Episode 19: Is Your Child Blaming You for Her Problems?

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Rejected parents sometimes say things like, “My child has made a lot of bad choices. She’s miserable, and according to her, it’s all my fault.” In other words, the adult child is choosing to blame her parent or parents for her problems. Treating them like garbage because she feels bad about herself. Turning parents into …

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Episode 18: How to Recover When Texting Goes Badly

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Even estranged adult children will sometimes get into text exchanges with their parents. Especially if your child is young, he or she may need to engage in logistical conversations with you about things like phone bills, car insurance, or college tuition. Which is to say that not every estranged adult child is completely radio silent …

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Episode 17: Walking on Eggshells After Reconciliation

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At last, your child is back in touch! And while it feels wonderful to be close again, you don’t want to say or do the wrong thing. You instinctively know what the research has shown, which is that estrangements can and do happen over and over again within the same parent-child relationship. And every time …

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Episode 16: Sharing Important News with Your Estranged Adult Child

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One of the most common questions we get inside the Reconnection Club is whether and when to initiate contact with an estranged adult child about important news. At some point, if you’re estranged long enough, something will come up that will make you wonder, “Is it okay to contact my child about this?” It might …

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Episode 15: Do You Need an Estrangement Specialist for Therapy?

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As the rejected parent of an estranged adult child, you might seek out an estrangement specialist for therapy. You want someone with a certain amount of compassion for what you’re going through – which would probably be someone who’s been there. Right? Apart from your podcast host, Tina Gilbertson, most professionals who specialize in estrangement …

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Episode 14: Is Your Child’s Behavior Out of Character?

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You know your child so well. Or at least, you used to. When it comes to behavior from your adult child that surprises you, what seems “out of character” may actually be an adult child expressing an essential part of who she is. How you respond to out-of-character behavior will probably have some impact on …

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Episode 13: Holiday Survival Guide

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For parents estranged from adult children, it’s not easy getting through the holidays. This episode contains six different survival tips to help see you through a potentially difficult time of year. You can’t choose whether the holidays come around, or whether your child decides to reconnect in time for you to celebrate together. But you …

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Episode 12: Why Apologize If You’re Not Guilty?

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Like everyone else, you made your share of mistakes in parenting. But you weren’t so horrible that you deserve to be treated like a criminal. Although child abuse is a cause of many estrangements, you didn’t necessarily abuse your child. So why won’t your adult child cut you some slack? Why is she demanding that …

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Episode 11: How Often Should You Reach Out to an Estranged Adult Child?

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The question of how often to reach out to an estranged adult child is probably one of the top concerns of rejected parents. That’s mostly because they’re in a hurry to resolve the situation, which is understandable. They want to know how soon they can try again. If you’re feeling anxious about when you can …

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Episode 10: 5 Reasons NOT to Send Gifts to an Estranged Adult Child

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Here in the U.S., Thanksgiving Day will soon be here. In this season of gratitude, many estranged parents continue to send gifts to their estranged adult children without receiving a thank-you. Sending a gift might seem like a harmless way to stay in contact with your distancing adult child, but that lack of gratitude suggests …

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Episode 9: How to Stay Positive When You’re Estranged

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It’s incredibly sad and distressing to be estranged from your adult child or children. Yet a positive attitude can make life more manageable, no matter what’s going on. Being more positive is good for both mental and physical health. But adopting such an attitude is so much easier said than done, when you’re estranged from your …

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Episode 8: Don’t Take the Blame, Do Take Responsibility

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Taking responsibility is not the same as accepting blame. Blame is punitive, destructive, and a dead end. Responsibility, on the other hand, is constructive. Responsibility says, “I’ll take on this challenging task!” Taking responsibility for your relationship with your estranged adult child is an intentional act that puts you in the driver’s seat. If you …

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Episode 6: How to Make Your Child WANT to Talk to You

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While you can’t force your child to communicate with you, there are skills you can employ the next time you do have contact that will help them want to talk to you. This episode outlines three things to get good at if you want to become your child’s (or anyone else’s) favorite confidant. If you …

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Episode 5: The 4 Horsemen of the Apology

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A good apology is the ultimate relationship repair tool, and a must for anyone estranged against their wishes. Still, many parents are hesitant to embrace the idea of apologizing to their estranged adult children. I’ve thought a lot about why this is, and have come up with what I call the “Four Horsemen of the …

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Episode 3: Avoid These 3 Mistakes When Trying to Reconnect with Your Adult Child

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Working your way back to an adult child when they’ve cut off contact is a time-consuming process. This is maddening, when all you want to do is to reconcile and reconnect as quickly as possible. But haste makes waste, because being in a hurry almost always means making mistakes. This is true for any important …

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Episode 2: Estrangement is an Ambiguous Loss

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Estrangement from an adult child is what author Pauline Boss called an “ambiguous loss.” She wrote a book by that name in 1999, and although she didn’t talk specifically about estrangement, the circumstance definitely qualifies as similar to a familiar member being missing in action, or having a disease like Alzheimer’s, in which case they’re …

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Episode 1: Why Time is Your Friend

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Most estranged parents feel like time is a thief, stealing opportunities and happiness while they’re estranged from an adult child. This makes parents feel a bit desperate, so they reach out in ineffectual ways. But the reality is, you can only do so much. You can’t push the river. Fortunately, in addition to be a …

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The Reconnection Club Podcast

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Listen to the show that offers weekly compassion, clarity and personal development tips for parents estranged from their adult children. I’m your host, Tina Gilbertson. I talk about practical tools for melting the ice, as well as how to cope when nothing seems to be working. I look at the research and dispel myths about …

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