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How to Deal with "Empty-Nest Syndrome"

"I feel that there is no help for parents or their teenagers in this world, or am I just seeing all the kids that are out of control …it seems like there is more of them then there is good ‘in control’ teens. My daughter has been gone for three weeks, although my home is a lot more peaceful and happy. When my hubby and I fight, she is always brought up. I don’t like it, and I find myself crying at nights. People keep telling me that she will come home, but how come I don’t believe it? She is 16 yrs old and lives with her boyfriend and his mom. My other daughter who is now 19 hasn’t come home yet and moved out when she was 15. My brother still thinks that both of my girls will come home sooner or later ...he says they always do ...somehow I don’t believe him ...ok maybe I’m just letting out my hurt and pain in this email, but I just needed to get it out of my brain ...even if it just for two minutes."

Your task is to take care of yourself now - especially your mental health. You've been a good parent, but now is the season for "empty-nest syndrome."

It is quite normal for a mother to feel some sadness at this time is quite normal to have a little weeping now and again ...and it is even normal to go into the absent child's bedroom and sit there for a bit in an attempt to feel closer to him or her.

I know of one very successful, busy and confident woman (a member of Online Parent Support) who confessed to going into her son's bedroom to sniff his T-shirt shortly after he left to go to college for the first time. So don't be ashamed of your feelings - they are natural.

O.K. …your daughters have left home. You'll obviously want to keep in touch with them. But don't try and do this excessively. Be sensitive to the fact that they are trying to take a big, significant step in life, which doesn't actually have much to do with you.

Your daughters will need your support, but they will not want to feel suffocated. The more you cling or show that you're upset, the less likelihood there is of them contacting you in the future.

My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents

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