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My Adult Children Cut Me Out of Their Life

By Linda Ward January 02, 2022 Family

I have three wonderful moms in my immediate circle of friends who have been ghosted by their children. Dictionary.com defines ghosting as “the practice of suddenly ending all contact with a person without explanation.” The extreme pain this abandonment brings is their daily life challenge.

The Whys

Some moms have no idea what caused this breach, with no way to find out. If the mom does recognize the source and wants to apologize to the adult child, this is not an option.

Other moms can identify a heated conversation where opinions differed. This could have been about political, religious, or lifestyle choices.

Maybe unwelcome comments were made about the adult child’s parenting style or poor choices that set an unintentional estrangement in motion. Sometimes we make mistakes as parents, and as parents we admit it!

In this brief article, let’s NOT go back to the source of the abandonment issue. You’ve already done this, over and over times one million, to figure out where things went wrong. If you do find your answer, there’s no way to go back and change it, even if you could or would.

Remember, the answer may not be anything you’ve said or done. Seeking the whys will drive you crazy. It’s a form of mental abuse to put yourself through this every day. Instead, let’s talk about your self-care as a deserted parent.

How to Survive

Here are some suggestions from moms who have been there:

  • Distance yourself from the adult child. Time will help.
  • You have no control. Release the child and keep moving toward an enjoyable life without them.
  • Cry and get on with it.
  • Lean on your best friends to help you at those times that hurt more than others – birthdays, holidays, or special events for grandchildren.
  • If you have an open communication channel at all with the adult child, just listen… and listen some more.
  • In this tug of war, drop the rope.
  • Write notes and cards to the adult child or grandchildren. If you think they are not receiving them, put the notes in a box for them to read at a later time in their life. One mom keeps sending birthday gifts and Christmas gifts to her estranged daughter. She’s sure they are dumped without opening, yet she will never give up or stop. It eases her mind.

A Kind Word of Advice

Take Care of Yourself

This unsolvable problem can rob you of your health and mental well-being. You may need to seek the help of a professional counselor to learn ways of handling the ever-nagging and uncorrectable whys. Simply take care of yourself.

Look for Abandonment Support

Check into on-line support groups for abandoned parents or books written on the subject to let you know you are not alone.

Find Your Source of Joy and Courage

Where do you get courage? Is it from your tribe of friends? From your religious beliefs? From self-help groups or books? You can lighten this heavy load and experience everyday happiness even though you will never forget your child or stop loving them.

Take Control of Your Thoughts

When you catch yourself for the millionth and one time asking “Why…?” just stop. Stop yourself and say out loud, “Not today, I’m going to be kind to me today.” You have the choice to have everyday happiness in your life.

As you know, life is short. Enjoy the adult kids that are still in your life, or your friends, or your pets, or your garden. Find what lightens your mood even a little, and do more of it.

Not sure how to be more positive? We give you some great tips in How To Fight Negative Thoughts By Changing Your Mindset.

Forgive Yourself

Maybe you were the reason the adult child stopped communicating. In hindsight, you see it, but there’s no way to say sorry. So, forgive yourself.

None of us know how to parent. We just take a very good stab at it and do our best. Sometimes we have said or done things that can’t be corrected now. If you need help with forgiving yourself, professionals in your church or mental health professionals will help.

Figure Out How to Live in the Moment

When something good happens, sit in that and enjoy it to the fullest. You are worthy of this. Your past mistakes or your child’s rejection don’t make it not so! Next time you enjoy your morning coffee, or a piece of fine chocolate, or the sunshine streaming in your window, take note and let yourself be there for it!

This brings attention to the things that we love and helps us experience the good in each day.

Are you an abandoned mom? If so, I wish you courage daily! How have you learned to cope? What gets you through special days or events? Please join the conversation in how you have moved forward in your life.

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Kari Jaquith

I have been going through a distancing with both of my children, my daughter texted me yesterday while I was at work, not really sure why, but she called me ugly names and blaming me for everything. I did not “bite” I didn’t yell, I did not use the same awful language back at her, just let her vent. My son (has my only grandchild) I haven’t spoken to him since last Dec. He shut me out over the holidays because I forgot his birthday (he is 30) I did apologize for the mistake. I got nothing but radio silence until 3 pm Christmas day. I had already moved forward with my holiday plans with my husband. I don’t know what happened, I was a single mom for both their teen years, my x is not much to talk about…I did my very best. I guess it wasn’t good enough.


I am in the same situation. How do you cope with this situation? It’s been frustrating for me

Linda Ward

Dear Irina,
I hope you found some ideas for coping in the article above. My heart goes out to you, as this is so incredibly painful and frustrating. Be sure to seek professional help if you feel you are ready for that. Take care of you. Linda

Linda Ward

I’m so sorry for the distancing of both your children. It has to be your biggest heartache. You mention moving forward, and even if you take baby steps in doing this, you will be moving toward establishing your life without your kids defining you. Sometimes we have to distance ourselves from our own kids, to protect our hearts. I know you wonder if what you did wasn’t good enough. I’ve wondered this too. But, you say you did your best so keep reminding yourself of that! We gave it our all, and if they react this way now, since they are adults, we have to let them. Be sure to seek out a life coach or a counselor if the pain becomes overwhelming. Especially during special days and holidays. ❣️

The Author

Linda Ward is a Writer and Life Coach living in Minnesota. She specializes in helping mature women find everyday happiness and a satisfying life. She zeroes in on life after divorce, retirement transitions, and finding courage no matter what the circumstances. Her inspiring new eBook is called, Crazy Simple Steps to Feeling Happier. Linda’s Professional background is Social Work and Counseling.

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