There’s a growing trend of adult children becoming estranged from their baby boomer parents. WebMD calls it a “modern-day epidemic,” while Psychology Today says as many as half of adult children may experience period of estrangement.
Estranged children say they’re going no contact (NC), low contact (LC), or very low contact (VLC) with one or more parents because of behaviors like boundary-crossing, emotional abuse, hypercriticism, or scapegoating. On the other hand, parents believe the estrangement is caused by entitlement, a meddling partner, or sometimes nothing at all.
But one therapist may have cracked the code with an unintentional experiment. She first posted the video How millennial parents may mess up their kids which used a psychology study to show how a mom using her phone can appear to a baby or toddler as rejection.
Her next video, Boomer parents family therapy, outlined what she learned as a family therapist working with baby boomer parents. Her chief takeaway is that the price of not taking accountability for past actions is isolation.
The experiment took place in the comments, where the millennial parents thanked her for her insights and talked about how to use them to become better parents, while the boomer parents called her names and insulted her rather than considering the advice.
There’s a silver lining to her study, which is that boomer parents may be able to control whether or not they have a close relationship with their children simply by taking accountability for their actions and regulating their own emotions. It’s not an instant process if you’ve never done it before, but it is achievable, and a therapist can help.
Jen is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps Americans move abroad. She created the Expatsi Test, an assessment that recommends countries for aspiring emigrants based on lifestyle data. Jen has an MBA from Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She's written for BusinessWeek, Health, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Prior to Expatsi, she created Freshfully and Bottle & Bone—two businesses in the local food space—and spoke at TEDx on being brave. She's moving to Mexico in 2024, along with her husband and co-founder Brett, pitbull mix Squiggy, and three rotten cats. How can she help you move abroad?