Blog Posts

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Criticism as connection?

Criticism as a Form of Connection

Imagine you and a friend are climbing a mountain together. Your friend has just hauled himself up to the next level, and you want him to pull you up. So you say, “Give me your hand.” If your friend extends a rope for you to grab instead of his hand, will you take it? What

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Don't rush to reconcile

Being in a Hurry Can Delay Reconciliation

Have you ever stood at the sink with a large pot in your hands, waiting for it to fill with water from the tap? Even if the water’s turned all the way on, it can take a frustratingly long time for the pot to fill. Estrangements are frustrating in the same way. “What’s taking so

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Is Your Estranged Child on a Power Trip?

Our next podcast episode will look more closely at the behavior of estranged adult children to determine whether they’re getting some sort of thrill out of pulling you this way and that. In the meantime, I’ve written an article over on about an alternative interpretation of power-hungry-seeming behavior in general. When it comes to

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How long does estrangement last?

These 4 Things Affect How Long You’ll Be Estranged

Prefer  listening to reading? Listen to The Reconnection Club Podcast Episode 58: How Long Does Estrangement Typically Last? for an audio treatment of this topic.  *   *   * 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

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respect for parents
Family dynamics

We Used to Respect Our Elders

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 estranged adult child(ren). It’s bad enough to lose contact and connection with your child. But that feeling of denigration, the lack of

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Is Your Estranged Adult Child a Narcissist?

“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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Are You Creating a Monster By Listening to Your Child?

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

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5 Stages of Estrangement

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

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