Estranged from adult children: Take care of yourself

Emotional Well-Being Series
Estranged from adult children: Taking care of yourself

adult child is estrangedIn a recent post, we explored the question: Why? and how it can be helpful to parents who are estranged from adult children

It’s important to note that in order to deal with the loss, the why questions must be coupled with another set of questions, the crux of which is: How? How will I move forward? How can I keep up my strength? How can I get over this?

Answering all of these how questions involves taking care of yourself. It’s s natural to ask why after any traumatic emotional experience. When you are hurting because you are estranged from adult children, figuring out how you can get through the emotional roller coaster, move forward, and enjoy life is absolutely necessary.

After my adult child’s rejection, eating healthfully, resting, and recreation took a backseat. And sometimes, I comforted myself with unhealthy choices – – which was not helpful. I added extra weight, and exercised less. That meant having to re-start good habits, backtrack and lose the weight, etc. It was like digging deeper, so climbing out was even more difficult.

When estranged from adult children, take control, take care of yourself

When we become estranged from adult children, taking care of ourselves is necessary to deal with the stress, sadness, loss, and eventually heal. Getting into a self-care routine really helped me to feel better overall. I was better able to take control of my attitude, and my feelings about my life.

When we take good care of ourselves, we’re more likely to try new activities. We’re more likely to get up off the couch and get out into fresh air, participate in hobbies that bring us joy, and associate with friends. All of these things help us feel connected, and studies have shown that connections aid health as well as promote longevity and happiness.

Even when we’re estranged from adult children, we need to live our lives. Doing so empowers us — whether that means feeling strong enough to reach out more to an estranged child despite the possibility of disappointment, or fostering an attitude of acceptance for the time being.

Estranged from adult children: Assess your self-care

When short and quick, assessments can be useful tools to determine how well we’re taking care of ourselves. An assessment increases self-awareness and helps identify areas where we can be kinder to ourselves. If you take an assessment today, utilize the results to make changes where you see weaknesses in your self-care. Then take the assessment again. You will have a concrete picture of how you’re progressing.

Sometimes, when traumatic, emotionally unsettling events occur – – becoming estranged from adult children falls into this category! – – we can feel so out of sorts that we don’t know where to begin in caring for ourselves. Simply by its listings, a good assessment tool can help you think of ways to help yourself

Try this tool, originally created for my life coaching clients, to assess how well you’re taking care of yourself: Self Assessment RTF.

Consider also sharing your results, or how you feel about how well (or not) you’ve taken care of yourself once you became estranged from your adult children. You can leave a reply below, or post in the help for parents of estranged adult children forum.

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5 thoughts on “Estranged from adult children: Take care of yourself

  1. Karen

    Connie, you’re not alone. I’m sorry for what you’re going through. I can relate. My adult son now has hurt me for the last time. Since he is my only child I don’t have the love that I need from another child. I’ve asked him why he acts like he hates me. He denies it but his attitude towards me is awful. He is a perpetual liar. Really I can’t stand him but he did that. This has been going on for many years and I have to walk on eggshells. He never calls and after I nicely asked him if he would call me more often he did the opposite. When my mom cut me out of her will he didn’t stand by me. So my share went to him. I forgave him and tryed to patch it up. Only 1 year has gone by and now he is mad at me again. He has a family and I have a granddaughter. I have a good relationship with her. My son and his family live 800 miles from me so at this point that is a good thing. He makes good money. I’m 67 years old and he has never helped with with anything. I’ve never remarried so I have no help. He knows I’m on SS and having a rough time financially but he just ignores me. I have not asked him for a dime and he hasn’t offered. The more I try the worse it gets!! As of this day I’m finished with him. I guess that means I won’t see my 14 year old granddaughter. It breaks my heart. I’ve decided to focus on my life. This hurts. He is draining the life from me. I won’t let him do that. I’can’t understand why he is close to my ex-husband who abused me and did not want him and wanted me to have an abortion. I’m so tired of trying to make this relationship work. He doesn’t know it now that Ive cut him loose. He doesn’t deserve an explanation. Although that decision will no bother him at all.


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