Episode 72: “Why is it always the parent’s fault?”

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“Why is it always the parent’s fault?” is a question that often comes up when rejected parents are faced with suggestions to apologize, or to try to understand and validate an estranged adult child. It’s understandable. When all the advice coming your way is to act with humility, instead of someone who deserves to receive …

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Episode 71: Three Ways Rejected Parents Give Away Their Power

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It’s common for rejected parents who are unwillingly estranged from an adult child to feel utterly powerless. And that’s a horrible feeling in the face of a breach in an important relationship. But there are three specific assumptions parents make that leave them truly powerless. These insidious assumptions are: Your child’s estrangement is entirely about …

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Episode 70: How to Find Compassion for a Rude or Angry Adult Child

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Most parents feel their estranged adult children’s pain. Part of their own anguish is the knowledge that their child isn’t happy. And there’s a saying: “You’re only as happy as your unhappiest child.” But when an adult child treats you with rudeness or anger, it’s easy to lose that compassion for them. Their behavior might …

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Episode 69: It’s OK to Enjoy Yourself During Estrangement

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It’s the festive season – always a complicated time for people experiencing estrangement from family. The holidays are full of friendship, gift-giving, celebrating and creating memories. But for parents rejected by one or more of their adult children, it can feel wrong to participate. Having a good time feels … unseemly. How can parents enjoy …

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Episode 68: You (The Rejected Parent) Are Not Powerless

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If you feel powerless in the face of your adult child’s estrangement, that’s understandable. You can’t force your child to return your texts, let alone reunite. It’s a horrible feeling, to have so little power over something so important. At the same time, powerlessness is a dangerous place to be for your mental health. Every …

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Episode 67: Why Can’t My Child Show Some Empathy?

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Your adult child, who’s always been such an empathetic soul, has now ruthlessly cut you off. How can such an empathetic person have no empathy for the parents who raised him? Doesn’t he care that he’s hurting you? It seems like an awful mystery. What’s going on? Has your child changed that much? The problem …

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Episode 65: Why Your Estranged Adult Child Doesn’t RSVP

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It’s painful when estranged adult children don’t respond to invitations at the holidays. At this time of year, even a video chat would be meaningful in lieu of a family gathering. If you’re a parent who has issued an invitation and not heard back, you have plenty of company. It’s frustrating and hurtful. Why do …

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Episode 62: Personality Disorders and Estrangement

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Does your estranged adult child have a personality disorder (PD)? If so, how much does it matter? Armchair diagnoses of PDs such as Borderline PD or Narcissistic PD are often flung back and forth between estranged adult children and rejected parents, to explain the problems between them. Often, it may simply be that parent and …

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Episode 61: Did Therapy Turn Your Adult Child Against You?

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It’s not unusual at all for an adult child to cut off parents after getting into therapy. And that cut-off may extend to other family members, and even old friends. When this happens, it’s tempting to blame it on therapy. Your child was fine and so was your relationship, until he went into counseling. If …

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Episode 60: Same House, Different Childhoods: Why Siblings Disagree About Your Parenting

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You raised them all the same. They all knew they were loved. You did your level best by each and every one of them… So why does one adult child become estranged, claiming an unhappy childhood, while the other(s) are perfectly fine? Can both or all of your kids be right about their childhoods if …

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Episode 59: How to Survive Birthdays During Estrangement (Yours and Theirs)

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Will your estranged child send you birthday wishes this year? Should you celebrate your child’s birthday even though she’s not currently speaking to you? How can you survive not only your own birthday without them, but theirs? Estrangement doesn’t respect birthdays. In many or perhaps most cases, you’ll be disappointed if you expect your child …

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Episode 58: How Long Does Estrangement Typically Last?

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It’s the question on the mind of every rejected parent: How long will this estrangement last? Since nobody knows the answer to that, parents seek the next best thing: How long does estrangement last in general? That is, what is the “average” or “typical” length of estrangement between parents and adult children? Unfortunately, we’re a …

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Episode 57: How to Cope With Feelings of Rejection

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One of the hardest things about being estranged from your adult child is the feeling of rejection that often accompanies the enforced separation. It’s not easy to live with the pain of rejection day after day. In fact, it’s almost like being in physical pain. Would you believe that the same areas of the brain …

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Episode 56: Should You Have Someone Else Contact Your Estranged Adult Child?

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It’s tempting to say Yes when a kind friend or relative offers to talk to your estranged adult child. But if you’re like many rejected parents, you hesitate. If someone contacts your child on your behalf… Will it actually work? Will it help at all? Or will it make things worse? These questions have no …

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Episode 54: Why Do They Cut Off Contact Instead of Talking About It?

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Why can’t your estranged adult child talk to you about whatever’s wrong, instead of cutting you off without a word? That’s a good question, and one that has real answers you might not have thought about. In this episode (use the player below to listen), Tina offers three explanations that make more sense than, “My …

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Episode 53: 10 Rules of Thumb for Communicating With an Estranged Adult Child

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Not every parent estranged from an adult has received a request for no contact. If you have, then the most appropriate response might be to acknowledge the request and take a step back for a while. Insisting on communication with someone who’s already indicated they don’t want that will not bring you closer. But if …

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