• January 26, 2013
  • blog

It’s referred to as the “Empty Nest Syndrome” –  the kids leave home and the parents, well, let’s get real, here, Mom doesn’t know what to do with herself.

Those mothers who still have the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom get a little bit of sympathy from me, but those who’ve joined the work force doing the 9-5 routine and then another 6-midnight shift at home are a puzzle when they whine about the kids growing up and leaving home.

Too many parents fail to understand our mission in raising children is to prepare them for a successful life journey – on their own.

Birds know to push their offspring out of the nest even without having read books authored by bird behavior therapists or having attended seminars led by specialists.

But, then maybe that’s what they’re up to when we see flocks navigating  to some destination or groups of them assembled on overhead electrical wires.

While bird behavior is no doubt classified as innate and not learned, what’s to be said for some moms who clearly, from the jump start, raise kids to function on their own and at the same time look forward to their own liberation.

Innate? Learned?

It’s a transition process that should take place.  It’s not, as too many people would call  – it, un-motherly to look to the future when processing children into adulthood.

Empty nest is very much about a quest to be needed.  It’s about moms being the pillar, the Rock of Gibraltar, upon which their kids must always rely.

The reason the toddler should be taught to pick up toys and place them in a designated spot is to help the child understand that it’s their responsibility.

If the mother who told me how weary she was of picking up the 18-year-old’s laundry from all over the house on wash day had started back with the toys she wouldn’t now be thinking it was her job to pick up socks and underwear from under chairs and elsewhere.

The kids who go away to college, who receive financial aid, but still contact the parents for spending money are kids whose parents preferred to keep a need-you-link existing.  Mom and Pop send the money and then complain about the constant calls.

These parents are fighting the empty nest and, borrowing Jesse Jackson’s phrase, “Keeping Hope Alive.”

As long as the kids keep asking and getting, they’re still with one foot in the nest.  But if the parents had generated that transition process early in the growing-up years, these college students would know how to budget and they would know better than to call home for money unless an emergency existed.

The mothers who work all day and work into the night need to realize their real job is preparing the kids for a future with both feet on solid adult ground.

Stay at home moms might stop attending seminars and reading books and try a little bird watching for lessons in getting the kids to function on their own.