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What Parents Can Do to Reconcile With Their Estranged Children
Posted by:   |  Feb 01, 2016

While parents are not always directly to blame for an estrangement or ongoing conflict with their children, typically they are the ones who have the power to mend the relationship.

Getting parents to be proactive and initiate repairing the relationship is not an easy task. This is because many parents may feel like they have given so much to their children and now their children should appreciate what they have given. The parents may expect their children to know what to do and how to behave toward them.

But for those parents out there who haven’t given up, here are few suggestions on how to increase the chances of reconciliation.

Connect Through Emotions

One of the issues that that is constantly identify as a problem in close relationships is the ability to connect on a deep and satisfying emotional level. Many parents are not expressive in their emotions, which lead to distance from their children and does not provide the required emotional safety to get close and intimate. The connection or disconnection you feel toward your children is a result how open you are in expressing difficult emotions and be vulnerable with them. Being vulnerable means having the courage to take risks, to open to the possibility of being denied, rejected, criticized and hurt.

Be Vulnerable

In addition, it is not easy to hear from your children how you may have disappointed them and let them down. Even more difficult may be to admit your shortcomings and that in spite of your best effort, you could have done things differently. Needless to say that becoming vulnerable in front of your adult children, admitting your wrong doings, asking for forgiveness, or simply asking to reconnect is a difficult position to be. What if after doing all the above courageous moves, you are faced with rejection, blame and even abuse.

Take Responsibility

Parents must recognize and honestly acknowledge their contribution to the situation that brought that distance between them and their children, as well the difficult position and space that emerged between them and their children. Without accepting responsibility to their contribution to the situation no reconciliation will take place.

Understand your Children

Understanding how your children think and feel about you and even more why they feel that way is a basic factor of good parenting. No matter if their view is substantiated in reality or it is perceived or imaginary, you, as a parent, have to meet them where they are.  You can start by relating to them with compassion and look for opening to change the dynamic and establish connections, even small ones.

Create Pleasant Atmosphere

If limited communication exists you should start out emphasizing the positives. Find some validity in your children’s view, support them and identify the common ground in which you can build upon. Also, if appropriate, bring about nice memories from the past to create a pleasant atmosphere. If you are able to spend time together share and experience mutual interests do so. The more pleasant and positive is the dynamic, the greater the opening of the heart will be to allow deeper connection.

Get Help from a Professional

If reconciliation is difficult to achieve and both side seems to be rigid in their position, it might be wise to find an intermediary. You can find someone (family member or a friend) that can serve as a mediator or able to reach your child to bring your olive branch. In more difficult cases, hiring a family counselor or finding a family therapist can be very helpful.

Please visit spiral2grow author, Moshe Ratson at his Google+ Profile: +Moshe Ratson



Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in New York City
License # : 000697