Episode 141: Go For a No, And Only If You Have To

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If your adult child has stepped away from your relationship by deciding to become estranged, then in general, it’s not a good idea to make requests of him or her.

Instead, it may be best to view this time of estrangement as a request from your child, that you examine your relationship and seek to understand their decision. That’s often the beginning of reconnection.

The “Go for a No” technique descried in this episode is not a substitute for honoring a no-contact request. It should be used sparingly, if at all.

Warning: The technique may be interpreted as manipulative, and could make things worse between you. The more you’re trying to “get away with” something by using it, the more likely that is.

However, in trying their best to respect them, there are times when parents genuinely need to ask where the boundaries are.

One example is gifts for grandchildren. If you’ve always given gifts to your grandchild(ren) for birthdays, and you’re now estranged from their parents, what are the rules for gift-giving? Have they changed, or are they the same?

It’s in circumstances like these that you may use Tina’s “Go for a No” technique. Try to use it only when reasonably sure that what you’re proposing IS acceptable.

The general rule, “When in doubt, leave it out,” applies to “Go for a No.” Meaning, if using it feels questionable for any reason, avoid it.

For ideas on how to repair your parent-adult child relationship, read Tina’s book, Reconnecting With Your Estranged Adult Child.

Reconnection Club members can discuss this and every episode in the General Discussion forum inside the Reconnection Club.

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What Does a No-Contact Request Sound Like?

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