Modern Families

‘Hard pill to swallow’: Mom shares why some adult children don’t talk to their parents

"How your kids treat you when they are no longer in need of food and shelter, is a direct reflection of how you made them feel when they needed you to survive."

Parent and child deal with the pain of estrangement.

Even though humans are biologically hard-wired to form strong attachments to our parents, in many cases, these relationships become estranged as the children age. A recent poll found that nearly 1 in 4 adults are estranged from their families.

Six percent are estranged from their mothers and 26% have no contact with their fathers. It’s believed that these days, more children are comfortable distancing themselves from their parents because it’s good for their mental health.

“I think it relates to this new desire to have healthy relationships,” Rin Reczek, a sociology professor at the Ohio State University, said, according to The Hill. “There might be some cultural shifts around people being allowed to choose who is in your family. And that can include not choosing to have the person who raised you be in your family.”

The interesting thing is that when a mother finds herself estranged from a child, they are more likely to blame a third party, such as another family member or a spouse, than themselves.

But, studies show that when an adult child chooses to no longer have contact with a parent, it’s directly related to how they were raised and is most likely due to abuse, poor parenting, or a lack of support.

Erin O'Regan, known as TheCalMother on Instagram, shared the cold, hard truth of this lesson for estranged parents in an Instagram post that inspired passionate responses.

"Hard parenting pill to swallow: How your kids treat you when they are no longer in need of food and shelter, is a direct reflection of how you made them feel when they needed you to survive."

In other words, parents who enjoy a positive relationship with their adult children probably did a good job when their kids were young. So, even though their children don’t need them to get by, they’re still around because they value their relationship and think they are great parents.

It was about love, not about a quid-pro-quo relationship.

This wasn’t the greatest news to parents who don’t have a relationship with their adult children and some responded with very hard feelings. “I don’t agree and as a Mother, I’m tired of the blame. What would I tell my grown child? Toughen up Buttercup,” Mimi Davis responded. The world is a tough place. Stop blaming people.”

However, a mother on TikTok took the message to heart as it related to her relationship with her parents as well as her children. Crystal Allon, a trauma and addiction recovery coach, discussed how her current relationship with her kids caused her to reflect on what she missed as a parent.


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"How my children treat me now is a direct reflection of how I treated them when they were younger and needed me. This is very hard for parents to come to terms with. I think a lot of parents go, 'That's not true,' this is where the disconnect comes," she said. "As my kids grew up and they started to distance themselves from me, I kind of went, 'What's happening here?' I looked at myself and now that I'm looking back on my children's childhood, I'm recognizing some stuff that I really missed the mark on."

There are countless reasons why parents and their children become estranged when they get older, and according to research, a big one is emotionally distant parenting. While this may be hurtful to some parents who aren’t in close contact with their children. The lesson is positive for all parents out there who are close with their adult kids. If your children are still in your lives and you enjoy a close relationship, it’s a great indicator that you should be positive about the job you did as a parent.