Knowing vs. Doing

We’ve all been there. We know that something bad will happen between ourselves and another person if we say or do a particular thing. But for some reason, we do it anyway. We end up suffering not only the consequences of our behavior, but also regret. If we knew better, why didn’t we do better? …

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What Are You Working On?

Many Reconnection Club members are working on letters of apology to their estranged adult children. They’ve decided that an apology is appropriate, but in thinking about it, they bump into the fact that it’s not always easy to find exactly the right words. That’s why some of our members post draft apologies in our forums. …

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Episode 92: Lead By Example

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(Show notes for Episode 96 are here: When Estrangement Feels Like Abuse) Many rejected parents feel a deep sense of loss of love, connection and belonging. If you’re feeling unloved because your adult child is estranged, you may not have the luxury of waiting for her or him to offer you the warmth and affection …

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Episode 91: How to Let Them Know You’ve Changed

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Once you start learning, growing and healing through estrangement from an adult child, you might feel like sharing new insights with your child. Why wouldn’t s/he be interested in hearing what you’ve learned? And how exciting, to have new knowledge that can create a positive impact in your relationship. That’s why many parents ask, “How …

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Episode 89: Humility vs. Humiliation

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It’s not uncommon for parents rejected by adult children to feel humiliated by the experience of estrangement. And humiliation is a terrible feeling for anyone. So when you’re faced with the idea of approaching your estranged adult child(ren) with humility, you might think, ‘Why on earth would I sign up for that?’ And also, ‘I’ve …

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Episode 83: Patience is Not Passive

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Many parents rejected by an adult child are committed to working toward a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. But they recognize that even if they work very hard and do everything right, reconciliation can take more time than they’d like. Some estranged adult children simply need more time before they’re ready to try again. They may …

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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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Feeling Insecure in Relationships

I don’t always share my relationship-themed PsychologyToday.com posts with estranged parents. Often they’re just not relevant to this audience. But today’s post struck me as being maybe a little bit more interesting, at least to some parents. Several Reconnection Club members have been talking in our forums about relationships in general.  They’re sharing that they …

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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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Feeling Powerless in the Face of Estrangement

Prefer listening to reading? For more on feeling powerless as a rejected parent, listen to the Reconnection Club Podcast episodes 68 and 71. *   *   * 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 …

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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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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 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 …

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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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Your Circle of Control

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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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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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