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).

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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Basics

Who “Owns” the Problem of Estrangement?

If your adult child has distanced himself from you and/or other family members, it’s tempting to think of this as a problem that belongs to him. After all, he’s the one who created the estrangement by refusing contact. So doesn’t he, in some sense, “own” what’s happening? That thinking is understandable, and it makes sense

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Personal growth

Feeling Powerless in the Face of Estrangement

Many parents of estranged adult children feel powerless. They can’t make the child call them. They can’t force her to respond to texts. He won’t tell them where he lives, let alone let them see the grandchildren… It’s no wonder parents feel powerless. But that’s a painful way to live. All adults need to have

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Contact

Contacting an Estranged Adult Child During the COVID-19 Crisis

NOTE: A podcast episode covering the material below is also available. Find The Reconnection Club Podcast, hosted by Tina Gilbertson, in your favorite podcast player app. If the COVID-19 pandemic has ramped up your concerns about being estranged from your adult child(ren), you have plenty of company. The question of contact during any time of estrangement

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Reconciliation

When Reconciliation with Your Estranged Adult Child Doesn’t Stick

As you may already know, reconciliation with an estranged adult child doesn’t always “take” the first time. Or even the second. For many, reconciliation happens in fits and starts. Sometimes it feels like you’re back on track, and then suddenly there’s a problem again, and contact falters… That’s why I often say that reconciliation is

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