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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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
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
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
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
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
If your estranged adult child once gave you a greeting card addressed to #1 Mom or Dad, you might be confused. How did you go from being the best parent ever to being rejected by your child? It happens. The child who won’t return a parent’s texts today is the very same one who wrote
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 vis-a-vis 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
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