Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Positive Spin on the Terrible Twos and Empty Nesters

My husband and I will soon enter the category known as the "Empty Nesters".  However, I must tell you that I refuse to be labeled as an Empty Nester.  The same held true when our children were at that delightful age of two!  I refused to call that age the "Terrible Twos".  In my role as a counselor and working with many families, I would often hear parents refer to their two year old as a "Terrible Two".  I always encouraged my young families to rethink the label and use a more positive phrase.  This is an exciting time in a two year old's life and many milestones will be achieved during this year.  I encouraged parents to think of it as "Terriffic Two's".  Imagine this conversation.  "Hello Mrs. Smith, I would like to introduce you to my terrific two year old Sam".  Now, imagine Sam's delight at hearing his mother or father speak about him in such a warm and loving way.
(Our precious son when he was a Terrific Two!)

Let's fast forward to the time in many parents' lives when the last child will be leaving to go to college or will be leaving to go out into the world.  Many sweet, dear friends have reminded me that we are soon to be "Empty Nesters".  I recently told one friend that I am going to find a more positive phrase to use for this upcoming adventure of ours.  After much thought and review of every possible positive word that began with the letter "N", I decided to use the phrase, "Nurturing Nesters"!  Think of all the connotations in that simple phrase.

It has always been our goal as parents to have a nurturing, loving Christian home for our family.  That will never change and just because our boys are not here every day does not mean that this home will be empty.  It is filled with love, memories, and hope of things to come.  This home will always be their home.  We will continue to NURTURE our boys as they enter new and exciting phases in their lives.  We will NURTURE them as they experience challenges.  We will continue to be a source of encouragement for our boys.  We will NURTURE our relationship with our Lord.  We will NURTURE our relationship with each other as husband and wife. We will NURTURE our relationship with our parents and siblings.We will NURTURE the need to finish the decking outside... Just checking to see if you were paying attention!
(Our little Cub Scout who later became an Eagle Scout)
If you are the parents of young children and have used the "Terrible Twos" phrase, I encourage you to take the positive approach and begin today calling your little blessing from God, a "Terrific Two".  Share this post with your friends who have two year olds and encourage them to do the same.  You will empower your children with positive affirmations!

If you are parents facing your last child entering college or maybe the work force, I encourage you to join me and become a "Nurturing Nester."  Make a list of the "nurturing" you plan to do with the extra time you may have.  Remember to NURTURE yourself as well. 

I am so excited for my youngest son.  He has completed an associates degree by staying home (which I loved) and is now ready to continue his education at Mississippi State University...the alma mater of his mother and his brother!  Go Dawgs!!  I am ready to dig out my MSU apparel and head to a game!

Even though I am entering this new phase of my life with a positive attitude, I know that I will miss my youngest terribly.  I humbly ask that you pray for my family as well as other families about to enter the Nurturing Nesting time of life.

Treasure each and every moment you have with your children.  It is amazing how fast time flies when you are so in love with your precious gift from God.......
(Our preemie finally getting to come home...what an exciting day!)
(At our recent Bulldog Bash Family Party for our college boy!)


  1. Again, what wonderful memories! Can't believe our little fellow who was so small when he was born and in the neonatal unit at Oschners Hospital in New Orleans is all grown up and off today to MS State. You will do well as you have always done.
    Remember Mom, when our first born headed to MS State and how we felt- proud and a lot sad at the same time. As the saying goes. "You've come a long way" Derek and Papa and I are so very proud of both you and your brother. God has blessed us with two terrific grandsons and a terrific granddaughter. God is so good.

  2. Thank you for the sweet comments. Yes, God is good!

  3. This post is precious!! I am so glad I know your son personally! He is such an awesome young man! He is going to do great things at Mississippi State!

    I think it is wonderful that you are looking at this as a time to nurture your relationships. It is so like you to focus on the positives - I love that about you!!

  4. Such a great post! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you Jillian. Our youngest has had a week of "Big Boy College" as he calls it and is loving the experience. I am new to blogging and would love it if you were a friend of Still Woods! Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. I so agree with you. I often tell young parents to never label their child with a negative label, as children tend to become whatever you label them. I cringe when I hear parents tell their little ones, "You're such a brat," or some such name. Praising our children encourages them to grow, but negative words does the opposite.

    I like the nurturing nesters idea.