Navigating Familial Estrangement
We’ve received a substantial number of questions from our listeners regarding familial estrangement: when one family member distances themselves from the others, or chooses not to interact with them at all. It’s a common and extremely challenging situation, and the pain related to it can be particularly intense during the holidays.
Today on Being Well, Dr. Rick and Forrest Hanson discuss family estrangement, particularly between parents and children, and how the questions we engage in this territory apply more broadly to how we balance our own boundaries with the responsibilities we have toward other people.
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3:05: Our framework for discussing estrangement in this episode
6:10: Joining and distancing
9:40: Duties in relationship between children and aging parents
15:35: Parents’ behavior then vs. now
19:00: Distinguishing family systems from parents as individuals
24:10: Functional forgiveness when someone doesn’t show remorse
26:45: Choosing the kind of relationship we want to have
31:45: Parents’ pain when children distance
33:40: How parents can consider the child’s perspective
39:40: Grieving an estranged relationship internally
45:30: Approaches to interacting with estranged children
52:30: How to decide whether or not to engage in a relationship
55:10: Awareness of cultural influences
57:20: Ownership and what parents can do to repair
1:03:00: The wide range of variables influencing family relationships
1:07:00: Wishing well regardless of circumstances
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