When we are young, starting a family represents a major shift in focus. It requires us to think about the welfare and happiness of children who look to us for everything. It’s a wonderful and scary transition for young parents, one that involves every thread of their being.
It’s amazing how fast we come to identify with our role as parents. It’s also quite remarkable how much personal growth occurs as a direct result of our commitment to parenting. Being a parent is a learning experience right from the start.
The destination is now in sight
By the time our children are ready to declare their independence, we have usually spent the better part of two decades parenting them. Now, all of a sudden everything is about to change.
We have seen them through the challenges of growing up, and that is no easy task. Parenting is something that most of us take very seriously. We have done our very best to prepare them to take their place in the world as young adults and now that’s about to happen.
Empty nest syndrome – another transition
After decades of living with someone and looking after their needs, their absence will require a major adjustment. With such a huge emotional investment involved, handling empty nest syndrome correctly can be very challenging. This is one of those situations where the right life skill set can help us to maintain a positive outlook.
How we choose to view these changing circumstances associated with empty nest syndrome will determine our quality of life during this transitional period and beyond. Our perception of reality is influenced more by our focus and beliefs than it is by external factors. The problem is, empty nest syndrome is viewed my many as a negative experience and most people don’t have the necessary life skills to change this perception.
Is it the end or a new beginning?
Every new challenge contains a new opportunity. When we became parents most of us put aside our personal pursuits and passions, at least to some degree. Now, with empty nest syndrome we have an opportunity to rediscover those things.
How many times over the years have you said: “I wish I had more time to…”? Well, with your new circumstances you do have more time. An empty nest can be the start of a whole new adventure if you have the skills to respond in a positive way.
Think you’re too young, think again!
Depending on when you began your career as a parent, and how many children you have, the nest can empty sooner than you imagined. If you became a parent at 20 and only had one child, you could find yourself in this situation by the time you are 38 years old.
In that case, your opportunities are almost endless. One thing’s for sure, the time goes by much faster than you think it will. There is a huge demographic of people whose children have already left home, or will be leaving soon. It’s important to acknowledge the fact that sooner or later you will see the other end of parenting and empty nest syndrome will set in. At that point your life will change.
Plan for adventure!
How you are affected by that changes brought on by empty nest syndrome will depend on whether you have planned ahead, or kept yourself in a state of denial. If you miss your kids when they go, that means you have done a good job as a parent. You have succeeded and that’s an amazing accomplishment.
What else would you like to succeed at? Life happens in phases. Each one is an opportunity for a new and exciting adventure. Look forward to the change. If you can raise kids in this crazy world – you can do anything!
Are you experiencing empty nest syndrome or about to?
Are your parents going through empty nest syndrome?
The lines are open!
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