Sample
  • Rules of Estrangement

  • Why Adult Children Cut Ties and How to Heal the Conflict
  • By: Joshua Coleman
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (274 ratings)

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Rules of Estrangement

By: Joshua Coleman
Narrated by: Fred Sanders
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Publisher's summary

A guide for parents whose adult children have cut off contact that reveals the hidden logic of estrangement, explores its cultural causes, and offers practical advice for parents trying to reestablish contact with their adult children.

“Finally, here’s a hopeful, comprehensive, and compassionate guide to navigating one of the most painful experiences for parents and their adult children alike.” (Lori Gottlieb, psychotherapist and New York Times best-selling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone)

Labeled a silent epidemic by a growing number of therapists and researchers, estrangement is one of the most disorienting and painful experiences of a parent's life. Popular opinion typically tells a one-sided story of parents who got what they deserved or overly entitled adult children who wrongly blame their parents. However, the reasons for estrangement are far more complex and varied. As a result of rising rates of individualism, an increasing cultural emphasis on happiness, growing economic insecurity, and a historically recent perception that parents are obstacles to personal growth, many parents find themselves forever shut out of the lives of their adult children and grandchildren.

As a trusted psychologist whose own daughter cut off contact for several years and eventually reconciled, Dr. Joshua Coleman is uniquely qualified to guide parents in navigating these fraught interactions. He helps to alleviate the ongoing feelings of shame, hurt, guilt, and sorrow that commonly attend these dynamics. By placing estrangement into a cultural context, Dr. Coleman helps parents better understand the mindset of their adult children and teaches them how to implement the strategies for reconciliation and healing that he has seen work in his 40 years of practice. Rules of Estrangement gives parents the language and the emotional tools to engage in meaningful conversation with their child, the framework to cultivate a healthy relationship moving forward, and the ability to move on if reconciliation is no longer possible.

While estrangement is a complex and tender topic, Dr. Coleman's insightful approach is based on empathy and understanding for both the parent and the adult child.

©2020 Joshua Coleman (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

“Finally, here’s a hopeful, comprehensive, and compassionate guide to navigating one of the most painful experiences for parents and their adult children alike. Rules of Estrangement candidly addresses parental estrangement from every conceivable angle, steering readers away from shame and blame to a place of newfound understanding and empowerment. I’ve seen many parents and adult children grappling with these issues, and this is exactly the book they have all been waiting for. I will be recommending it widely.” (Lori Gottlieb, psychotherapist and New York Times best-selling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone)

“A very thoughtful book filled with great wisdom and care. Over Dr. Coleman’s years of practice, as well as his own personal journey, he has developed a deep appreciation for how to help parents see their relationship with their children through the child’s eyes. It is through that process of compassionate perspective taking [WJ1] that a healing conversation can begin.” (Amy J. L. Baker, PhD, author of Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome)

“Coleman addresses what historians see as a strange paradox: Even as more adult children view their parents as friends rather than mere obligations, psychologists report seeing a wave of parents who have been rejected by their adult children. Coleman explores the socioeconomic and cultural changes that inflate both our expectations and our disappointments in family life, offering calming advice on ways that estranged families can recover or move on.” (Stephanie Coontz, author of The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap)

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