Transitions: Children Leaving Home

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teen friends“However painful the process of leaving home, for parents and for children, the really frightening thing for both would be the prospect of the child never leaving home.” ~ Robert Neelly Bellah

When our children are young, it seems that raising them will last a lifetime. Before we know it, however, they are adults and ready to venture out on their own.

One of our major life tasks and preoccupations is pretty much complete and we may well have half of our life still ahead of us.

For some, this can be a difficult transition, particularly for Moms who have stayed at home to raise their children. They may feel a loss of purpose or even value now that they are no longer needed in the same way.

Couples who have been very involved in the lives of their children may have lost their connection as friends and lovers. They may well have to learn how to be a couple again, instead of just Mom and Dad.

If you still have children at home, it is important to maintain some of your own interests, activities and hobbies. Then when the children grow up and leave you can look forward to having more time to do the things you love.

It is also important for couples to take time to do things together through the years, and even to get away without the children from time to time. Maintaining the connection will prevent the feeling that, when it is just the two of you again, you are not living with a stranger.

If you did not do these things, and find yourself floundering as a result of this transition with your family, do not despair . You will adjust eventually. Think of this next stage of life as an opportunity to do things you have always wanted to do, or to create new experiences for yourself, individually and as a couple.

Make the most of this time while you are still relatively young and able. Time passes quickly and later years may bring limitations. You have raised your children, so now take some time for you, and enjoy!

Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.