7 Signs of Enmeshment

Enmeshment is often described as being “too close.” But in enmeshed families, closeness is not the problem. Being emotionally close is good for family members. Their relationships with others outside the family are also close. They feel secure in who they are. And they tend to enjoy good mental health.  Enmeshed families don’t produce those …

Read more

Seeking Safety in Estrangement

Do you prefer listening to reading? There’s a Reconnection Club Podcast on this same topic. Click here to listen now: RC Podcast Episode 164: Seeking Safety (available January 29th)  *   *   *  Many people who create distance between themselves and their parents do so in the pursuit of emotional safety. Unfortunately, their parents don’t always …

Read more

Practice Slow Breathing BEFORE the Holidays

Medical and mental health professionals often tell us to breathe deeply and slowly to get through a painful experience, or to reduce stress. And that’s good advice. But what they don’t tell you is this: You don’t get the full benefit unless you practice ahead of time. Our bodies, including the suggestible nervous system, are …

Read more

What to Do With Your Estranged Adult Child’s Stuff

Do you prefer listening to reading? We have an audio version of this topic: Reconnection Club Podcast Episode 156: What to Do With Their Stuff  *   *   *  Under normal circumstances, parents and their adult children figure out together how to deal with the child’s possessions after they leave home. But estrangement is not a …

Read more

Self Alienation: Estranged On the Inside

Man on bench

Do you prefer listening to reading? For an audio treatment of this topic, listen to Episode 153 of the Reconnection Club Podcast.  *   *   *  For some parents, estrangement by an adult child is not their first experience with estrangement. They’ve become alienated over the years from another important person in their lives: Themselves. Somewhere …

Read more

Losing Time with Estranged Adult Children

Do you prefer listening to reading? Listen to the Reconnection Club Podcast’s audio treatment of this topic. It’s Episode 151: Losing Time While Estranged.  *   *   * One of the hardest things about an unwanted estrangement is the feeling of being in limbo. As a parent and maybe a grandparent, you’re aware of the passage …

Read more

Breathing Matters

Breathing is part of the language of coping with difficult circumstances. We tell ourselves, and each other, “Remember to breathe.” (Don’t hold your breath.) “Breathe though it.” (Tolerate the pain.) “Breathe into it.” (What we resist, persists.) “Just breathe.” (Be here now.) Those are not platitudes. They remind us of the useful tool we always …

Read more

Emotions of Estrangement

Do you prefer listening to reading? There’s an episode of the Reconnection Club Podcast on this same topic. Listen now: Ep 139: Emotions of Estrangement  *   *   * When you first realize you’ve become estranged from your adult child(ren), you may be shocked. Also confused, afraid, and maybe a little bit panicked. Some parents who’ve …

Read more

The Escalation Trap

Do you prefer listening to reading? Listen to an audio treatment of this article in the form of RC Podcast Episode 123: The Escalation Trap.  *   *   * If your estranged adult child or children requested no contact, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised if they suddenly contact you. And if you’re like other parents you …

Read more

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 …

Read more

The Good Parent’s Biggest Blind Spot

Do you prefer listening to reading? RC Podcast Episodes 125 and 126 provide an audio treatment of this topic.  *   *   * 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…” …

Read more