Episode 51: Why Can’t They Take 5 Seconds to Text You Back?

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Estranged adult children often fail to return texts. This is true even if parents are requesting a simple,  one-word answer. Why do otherwise kind and polite young people refuse to offer their parents the courtesy of a brief reply? It turns out that a text is not just a text. It represents your relationship, and …

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Episode 50: Should Your Child Meet You Halfway?

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Many parents of estranged adult children have asked them, “How can we fix this?” The answer is often silence. The estranged adult child doesn’t necessarily have any interest in talking about how to reconcile. In this episode, Tina gives you four reasons to go ahead and try to repair the relationship, regardless of your child’s …

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Episode 46: You Can’t Change the Past (But It Doesn’t Matter)

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Among the saddest people in the world is the rejected parent who wishes she could change the past. Every parent either has regrets, or isn’t paying attention. It’s impossible to parent perfectly, but that doesn’t mean that all is lost. If your estranged adult child is angry about something that happened in the past, you …

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Episode 49: Emotional Estrangement

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There’s a special type of pain reserved for parents who still have contact with their adult children, but feel disconnected anyway. Tina calls this sense of distance “emotional estrangement,” meaning that the distance between you and your child is not physical, but emotional. This condition can happen following a physical estrangement, or it can constitute …

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Episode 48: All About “Gaslighting” (And How to Know If You’re Doing It)

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What is “gaslighting,” and why is your estranged adult child accusing you of doing it to her? Named after the 1944 movie “Gaslight,” the term refers to the behavior deployed by the nefarious husband, played by Charles Boyer. He convinces his wife that she’s insane through a calculated, relentless campaign of disinformation. But what on …

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Episode 47: How to Win Back Your Estranged Adult Child

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Dale Carnegie’s classic How to Win Friends and Influence People is more than just a quaint set of essays on networking from days of yore. A full 90 years after its original publication, it’s still a best-seller today. Just like almost anyone else, parents estranged from adult children can benefit by reading, or re-reading, this …

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Episode 45: Declare Your Independence

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Independence is not just for countries. Nor is it reserved for adolescents seeking freedom from the binding restrictions of home. For parents estranged from adult children, the concept of independence is often overlooked. But cultivating independence can have a positive impact on a rejected parent’s quality of life. That includes how you handle unwanted estrangement. …

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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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