Episode 58: How Long Does Estrangement Typically Last?

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It’s the question on the mind of every rejected parent: How long will this estrangement last? Since nobody knows the answer to that, parents seek the next best thing: How long does estrangement last in general? That is, what is the “average” or “typical” length of estrangement between parents and adult children? Unfortunately, we’re a …

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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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Episode 32: How to Cope When There’s No Progress

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It’s discouraging for parents when estrangement from an adult child continues for weeks, months or years without any apparent progress. When your heart-felt letter is returned unopened, you ask yourself, “Now what do I do?” Taking action is the preferred response to painful silence. But it’s not necessarily a productive one. In this episode, Tina …

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Episode 20: What Your Child’s Silence Really Means

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When adult children cut off contact with their parents, their silence can be excruciating. But that’s largely because of the way that silence gets interpreted. Here are some particularly painful interpretations of silence: “I hate you.” “You’re not worth a reply.” “You mean nothing to me.” “I’m never going to talk to you again.” No …

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Episode 9: How to Stay Positive When You’re Estranged

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It’s incredibly sad and distressing to be estranged from your adult child or children. Yet a positive attitude can make life more manageable, no matter what’s going on. Being more positive is good for both mental and physical health. But adopting such an attitude is so much easier said than done, when you’re estranged from your …

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Episode 1: Why Time is Your Friend

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Most estranged parents feel like time is a thief, stealing opportunities and happiness while they’re estranged from an adult child. This makes parents feel a bit desperate, so they reach out in ineffectual ways. But the reality is, you can only do so much. You can’t push the river. Fortunately, in addition to be a …

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The Press of Time

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May is a month that’s full of special days: Mothers Day, graduations, birthdays, anniversaries… In case you didn’t see it, last month’s newsletter talked about dealing with special days during an estrangement from your child. This month we’ll talk about Time. It may be a heartless thief of weeks and months, but it’s also a …

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What Their Silence Means


You’ve probably experienced the pain and frustration of sending a thoughtful and heartfelt message to your child, only to receive no reply. Repeated exposure to this can wear you down. Some parents give up, at least temporarily, to avoid another bout of no-response. But it’s not just the silence that hurts; it’s the interpretation of …

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When You Don’t See Progress

Yin and yang

January’s the perfect time to take a fresh look at what progress looks like, not just in your relationship with your estranged adult child, but in general. The Chinese concept of yin and yang is a helpful one when you’re pursuing a goal, whether it’s improving a relationship, increasing your income, strengthening your body or …

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