Happy New Year! As a parent who’s estranged from an adult child or children, you may feel like your options for how to move forward in the new year with your child are limited. Or even non-existent. Your child seems to hold all the cards. If s/he won’t talk to you, what are you supposed
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Think for a moment about how your parents raised you. Were they permissive, authoritarian, or authoritative? Psychologist Diana Baumrind (1927-2018) observed these 3 different parenting styles and noticed distinct outcomes for children… Permissive parents view their children more or less as equals. The parent is a resource for the child to access, but doesn’t place
I often say that reconciliation between parents and estranged adult children is a process, not an event. It’s not like on Monday you’re estranged, on Tuesday you reconcile, and on Wednesday everything is back to normal. During and after reconciliation, things can feel anything but normal. You’re walking on eggshells, trying to avoid a replay
We all have people, circumstances and events that affect and concern us. Let’s call that group of items our “circle of concern.” Our personal circles of concern may overlap, but what concerns one person might not concern another. For example, any kind of legislation affecting mental health professionals in Colorado and Oregon will fall within
Well over half of all estranged adult children, according to one website, would like to receive an apology from the parents they’ve rejected. Of course, many of those parents would appreciate receiving an apology themselves. Their hearts are broken by what feels like callous disregard and disapproval from their estranging children. This creates a dilemma.
Living with estrangement from an adult child or children is like living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You’re often in your own world of pain. You may spend a lot of time in your head, in the past or future, more than in your body and the present moment. The “here and now” of your
Here in the U.S., we’re celebrating Independence Day this week. And while you may be thinking about your child’s “independent” decision to cut ties with you, I’d like to talk about your independence. Actually, independence is just one aspect of a developmental process called individuation, which you may have heard me talk about with regard
If you have any contact with your child at all, you might feel dismayed at how inconsistent it is. You may be in the post-reconciliation phase, when you hoped everything would be fine again. Or their inconsistency might be part of an on-again, off-again cycle of “now you see me, now you don’t,” and reconciliation
Mothers Day and Fathers Day are just around the corner, causing anticipation, hope and dread for estranged parents everywhere. Most of those parents won’t hear a peep from their estranged children, but a few will. Not knowing which group you fall into can be nerve-wracking. Here are some simple ways to make sure that Mothers