Publication date October 18, 2023
6 Tips to Repair Your Relationship with Your Estranged Adult Children
Being estranged from your adult children can be extremely painful. But repairing your relationship with your children is possible.
As a mother to your son or daughter, you have to recognize that the first step to reconciling the relationship falls on you to try to initiate contact, whether or not you believe you did anything wrong to cause the estrangement with your children.
Honor the boundaries your adult children have set with regard to your relationship and do not push back against them, but set your own boundaries as well.
Source: Life Experienced
On that note, in this blog I have compiled a list of a few steps that you can take to repair your relationship with your estranged adult children.
1. Don’t get into who is right and who is wrong
When it comes to repairing your relationship with your children, the most important thing to consider is rather than getting into who was right and who was wrong, focus that your goal is to reconcile your relationship.
Instead of asking “Why is my grown son so mean to me?” first try to understand the reason behind it.
As mentioned earlier in the introduction, you have to be the first to work on your relationship. You may realize later how awfully you reacted to your child’s choices without considering how it would impact your children.
I would suggest that you write a letter to your children, asking for forgiveness and accepting your children for who they are.
In this way, your children will know that you want a relationship with them and they are important to their mother.
2. Tell Your Children How Important They Are
Many estranged children report that the biggest reason they don’t want to be closer to their parents is because they don’t accept or understand how painful it is for their children.
So, you should keep in mind that your adult children were in pain too when they decided to cut you off from their life.
As a mother, you may never want to hurt your child but they see things differently, you may not see things the way they do.
In such a situation, showing empathy can help your children heal and repair you. For this, you can invite them for dinner and talk about the difference that resulted in estrangement.
3. Find Common Ground
Another step that you can follow is to look for common ground between you and your children. If you have a problem with certain aspects of your children then instead of telling them they are wrong find some common things.
Well, I’m not telling you to agree on everything whatever your children say but you can still agree on a few things.
Instead of trying to change your kids and figuring out how to deal with disrespectful adult children, try to find things that you both enjoy doing together.
This could be anything from watching movies to working on a home project to simply talking while you walk the dog.
As speaker, Michelle Nietert advises parents, “Some of the best common grounds are mutual, good memories that evoke a lightheartedness and joy that is missing in the relationship.”
One of the best ways to start building trust and finding common ground is to let your adult kids know that they have a place in your family. So they know that they can loved and supported even if their mother doesn't always agree with their choices.
4. Accept Your Children For Who They Are
It is not always easy to accept your children for who they are, and you might even not consider it. But for your children, it is important that their parents understand and accept them, regardless of what choices they make.
If you keep your opinions aside and accept your estranged adult children where they are, then they will feel loved and respected as individuals which will eventually help you build trust.
You need to express your words of love and care for them, for instance, you can say how much you love them and how lonely you feel without them in your life, and whatever awful happened previously can be repaired from your side.
5. Don’t Control Your Children
You may have disconnected from your children after a major disagreement over their life choices. You may now feel that you had reacted negatively to those choices but you also need to realize how your responses had hurt your estranged adult children.
Your children might be living in different places or even different countries and seeing their life back home through a filter of that hurt.
In such situations, if your adult children ask you if they need space and don’t want to talk to you, it’s better to give some space and respect their boundaries as a first step toward resorting to their relationship and healing the family estrangement that had occurred.
Later, whenever your children contact you, you should listen more and speak less. Your and your children's opinions should be clear and listen to what your children have to say to their mother without feeling more judgment.
6. Give Some Time
Despite the fact that there is no cookie-cutter answer for reconciling your relationship with your estranged adult children or how to build trust with them, this process almost always takes longer than a parent may want.
You may interact with your children a couple of times, and still, you don’t see an open door to grow your relationship stronger actively.
But you need to keep in mind that you have to have hope that it will heal.
It could be the biggest thing for your children that you are available without being forceful or too evasive.
As I have already mentioned you can begin with writing a letter while adding that you are prepared to wait and change your pattern of communication with your children.
Not to mention but you may sometimes feel that you have ungrateful adult children who choose to do things in a way that you know is not best for them.
But even in such conditions, instead of counting their faults, you should focus on how to move forward in your relationship with your children.
By doing this, you will end up having healthy communication with them which will lead to reconciling your relationship with your estranged adult children.