129 episodes

Helping parents heal from estrangement with their adult sons and daughters. Hosted by psychotherapist Tina Gilbertson, author of "Reconnecting With Your Estranged Adult Child."

The Reconnection Club Podcast Tina Gilbertson

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.5 • 111 Ratings

Helping parents heal from estrangement with their adult sons and daughters. Hosted by psychotherapist Tina Gilbertson, author of "Reconnecting With Your Estranged Adult Child."

    The GOOD Parent's Biggest Blind Spot (Part 1)

    The GOOD Parent's Biggest Blind Spot (Part 1)

    Like every good driver, even good parents have blind spots.
    Sometimes the most well-meaning of efforts to parent better than they were parented can gradually promote a disconnect that affects relations between parents and adult children.
    It's tragic that parents' good intentions can lead to such surprising and disappointing results, in many cases.
    In this two-episode series (Part 2 will be in Episode 126), Tina explains the idea of "do-over" parenting, and how it can create unexpected trouble in the parent-child relationship.
    For information on how to repair the parent-adult child relationship, read Tina's book, Reconnecting With Your Estranged Adult Child.
    Reconnection Club members can discuss this and every episode in the General Discussion forum inside the Reconnection Club.
    Not a member yet? Learn more and join.

    • 7 min
    Typical Apology Responses

    Typical Apology Responses

    Once they realize the relationship is in trouble, many parents of estranged adult children are genuinely eager to make any necessary amends.
    Rejected parents who send apologies want their child(ren) to know they understand the issues that led to the cut-off, and that they’re ready (or working toward readiness) for a new and better relationship.
    But even the sincerest apology is not always met with the desired response, which would be an immediate end to estrangement.
    In this informative episode, Tina lists four typical responses from estranged adult children, and ranks them anecdotally from most to least likely.
    Once you know that all of these responses are normal and to be expected, you may feel better about making the most of whatever comes your way.
    For information on how to repair the parent-adult child relationship, read Tina's book, Reconnecting With Your Estranged Adult Child.
    Reconnection Club members can discuss this and every episode in the General Discussion forum inside the Reconnection Club.
    Not a member yet? Learn more and join.
    Resources mentioned on this show:
    RC Podcast Episode 87. When You Don't Get a Response
    RC Podcast Episode 20. What Your Child's Silence Really Means
    Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings By Letting Yourself Have Them
    Fault Lines: Fractured Families and How to Mend Them by Karl Pillemer
    Never miss an episode. Subscribe now on Spotify, Stitcher or Apple Podcasts. Or subscribe to the Reconnection Club channel on YouTube.

    • 12 min
    The Escalation Trap

    The Escalation Trap

    Some time ago, your adult child asked you to give him space. He became estranged. But now he's reached out to you.
    The door has been opened at last!
    You send your child an invitation, a photo, or a link. And... he's gone again. What happened?
    Why does an adult child reach out to her parents, only to disappear again? Ambivalence is common among estranged adults, and it's a setup for what Tina calls The Escalation Trap.
    It's important to note that this is not a trap set intentionally by people estranged from family. It's created by the circumstances of ambivalent connection.
    On this episode, Tina describes the escalation trap and, more importantly, what parents can do to avoid it.
    For information on how to repair the parent-adult child relationship, read Tina's book, Reconnecting With Your Estranged Adult Child.
    Reconnection Club members can discuss this and every episode in the General Discussion forum inside the Reconnection Club.
    Not a member yet? Learn more and join.
    Other episode mentioned on this show:
    38. If Your Child “Blows Hot and Cold”

    • 11 min
    Language Matters

    Language Matters

    Vicious.
    Nasty.
    Controlling.
    Mean.
    How do you feel when you read those words?
    If you've been thinking about your estranged adult child(ren) in these terms, the language you're using may be affecting your ability to solve the problem of estrangement.
    Compare "My child is being cruel" with "I miss feeling close and connected."
    The first statement is stark. It invites a lack of trust, and a sense of powerlessness. If your child is simply cruel, where does that leave you?
    The second eases the nervous system with words that feel better: "close" and "connected." Even if those feelings are currently missing, just the sound of them can soothe an aching soul.
    Get inspired by this episode to manage your experience of estrangement, by managing your vocabulary.
    You may not get to choose whether you’re estranged, but you do get to choose how you respond – including what you say when you talk to yourself and others.
    Members can discuss this episode in the General Discussion forum inside the Reconnection Club.
    Not a member yet? Learn more and join.
    Check out Tina’s book, Reconnecting with Your Estranged Adult Child. 

    • 9 min
    "I'm Not Perfect"

    "I'm Not Perfect"

    If you've ever apologized to your estranged adult child and included the fact that you're not perfect, chances are you didn't tell them anything they didn't already know.
    If they're honest with themselves, estranged adult children also know that they're not perfect, either. Because no one is.
    "I'm not perfect" is a common refrain from those seeking forgiveness. But as apologies go, that phrase is... well, less than perfect.
    In addition to being redundant, the statement may stir up negative feelings, because of what it leaves out.
    In this episode, Tina gives 4 different reasons to avoid using this statement, especially during apologies. 
    Full show notes are at reconnectionclub.com/121

    • 7 min
    120. Rules of Thumb Are Not Rules

    120. Rules of Thumb Are Not Rules

    Have you ever heard the following rules of thumb for parents of estranged adult children?
    "Always give your estranged adult child the last word when texting."
    "Never reach out to them if they’ve asked for no contact."
    "Don’t send gifts."
    "You have to apologize if you want to reconcile."
    These rules of thumb get bandied about in conversations between unwillingly estranged parents. And instead of starting points, they’re often treated as a hard line that parents have to toe.
    But even with hard-and-fast rules (which these aren’t), not every rule applies in every case all the time.
    In this episode, Tina cautions against treating rules of thumb as if they were natural laws. She urges you to think through the rationale for everything you do during estrangement, and provides examples of what that looks like.
    For a guidebook to help you understand the principles underlying rules of thumb, read Tina's book, Reconnecting With Your Estranged Adult Child.

    • 8 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
111 Ratings

111 Ratings

DawnElizabethEllis ,

Deep Gratitude

Thank you for all you do. Your podcast resonates so much with how I feel. I admin FB groups for mothers of estranged adult children and alienated grandparents. There’s so many of them who are stuck in blame, shame, the why, judgment, and controlling the narrative. It’s a painful watch. I’m deeply grateful for the compassion you hold them in and your gentle voice that leads them to do better.

💚Dawn Elizabeth

Dodiann ,

This is helpful and healing!

Thank you so much for your podcast! I love how so many are short and easy to listen and understand but are also full of SO much healing and helpful information! I really had no idea that so much of what I’ve been going through is so common and much less about me than I ever knew!
Thank you, thank you a hundred times, thank you!

Mrs. Hot Whitners ,

So appreciated!

Thank you Tina for leaving no stone unturned. Your words have been so helpful to me during this painful time in my life.

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