Making Amends to Adult Children: The Challenges

Filed in Gather Books Essential by on July 6, 2007 0 Comments

Because of my new book, “When Parents Hurt,” I am often asked by parents who are alienated from their children about how to go about healing their relationship. Many, rather, I should say, allof these parents are in enormous pain. Some of them have been cut off by their adult children for many years, while others for only a few months. There are many steps to healing a parent and as many to heal the relationship with a grown child. The first place to start is to acknowledge whatever mistakes you have made as a parent. While this is a crucial step, many parents object with the following reasons:

 

 “I did the best that I could.”

 

Yes, you did. But, you have to acknowledge that that might not have been enough. Your child may have needed something different from you that you were unable to perceive, or to carry out at the time. Saying that you did the best that you could is something you should remind yourself of, not your child.

 

“Just because I apologize doesn’t mean that I deserve to be rejected or mistreated by my child!”

 

That’s absolutely correct. Making amends for past mistakes isn’t the same thing as saying you were a terrible person or parent. It’s a willingness to see your behavior from your child’s perspective. There are separate realities in every family.

 

“I shouldn’t have to make amends. I deserve respect. My parents never apologized to me.”

 

You do deserve respect but respect is more likely to be received when it’s given. And the rules have changed: today’s children of all ages are on a far more equal playing field than parents of almost any other generation. And you don’t have to-it’s just that it increases the likelihood of a better outcome.

 

 

“Why should I try to make amends? It won’t change anything.”

 

It may not. There may be nothing you can do to save your relationship with your grown child. But making amends is something that you do as much for your own integrity as for him or her. It helps you to feel as though you have made a sincere and heartfelt attempt to address the relationship. It can help you to feel better about who you are regardless of who your child says you are.

 

Next week I begin my media tour that will encompass radio, TV, and other people’s parenting blogs. Below is my schedule. Please call up the station if I’m in your town or blog me at the parenting sites!


WHEN PARENTS HURT: Compassionate Strategies When You and Your Grown Child Don’t Get Along” (HarperCollins)

 

                                     UPCOMING APPEARANCES:

 

Monday, July 9th

 

FAMILY MATTERS RADIO WITH CAROLINE & JACQUIE

WHK RADIO/Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland/Akron/Toledo/Jackson MS/Providence RI

Albany, NY and on internet at: www.whkradio.com

12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Taped Pacific

4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Taped Eastern

 

 

Thursday, July 12th

 

STRATEGIES FOR LIVING

KRMD FM/Shreveport, Louisiana

6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. Live Pacific

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Live Central

 

Monday, July 16th

 

JOAN NATHAN SHOW

WPSL RADIO/Chicago, Streator, Il.

11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Taped Pacific

1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Taped Central

 

Wed. July 18th

VIEW FROM THE BAY

ABC TELEVISION (SF)

(check for time)

 

Tuesday, July 24

 

NPR,

Diane Rehm Show

11AM-Noon, Live Eastern,

2:00-3:00 Live Pacific

 

Monday, July 30th

 

BREAKFAST NOOK

WGET AM/Gettysburg, Pa.

5:30 a.m. to 5:55 a.m. Live Pacific

8:30 a.m. to 8:55 a.m. Live Eastern

 

BLOG TOUR

My book is going to be reviewed and discussed at the parenting blogs, below.

Please join in on the discussion. Also check out Dr. Helen Vent’s review at

   http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2007/06/when-parents-hurt.html

 

Tues, 7/10 – Campaign Launch: http://www.parentbloggers.com

Wed, 7/11 – Surrender Dorothy - http://surrenderdorothy.typepad.com
Thurs, 7/12 – Radioactive Girl - http://radioactive-girl.blogspot.com
Fri, 7/13 – Blooming Yaya - http://bloomingyaya.blogspot.com
Mon, 7/16 – Motherhood Uncensored - http://motherhooduncensored.typepad.com/reviewsandnews
Tues, 7/17 – Troll Baby - http://www.troll-baby.com/reviews
Wed, 7/18 – Builder Mama - http://buildermamapicksandpans.blogspot.com
Thurs, 7/19 – Mid-Campaign Post: http://www.parentbloggers.com
Fri, 7/20 – Cheese Party - http://cheesepartyreviews.blogspot.com
Mon, 7/23 – Soul Gardening - http://soulgardening.typepad.com
Tues, 7/24 – Chaos Theory - http://andromeda.qc.ca
Wed, 7/25 – Pundit Mom - http://punditmom1reviews.blogspot.com
Thurs, 7/26 – Round-Up Review: http://www.parentbloggers.com
 

 

Sign up today for Dr. Joshua Coleman’s FREE monthly ezine at www.drjoshuacoleman.com or whenparentshurt.com. Dr. Coleman is an internationally known expert in parenting, couples, families, and relationships. A frequent guest on the Today Show, he has also appeared on ABC 20/20, Good Morning America, the BBC, and numerous news programs for FOX, ABC, and NBC television. Dr. Coleman’s advice has been featured in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Psychology Today, The London Times, and many other publications. He is a Senior Fellow with the Council on Contemporary Families and has a private practice in San Francisco and Oakland, California.

 

 

 

 

 

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