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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 …
Don't rush to reconcile

Being in a Hurry Can Delay Reconciliation

Tina Gilbertson

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 …

Is Your Estranged Child on a Power Trip?

Tina Gilbertson

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 …
How long does estrangement last?

These 4 Things Affect How Long You’ll Be Estranged

Tina Gilbertson

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 …
estrangement from only one parent

Partial Estrangement: Are You Betraying Your Spouse by Talking to Your Child?

Tina Gilbertson

“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 …
respect for parents

We Used to Respect Our Elders

Tina Gilbertson

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 …

Is Your Estranged Adult Child a Narcissist?

Tina Gilbertson

“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 …

Are You Creating a Monster By Listening to Your Child?

Tina Gilbertson

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, …

5 Stages of Estrangement

Tina Gilbertson

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, …

Being Kind to Others is Good for Us

Tina Gilbertson

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 …
Reach out at your own risk

No Contact Means No Contact

Tina Gilbertson

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 …
holiday season

Don’t Invite Them Home for the Holidays

Tina Gilbertson

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 …