When Should Parents Give Up On an Estranged Adult Child?

ambiguous loss

The question of whether and when to give up on a relationship with an estranged adult child is a painful one. It’s also difficult to answer. As much as it hurts to be estranged from your child, continually hoping for reconnection invites another kind of suffering. There can be a fine line between hope and …

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Who “Owns” the Problem of Estrangement?

If your adult child has distanced himself from you and/or other family members, it’s tempting to think of this as a problem that belongs to him. After all, he’s the one who created the estrangement by refusing contact. So doesn’t he, in some sense, “own” what’s happening? That thinking is understandable, and it makes sense …

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Feeling Powerless in the Face of Estrangement

Many parents of estranged adult children feel powerless. They can’t make the child call them. They can’t force her to respond to texts. He won’t tell them where he lives, let alone let them see the grandchildren… It’s no wonder parents feel powerless. But that’s a painful way to live. All adults need to have …

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Contacting an Estranged Adult Child During the COVID-19 Crisis

NOTE: A podcast episode covering the material below is also available. Find The Reconnection Club Podcast, hosted by Tina Gilbertson, in your favorite podcast player app. If the COVID-19 pandemic has ramped up your concerns about being estranged from your adult child(ren), you have plenty of company. The question of contact during any time of estrangement …

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When Reconciliation with Your Estranged Adult Child Doesn’t Stick

As you may already know, reconciliation with an estranged adult child doesn’t always “take” the first time. Or even the second. For many, reconciliation happens in fits and starts. Sometimes it feels like you’re back on track, and then suddenly there’s a problem again, and contact falters… That’s why I often say that reconciliation is …

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Why Adult Children Cut Off Parents They Used to Say Were Wonderful

If your estranged adult child once gave you a greeting card addressed to #1 Mom or Dad, you might be confused. How did you go from being the best parent ever to being rejected by your child? It happens. The child who won’t return a parent’s texts today is the very same one who wrote …

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