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Refeathering the Empty Nest

Life After the Children Leave

Wendy Aronsson

Many parents have demonstrated a desire to parent skillfully and artfully. They read the latest child development and parenting books, configure their schedules to accommodate the social and educational lives of their children, and focus like lasers on their childrens’ well-being. Many have made an enormous emotional and financial investment in raising their children. But children grow up, they move out, they create their own lives and their own homes. The role of the parent changes, diminishes, and evolves.

The life phase that begins in preparation for an “empty nest” and continues until parents re-feather the nest has no official name, yet it represents a profound shift from the rigors of daily parenting to a period of self-reflection and reorientation. Here, Wendy Aronsson centers on that experience, capturing the realities of the emotions and life changes that come on gradually, and sometimes proceed in fits and starts.

Refeathering the Empty Nest is for any parent preparing for the departure from home of their youngest child. It is for those who wish to move forward productively, both in their new parenting role and in their roles as spouse, employee, friend, neighbor, and self. Using real stories throughout, Aronsson shows how people have managed these changes, how they’ve reignited the passion in their marriages or moved on from bad matches, how they’ve rediscovered old interests and talents, and how they’ve reinvented their relationships with their children as well. These stories provide hope and guidance to anyone whose nest is about to empty as well as those whose nests already are.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 192Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-2402-5 • Hardback • April 2014 • $44.00 • (£29.95)
978-1-4422-6963-7 • Paperback • March 2016 • $24.00 • (£15.95)
978-1-4422-2403-2 • eBook • April 2014 • $22.00 • (£14.95)
Wendy Aronsson, LCSW, has been a licensed psychotherapist since 1981 and is in private practice in Greenwich, Connecticut. Aronsson has consulted with local schools and was an active charter member of the special education section of the Greenwich Parent-Teacher Association. In addition, she developed and facilitated the Learning Differences Network for the Junior League of Greenwich in conjunction with Greenwich Hospital. She also serves as facilitator for “The Parent Exchange” with Greenwich Hospital. Aronsson is also a guest lecturer and consultant at area schools and Parents Together, an organization sponsored by local public and independent schools.
Introduction – Purpose of the Book and Sources of Insights

Section I: About the Shift
1: Parenting in the Evolving Nest
2: Stages of the Shift

Section II: Realities of the Shift
3: The Role of Personal Experience
4: Looking Inside the Nest
5: Reminiscing about Your Parenting

Section III: The Journey
6: Challenges, Uncertainties, Fear
7: Possibilities
8: Return to the Nest

Offering a fascinating and revealing study of a later-in-life stage of life, Aronsson uses wit and insight to describe her notion of "The Shift." I predict mass enjoyment of this clever and irreverent look at what happens to moms and dads when the kids leave home.
Carin Rubenstein, PhD, professor of psychology at Pima Community College in Tucson, AZ and author of Beyond the Mommy Years (2007)

Refeathering the Empty Nest is a terrific read that offers parents a new way of thinking and being after their last child leaves home. Aronsson's suggestions for navigating this life transition are touching, effective, practical, and empowering.
Guy Winch, PhD, author of Emotional First Aid

This book is a must for anyone wanting to understand the common feelings and challenges facing parents and their young adult children. Refeathering the Empty Nest provides excellent tips for enhancing the coping skills needed for building emotional resilience and self-confidence. While there are many books explaining the developmental milestones of self-development throughout adolescence, there are few resources directed toward the modern day challenges to both young adults and their parents. This book fills the gap and points parents in the right direction.
Jane Shure, PhD, LCSW, psychotherapist, leadership coach, motivational speaker, and co-author of Inside/Outside Self-Discovery for Teens and Effective Clinical Practice in the Treatment of Eating Disorders

• Joe Meyers writes about"'Refeathering the Empty Nest' in age of tighter parent-child connections" in the Danbury News Times Friday, May 30, 2014

Youtube video feature (5 min.): Book Lover's Corner: Refeathering the Empty Nest