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How to Deal With Empty Nest Syndrome

Updated on June 28, 2013
My son on his 21st birthday.  He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps when he was 19 years old so he was away from home almost 2 years already.
My son on his 21st birthday. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps when he was 19 years old so he was away from home almost 2 years already. | Source
Here is my son just days old
Here is my son just days old | Source

How to let go of Your Baby

Parenting doesn’t stop when your child leaves home. However the dynamics of the relationship does change drastically. One of the most difficult hurdles is accepting the fact that your child has reached adulthood. Although he or she is a young adult with much to learn, the time has come for that child to leave the nest and reach out to the world.

Believe me when I tell you that I completely understand the helpless and fearful feelings when your child leaves home. You and your child are both stepping out on faith. Embrace that faith and pray for safety, wisdom, and discernment for both of you.

Just because your baby is out on his or her own, more than likely, you are still the person he or she will come to for guidance and advice. However, it is important that you let your newly grown up child make his or her own mistakes. Do not push unsolicited advice. This will change the dynamics of the relationship in a direction that will possibly alienate you from your child. This doesn’t mean you don’t have an opinion, or your opinion doesn’t matter. If you strongly feel your youngster is headed in the wrong direction, it is your responsibility to mention your disapproval. However, at that point, it is best to remain silent about the issue unless asked. If the issue is one of safety or health as in a drug and alcohol problem, a mental health issue, or any other potentially hazardous direction, these rules obviously do not apply. You should express you’re your opinion giving reasons why the situation is so dangerous, and possibly bring in professionals to help.

As difficult as it will be to live without your child around all the time, you will yearn to make contact with them via telephone or drop by visits. Curb those urges. Reasonable contact is acceptable, but daily phone calls will become annoying to your young adult. I recommend you initiate a telephone call no more than once a week unless your youngster tells you otherwise. Now that he or she has reached this mile stone in his or her life, they and their home should be treated with the respect you would offer any other adult. No surprise visits. Make mutually agreeable arrangements for a time to see each other.

Learning to Live Without Your Child

In order to keep your sanity, you must keep yourself busy. Now is the time to treat yourself to the things you would normally sacrifice for your child. This is your time to begin to allow yourself a little selfishness. After all, you earned it!

It goes without saying that you will always keep them in your thoughts and prayers. As said before, try to make arrangements for a weekly phone call and possibly a weekly visit. Invite them over for dinner on a specific night of the week, just to catch up. Share adult dialogue without passing judgment. Share your life events and ask about theirs; without being intrusive.

Tickle time was always fun.  For some reason, a United States Marine isn't impressed with tickle time anymore.  That is something I miss.
Tickle time was always fun. For some reason, a United States Marine isn't impressed with tickle time anymore. That is something I miss. | Source

Accept Your Achievments

Have faith that you raised your child the best way you could. Know the words and actions you’ve displayed are embedded in their minds and they will fall back on their childhood training. Be realistic though. Your young adult will make mistakes, just as you did and still do. We are all human and full of imperfections. However, realize that you have instilled a great moral base in your child. He or she will rely on the teachings and examples you have given them to get through life. The most important thing that you should remember is that your young adult will be a great adult, and only get better with age.

Have Faith

"Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it."


Proverbs 22:6

Empty Nest Syndrome

How are you dealing with your children growing up and starting their own lives?

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Always remember the good times you shared, the things you taught them, and cherish the times when your child was so innocent.
Always remember the good times you shared, the things you taught them, and cherish the times when your child was so innocent. | Source

Thank you for your interest in my article. I certainly hope the read was helpful and comforting. Please feel free to express your opinion by leaving a comment, suggestion, or constructive criticism in the comments section below.

"Be kind to one another" ~ Ellen

God Bless You ~ Margaret Sullivan

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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      As much as we love our son, we were happy to adjust to our new lifestyle as he also moved forward. You are correct stating that they will come back to visit, for advice and to express their love. Voted up.

    • Mmargie1966 profile image
      Author

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      Thank you all for sharing your stories! It makes the hub so much better for others who want to read it.

      I appreciate the comments from all of you!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      I have four daughters, and I couldn't wait for them to "leave the nest" and be on their own! They keep coming back, darn it! Now, they come back with a kid or two......just kidding, of course. I know this is a real problem for some, but not for me.

    • profile image

      Hubert Williams 5 years ago

      Mine is still in the nest,he's only 13. He thinks he is an adult because he is an only child and has grown with adults mostly. In school he has friends his age. The older he gets the closer he gets to his own age. By the time he is 18, he will be 18 and better understand the responsibilities of his real adult life. If my comment seems confusing, consider the life of an only child in an adult world.

    • Whidbeywriter profile image

      Mary Gaines 5 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

      Great hub, I remember when each of my three children left the nest, I cried for days. Great advice!

    • Mmargie1966 profile image
      Author

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      I really had a hard time with mine when they left. I was never prepared for that time of life.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the article and thank you for commenting.

      Best of luck when the time comes. I'm sure all will be just fine.

    • nybride710 profile image

      Lisa Kroulik 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Great article. My daughters will turn 16 and 13 soon and are away for two weeks at horse camp. I'm not relishing the quiet and lack of running around as much as I thought I would. In just two short years, my oldest will graduate from high school and be off to college. I will have to keep this advice in mind as I enjoy her last two years at home. I'm just glad she wants to live in a dorm at the U of MN, which isn't too far away.

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