Are you living the empty nest syndrome?

When children leave home, some parents may experience the empty nest syndrome. We tell you what it is

  • 17/08/2020
  • 20:55 hrs
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Are you living the empty nest syndrome?

When children leave home, many parents celebrate their departure. However, some may experience feelings of sadness and loss, known as the "empty nest syndrome."

The empty nest syndrome is not a clinical diagnosis. Still, it's a phenomenon that manifests itself after the last child leaves home (from the nest) when the experience of letting go of the children is painful.

This syndrome can manifest itself in any parent, regardless of their children's age, it develops mildly; in others, it can lead to depression in parents. How do you experience the empty nest syndrome?

According to the Mayo Clinic, empty nest syndrome can be experienced even before the last child leaves home, developing as each child begins or plans an independent life.

Although this syndrome appears at any time in a parent's life, those who have only children or who strongly identify with their role as parents may experience it more severely.

It can be difficult for people who live with the empty nest syndrome to suddenly not have children in the house that need their attention. They may miss being part of their children's daily lives and the constant company.

Also, parents experiencing this syndrome may genuinely care about their children's safety and how they will take care of themselves in their new independent life. This transition can be especially difficult if the last child leaves home earlier than expected.


In some cases, the empty nest syndrome can lead parents to a depression that makes them more susceptible to alcoholism, identity crises, and marital conflict.

However, in other parents, the empty nest can help reduce family and work conflicts and have more time to dedicate to activities and personal interests.

In couples, the empty nest can benefit their marriage, as it gives them a new opportunity to meet each other, and improve the quality of their marriage.


Some of the Mayo Clinic recommendations for dealing with this syndrome are:

-Accept the times: avoid comparing the times of your children with your own experience. Focus on what you can do to help your child be successful when he or she leaves home.

-Keep in touch: if children no longer live at home does not mean that they cannot have a close relationship. Make video calls, text messages, and frequent visits to stay in touch and together.

-Stay positive: thinking about the good things that will come when the last child leaves could help adjust to this change. This can be extra time and energy to devote to marriage or personal interests.

-Look for support: if you have difficulties coping with the absence of your children at home, you can seek assistance from loved ones or friends. In case of showing any signs of depression, consult a specialist.

Traducción: Valentina K. Yanes