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Centerpointe Research

Homesick

How do (adult) children ever leave home? I’ve been wondering. If they have had a good childhood, why give up a sure thing? Food, clothing, a place to live, maybe the use of a car. Add to this unconditional love and they should never leave home. Not true.

Is it harder for girls than boys. When they get married whose life style do they adopt? usually the husband’s. I’ve done this twice. The second one involved the most change and commitment. This was the greatest when we started our own family.

When you make your own family, when do you start to get homesick for it instead of your family of origin? Or do you ever? It seems to depend on whether you also have community and friend support besides your current new family. In-laws too can make this easy or hard depending on how welcoming they are to their new family member.

It may also depend on how a person handles change. Living nearby family in the old neighborhood and going into your family’s business or occupation involves less change and usually less loss. Is it hard to get homesick when you can go home any time or maybe yet when you never leave it.

The fewer changes you have to make in life usually the easier it is. For example the drive to work or town may seem shorter and you almost can do it without thinking after you have made the trip many times. When you have a routine, it involves little or no changes after you get it established, it makes life easier.

Going away to school or into the military or even to camp when you are small, can elicit homesickness. With a change of environment, nothing may feel familiar. That’s why care packages from home are frequently well received. You initially may not know any of the people you live with. The food may be different as well as the sleeping arrangements. Sometimes there are even rules limiting contact from home and you are living with strangers.

Different people adapt to changes differently. If you have been around an infant or toddler, you may have noticed how much some of them need a routine while others can sleep anywhere and/or adjust easily to a new caregiver. It may take some people three years to buy a new car. I know of one.

It is usually important to dwell in a place where you have feelings of safety and security. This serves a good purpose. A person can not always be on the look out for danger especially when they are asleep. Homesickness thus serves a good purpose, it initially evolved to keep us safe.

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