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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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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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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No Contact Means No Contact

Reach out at your own risk

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 …

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Don’t Invite Them Home for the Holidays

holiday season

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 …

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