From Dr. Jane's Notebook


When Children Leave Home


Summertime offers the opportunity for a change of pace at work, at play and in parenting. Some children go off to camp, children of single parents may change their residence for the summer months, and others are afforded the opportunity to visit with distant friends or relatives. Much is written about "empty-nest syndrome" once children leave home permanently, but few guidelines are given for coping with temporary changes during the "full-nest" years.

This article is dedicated to those parents who must say "good-bye" to their children for temporary periods of time.

As children grow up, independence is essential, and it is best learned on a gradual basis. As toddlers, children leave their mother's side for just a moment before returning to her "safe base". With confidence, they venture farther away for longer periods of time until they feel comfortable playing on their own. As children grow, every new experience is an opportunity to "test their wings", and develop greater self-assurance and courage. As parents, we are charged with the monumental task of knowing when to hold on and when to let go. Good luck... and best wishes for your summer!

ęCopyright, 1992, 1995,Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.

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Last Updated October 17, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon, Ph.D.