“Why is it always the parent’s fault?” is a question that often comes up when rejected parents are faced with suggestions to apologize, or to try to understand and validate an estranged adult child.
It’s understandable. When all the advice coming your way is to act with humility, instead of someone who deserves to receive an apology yourself, it makes sense to assume you’re being blamed for the situation.
But wait a minute. If what you’re interested in is relationship repair, then all of those activities must be viewed in a different light. A good apology, for example, may be the only way to gently take down the wall your child has put up.
Seeking first to understand is a recognized habit of highly effective people.
Validation doesn’t imply agreement. It’s just a way to move from the opposite side, to the same one.
All of the tools successful parents are putting to use, might make it look like they’re taking the blame. But what they’re taking is responsibility for solving a problem that’s bothering them.
Don’t mistake responsibility for blame. There’s no value anyway on staying focused on whose fault the estrangement is. It’s just a recipe for remaining estranged.
Try to let go of the notions of fault, blame, and guilt surrounding estrangement. Recognize apologies, validation, and other tools as part of a solid relationship repair toolkit.
If your goal is to repair and improve a troubled relationship, look for ways to be accountable – not ways you’re not at fault.
If your goal is to prove that too much blame has been laid at your feet, you may be in the wrong place here. The Reconnection Club is for parents seeking reconnection through self-awareness and personal growth.
Reconnection Club members can discuss this episode in the General Discussion forum inside the Reconnection Club.
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For a complete strategy to move you toward reconciliation with an estranged adult child, check out Tina’s book, Reconnecting with Your Estranged Adult Child.