Go back to the Library

These articles are available to the public, but only members can comment and ask questions in the Community forums.

Not a member yet? Read about all our resources and help for parents estranged from adult children.

Or join our mailing list and receive a helpful article every month in your inbox.

Moving Beyond Family Struggles Summit 2022

Tina Gilbertson

If you’ve been around here a while, you might remember last year’s wonderful Moving Beyond Family Struggles Summit, conceived and hosted by Yasmin Kerkez of Family Support Resources. I was honored to be interviewed by Yasmin for that Summit, and …

Announcement: RC Podcast Schedule Change

Tina Gilbertson

Happy New Year! We have exciting plans to expand our library in 2022 by creating a variety of new resources for our members. That will necessarily mean spending more time on member-only content, and less time on the podcast. So… …

New Study Highlights Differences in Perceptions of Estrangement Cause

Tina Gilbertson

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 …

Are You Overreacting?

Tina Gilbertson

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 …

Why “Teaching Someone a Lesson” Doesn’t Work

Tina Gilbertson

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 …
How long does estrangement last?

The Readiness Factor

Tina Gilbertson

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 …

How to Make the Best of a Bad Situation

Tina Gilbertson

Hey folks, I just wanted to let you know about my latest post over on 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 …

Handling Complaints from Your Estranged Adult Child

Tina Gilbertson

If you manage to open communication with your estranged adult child, it’s good 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 …

Feeling Insecure in Relationships

Tina Gilbertson

I don’t always share my relationship-themed 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 …

Podcast Interview Re: Estrangement

Tina Gilbertson

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Las Vegas-based therapist Lourdes Viado. Lourdes hosts a podcast called “Women in Depth,” and she invited me to do an interview about my book, Reconnecting With Your Estranged Adult Child. Lourdes is …

What If Your Estranged Adult Child Just Doesn’t Like You?

Tina Gilbertson

Over the years, I’ve heard more than one parent express the concern that their estranged adult child doesn’t have reason to reconcile, because they don’t even like the parent in the first place. Recently, one of our Reconnection Club members …

Free Help Locating Relatives

Tina Gilbertson

You may be familiar with Tom Martin, P.I., from our recent interview about locating your estranged adult child. (Reconnection Club members can click here to read the transcript.) If so, you already know that as a private investigator, Tom has a …

Was Your Estranged Adult Child Adopted?

Tina Gilbertson

Adoption adds complexity to parent-adult child estrangement One of the most important tasks for parents estranged from adult children is to understand their children’s reasons for creating distance. Until parents can put themselves in their children’s shoes and see things …

Help! My Husband’s Adult Children Don’t Talk to Him

Tina Gilbertson

Your husband’s adult child or children aren’t talking to him, and he’s obviously in pain about it. Maybe it’s been years since they last saw each other. Your heart aches for your spouse. The months keep rolling by, and nothing …
Criticism as connection?

Criticism as a Form of Connection

Tina Gilbertson

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 …