Newsletter Archive

This is the archive of featured newsletter articles, with the newest at the top.

Browse by topic using the categories to the right (or at the bottom of the page if you’re on your phone).

Causes of estrangement

Sibling Rivalry and Parent-Child Estrangement

Sibling rivalry can play a role in parent-adult child estrangement. When children are growing up, tension between siblings sometimes becomes chronic. In addition to differences in temperament, there may be ongoing concerns about favoritism or perceptions of scarcity in parental attention or affection. Once a sibling relationship has become tense, parents may have to intervene

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Contact

What Does a No-Contact Request Sound Like?

How can you tell if your estranged adult child wants no contact? The answer is not always clear. Some parents receive specific requests such as, “Please don’t call, text, email or come to my home or workplace.” But many are left with either statements they can’t decipher, or no guidance at all. In this article,

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Basics

Taking Control of the Estrangement from Your Adult Child

One of the worst things about being estranged from your adult child(ren), besides the terrifying uncertainty of the outcome, is feeling like you have no control over the situation. You text your child, but she doesn’t text back. You issue invitations, and there’s no response.  All contact seems to be on your child’s terms, not

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Basics

Should Parents Present a United Front?

Spouses aren’t always on the same page about what to do when their adult children become estranged. Should you take responsibility for your child’s decision? Or threaten to cut him out of your will? Should you apologize for past mistakes that may have contributed to the estrangement? Or stop all communication until she comes around?

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Estranged parents can still find enjoyment
Holidays

It’s Okay to Enjoy Yourself When Your Adult Child Is Estranged

When your adult child or children won’t talk to you, enjoying yourself is the last thing on your mind. Even if you could enjoy yourself, it hardly seems like the right time. But then come the holidays. Or your anniversary. Or another milestone that you’d ordinarily celebrate with joy. And you’re faced with either 1) 

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Coping

Feeling Abandoned/Rejected By an Estranged Adult Child

It’s not uncommon for rejected parents to feel just terrible during an estrangement from their adult child or children. They might experience a sense of abandonment, rejection, despair or even resentment. There are so many questions. So many fears. There’s a range of unpleasant emotions that the parent may feel. It’s like a broken roller

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Apologizing

Why Apologies Don’t Work

A good apology can go a long way toward repairing a troubled relationship. But if you’ve apologized to your estranged adult child more than once without any apparent effect, something is obviously not working. Don’t give up. There are several reasons why even a heartfelt apology will fail to move the needle. If you can

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ambiguous loss
Basics

When Should Parents Give Up On an Estranged Adult Child?

The question of whether and when to give up on a relationship with an estranged adult child is a painful one. It’s also difficult to answer. As much as it hurts to be estranged from your child, continually hoping for reconnection invites another kind of suffering. There can be a fine line between hope and

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