Deborah Ross: Trauma awaits those who long for empty nests

If you ask me...

Share
Related Topics

If you ask me, the news that children are living at home for much longer is a worry, particularly if you long to suffer from "empty-nest syndrome", and have even taken to hanging around doctors' surgeries in the hope of catching it. My own GP is sympathetic, and allows me to hang around all day if I wish because, as she says: "Although we don't think it's actually contagious, we accept that many parents are willing to try anything. Have you also tried sitting next to the person with the cough on the bus? It may well be worth a go."

However, if you've failed to contract it thus far you may have to seek alternatives. Your best bet is to start when your children enter their late teenage years, and behave as they do, which should make home rather less comfortable for them. I write with particular reference to teenage boys, and would suggest you behave as follows:

You must always leave jam in the butter and butter in the jam after making toast or a sandwich. You must spend hours in front of a mirror inspecting yourself for new hairs and checking on the progress of old hairs, like some kind of Statue of Puberty. You must never use a towel without taking it from bathroom to bedroom and leaving it in a damp coil on the floor. You must drink all the Tropicana in one go and then replace the empty carton back in the fridge, as the alternative might mean having to rinse it out and put it in the recycling, like you don't have a life.

You must say you will return the towels to the bathroom later. You must repeat: I'll do it later. You must have a mobile phone but never answer it. You must steal music while looking at smut on the internet and pretending to do school work. You must take, take, take and then go crazy when someone forgets to record Peep Show or The Inbetweeners.You must ignore all other family members unless you want to tap them up for a tenner, in which case you may be nice to them for a bit. You must wear your jeans hanging half-way down your arse.

You must never leave the house without carrying some form of fake ID. You must always wear dangling earphones so that others have to bang on your head and shout: "Hello, hello, anybody in?" You must always look in the tissue after you have blown your nose and then offer to pass it round.

This should make them want to leave. If not, try your local swimming pool. You can catch most things there.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The economy expanded by 0.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2014  

Government hails latest GDP figures, but there is still room for scepticism over this 'glorious recovery'

Ben Chu
Comedy queen: Miranda Hart has said that she is excited about working on the new film  

There is no such thing as a middle-class laugh

David Lister
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little