Episode 120: Rules of Thumb Are Not Rules

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Have you ever heard the following rules of thumb for parents of estranged adult children?

“Always give your estranged adult child the last word when texting.”

“Never reach out to them if they’ve asked for no contact.”

“Don’t send gifts.”

“You have to apologize if you want to reconcile.”

These rules of thumb get bandied about in conversations between unwillingly estranged parents. And instead of starting points, they’re often treated as a hard line that parents have to toe.

But even with hard-and-fast rules (which these aren’t), not every rule applies in every case all the time.

In this episode, Tina cautions against treating rules of thumb as if they were natural laws. She urges you to think through the rationale for everything you do during estrangement, and provides examples of what that looks like.

For a guidebook to help you understand the principles underlying rules of thumb, read Tina’s book, Reconnecting With Your Estranged Adult Child.

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