Episode 45: Declare Your Independence

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Independence is not just for countries. Nor is it reserved for adolescents seeking freedom from the binding restrictions of home. For parents estranged from adult children, the concept of independence is often overlooked. But cultivating independence can have a positive impact on a rejected parent’s quality of life. That includes how you handle unwanted estrangement. …

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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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Episode 39: Parent-Adult Child Estrangement & Your Self-Esteem

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When an adult child is estranged, the pain of disconnection is in part related to the parent’s level of self-esteem. Although any parent with a heart will feel the sting of a child’s rejection, those whose self-esteem is injured (i.e., low) feel it far more deeply. The rejection has implications for them that not everyone …

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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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What If Your Estranged Adult Child Just Doesn’t Like You?

Over the years, I’ve heard more than one parent express the concern that their estranged adult child doesn’t have reason to reconcile, because they don’t even like the parent in the first place. Recently, one of our Reconnection Club members posed this question in our forums: If your estranged adult child doesn’t like you, is …

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Episode 29: If Your Child Asks You to Get Therapy

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“You should get therapy.” Has your adult child said those words to you? Have they made therapy a condition of continuing the relationship? Being told to seek therapy is no one’s idea of a compliment. But for parents of estranged adult children, it may be the start of a fantastic voyage into their own inner …

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What’s Your Parenting Style?

Permissive, authoritarian, or authoritative?

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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Reconnect With Yourself First for Best Results

Here in the U.S., we’re celebrating Independence Day this week. And while you may be thinking about your child’s “independent” decision to cut ties with you, I’d like to talk about your independence. Actually, independence is just one aspect of a developmental process called individuation, which you may have heard me talk about with regard …

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The Impact of Emotional Immaturity

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[Do you prefer listening to reading? Listen to the Reconnection Club Podcast episode based on this article, When an Adult Child Seems Emotionally Immature.] Many parents I work with individually tell me that their estranged adult child seems young for his or her age. I hear about 30-year-olds throwing trantrums and 40-year-olds who can’t seem …

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