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Inviting Estranged Adult Children Home For the Holidays

Now that the holiday season is here, parents are wondering whether to issue invitations to estranged adult children. In many cases, the simple answer is No. Don’t invite them home for the holidays. Allowing your adult child to make his own plans, and to take the initiative to reach out to you if he wants

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Research

New Study Highlights Differences in Perceptions of Estrangement Cause

Inside the Reconnection Club, parents help each other try to understand the reasons for their adult children’s decision to create distance. The need for this kind of perspective-taking was highlighted by a study recently published in the journal Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice. According to this article, the study found that almost 80%

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Trauma

Are You Overreacting?

Pain is a normal and expected reaction to the loss of important relationships. But for some parents rejected by adult children, ordinary pain is made worse by unhealed injuries from the past. (See also The Deep Pain of the Rejected Parent) If you’ve been hurt deeply or often in your life, even a healthy response

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Basics

Why “Teaching Someone a Lesson” Doesn’t Work

It’s so human to want to teach someone a lesson when they’re behaving badly. Maybe because of the fundamental attribution error (we attribute other people’s behavior to temperament, ours to circumstances), we tend to focus on correcting poor behavior in other people. We aren’t quite as ardent when it comes to scrutinizing ourselves. I think

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How long does estrangement last?
Basics

The Readiness Factor

In every relationship, there’s always the possibility that one of you is ready to take a new step when the other is not. As a parent unwillingly estranged from one or more of your adult children, you can do everything right, say all the right things, and still not get to reconciliation if the timing

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Coping

How to Make the Best of a Bad Situation

Hey folks, I just wanted to let you know about my latest post over on PsychologyToday.com. You know as well as anyone what it’s like to live with a situation you don’t want. And while estrangement has special challenges that make it ultra-painful, you might be interested in some general tips for making the best

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Free Online Summit on Family Estrangement

Tons of valuable support and information will be freely available to estranged parents next week, thanks to the efforts of Yasmin Kerkez. Yasmin gathered together 15 experts on family estrangement, family struggles, healthy relationships and healing. The result is a 3-day online summit called Moving Beyond Family Struggles. All the interviews, including one that I

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Basics

Handling Complaints from Your Estranged Adult Child

If you manage to open communication with your estranged adult child, you’ll need to be prepared for the crucial task of receiving complaints. Unless you have a conscious plan for your response, the rift could easily widen. Because the way parents handle complaints makes the estrangement either better or worse. Here’s what you need to

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Anxiety

Feeling Insecure in Relationships

I don’t always share my relationship-themed PsychologyToday.com posts with estranged parents. Often they’re just not relevant to this audience. But today’s post struck me as being maybe a little bit more interesting, at least to some parents. Several Reconnection Club members have been talking in our forums about relationships in general.  They’re sharing that they

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