Seeing your children grow up into young adults, and ultimately leave home to start families of their own, is one of the most bittersweet moments of parenthood. It’s what you’ve been preparing them for all these years, yet when it actually happens it can trigger intense emotions.
Empty Nest Syndrome refers to the feelings of depression, anxiety and grief that many parents and caregivers experience when their children go away to college, get married or move out on their own. While women are more likely to be affected than men, fathers too can experience mixed emotions when their kids leave home.
Researchers believe the transition may be particularly difficult for women because when their children leave home they are often juggling other major life changes, such as menopause or taking care of their elderly parents. Men, meanwhile, are less likely to view their children’s departure as a major life change, and as a result may find themselves unprepared emotionally.