Talking to an Empty Bed-siblings left behind

“It’s five years since my eldest child left home, but now it’s that time of year again, the shops filled with students buying value sets of crockery and stationery, harassed parents doing the Ikea run. I’m reminded of one of the most unexpected sides to our so-called emptying nest.

When my youngest child, seven years old at the time, became cowed with anxiety by day and unable to sleep at night, I thought at first it had something to do with his new class at primary school. It was a few weeks into the start of a school year, and our previously robust youngest had undergone a massive character change. He had been outgoing but was now withdrawn. He had been a joker; now nothing made him laugh. He started wanting reassurance at night.”


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