAN BOUNCE ANYWHERE IN BETWEEN. SOME PARENTS ARE EXTREMELY DEPRESSED AND FEEL A LOSS OF IDENTITY AND PURPOSE, WHILE OTHERS SENSE A NEW FOUND FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE OF THEIR OWN AND AN EXCITEMENT ABOUT BEGINNING TO HAVE MORE TIME AND ENERGY TO FOCUS ON THEMSELVES AND THEIR INTERESTS.

NOW THAT THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR IS UPON US MANY FAMILIES ARE PLANNING FOR THEIR CHILDREN TO GO AWAY TO COLLEGE WITH MIXED EMOTIONS AS MANY PARENTS WILL BE DEALING WITH THE ‘EMPTY NEST SYNDROME”.

HOW CAN PARENTS PREPARE AND WHAT ARE SOME TIPS FOR HELPING MAKE THIS TRANSITION EASIER? I AM HERE TODAY WITH MY GUEST DR. NANCY LEFFERT TO SHARE SOME TIPS ON HOW TO PREPARE AND HOW TO COPE WHEN YOUR CHILDREN LEAVE HOME.

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