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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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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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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The Readiness Factor

How long does estrangement last?

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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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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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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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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Podcast Interview Re: Estrangement

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 a thoughtful interviewer. In this conversation, she highlighted some of the most important aspects of …

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

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 posed this question in our forums: If your estranged adult child doesn’t like you, is …

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Free Help Locating Relatives

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 website you can use to try to find an adult child, or any missing relative, …

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Was Your Estranged Adult Child Adopted?

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 as they do, it’s almost impossible for them to make the repairs that are usually …

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Being in a Hurry Can Delay Reconciliation

Don't rush to reconcile

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 PsychologyToday.com about an alternative interpretation of power-hungry-seeming behavior in general. When it comes to …

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

estrangement from only one parent

“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 one parent but not the other – leaves both the targeted parent and the favored …

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We Used to Respect Our Elders

respect for parents

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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