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

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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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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