The Empty Nest

They have three children. Now, one has married, and the other two are away at college, all living in different cities. The parents are experiencing what some call the empty nest. The husband seems to be doing well with it, but his wife is struggling. She is having an identity crisis. She no longer feels needed as a mother. Her role in life has drastically changed. The house seems so silent and empty. Everything has changed.

Parental transitions are sometimes difficult. The empty nest is more difficult for some than others. Some parents adjust better than others. Nevertheless, they will always be the parents, even though their role has changed.

Parental transitions may bring a grief process. After all, things are never going to be the same again. There is the loss of a lifestyle pattern. Relational changes require adjustments.

Adult children are moving on with their lives. Let them go with parental blessings. Think of making the adjustment easier for children to become adults, with full responsibility for their lives and decisions.

Family transitions can put stress on a marriage, or it can be a time of renewal in the marriage bond. As a couple, they now have more time for each other. Their relationship can be enriched. The husband can be a source of strength for his wife as she expresses her emotions. She needs him to understand.

The role of parents is always needed. Sure, the role changes. The adult children need the parents in a new way. They still need the encouragement and advice of parents, but the parents must let go of control. Their relationship with adult children has now changed to an adult-adult relationship.