Episode 44: Does Your Child Blame You for Your Divorce?

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“I think she blames me for my divorce.” If you feel a past divorce might be a motivating factor in your adult child’s estrangement, you’ll want to listen to this week’s episode. Just click on the player below. It’s rarely the divorce itself that’s keeping adult children up at night. That’s in the past. They …

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Episode 43: How Can They Do This After Calling You the Best Parent Ever?

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Some of the cards and letters sent in the past from now-estranged adult children to their then-admired parents express the most beautiful sentiments you’ve ever heard. “To the world’s best mom…” “Thank you for being there for me, Daddy.” “I will love you forever.” How on earth did these same adoring adolescents become the silent, …

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Episode 42: The Impact of Predictability on Your Chances of Reconciliation

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Many parents estranged from an adult child or children are barely keeping their heads above water when it comes to coping with the estrangement. They reach out and try to reconcile repeatedly, often feeling rejected, confused, and sometimes resentful when their child doesn’t respond. When they’ve had enough of being hurt, they withdraw and stop …

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Episode 40: When an Adult Child Seems Emotionally Immature

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Not every adult child who’s estranged from parents is emotionally immature. But in some cases, emotional immaturity is something that parents who wish to reconcile have to deal with. What is emotional immaturity, and what can you do about it? In this episode, Tina urges you to view emotional immaturity not as a character flaw, …

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Episode 39: Parent-Adult Child Estrangement & Your Self-Esteem

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When an adult child is estranged, the pain of disconnection is in part related to the parent’s level of self-esteem. Although any parent with a heart will feel the sting of a child’s rejection, those whose self-esteem is injured (i.e., low) feel it far more deeply. The rejection has implications for them that not everyone …

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Episode 38: If Your Child “Blows Hot and Cold”

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Your semi-estranged adult child might seem to be coming around. They’re back in contact. They agree to a meeting. The meeting goes great… But then just like that, they’re gone again. And after some time, they’re back again, wanting to connect. You feel drawn in by their conciliatory, even loving, attitude… Until they stop communicating …

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Episode 37: Reconciliation — The 4 Stages of Competence

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Tina often says that reconciliation is a process, not an event. In this episode, she discusses specific stages of learning that parents must traverse in order to get to the ultimate prize of permanent reconciliation with their children. Using the four stages of competence that emerged from psychology and coaching in the 1960s, Tina outlines …

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Episode 36: Four Steps to a Better Mother’s Day

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For many moms whose adult children are estranged from them, Mothers Day inspires dread. But at the same time, there’s a secret light of hope shining inside… Maybe your child will reach out to you even if s/he hasn’t done so recently. Maybe s/he will take the opportunity to reconnect on your special day. For …

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Episode 35: Why Rejected Parents Act Impulsively (And How Not To)

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Have you ever sent a text or email to your estranged adult child that you later regretted? Most rejected parents have done something like this at one time or another. If you haven’t yet, you probably will… unless you listen to this episode (use the player below to listen). Regrets often follow from behavior that’s …

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Episode 34: Was Your Child Your Best Friend?

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This episode is for everyone whose now-estranged adult child used to be their best friend. Many moms and dads whose children appeared to enjoy their friendship for years, now find themselves rejected by those very children. What happened to that delightful bond? Those long talks about anything and everything? The sharing, the connection, the enjoyment …

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Episode 33: Should You Send a Birthday Card When Your Adult Child is Estranged?

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Estrangement from an adult child is difficult, but when her birthday comes around, it becomes complicated as well. Should you send her a gift? A card? An email? Or nothing at all? What’s the etiquette for recognizing an estranged child’s birthday? There’s no rulebook to go by, but common sense suggests that there are two …

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Episode 32: How to Cope When There’s No Progress

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It’s discouraging for parents when estrangement from an adult child continues for weeks, months or years without any apparent progress. When your heart-felt letter is returned unopened, you ask yourself, “Now what do I do?” Taking action is the preferred response to painful silence. But it’s not necessarily a productive one. In this episode, Tina …

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Episode 31: Why Don’t Other Relatives Help?

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It’s bad enough to be estranged from your adult child, but when other relatives stand by and watch without attempting to help, you feel twice burned. Once by the rejection, and again by the abandonment of passive family members. Why do people who supposedly care about you continue to communicate with an estranged adult child …

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BONUS: Contacting Your Estranged Adult Child During the COVID-19 Outbreak

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This past week, one of our Reconnection Club members posted a very timely question in our General Discussion forum: To Reach Out Or Not? (you must be logged in to view). The member was concerned because if she does reach out, she’s violating her adult child’s request for reduced contact. But if she doesn’t, will …

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Episode 30: What to Expect After Reconciliation

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Ah, reconciliation. At last, you’ve attained the brass ring. Your adult child, previously estranged, is now back in touch. Everything’s great again. Or is it? Parents are largely unprepared for the fact that reconciliation is a process, not an event. Once you’re back in regular contact, there’s often a new set of challenges to face… …

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Episode 29: If Your Child Asks You to Get Therapy

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“You should get therapy.” Has your adult child said those words to you? Have they made therapy a condition of continuing the relationship? Being told to seek therapy is no one’s idea of a compliment. But for parents of estranged adult children, it may be the start of a fantastic voyage into their own inner …

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Episode 28: On-Again Off-Again Estrangement

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Many parents of estranged adult children feel like they’re in a revolving door with their child. One moment they’re in contact, the next they’ve gone radio silent again. Researchers call this periodic or cyclical estrangement, and it’s a dangerous pattern. Just like author Harriet Brown (author of Shadow Daughter), adult children can decide one day …

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Episode 27: Estrangement Hurts, But Not on Purpose

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There’s no question that estrangement from an adult child is painful for rejected parents. But many parents suffer even more than necessary, because they believe their child is willingly hurting them. Nobody wants to think of their child as heartless, cruel, mentally ill, easily brainwashed, or any of the other qualities often attributed to people …

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Episode 26: The Black Sheep of the Family

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Is your estranged adult child the black sheep of the family? If so, there are things you need to know about how to reach out and try to reconnect. This episode features an excerpt from Tina’s interview with Dr. Elizabeth Dorrance Hall, a professor of Communication at Michigan State University. Her research on the experiences …

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