Although estrangement from family isn’t normal for young adults, a normal phase of development can contribute to your child’s need for distance.
In this episode, Tina briefly explains individuation and differentiation, and why these natural processes sometimes require distance from family.
More importantly, she talks about specific steps you can take if you suspect your child’s estrangement is largely or wholly motivated by a developmental phase.
Whether your child is 19 or 39, a phase of development can contribute to a sudden pulling away. That’s why it’s important not to personalize an adult child’s need for space.
Not taking the behavior personally is just one of six tips for parents of young adults who may be going through individuation and differentiation.
Here are Tina’s tips for coping with developmentally-motivated estrangement:
1. Redefine your child’s behavior.
2. Give her the space she’s asking for.
3. Focus on personal development.
4. Assess your social network.
5. Don’t give in to irrational fears.
6. Grieve what you’ve actually lost.
Differentiating between thoughts and feelings is an ongoing task that can take a lifetime to master. Your child isn’t the only one capable of developing new skills. Use the current estrangement as a catalyst to grow as a person. See the link below for help with managing difficult emotions.
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Use the player below to listen to this episode. (Want to offer feedback? Tweet to Tina on Twitter, @reconnectclub.)