The empty nest stage is the time in parents' lives after their last child has left the home. Some think the term "empty nest" is too negative. They use the phrase "post-parental state" instead, because this is the time after parents have raised their children. Still, others point out that parenting does not end with the launching of children. Parenthood enters another phase that requires the relationship to change. Eventually the relationship comes to be shared by two competent adults. One of those adults still is the parent and the other is the grown son or daughter. Thus, we never cease being parents. We just change the role to match the appropriate season of life. But, "empty nest" is still the most common term.