Episode 74: Should Parents Present a United Front?

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Your child has cut you off, but still speaks to your spouse. Or vice versa.

Maybe your child is estranged from both of you, but both parents are not on the same page about how to respond.
Should the two of you act as a team, taking a single stance together vis-à-vis your child?

Usually the parent who wants a united front is the one who favors withholding attention, contact, or something else from the estranged adult child.

The idea is, if your child won’t speak to your spouse, or to both of you, then the two of you won’t reward this behavior with contact or favors. There should be consequences, the thinking goes.

But is that a good idea? It depends on whether the outcome you seek is to hold on to your principles, or to facilitate reconciliation. Your strategy may not be able to do both.

In this helpful episode, Tina offers her thoughts on parents presenting a united front. She considers both partial estrangement (i.e., estrangement from one parent but not the other) and estrangement from both parents.

For much more on strategies for working toward reconciliation, see Tina’s book, Reconnecting With Your Estranged Adult Child.

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

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