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It’s one of those weird things, you’ve finally decided you’ve had enough with the disrespect, neglect, or abuse that you’ve been dealing with since long before you can remember.
Sure, your parents’ ways have evolved to suit an older you and an older version of them but they still do it.
That’s right, and they will keep on doing it unless of course, you all put in a lot of work to change the way you’ve communicated, or lack thereof, for years on end.
And if you’re a parent reading this, there are plenty of parents who have been through something similar to what you are – the hurt, disbelief, and the unimaginable (your adult child divorcing you).
Yep, it’s happened before and it will happen after you. In fact, roughly 11% of adult children were found to be estranged from their adult and even elderly parents (65-75 years old).
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What does it mean for an adult child to be estranged from parents?
When an adult-child is estranged from their parents, it means they no longer communicate in a healthy manner or sometimes do not talk at all.
This type of parent-child relationship can go through many phases before it becomes consistently estranged.
Though neither the parent nor the child foresees a falling out coming at the start of their relationship (in childhood) usually because it is more one-sided during the child’s younger years – ie: emotional or physical abuse.
There are always warning signs and red flags indicating that a major issue in the relationship exists.
By the time the relationship evolves to an unhealthy manner, or an adult-child has chosen to dis-include all contact with their parent/parents, it is generally quite difficult to reconcile with the child who has chosen to leave the unhealthy relationship.
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Many decisions cause an adult to decide that it’s best to discontinue communication with their parent
If you’re currently going through discontinuation of communication with your child you’re probably here, trying to figure out why it happened.
While you might have some degree of an idea of the reasoning behind your child choosing to no longer communicate with you – it can be hard to recognize the full scope of what happened and accept the responsibility for our behavior.
This is especially true when there are aggressive arguments or unrest due to the problems in the parent-child relationship.
Arguments can get out of hand pretty quickly, and parents have a hard time changing the way that they communicate with their children after doing it for so many years.
At times, parents might not even recognize how their part plays a role in the overall dynamic of their connection with their child.
Many parents believe and feel that the connection with their child would and should have survived everything, but all too often this is far from true.
This relationship takes much work to continue thriving in adulthood. Below are the most common causes why an estrangement happens.
If a mother, father, or both parents were unkind to their child’s spouse, it can cause discord
At some point in your child’s life, it’s going to become very important to them that you treat those they genuinely love with the utmost respect – even if you don’t understand why they love them.
Your adult child has the right to love any person they feel suitable – when a parent-child relationship is healthy – advice towards picking a lover will happen smoothly.
But, it might have already happened that you treated the person your child has chosen to be with, indecently.
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Maybe you have even been acting estranged from your child’s spouse? This can cause big problems with your child right when this type of behavior starts.
Usually, an estranged relationship happens over an extended period of time, so every party involved tends to forget where the conflict began.
Though it is more unlikely for an adult child to forget the initial fallout if their spouse was the one who receives disrespect from a parent.
On the other hand, a mother, father, or both can unknowingly disrespect their child’s spouse in the natural flow of things and not recognize what they did.
It is detrimental for parents to be respectful toward their child’s spouse, as being unkind, disrespectful, or even undermining an adult child’s spouse can cause them to shy away from their parents and in-laws.
Eventually, the younger couple might hold so much resentment they decide to cut ties altogether.
What to do if you’re a parent who has disrespected or been unkind to your child’s spouse
The first and possibly only thing you can do to save your relationship with your child is to apologize for the disrespect on your part. Even if that means writing a letter to the entire family, yes, including your child’s spouse or partner.
This is what your adult-child felt they deserved from the start – simple respect – a genuine apology can be one of the most respectful and caring things that you can do for someone you love.
Go ahead and put all of your negative feelings aside, and just tell your child and their spouse how sorry you are for initially disrespecting their spouse.
Situations happen, and life stressors can be at an all-time high when you first meet your child’s partner of choice, and it can be especially hard to accept a new family member being married into your family line in certain instances.
However, parents must try harder because disrespect of a spouse can be detrimental to an adult-child and parent relationship.
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After your apology to your adult-child, give it time to sink in for your adult-child, there will likely be conversations about you between your child and your son or daughter-in-law.
These conversations are their way of working through the hurt and sadness that you have caused them, so allow the apology room to breathe.
Don’t get upset if it takes them weeks, months, or even years to regain your trust – think long-term in this situation. Just as the relationship likely didn’t fall apart overnight, you cannot expect it to be repaired overnight.
What to do if you’re an adult child who has a spouse that’s been disrespected by your parent/parents
First off, know that you aren’t alone. This has happened to many other adult children who feel their spouse deserved respect from their parents that simply didn’t happen.
We’re all here now, and it’s a good thing you’ve decided to step back and decide the relationship was no longer healthy the way it was.
Change is the route to healing an estranged relationship due to parental disrespect toward your spouse. In some situations, an abrupt change to put a stop to the disrespect is required to get everyone to take your demands seriously.
It’s likely that you have spoken your concerns with how your parents have treated your spouse and since there hasn’t been any significant change regarding it, stepping back is a good option.
If your parents choose to apologize and you feel that they mean it, then that’s a good way to move forward so that the relationship can become healthy after the apologies.
If you don’t feel that any genuine or apology at all has come from your parent or parents, to your spouse and you personally – hold your ground.
Even when you miss the good aspects of the old relationship, things become estranged for a reason – don’t give in too soon and go back to the old ways.
If you accept your parents back in too soon, they won’t feel the depths of truly losing you.
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You need to give the break or cycle of estrangement time to run its course and take cues from how your parents behave during this much-needed time of healing.
Everyone should be putting in work to change the way they previously interacted, including you and your spouse so that you create firm boundaries if you ever choose to allow them into your lives again.
Being real about how you feel with your parents is best, tell them as transparently as you possibly can how you feel and why.
It’s hard, I get it, but this is the only way they will at least read, hear, or process consciously or subconsciously how you feel. Telling them all about why you don’t want them in your life at least once is the right thing to do.
You are mostly doing this for yourself, that way down the road when they might blame you or you start to blame yourself. You will know that you genuinely tried and told them exactly what needed work.
A parent refuses to recognize and apologize for the negative behavior that has happened on their part
When a parent refuses altogether to apologize to their son or daughter – the result is estrangement. We get it, many parents and even young people have an extremely difficult time apologizing for what they have done.
Heck, people have a hard time recognizing what they have done to hurt another person. It’s human nature to want to run from the situation when you have caused harm to others for most people – that doesn’t make you a bad person.
It’s human to make mistakes, but it’s the low route to not apologize and take responsibility for what you have done. Most people who can apologize easily, have done extensive work on their values behind when to and how to apologize.
When a parent won’t say they are sorry to their adult child, this is just as bad as saying they don’t care how their child feels.
What to do if you’re a parent who will not apologize to your adult-child
Once long ago, your child was young and would forgive you quite easily – even when you didn’t say it.
They always seemed to come back around, like if you took them out for ice cream after a hard day or you just spent movie time with them and started having a better attitude toward them.
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But at some point that easy-going forgiving child of yours grew up, and now has values themselves. Your child’s values outweigh your own feelings of being sorry that you keep within. You have to show and say you are sorry to them outwardly.
And the fact that you have not already apologized to them in person or through a note, speaks volumes to your child – which has caused them to estrange you.
They might not even want to speak with you any longer. That’s rough, but still, the only way forward is to find a way to get that apology to them.
That might mean stopping by their home and dropping a gift with an apology card on the doorstep, or sending them an email. Even when your child has blocked you from social media, from phone calls, or says they never want to see you in person again.
There is usually some way to get one last message to your child. Don’t use this last opportunity to put gasoline on the fire.
You can start by asking a therapist or searching internet forums, Youtube, or Google asking how to learn to apologize to people. It’s likely this is not the first time you’ve had issues with a lack of apology for what you’ve done.
At this point, it’s better to face this issue you have internally once and for all – learn new way’s to reconcile with others.
Your child is well worth learning to implement new communication and apology strategies, regardless of how old you are today, you absolutely have time to learn new habits.
It’s possible you could apologize for this behavior, regain your child’s trust, and find yourself in the same position as before if you don’t change your ways for good.
If your parent refuses to apologize to you, this is what you need to do
To continue moving forward in your own life, it’s best that you accept that your mother, father, or both parents might not ever apologize for what they should. This is the reality of the situation, hence, you chose to estrange from them already.
Sometimes people pass away before they will ever apologize to anyone for what they have done. If you have hard-headed parents, this might be the situation.
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Even if your parents do love and care for you, apologizing is extremely difficult for some people to do even when everything is at stake.
There are a lot of factors that come into play with apologizing to others including; state of mental health, adaptability, the way your parents were raised, etc. Take into account all of these factors and don’t hold your breath.
You don’t have to accept your parents back ‘just because they are your parents when they have yet to apologize. Be sure to be adamant about your values of apologizing, and move forward with your life.
It makes no sense putting everything on pause, or causing chaos to demand an apology out of anyone who refuses to give one. You have every right to feel that an apology is owed on your parent’s behalf and receive that.
Not only is it healthy to value yourself in this manner with anyone (including your parents), it will show you that sometimes the world will not give you everything you feel is right, and that you are strong enough to keep moving forward in a healthy manner.
When a parent overbears their grandchild, it does not allow breathing room for their child to parent
Nothing is more annoying to an adult child who has a son or daughter, than when a parent overbears the grandchild.
Adult children who have babies are usually very open to sharing their kids with their parents, to create an optimal grandparent-grandchild relationship – until their mom or dad starts acting like their kid is their own.
This usually happens when a child is still young when they have their baby but that isn’t always the case.
Some adults have children at a much older age after they have already moved out of their parent’s home – to find that grandma or grandpa simply oversteps boundaries with their grandchildren.
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This is one of the most disheartening ways for estrangement to occur because usually grandma or grandpa has no idea how affected their adult-child is until it’s too late.
Becoming a grandparent is life-changing and exciting – so naturally, grandparents will want to be the best ever and help – yet their version of helpful is overstepping boundaries.
When a grandparent overbears their grandchild, it becomes insulting and embarrassing to the real mom or dad of the grandchild causing an estrangement.
An overbearing or undermining grandparent can look similar to the following:
- A grandma or grandpa tells their adult child they should or shouldn’t feed their kid certain foods.
- When a grandparent attempts to name their unborn grandchild.
- When grandparents think it’s okay or cute to buy their grandchildren pets without asking it is overstepping boundaries.
- Sometimes grandparents think they’re entitled to alone time with their grandchild – not true and can cause an estrangement.
- Once a grandchild is born into the family, mother and fathers day becomes about the parents of the grandchildren – when this is not respected or grandparents act like they deserve all the attention – it can cause an adult-child to pull away.
- Grandparents who never set boundaries with their grandchild can cause discord when it comes to maintaining a common ground for the child’s attitude toward every adult. An adult child might not always like coming back from grandma’s with a bratty child that says ‘grandma or grandpa give me this or do that…etc..).
- Opposite of the last bullet point, grandparents who act like their grandchild constantly need to be disciplined by them, end up crossing the line, and become overbearing in the relationship. Fair grandparents win, don’t be too controlling or lack thereof with disciplining a grandchild.
- Implying that a grandchild must be raised in the family religion is certainly not okay by a grandparent. Parents have every right to make this decision for their own children.
- If mom and dad say that candy, sugar, or such food is not okay then, grandparents listen up, don’t push for their child to have it. This interferes with the values they currently have for their child. You might not understand as a grandparent, but these decisions are usually decided at a much deeper level than surface emotions.
What to do if you’re a grandparent that overbears or undermines your grown child’s parenting?
Don’t expect the feelings your adult-child has about the way you’ve already crossed the grandparenting line.
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Doing any of the things on this list or things that aren’t on this list that undermines or overbear your child can cause deep hurt, anger, and resentment toward you.
The best thing that you can do is step back, and use this time of estrangement to work on the way you behave when your grandchild is present.
If you ever get the opportunity to be around your adult child and their child again, you want to do it right.
Ask yourself: What are the key way’s that you have undermined your child’s parenting? What are the key ways you were overbearing with your grandchild?
Write them down if you need to, read grandparenting forums… whatever it takes to change the way you previously thought being a grandparent was.
What you thought before, is not what worked for you – it’s your job to change it so that your adult-child will come back around and give you another shot. You can start behind the scenes by giving the family space, it is their family after all.
Don’t urge that they allow you back in, and absolutely don’t try to tell your child how to parent their child.
You can ask if they need any help, but hold your tongue in the “I would do that differently” moments and let your child be a good parent to their child in the way they naturally do it.
Back in your days of being a parent, you did it your way which worked for you.
The days of you being in charge, making every decision, or parenting is over now. You must learn to be a grandparent and give your child space to be the parent in charge now.
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If you have a parent that overbears or undermines you as a parent it can be frustrating – here’s what to do
I think all of us, parents, children, or otherwise have undermined or overbearing another person in our lives – or someone has done it to us. It’s not fun, and the feeling that comes along with it can belittle and embarrass the best of us.
The reason it hurts so badly to the person being undermined is that it’s an act of arrogance on the behalf of the one doing the undermining.
This can be downright frustrating, but the one doing the overbearing or undermining is basically asking their victim to question their feelings and doubt themselves.
All of these aspects are not okay for anyone to put another human through, support comes in the form of building up other’s confidence.
Lack of support from someone looks like constant criticism toward things that person would generally be confident about. These are the small, yet, big things that can make or break a relationship between two people.
Even in a marriage, when you constantly overbear your partner, they will eventually want to walk out because that is a red flag – in a sense, it’s controlling toward the person who is being undermined.
It crosses boundaries of respect, and causes one person to be deeply hurt – some people are more overbearing toward their grandchildren than any other person on this planet.
When a grandparent is overbearing and undermining toward their adult-children about their grandchildren – it can cause big problems and discord in the relationship.
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When you’ve been the victim of this behavior, it’s great that you’re now at a place of recognizing the behavior happening between your parents and you. This is the first step to shifting this behavior and setting boundaries.
Usually, the only thing that works wonders in a situation where grandma wants things to go her way is to let her know it’s happening and tell parents that they need to stop it or you won’t have them involved in your child’s life.
Grandparents need this when they think they have the upper hand in this situation. It’s almost as if they need to be put in their place.
Tell them that you are mom or dad to your child and that you don’t need them constantly (A, B, or C) and undermine or overbearing you all of the time.
If they don’t stop or have gone too far you need to step back, and formulate some concrete boundaries yourself, then decide if the relationship is going to work with those boundaries.
If a parent has always or currently plays favorite amongst children, it can cause an unfavored child to become estranged
Many estranged children genuinely feel that their parents or parents together have a favorite child, that they are the scapegoat and unworthy in their parent’s eyes. In many dysfunctional families, this can sadly be true amongst children.
Unfortunately, if your child has become estranged it could be because they feel legitimate mistreatment and see their sibling more favored.
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Since this has likely been going on long before your child can recall, when your children started to grow their personalities – it’s going to take massive change. This might be one of the hardest reasons for estrangement to actually reconcile.
The reason is that this type of treatment usually stems from early childhood and never really changes until an estranged child acts out in their own ways and or stops communicating with their parents.
Having favorite children can be heartbreaking to adult children who value their parents’ opinions of them, or have the love language of healthy communication(read the 5 love languages).
For some children, even adult children – disapproval from their parents can make them feel like they don’t belong, they are unloved, or worse that they must not tell their parents things about their life.
This can happen in any way really, from the clothing your adult child wears that you comment on in a way of disapproval, or the way you have bluntly disapproved of their career choice.
If there is one sure way to estrange your child, it’s through favoring one of your kids and showing complete disapproval of the other one.
Children feel this from a very young age and they might not understand what is happening or how to express feeling hurt until they are adults.
When a child who is grown figures out that they are not likable by their parent’s standards – they will want to run far from the situation.
Parents, your child probably has told you things overtime that show they understand how unfavorable of a child they are to you
If you’re the parent of an ‘unfavorable child, you probably didn’t mean to make your kid feel that way. You probably figured it’s the way it’s always been and just happened that way naturally.
Now you must figure out a way to unnaturally, reconstruct how you interact, participate, and show up for all of your children. It must not stand out that one of your kids is favored over the other one.
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And truthfully, you need to change that one child has stood out as the ‘Golden Child’ while the other children have become ‘Scapegoats’ in your eyes.
If you feel this way about your kids, you are the one in the wrong here. Keep in mind, that every child has unique strengths, skills, and lifestyles than the others – this is supposed to be a good thing.
Even if you don’t approve of your child’s ways (which you don’t have to) it shouldn’t be shown in a negative way.
You have to learn to connect with your adult child in ways that don’t say “I approve of you” or “I don’t approve of you” bonding time shouldn’t consist of thing’s that only you approve of.
Remember you are a passenger in your child’s life, one that should support and propel your kid forward or leave them to make their own decisions as you stand by quietly – to not disrupt their life.
You can always start with an apology for the way thing’s have been, or you can start by simply backing off and allowing them breathing room in their endeavors.
Try not to comment on things you don’t agree with, remember that phrase “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” – do that.
When your other adult children are present be mindful to not overly praise that child in front of your estranged child. This should help reconcile what is lost, and make for a more even playing ground amongst the family dynamic.
If you’ve always been the unfavorable child then keep being yourself
At some point, you started to feel and realize that your parents don’t think highly of you, but don’t let that discourage you from being yourself. Your decisions are yours to make, and this is your life to learn and grow from.
You shouldn’t try to change who you are, or let negative feelings and doubt seep into your mind regarding yourself just because your parents aren’t so approving of you.
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Yes, your parents might have another obviously favorite child, but the best thing you can do is to keep being yourself.
One downfall that every growing individual has is to strive to be like others – don’t do this – take the time to deepen your relationship with yourself.
When you get to know yourself more deeply and have more appreciation for who you are today, it won’t bother you as much that your parents don’t approve of you.
Overall, that can help the relationship while your parent/parents should be taking the time to back off of you and re-learning how to be more approving of you.
If your parents show hatred, disapproval, or want you to be different than you are – it makes sense why you’re estranged in the first place.
Look for other people who are more supportive and approving of who you are. As long as you’re not harming yourself through drugs, alcohol, or self-harm no one should be asking you to stop being who you are.
If there is a valid reason for concern from your parents, then be open-minded to the way they feel.
In an ideal healthy family dynamic, everyone is supportive of their family member; son, daughter, mom, dad, sister, or brother – all for all.
Adult children deserve boundaries and when those are overstepped by a parent it causes discord
As a child becomes an adult, certain aspects of their personal life can easily be overstepped by a parent.
When this happens it has usually already been happening in various ways like finances, the direction of the child’s career, or even simple aspects like clothing style.
Parents are absolutely overstepping boundaries when they are asked to back off and don’t. Adults need space to do just that, be an adult – it’s quite unhealthy when a parent is always in their child’s business.
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According to a survey administered by CBS news; the biggest group of children said they figured talking to their parents once a week was appropriate – that being 35% of all adult-children, another 12% of the group said that it was appropriate to communicate with their parents once a month or less.
The difference will vary among families of course, and if this space needed for a child is not respected once they are an adult – it can lead to them not wanting to speak with their parents at all.
Parents are usually the ones to want to talk more often because, in a sense, parents understand that life isn’t forever – but this can cause a lot of issues.
If a parent isn’t having meaningful interactions with their children, where they are trying to nudge them to do or not do certain things, prying into their child’s finances, or worse get insight into their child’s friendships or personal business, it all adds up to overstepping boundaries.
As a parent, you certainly don’t want anyone butting into your personal business, and even though your child is your child – they don’t want anyone all up in their business either.
Having your parents in your business is not welcoming, parents are there when shit hits the fan as far as most adult children are concerned – not for exploiting private information.
Kids, regardless of their age, need privacy and space to do their own thing – this shouldn’t be invaded no matter how hard it is for mom or dad to respect this unspoken rule.
Invading your kid’s privacy or personal business is one of the quickest ways to have an estranged child.
It can happen in a short period of time too, you don’t need to do this long before your child will start feeling really resentful and uncomfortable that you won’t respect their boundaries.
If you’ve invaded your grown child’s privacy and life in general, here’s what to do
Right now, stop invading their privacy. Stop looking at their social media, leaving comments, even if they are lovely comments – back off. Your daughter or son does not want or need that, when they need you they would have come to you.
Most parents don’t have to worry about their children coming to them until they have invaded their privacy.
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Try to give the issue room to evolve into a new kind of relationship – if you’re to have a relationship with your grown child ever again, it will surely be different.
If your child decides to speak with you or get close to you in other healthy ways again, you will need to leave all personal topics of conversation alone.
They are red flags, and especially after your child has already stepped away – they will do it even quicker the next time.
When spending any time with your child, ask to pay for their lunch or take them to the movies or another nonchalant place to visit.
If your child feels safe from invading conversations with you, they might be more willing to live in the moment and spend time with you.
Make sure your spouse knows that personal topics are off-limits for a bit with your adult-child, while you try to reconcile an estranged relationship with them.
Topics that are generally invasive for adult children include the following:
- Personal matters in a child’s marriage or relationship.
- Criticizing personal style options; clothing, hair, religion, friends and companion, any personal choice that they should be in charge of.
- Talking about your own problems in your marriage(with their other parent especially or their step-parent) are completely off-limits, your child is not your venting companion.
- Showing disapproval if they do not want you present for the birth of their grandchild, is their choice.
- Offering advice on your child’s finances or income status, just don’t, most people, in general, do not like unsolicited advice.
- Talking about sex plans, fun, offering them sex toys, or anything in this realm aside from the safe sex talk as a teenager is completely inappropriate.
If you’re the child in this situation and your parents are constantly invading your privacy do this
Don’t bring up that you disapprove of them asking more than the initial few times you tell them that it is inappropriate. Be sure that you make it well-known that topic A, B, or C is a complete no-go for you and your parent to discuss.
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Once you have set your boundaries, stick to them. You can leave your parent’s home or ask your parent to leave your home if they bring these topics up.
Then once it continues to happen, write a list of concerns to your parent or parents – a state that you feel completely invaded and ask them to leave these topics alone in a sense.
If your parents still continue to bring up personal topics and invade your boundaries, you must tell them it’s your way or the highway.
Make it clear that you don’t mind not having a relationship with them because they are not respecting your boundaries.
Take the time and space that you need until they say and prove that they are ready to respect you as an adult. It can only get worse if you don’t cut ties when your parents keep invading your privacy.
Having privacy as an adult is important for any relationship – but especially with your parents. Things can get tricky with parents who feel they’re in charge of their adult children. You need your room to grow into a successful and responsible adult.
The most commonly wondered questions and tips about an estranged parent-adult-child relationship
So what next? Most people truly feel lost in a sense without a relationship with their parent or their child.
Though it’s unfortunate when this happens, it does, and knowing what to do next is important. These are the top tips and questions asked by people who have experience with this type of relationship.
Will an estranged relationship be that way for the remainder of forever?
Well, no one can decide how long an estranged relationship will stay that way. Only the individuals involved will be able to navigate how long they need space for, and what is comfortable for them.
Often, estranged relationships are not reconciled even after years of trying.
Sometimes it is harder for people to re-learn how to interact with their child than it is to move forward in a healthy way that is necessary to have a solid connection.
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Many times the child involved has been deeply hurt, or the parent has been hurt as well – this combination of emotions and lack of respect can result in a concoction of resentment which is hard to reconcile.
It certainly does not have to be this way forever, sometimes therapy or deep internal work is required by both parties to move forward in a healthy way.
If you and your parents are willing to do family counseling – that is one sure way to have support and an outside perspective that everyone involved needs.
Family counseling or individual counseling is a great place to start to try to reconcile an estranged relationship.
Is walking away truly better than sticking out the relationship in its flaws?
In certain situations, yes, walking away can be much better than accepting the flaws of the estranged relationship.
You can’t go around saying “this is my child we’ll always have a relationship” or “this is my parent I have to stick around and endure this pain” which may very well be the worst thing you could do.
All thing’s heal with time and space, or so I like to believe. This is true for unhealthy relationships too, sometimes you need to walk away, at least for a little bit in order to rekindle respect for one another.
If there is downright abuse; emotionally or physically from either party then leaving the relationship is better than staying.
Are male or female children more likely to walk away or become estranged from their parents than the other?
Overall, father and sons are most likely to have a discontinue in their relationship than any other group – a whopping %41 of sons were found to leave an unhealthy relationship with their father.
On the other hand, regarding a relationship with either a mother or father combined – 37% of female daughters walked away for good from a parent-child relationship.
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The smallest group found to become estranged permanently were adult children (daughter or son) splitting with their mother – that group was down to 29% children.
This might be because mothers are generally, more emotionally available for their child’s needs overall – and children are deeply attached to their mothers.
If you want a relationship with your adult child don’t give up, it can happen if the work is put in.
Do all parents find out why their adult-child chose to walk out on the relationship?
No, not always – sometimes it is just too difficult for both parties to have a conversation or write a letter enough to get the point across.
Some adult children do not yet know exactly why the relationship has been so unhealthy – thus deciding to leave before really knowing what needs to change.
Parents of children don’t have to know why they can’t have a relationship with one another to make the decision. Oftentimes, one side or the other just senses the level of unhealthy behavior across the board and decides to terminate the relationship.
There comes a point when enough is enough, plus, everyone has their own way of expressing their emotions and concerns.
If a parent or child is not especially attuned to the other person then they won’t get the more subtle hints involved before the split up.
The world is already rough enough, to begin with, and at one point we all believe our blood family will be there for life.
As time continues and unhealthy communication adds up, adult children might understand that an estranged relationship feels more natural.
Even though it hurts, children and parents usually go through this after a long stretch of unhealthy interactions or communication has taken place.
If you’re in this boat and still want a relationship with your family member enough, don’t ever give up and just start with the internal work required to make it better.
For now, work on yourself so that you can express that to your child. They need this more than anything else, you cannot make the relationship become magically fixed by forcing it.
Grant the space that a complicated relationship like this requires and let time heal all wounds.
Stuffing It, The Culture of Not Speaking – Mental Help
When Adult Children Divorce Their Parents – Very Well Family
What Causes Communication Problems Between Teens and Parents – Tame the Teen