I’m often asked how long estrangement between parents and their adult children typically lasts. Although there’s a wide range of answers from a few research studies, there’s nothing that can tell you how long you and your child(ren) will be separated. The one thing we’re pretty sure of, I’m pleased to tell you, is that
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“I want to have a relationship with my son, but his father thinks we should present a united front.” This is a common dilemma for parents caught in the middle in partial-estrangement situations. Partial estrangement – that is, cutoff from one parent but not the other – leaves both the targeted parent and the favored
One of our members’ posts in the Community last month inspired me to write about respect. Painful and rampant might be the best way to describe the experience of feeling disrespected by your estranging adult child(ren). It’s bad enough to lose contact and connection with your child. But that feeling of denigration, the lack of
“Narcissist.” It’s a loaded word, tossed back and forth between estranged adult children and their parents. Adult children cite parental narcissism as the reason for necessary cut-off. Rejected parents wonder if narcissism is keeping their child from caring about the wounds they’re inflicting. This latter assumption is the one I addressed this week in a
Parents estranged from adult children get plenty of advice from friends and relatives. And that advice tends to come in just two colors: Black and white. It’s usually pretty harsh. “Kick him to the curb.” “Cut off her tuition money, then see how long it takes her to pick up the phone.” “You’re creating a
When you hear the phrase “stages of estrangement,” your mind probably goes to your adult child. “What will s/he do at each stage?,” you might ask. Or, “What am I in for?” I recently wrote five articles on my new theory of stages of estrangement. They outline not the stages that every estrangement goes through
Catching up on a few podcasts during my daily walk this week, I came upon on a Hidden Brain episode that I immediately thought of sharing with you. Mostly I wanted to spread the uplifting message that being intentionally kind to others not only helps them, but heals us as well. In addition, there’s a touching
Most estrangements I hear about are not symmetrical. The adult child maintains silence, either partial or total, while the parent reaches out regularly, trying to keep some connection alive. It’s very one-sided. I often hear, especially from parents of 20-somethings who’ve disappeared on them, “But it’s been a year. How long can this continue?” It
As I write this first post for the Reconnection Club blog, we’re in the thick of the holiday season here in the U.S. I’m often asked in consultation whether an invitation should be extended to an estranged child for a special event or holiday. Of course your strategy should always take into account your personal