Healthy Giving

Healthy giving has boundaries and respects the wishes of the recipient. It can be challenging to give from a place of pure generosity, especially when you’re not at your best. Read on for examples of how to give in a healthy way this season. In last month’s newsletter, I wrote about the dangers of giving too much …

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Thankless Giving

Unwanted gift

[Do you prefer listening to reading? This article was adapted for audio in Episode 10 of The Reconnection Club Podcast: 5 Reasons Not to Send Gifts to an Estranged Adult Child] Here in the U.S., Thanksgiving Day will soon be upon us. It’s supposed to be a time for gratitude … Yet many estranged parents, …

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Be a Confidant

Let her confide in you

What would it take for you to become your estranged child’s Number One Confidant? It might seem like a pipe dream when s/he’s not communicating with you at all, but when your child is ready to reconcile, will you be ready to step into a delightful new role? One that could secure your place in …

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Be Predictable (Except When You’re Not)

Predictable

Predictability is a good quality in any parent. For parents estranged from an adult child, it’s an absolute requirement. Being a little bit unpredictable can also be good occasionally, but only when it’s strategic and creates a pleasant surprise for your child. This month’s newsletter offers specific ideas on how to use predictability to repair …

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The Friendship Trap

Friend or parent

Do you prefer listening to reading? Listen to the Reconnection Club Podcast’s Episode 34: Was Your Child Your Best Friend? for an audio version of this article. Parents of estranged adult children sometimes tell me that before the estrangement, they enjoyed an unusual warmth and closeness with their child. In some cases, the relationship felt …

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The Impact of Emotional Immaturity

Emotional immaturity

[Do you prefer listening to reading? Listen to the Reconnection Club Podcast episode based on this article, When an Adult Child Seems Emotionally Immature.] Many parents I work with individually tell me that their estranged adult child seems young for his or her age. I hear about 30-year-olds throwing trantrums and 40-year-olds who can’t seem …

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The Press of Time

Time flies

May is a month that’s full of special days: Mothers Day, graduations, birthdays, anniversaries… In case you didn’t see it, last month’s newsletter talked about dealing with special days during an estrangement from your child. This month we’ll talk about Time. It may be a heartless thief of weeks and months, but it’s also a …

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Special Events and Holidays

Flower

Even if you don’t have a graduation or a birthday coming up, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are both looming on the horizon. In this month’s article, I’ll talk about dealing with the pain of special events and holidays without your child. What to Do? Many parents of soon-to-be college graduates are anxiously wondering what …

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What Their Silence Means

Silence

You’ve probably experienced the pain and frustration of sending a thoughtful and heartfelt message to your child, only to receive no reply. Repeated exposure to this can wear you down. Some parents give up, at least temporarily, to avoid another bout of no-response. But it’s not just the silence that hurts; it’s the interpretation of …

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Estrangement: What The Research Says

Research

When it comes to estrangement between parents and adult children, there’s stuff we know, and stuff we don’t know. For instance, parents often ask, “Why do these kids think it’s okay to treat their parents this way?” Well, we don’t know the answer to that one. But there is some evidence to suggest that maybe …

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When You Don’t See Progress

Yin and yang

January’s the perfect time to take a fresh look at what progress looks like, not just in your relationship with your estranged adult child, but in general. The Chinese concept of yin and yang is a helpful one when you’re pursuing a goal, whether it’s improving a relationship, increasing your income, strengthening your body or …

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