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The Empty Nest Syndrome can be bad and good. Here are some suggestions to help you enjoy the ‘free period’ of your life
Sheetal is not herself anymore. She cries a lot for no reason. Her days seem endless with nothing to do. She feels she is of no use. She has forgotten that hobbies or friends ever existed. After her only son went abroad for work, her life has come to a stop.
Sheetal is going through the ‘Empty Nest Syndrome’, a term used to describe the psychological condition of parents when their children leave home [for education, after marriage or for work] or no longer require them in the same manner on a day-to-day basis. Life is never the same again. This happens particularly in the case of parents, who have a very strong bond with the child or if the mother has been a full-time parent, ignoring her work and hobbies in the bargain.
Anyone who has a child at home, knows how ‘empty’ the house feels when the child is out, even for a few hours. Our lives revolve around our children and when they start their own lives, we may feel derailed. It is a common misconception that mothers are more affected by it than fathers because of their hands-on involvement.
In fact, fathers are more affected by children leaving home as they are not prepared for it, according to studies conducted by Helen M DeVries, an associate professor of psychology at Wheaton College in USA.
Here is a little more on this interesting condition.
You may have Empty Nest Syndrome if you show these symptoms.
Prevention is better than cure. All of us who have children have to be prepared to let them go one day. Rather than being taken aback with shock, it would do us good to prepare ourselves for this eventuality. What’s more, it will show us doors that we never knew existed. This can be done in the following ways:
For some, the Empty Nest Syndrome can be really bad, while for others may not get affected by it and in fact, enjoy this ‘free’ period of life.
It’s not that bad
All parents do not face the Empty Nest Syndrome. In fact, there is a line of research, which suggests that once children leave home, some parents experience a sense of freedom and an improvement in relationships. Research studies by Karen Fingerman from the Purdue University reveal that parents may experience greater satisfaction once their children leave home. Seeing their children as successful adults gives them a sense of pride. They also have more time to pursue their own activities and hobbies.
It is not that once children grow up they do not need parents. In fact, they do need them but the quality and frequency of that need is different. Thus, though children may leave home, the bond and involvement still continue. Even after children leave college and go to work or get married the bond will continue, albeit in a different manner.
Research done by Sara Melissa Gorchoff at the University of California, Berkeley points out that couples may actually enjoy relationships more after children leave home. An empty nest is not so bad after all. It all depends on how you look at it!
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