Ways To Reconnect With A Parent

By Aaron Love 11 months ago

Indirectly Make Contact

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Sometimes it might be best to make contact with an estranged parent via social media, email or through another relative instead of directly talking to them in person or via phone call. This keeps you safe in case they aren't thrilled to speak to or see you again. It offers some protection.

Decide Why You Want To Reconnect

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Yes you might miss your parent, but before you reach out to them you need to understand within yourself what it is you're looking for when you reach out to them. It might just be for clarity, for the sake of your other relatives, or you simply just want your parent back in your life.

Be Prepared To Wait

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Once you've located your estranged parent and have attempted to make contact you have to be prepared to allow them to decide whether or not they are ready to come back in to your life; especially if it's been a long time. You have to understand it can take a lot to get yourself back in to the mindset of being a parent.

Reach Out At The Right Time

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Maybe it would be best ton try and plan a specific time to reach out to an estranged parent; maybe a family holiday that was important to you and them or just a certain time of year you think will remind them of you. It might be a good conversation topic or way to establish the contact you need.

Remain Realistic

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When you've been separated from a parent for a long period of time you can create a fantasised version of your parent, something you want them to be. You have to understand that it's likely your parent isn't this amazing parent that you're hoping they will be so it's best to remain realistic.

They Might Not Be As Bad As You Think

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Just as you might make fantasies about your parent being this amazing person, if the split was bitter and you have remained angry at this parent you have to consider the reasons. Although leaving your child isn't the right thing to do they might have had what they thought was a valid reason and they might not be so bad.

Allow The Opportunity To Start Fresh

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No matter what your feelings are around an estranged parent, you will have reached out for a reason; you might want some clarity. However, once you've got this answer, allow the opportunity to start fresh and try to leave any resentments you might have of them behind you.

Save The Arguments Away From The First Meeting

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Although you might want to immediately argue with an estranged parent on your first meeting, and they might feel the same, there is better times to do this than your first meeting. Try and remain positive in order to try and reconnect first before you get the negatives out the way.

Just Grab A Coffee And Go

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Even if you have a lot to say to a parent, you don't want your first meeting to leave a sour taste, so maybe keep your first trip out a short one. Plan to meet somewhere public, like getting a coffee or grabbing some food; this way there is less of a risk of anything kicking off.

Apologise If You Have Too

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There might be a disconnect between you and your parents because of something that you've done and even if you feel like they don't deserve an apology just do it! Especially if the incident has been blown out of proportion offering words of reconciliation might be for the best.

Discuss  Your Decision With Your Other Parent

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In situations where it is just one parent who has become estranged from you, you might want to talk to the parent you stuck with during this time. They might have their own opinions on your other parent (probably negative) but they'll probably have more understanding as to why they left in the first place.

Try To Build A New Relationship

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It's unfortunately quite unlikely you'll be able to pick up a relationship where it was left off years ago so you might want to try and connect as to how you are now not how you were at the time. Go in to it slowly and with the expectation that there will be come healing and you'll start to build a new relationship.

Accept It Hurt Them Too

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Even though it might be hard to sympathize with a parent that has left you they decision they made then might not reflect the way they feel now. Although it was their fault, and they should take some blame for this, it will still have hurt them. Being away from your child as they grow up can be very painful.

Attempt To Understand Their Reasoning

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This goes hand in hand with the previous point, but even though you dislike their reasoning for distancing from you, you have to at least try and understand it. All of us struggle with some internal issues and this might have played a role in why they left. We're all just people after all.

Don't Hide The Truth

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Although it is suggested you don't verbally attack an estranged parent that doesn't mean you should hide your feelings. They will know you might be disappointed in them and so they'll probably expect some emotion. Don't accuse them but let them know they made you feel like they didn't care.

Decide Where You Want To Go Now

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Before you leave each other on your first meeting you need to decide where it is you want to go from here. Do you want to set up another meeting or is this one conversation all you needed for clarity. If they've made the effort to see you as well they probably want to have some part of your life back in theirs again.

Maybe Consider Counselling

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If, after your first meeting, you can see some signs of a reconciliation it might be best to consider some counselling sessions. These family counsellors can often root out any issues you may have and offer suggestions for ways you can reconcile. It can also help you avoid blaming one another.

Allow Yourself To Give Some Validation

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Following your first meeting, you might want to start letting them validate their position in your life. You can do this by letting them do things they've missed out on when distancing themselves. This is a productive way for your parent to be able to subtly help you and boost their emotions too.

Be Patient With Their Feelings

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As you and your parent begin the road to reconciliation, you'll want them to be there to support you again. But this has to go both ways and they might be feeling emotional having you back in their lives. It's going to be hard for them to open up their feelings with you again so try and support them too.

Understand This Might Take A Long Time

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Although you might wish your relationship with a parent might kick back on straight away, if you're realistic you'll know it might take a while. There's probably going to be challenges along the way and you both need to recuperate your feelings. Don't expect instant results but keep chipping away.

Find A Way To Connect With Them

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Even if the relationship between you and your parents might be estranged, there will always be a way for you to connect. One way that tends to open a path to reconciliation is an introduction to any grandkids they might now have that they didn't know about. They may want to be a part of their lives and your relationship with them could grow stronger.

Understand They Might Not Be Interested

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Although it would be great for any attempts to reconcile to go well, there is always the possibility that your parent doesn't want a way back in to your life. This might hurt like crazy, but at the end of the day it's their decision and ultimately their loss. You'll be able to find stability elsewhere.

Help Them With Old Problems

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Sometimes we lose contact with a parent because they had some issues with domestic violence or abuse, substance abuse or any other addicitons. Offer them your assistance when it comes to their problems and understand how any of these problems might still exist today.

Consider Using A Friendly Mediator

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If there is still some family links between the two of you it might be worth inviting them to join you when you meet your parent. If they can remain impartial, they can act in a similar fashion to a counsellor but the difference would be that they have an emotional and friendly relationship with the two of you.

Control Your Emotions

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As you and your parents work on your relationship there may be times when your emotions can be quite overwhelming. These might be feelings of happiness, anger, confusion or sadness, but you have to learn to control these without letting them get out of hand which might cause more issues.

Create Some New Traditions

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Sometimes trying old things that worked for you and your parent might bring up some negative and upsetting memories. So, with your fresh start you might want to try and create some new traditions to block out your negative memories of the old. Maybe something like a vacation or something on specific holidays.

Don't Overwhelm Eachother

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Whilst you might want things to instantly work you might need to set some boundaries as to what is and what isn't acceptable in your new relationship. Decide if daily contact is or isn't too much and try to find a suitable amount of times you want to see each other in a week or months period.

Just Do It Or You Might Regret It

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Although there might have been some huge issues in the past, you only get one set of parents and if you don't resolve your issues then you might regret it in the future. A large number of people have lost parents before they were able to have a chance to talk things over and love one another again.

Find Mutual Hobbies

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One great way to really rebuild a poor relationship with a parent is to find something the two (or three) of you can all do together. If you find a mutual hobby it can be a great way to spend time with one another and it might also lead to breakthroughs in the conversations you need to have together.

Take An Interest In Their Life

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Just as you might find hobbies that are mutual for you and your parents, it might also be great for you to find out other things that they enjoy doing. This way you can create a more personalised relationship between the two of you. Besides, it might give you some Christmas Present ideas too.

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