Make a Detailed Plan to Get Through Special Days

I’ve suggested elsewhere that every estranged parent should have a detailed plan on their special day, whether it be Mothers or Fathers Day, your birthday, the holidays, or any day when you wonder if an estranged adult child will reach out. With a special day coming up, I’ve heard parents say things like, “I’m having …

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The Good Parent’s Biggest Blind Spot

You were a conscientious parent. When your child(ren) came into your life, you wanted to be the best parent you could possibly be. You told yourself, “I will never…” or “I will always…” about your parenting. If you’re like many people, one of your pledges was to do things differently. To parent in a better …

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How to Get Estrangement Help Without Spending Money

More and more resources are popping up these days, offering support for people suffering from family estrangement. This is certainly a good thing; my great-grandparents had no help at all in repairing their relationship with their daughter, my grandmother — and so tragically, they never did. My mom grew up without knowing her grandparents. I …

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The Biology of Connection

When I started the Reconnection Club Podcast back in 2019, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I hoped the brief weekly episodes would provide rejected parents with useful information and inspiration for reconnecting with their estranged adult children. I didn’t anticipate that listeners would find it calming or soothing. But from the feedback I’ve received, …

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What to Do, When You Don’t Know What to Do

If you’ve been estranged from your adult child(ren) for any length of time, you’ve probably experienced that uncomfortable feeling of not knowing what to do next. As a parent, your heart is breaking. And your brain is constantly picking at the problem in the background (when it’s not doing that in the foreground). Whenever there’s …

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Knowing vs. Doing

Do you prefer listening to reading? You can hear an audio version of this topic here: Reconnection Club Podcast Episode 110: Knowing vs.  Doing Otherwise, scroll down to read the article now.  *   *   * We’ve all been there. We know that something bad will happen between ourselves and another person if we say or …

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What Are You Working On?

Many Reconnection Club members are working on letters of apology to their estranged adult children. They’ve decided that an apology is appropriate, but in thinking about it, they bump into the fact that it’s not always easy to find exactly the right words. That’s why some of our members post draft apologies in our forums. …

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Sibling Rivalry and Parent-Child Estrangement

Sibling rivalry can play a role in parent-adult child estrangement. When children are growing up, tension between siblings sometimes becomes chronic. In addition to differences in temperament, there may be ongoing concerns about favoritism or perceptions of scarcity in parental attention or affection. Once a sibling relationship has become tense, parents may have to intervene …

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What Does a No-Contact Request Sound Like?

How can you tell if your estranged adult child wants no contact? The answer is not always clear. Some parents receive specific requests such as, “Please don’t call, text, email or come to my home or workplace.” But many are left with either statements they can’t decipher, or no guidance at all. In this article, …

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Why You Should Go For a “No” When Making Requests of an Estranged Adult Child

“Is it okay to send gifts to the grandchildren for Christmas?” “Can I at least attend your graduation?” “Would you mind if I sent a card for your birthday?” Who ever thought you’d find yourself asking questions like these, of your own adult child? How did the two of you end up here? Estrangement is …

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Why Apologies Don’t Work

A good apology can go a long way toward repairing a troubled relationship. But if you’ve apologized to your estranged adult child more than once without any apparent effect, something is obviously not working. Don’t give up. There are several reasons why even a heartfelt apology will fail to move the needle. If you can …

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