Abandonment: Many people consider abandonment to be a form of neglect. Indeed, it could probably be classified as extreme elderly neglect. It can go beyond family estrangement. Perpetrators will intentionally desert vulnerable seniors who depend on their care, leaving them with little or no assistance—often for long stretches of time. Abandonment can greatly erode a senior’s health and well-being; it can even lead to premature death. Some perpetrators have taken their victims to entirely different states and abandoned them in completely unfamiliar places where they have no support. This is the worst kind of ESTRANGEMENT It is a HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE!
However, there are other very impactful behaviors that can be viewed as “Emotional abuse” isolation & stonewalling to name just two, especially where there are grandchildren. The courts are experiencing more and more grandparents fronting up to court to gain access to grandchildren.
There are many reasons why adult children may choose to estrange themselves from their parents, and each situation is unique. Here are some of the most common reasons:
- Abuse or neglect: If an adult child experienced abuse or neglect at the hands of their parents during their childhood, they may choose to distance themselves from their parents to protect themselves emotionally and physically.
- Differences in values or lifestyle: As people grow and change, they may find that their values or lifestyle no longer align with those of their parents. This can create tension and conflict that leads to estrangement.
- Unresolved conflicts or resentments: Sometimes, unresolved conflicts or resentments from the past can build up over time and create a barrier to a healthy relationship.
- Mental health issues: Adult children with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or trauma may find it difficult to maintain close relationships with their parents.
- Interference from other family members or friend who are estranged from their parents: Sometimes, other family and friends can interfere in a parent-child relationship, creating tension and conflict that leads to estrangement.
It’s important to note that estrangement is a complex issue, and there is often more than one reason why an adult child may choose to distance themselves from their parents. NB: There is emphasis on the word “Adult” they are wholly responsible and accountable for all the decisions they make.
Ideas for coping when your adult child cuts you out of their life.
- Allow yourself to grieve – – this is a shocking loss.
- Don’t try to pretend all is well, you raised your adult child, there was a bond and a bond has been broken Remember the 3 T’s Time Tenderness and Tears
- Think of other hard things you’ve gotten through and tell yourself you CAN and WILL get through this too.
- Accept that your future is different than you expected … and accept the uncertainty that goes with an adult child’s estrangement. Then allow yourself to believe you can have a good future, even though your path has taken a twist and out of your control.
- Get involved in new things or old things that make you happy … activities you can enjoy.
- Catch yourself in the act of feeling bad about what you can’t change and stop the negative thoughts. Shift your perspective.
- Accept that you have been estranged by an ADULT not your child they are responsible for their decisions your parenting is done.
- If you can’t figure out what happened, make a decision to give up asking why. Or settle on an answer for the moment (i.e., he’s following his wife to save his marriage, there’s some other problem you don’t know about, there’s mental illness of some sort, an addiction, etc and so on … whatever fits). Let it go. Some things just can’t be understood.
- Focus on the good relationships, and the good parts of your life — and multiply them.
- Don’t worry about the judgment of other people and forgive them for it. But also protect yourself from people who are hurtful to you.
- Find activities that fulfil your need to give and receive (love, help, generosity, kindness, etc). Be grateful for the people around you, who are grateful for you being around them. Go where you are wanted and valued not where you are tolerated. Your worth is much more than being a parent.
Life can be difficult when expectations are shattered, and people we love and have devoted ourselves to so deeply hurt us. It’s also difficult to move on after a devastating loss, but it is possible to reclaim happiness.
What is contributing to this very important relationship breaking down?
It’s important to recognise that not all adult children are moving away from the traditional values of respecting their parents or estranging their parents. It is a complex issue that cannot be explained by a single factor. However, there are some societal and cultural changes that may be contributing to a shift in attitudes towards family relationships and parental authority.
One factor is the increasing emphasis on individualism in Western cultures, which places a greater emphasis on personal autonomy and self-expression. This can create tension with traditional cultural values that prioritise family obligations and obedience to authority figures.
Another factor is the changing dynamics of family relationships. In the past, families were often more hierarchical and authoritarian, with parents holding more power and control over their children. However, as society has become more egalitarian and children have more opportunities to express themselves and make their own choices, some parents may struggle to adapt to these changing power dynamics, leading to conflicts and strained relationships.
One of the dilemmas parents are facing with the modern V traditional family model is some adult children may have a lot to say and show little respect, yet are the 1st to ask parents to baby sit, help them out financially or want to move home when their life falls apart. Parents are human too and some adult children forget that parents are not there just for their convenience.
Note: Emotional & financial abused of parents is on the increase.
Additionally, the widespread availability of information and access to resources through the internet and social media has allowed people to connect with others who share their perspectives and experiences, which can create a sense of community and validation for those who feel estranged from their families.
It’s also worth noting that not all cases of adult children distancing themselves from their parents are rooted in selfishness. Sometimes, it may be a healthy and necessary step to protect one’s mental health and well-being, particularly in cases of abuse or neglect.
The traditional FAMILY CULTURE is moving in a dangerous direction…
There are definitely more 60yr plus parents coming into my office to talk about mediation with family members mostly with their adult children. They feel abandoned, emotionally abused, undervalued taken for granted with little acknowledgment, appreciation of sacrifices made for all years they have dedicated to raising and educating their family. They are full of anger, sadness and resentment some tossing up moving away from grown children and grandchildren and re-starting their lives elsewhere.
Overall, the reasons for the changing attitudes towards family relationships are complex and multifaceted, it’s important to approach the topic with nuance and empathy for those involved.
What is an elder? It is 55yrs plus …
How Many Types of Elder Abuse Are There?
The following happens inside and outside of the family.
Elder abuse can take several different forms. And some seniors experience multiple kinds of abuse at the same time. Here are 7 types of elder abuse that are among the most commonly reported:
- Financial exploitation: Also known as financial abuse, this type of mistreatment can involve scams, fraud, coercion, theft, or improper use of a senior’s money, property, or other valuable resources. It affects about 1 in 18 cognitively healthy, non-institutionalised seniors every year. However, the prevalence rate among all seniors may be much higher than that. Essentially, financial exploitation of an elderly person is any intentional act in which a perpetrator improperly reaps financial benefits at the expense of a victim’s livelihood or well-being. Perpetrators often get their victims to trust them by using deception or providing offers of help that are based on false pretences. They also may use scare tactics or make wildly overstated claims in order to get seniors to give them money or hand over control of their assets. Many scams involve telemarketing, but most financial abuse is carried out by people that seniors already know and trust, such as family members and service professionals.
- Neglect: This type of abuse happens when a vulnerable senior is deprived of essential necessities like food, water, medical treatment, proper clothing, or a safe, clean, and comfortable living environment. Neglect in the elderly is often intentional, perpetrated as a way to exert power, push a senior toward an earlier death, or coerce a senior into signing away his or her financial assets. But neglect can also happen unintentionally as a result of caregiving failures caused by factors like improper training, a lack of resources, or mental or physical problems that impact a caregiver’s ability to do his or her job.
- Emotional abuse: Also known as psychological abuse, this kind of mistreatment harms a senior’s mental health. Perpetrators may ridicule, humiliate, blame, yell at, or threaten their victims. Or they may employ more passive-aggressive tactics like shunning their victims, holding back affection, or remaining silent and disinterested in the face of pleas for help or attempts at reconciliation. Emotional abuse is sometimes used as a way to bully and pressure a senior into doing something that is against his or her wishes or best interests.
- Physical abuse: Wilful infliction of bodily pain or injury can happen to almost any senior, especially a vulnerable elder. Physical abuse can take many forms: Pushing, slapping, punching, choking, kicking, pulling hair, and burning are just a few examples. It can also take the form of a perpetrator inappropriately restraining or imprisoning a victim. And some perpetrators of physical abuse give their victims incorrect or improper doses of medications, which can lead to harmful (and sometimes fatal) side effects.
- Sexual abuse: Some seniors are raped, molested, or forced to participate in activities of a sexual nature without their consent. Even a conversation about sex can be considered abusive if a senior is uncomfortable or unwilling to engage in the discussion and can’t get out of the situation. Sexual abuse also happens to seniors who aren’t capable of giving consent, such as those who have dementia or other conditions that make them mentally or physically incapacitated.
- Abandonment: Many people consider abandonment to be a form of neglect. Indeed, it could probably be classified as extreme elderly neglect. It goes beyond family estrangement. Perpetrators will intentionally desert vulnerable seniors who depend on their care, leaving them with little or no assistance—often for long stretches of time. Abandonment can greatly erode a senior’s health and well-being; it can even lead to premature death. Some perpetrators have taken their victims to entirely different states and abandoned them in completely unfamiliar places where they have no support.
- Rights abuse: Some seniors are denied their basic legal rights. For example, in an institution like a nursing home, abuse of this nature can involve ignoring a vulnerable senior’s requests for information or blocking his or her attempts at making official complaints. It can also involve denying proper health care, social activities, privacy, or access to one’s money or possessions.