Episode 116: What Do We Owe Our Parents?

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Part of the pain of being rejected by an adult child is knowing how much, and for how long, you sacrificed energy and time to parent her or him.

You did as well as you could within the given circumstances. Why can’t your adult child cut you some slack?

Estrangement can uncover expectations of reciprocity from one’s children. “I’m not asking for much,” you might say; “I just want to know my child is okay.” Or “I’d just like to see my grandchildren once in a while.”

When parents’ desire for contact with an adult child and/or grandchild(ren) is thwarted, the sense of injustice can be consuming.

It raises the question of what we all, as somebody’s children, owe our parents.

After a brief ethical exploration of this question, Tina suggests that certain conditions are usually in place before adult children reciprocate. She also addresses the problem of how to deal with feelings of injustice.

For practical tips on how to repair estranged relationships with adult children and their spouses or partners, see Tina’s book, Reconnecting With Your Estranged Adult Child.

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Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings By Letting Yourself Have Them on Amazon

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