“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 on the other hand wonder if narcissism is keeping their child from taking perspective, or caring about the wounds they’re inflicting. This latter assumption is the
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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?” As a therapist specializing in parent-adult child estrangement, I’ve watched parents go through predictable passages when an adult child becomes estranged. I recently
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