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Episode #80: Adult Children Who Want No Contact With Parents

no contact with parents
One of the most difficult times a parent can go through is when they are told by their adult child they want no contact with them. The question is "now what"? If you fixate on this happening it could keep you stuck in despair the rest of your life. There is a way to move on. Of course you're going to feel hurt and disappointed. In this episode I tell you of three stages to go through to lessen the hurt. "Now what" is a choice you will have to make to find happiness and fulfillment in your life again. Choosing to still love your children is another choice. We can fixate on loving them or judging them. This episode might possibly help you make that decision.

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Episode 80 Adult Children Who Want No Contact With Parents Welcome to the podcast, loving On Purpose. I'm your host, Bonnie Lyman. If you're having trouble navigating through your relationships with your adult children, if you are struggling to connect with them or having specific challenges, you're in the right place. This is Bonnie Lyman and you are listening to the podcast, loving On Purpose, episode 80, adult Children Wanting No Contact with Parents. Hello my friends. Welcome back. Hope you're enjoying your summer. I look forward to talking to you every week, and I want to thank all of you that sent in your questions. I. Put out in my email asking for any questions you might have that I could answer on a podcast episode. I'm not answering those questions on this episode, but some of the questions asked may be answered. So, Today I wanna talk to you about this idea of when we have adult children not wanting to have any contact at all with their parents, and this topic is probably the hardest to. Accept and to come to peace over as a parent. When your child tells you they, they don't want to have any contact with you, but it shouldn't define who you are and what you think of yourself and the person that you want to be and show up in the world. I feel like we have to get over the fixation of trying to control what other people think and feel about us. Even if it's our own kid kids, we're probably never going to know exactly why our children make this. Devastating requests to us not to have any contact, but there is something unresolved in their life. There is some need they have, there is some threat they are feeling threatened by or there is something that you trigger. In them that causes them to feel more discomfort when they are around you. So the easiest way out is just to avoid being around you, and they don't have to think about it. But I feel like as painful as it is, like I said earlier, we need to get over this fixation of trying to. Control them. Trying to figure out why this is happening and we need to kind of hang out in that place of optimism that it's, it's perhaps, it's always possible that it's only temporary. I feel there are three stages that are very connected to lessening this hurt. We have to go back to the basic premise of the model, the formula of what causes our feelings. It's our thoughts that cause our feeling. It's our thoughts about our children not wanting to have any contact with us that is causing the real pain. And so if we change our thoughts, we can change our feeling. So, When our child distances themselves from us, it triggers us to have thoughts that can cause us to feel hurt. And of course, you're going to feel hurt. But here are three ways to get through the hurt and perhaps lessen it some. First of all, you just own it. I'm hurt. I'm really hurt by what my children have done. Number two. You allow yourself to have compassion for yourself because you're feeling hurt. Of course, I would feel hurt in this situation. And then the third stage would be, Just to feel the hurt. And there's a process that I teach on how to process negative feelings where you just allow it to be, you don't go for a run, you don't. Go read your scriptures. You don't go off and call a friend. I mean, you can do those things in due time, but at some point you just have to sit and feel the discomfort because it will lessen. Find out where in your body you are feeling that hurt and what it looks like. This will lessen the herd, but at some point you'll want to move on with your life, and a way to move on is to have thoughts that cause you to feel compassion, hope, and optimism. To feel any feeling. We have to think the thoughts that cause that feeling to feel compassion. We have to think compassionate thoughts to feel hope. We need to think hopeful thoughts, and to feel optimistic, we have to have. Optimistic thoughts in our mind. So a compassionate thought is people that hurt, other people are hurting. I hope that whatever is going on in my child's life can get resolved. They must be hurting really bad in order to do such a drastic thing as to not allow us to be involved in their lives and in their children's life. A hopeful thought may be that things don't always stay the same. This could only be temporary. That in time things will work out and to feel optimistic, an optimistic thought will be, it's all going to work out when they. Get their hurt resolved, and I am going to choose to focus on that. It is only temporary. Because there's as much of a chance as it only being temporary, as it lasting forever, but we tend to go to the land of, it's always going to be this way where most of us get stuck. It's. Falling into being the victim, the victim to our child's actions. In other words, all of our feelings we give turn that power and that responsibility over to our children. What most of us don't know that. Is that falling to being a victim to our children's actions is actually a choice we make by choosing to have thoughts that blame them for a hurt feelings. We've gotta remember that a feeling is an actual physiological vibration in our body that is triggered by a happening outside our bodies. I. And the happening in this case may be your child cutting off all contact with you, or maybe it's not including you very often in their life where they're not actually cutting you out completely. But the feeling. Of being hurt. And so disappointed comes from thoughts that we have about our children's actions and when we tend to fixate on, you know, This is what they're doing, and we don't fixate on anything good about what they're doing in their life. Then that triggers us to have these thoughts that are very painful. If you change your thought, you have the power to change that unwanted feeling to a more desirable feeling. We're not looking to be happy. We're not trying to get to be happy about our kids pulling themselves out of our life, but we can get to compassionate, hopeful, and optimistic feelings that feels so much better. It feels better even to know that we are in control of choosing what feeling we want to have. So most of the time my clients get caught up in a cycle of feeling so miserable that it does, it takes work. To change those thoughts so that they become believable though, so that it can give us relief. I want to give you an example I had with one of my children. I had a child that never contacted me. I. For about three years, did not answer texts. Did when I was around them, they were very curt with me and I, I could have gone to anger and resentment, but I went to, she must be hurting about something in her life. And for some reason, I am the one that triggers these thoughts to come up that cause her to feel so distraught or so uncomfortable, or so miserable, whatever feeling she is feeling. And so, She was feeling like a victim to her circumstances. Whatever they were, she was hurting. And because when she got around me, they would, these thoughts would surface that she would blame me and take it out on me. So my thought was she's hurting. And then my hopeful thought was things never stay the same. So, So how do we find some peace in having some sort of connection with these children that don't want any connection? Try to create a relationship with them in your mind, that may be all you get. And so we do that by remembering the good times that we had with them in past years, remembering that we had the opportunity to raise them and to see them develop and grow into adults. They don't owe us anything. They didn't necessarily choose the family they came to, and yet what an opportunity we have to guide an individual, a child of God through this life, so that they have the best life possible as they become adults. So one of the things that we've been admonished to do is to forgive them because I honestly believe we need to forgive them for they know not what they do. They don't realize the harm they are doing. We don't have control over changing them. So how about if we just accept what is, focus on the opportunity to continue to be their parent and to love them. The other thing we need to do is we need to get a life. We need to find fulfilling things for us that are outside of life with our children. And I've mentioned this before, but I think everybody should have a bucket list from now until you're a hundred years old of what you want to do. There's so many opportunities out there that if you just clue your brain on that, you have the desire to find something exciting and fulfilling in your life outside of your family. Your brain will start pointing things out to you and you'll start noticing, so how do we heal over this tremendous hurt that we have? We don't always know. And we'll probably never know what these children that want nothing to do with this are thinking or feeling. We don't need to apologize for something you didn't think you were doing wrong, but be open enough. To apologize for something maybe you didn't do or did do that in their mind's eye, didn't meet a need that they had. They felt like you didn't fulfill a need they had. Because it may be a need or something you had no idea you were responsible for, but be strong enough to accept that and not ignore or belittle a need that they had. That in your mind's eye maybe is very insignificant. Love is willing to be open to seeing it someone else's way. So we are just open. We are compassionate, we are loving toward our children, and I promise you that feels so much better than judging them. Maybe there are some mistakes we made that we need to apologize, but we need to be willing to admit I could be wrong. Maybe there was something I did do when I was raising them. The other thing that I find gets in the way of parents overcoming this is that if they feel that they continue to love their children, that they're reinforcing their bad behavior. And that is not what love does. Love just loves love feels good on both sides of the relationship. What are you willing to do to show your love and that willingness may be giving them. The space they need respecting their request for you not to be around them. We've raised these children from small babies, they've grown up into adults. They changed. Maybe we forgot. To change with them. Maybe we weren't able to let go of the need. We had to raise them and be such an important part in their life. They have grown up and what they needed from us when, when we were raising them. Is no longer a need for them. Hopefully we raise our kids to be independent and we kind of joke about it. I didn't mean to raise them to be this independent. It has nothing to do with whether they love you or not. Agency is a powerful gift. We are all entitled to act and say anything we want. We don't have the power to control other people. Why are we fixated on them being the way we want them to be? Why not become fixated on loving what you admire about them rather than resisting what you don't like about them? We can influence them if we choose to love them despite their shortcomings. Ephesians, Chapter four verse two says, with all loneliness and meekness with long suffering, forbearing one another in love. Love will always win. Love is always an option. Love always feels best. I hope this was helpful to some of you and I look forward to talking to you next week. If you like this, be this episode and you felt it was of benefit to you, I ask you to share it with somebody that perhaps it could also benefit. But if you're still feeling kind of stuck in that you don't know how to apply what was talked about or. Where to start on, on changing your thoughts, on changing your perspective, on bettering your relationship. Get on a call with me and we can have a discussion and I can tell you how to apply it and where we start. And then you get to decide what you want to do about this relationship that maybe you're struggling with with your adult children. There is no reason to go on the rest of our lives struggling with our relationships with our adult children. Let's assume the best. Let's assume that we all love each other. And we're just trying to figure out how to maintain our own boundaries and respect another one's, but I can help you with everything. So just go to bonnie and book a call. I can't wait to hear from you. .

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