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).

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 were 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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Coping

You Always Have Choices

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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Permissive, authoritarian, or authoritative?
Family dynamics

What’s Your Parenting Style?

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

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circle of control
Basics

Your Circle of Control

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

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