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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Did You Have The "Fight Goodbye"?

Depending on the school your child is attending, they have either returned in the past week or two or are leaving this week.  For the empty nest family, this transition is always a little traumatic in one fashion or another.  For me, I am always sad and a bit weepy.  I become a little lethargic and get very little done around the house.  I want time to slow down so that I can cherish each lasting moment with my daughter.  But, then again, I am so excited for her to return to school and continue her education and all the fun that is also associated with the collegiate years.  We try to do small things together: have lunch at a new place in town, shop at Target for necessity items, get our hair and nails done....that sort of thing. 

But for many families, this is a tumultuous period in the household.  Most kids are more than ready to get back to their lifestyle and friends at school.  The rules at home seem foreign to them and having to answer to Mommy and Daddy is less than appealing.  And, they are tired and cranky.  So, often times right before returning to school, the child and the parents are at odds.  Words spurt out that are often hurtful, making this transition all the more difficult.  I remember this occurring more with my sons than with my daughter.  Secretly, I would wish for the moment they left the house and headed back to school.  Our arguments and fights were silly in nature, but neither side knew how to make them stop. 

I have read some articles on why this occurs and basically, the child sometimes needs to act in this manner to break the strong parental bond and become an adult himself.  And, most stated that the stronger the bond, the harder the transitions could be.  Well, that tidbit of information does not make it any easier to handle, does it now?!  But perhaps knowing that all over the world, kids are leaving and the homes are filled with anxious kids and anxious parents might be consoling to you....

Personally, I suggest trying to keep the drama as low-key as possible.  I believe your children will grow up to be responsible and happy people no matter what the transitions were like in your home.  But, you will be minus the painful memories.......and you'll be glad that you elected not to tell them they are lazy, messy people. 

Kiss them goodbye and hug them as hard as you want.  Don't forget to tell them that you love them even if their room has been left a shambles.  Tell them you are proud of the work they are doing at school, even if for the last 3 weeks they haven't left the couch and watching television 24/7 while you have been their cook, maid and personal ATM machine.  Show them what being an adult is all about.  It cannot hurt........................

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