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

  1. Connie

    It’s been almost 9 months now since I’ve talk to my older son. My heart does hurt the way this all ended I was trying to do a favor by letting him in his family stay with me when they were building a home he told me right out that he just needed a place to stay and do what I had to do and he did what he had to do I thought in my head that maybe we would get closer together and be more like a family . I’ve always had problems with him every since I left his abusive dad I love him but I can’t let him hurt me the way he’s done now I have to go on with my own life I am 65 and I will live the life that God means for me to live. I’m not gonna say it’s easy because I miss my grandchildren my two granddaughters but they also want nothing to do with me. My grandson who is also his son told me you’ll come around Nana don’t worry about it. The things that he said to me why living here was unbelievable and I still let him stay he has blamed me for so much from the past I wish you could let the past be the past and love me for the man that I am I have never done anything but love my three boys and protected them from the abuse from their father.

    1. Connie

      This is Connie again. Sometimes I feel like I am all alone on here. I never get a reply or news letter. I have signed up many times and still nothing. I read your book and that really helped me realize I am not the only one going though this. It hurts really bad when all you really ever wanted is to be loved. My oldest son has always had a problem with me. I have tried though the years with him but now I am 65 and all I ever wanted was for him to see & feel the love. His family I did so much for because I loved them all so much. He is hard to trust because he took my grandchildren away when they were little for 3 years. The pain was so bad I had to get help. 9 months ago after his last episode I gave up and his two girls have started acting like him. I decided I just take no more and cut him out of my life. I guess I just need to know it’s ok and it doesn’t. Make me the worst mom ever. I have 2 more sons and grandchildren that love me so much and I feel my life now with that. I was married to all 3 of my boys father to a very abusive man. I feel All an blames me for breaking up the family. PS please tell me why I can’t get your emails. ThankYou

    2. rparents Post author


      I am so sorry you never received a reply. As for the newsletter, if you have signed up, you should have received them. I’ll check, but please check your spam email box.

      Hugs to you, Connie. You’re a good person and it’s ok to give yourself permission to let go… and live life for your well-being. I hope you will do the exercises in the book. If you got it on audio or the ebook, the exercises are out I a Workbook now. They really do help.

      Sheri McGregor

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