Meaning of empty nest family
Empty nest family refers to the situation that parents live alone by themselves after their children moved out of home. Since the 1970s, relationship experts have popularized the notion of “empty nest syndrome,” a time of depression and loss of purpose that plagues parents, especially mothers, when their children leave home. Situation in China
Chinese people first encountered the term "empty nest" in a work of famous writer Bing Xin in 1980. Bing described vividly the solitary and dreary life of a couple in their twilight years. When Bing's work was published, "empty nests" were still isolated cases, but in the three decades that have passed, it has become a widespread social phenomenon. And with society and the economy developing at a faster pace, the condition of elderly couples has worsened. The Ministry of Civil Affairs' latest data show that more than half of the families in China are "empty nest" households, with the figure being as high as 70 percent in some big cities. There were 41.5 million "empty nest" old people aged 65 years or above in the country in 2010, and their number is expected to exceed 51 million by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), accounting for nearly a quarter of the total senior citizens' population. Causes of empty nest family
1. After retirement, people tend to participate in fewer social activities, spending more time at home reading newspapers or watching television. "Empty nest" people, who are not taken proper care of by their children, are bound to feel lonely, and are usually unwilling to engage in recreational activities, which lead to psychological problems. 2. Improvement in living standard and better living conditions as a result of economic development has prolonged the average lifespan, which causes a marked increase in elderly population. 3. The successful implementation of family planning policy which limits birth to one per family and the decrease...