These Are the Top 20 Reasons Your Adult Kids Cut Ties With You

Parents and their children are supposed to have an unbreakable and irreplaceable bond. Yet why do so many kids prefer to remain estranged from their parents once they reach adulthood? The reasons for this are simple yet varied, such as their parents never apologizing for their wrongs or because their parents ignore and always cross boundaries. Understanding these reasons can provide insight and opportunities for healing, so if you’re a parent dealing with the same thing, this list will be perfect for you!

You Always Insist on Being Right

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As a parent, believing you’ve always acted in your child’s best interest is natural. However, it’s crucial to remember that your child may have a different perception of past events. Instead of insisting on your own version, try to empathize with their feelings and accept that your actions may not have been ideal from their point of view.

You Never Genuinely Apologized for the Things That Hurt Them

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Parents grow along with their children, so it’s absolutely normal for them to make mistakes. If you went through the same thing with your kid, don’t hesitate to apologize. Psychology Today shares, “Making amends, showing empathy, and taking responsibility are acts of humility, not humiliation; it’s a position of strength, not weakness. It’s the ability to say, ‘Well, maybe you’re right. Maybe I missed something really important about you, either in how I raised you or how I communicated with you. Let’s look at that together and figure it out.’”

You Don’t Allow Them to Be Independent or to Live Their Own Lives

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Moms and dads want the best for their kids, but sometimes, they act in a way that’s suffocating for their children. If you shelter your child from the world too much, it may lead to resentment. How you’re acting may make them feel smothered, engulfed, trapped, or unable to live their own lives.

You Don’t Know Who They Are Now

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If you find your adult children refusing to meet or speak with you, one of the main reasons might be that they think you don’t know who they are now. Sadly, in many ways, this is true. After your kids have left your nest to build their own lives, they take on different traits, habits, and hobbies that make them different people. If you weren’t in their life in those formative years in adulthood, they’d feel no connection with you now.

You Constantly Compare Them to Others

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Comparison does the biggest harm to a relationship, especially in a parent-child relationship. If your kids grew up with you comparing them to others, then you’ve left them with long-lasting psychological damages, making them feel inadequate and insecure. Additionally, if you still compare them to others now that they’re adults, they might have even less tolerance for your actions. This then leads to them hating the idea of reconnecting with you.

You Always Ignore Their Boundaries

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Everyone needs space—even from one’s parents. So, if you constantly hog your child’s time and cross their personal space, it would be easy for them to refuse to reconnect or bond with you. Remember, boundaries between a parent and a child can lead to decreased resentment and anxiety and improved self-esteem and ability to manage conflict.

You Take Sides

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Being a parent of one child is already hard, so imagine how much harder it would be to raise multiple kids. Sadly, when this happens, it’s easy for you to favor one over the other. This favoritism or taking sides leads to feelings of injustice and resentment, thus causing some of your kids to want to put distance between you when they get older.

You Infantilize Them or Treat Them Like Kids

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Some parents find it hard to accept that their children are already full-grown adults, and it’s difficult for them to let go. However, if you’re a parent who wants to avoid a bad relationship with their children in the future, then you’d better wake up and realize that it’s all a part of growing up. Your kids need to forge their own path and learn from their mistakes. Aside from this, if you constantly treat your adult children like they’re still kids, you’re treating them less than they are.

You Refuse to Understand Them

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Your kids are their own persons, and when they’re adults, they’re much more informed about the workings of the world than when they were younger. They need to be heard and listened to. So, if you jump in before they finish talking or say you understand them but immediately say the opposite, then you’re not really listening or trying to understand them. Next time, really heart them out; ask them to explain or repeat things if parts of what they said are unclear.

You Were Emotionally Unavailable

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One of the most important things you can do for your child is to be emotionally available, especially when they are younger. Doing so helps you establish a good foundation for your relationship in the future. So, if you weren’t able to do so, and if your kids consider you someone they can’t count on, then it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’re distant and aloof toward you now that they’re older. Plus, Private Therapy Clinic notes that having dysfunctional relationships, fear of abandonment, narcissistic traits, selfishness, and more are all possible long-term effects of being raised by emotionally unavailable parents.

You Take Liberties You’re Not Entitled To

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Yes, you’re their mom or dad. However, this doesn’t give you the right to infringe on their life and decisions, especially when they are already adults. You can offer your support and opinions, but you should never decide for them—especially without their approval.

You Triangulate

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We understand it can get frustrating when your child doesn’t listen to you. However, you should never resort to tactics such as triangulation when this happens. An example is when you use your child’s other siblings or their spouse to get through to them! Aside from it not working, it will only worsen the already brittle relationship you have with your adult children now.

You’re Dismissive and Critical of Them

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It’s hard to understand why some parents who were so critical of their kids when they were younger find it surprising that their kids hate meeting with them now. The Wellness Corner explains, “Expressions like, ‘You’re overreacting,’ or, ‘It’s not a big deal,’ are common, leaving the child feeling their feelings are not taken seriously.” When you do this to your child, you’re downplaying their emotions. Thus, they’re left feeling distant and aloof toward you in adulthood.

Your Jokes and Teasing Always Hurt Them

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Jokes and teasing aren’t inherently evil. However, when the teasing you do to your children—whether young or old—is rooted in insults, it can add up over time and be considered abusive. Your children will undoubtedly feel hurt when your jokes belittle them. Additionally, so take note that some abusers often mask verbal abuse through so-called jokes and jabs.

You Immediately Withdraw Support if They’re Doing Something You Disagree With

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Once your children grow up and turn into adults, they will undoubtedly have their own opinions, decisions, and outlook on life. And, as humans, it’s normal to disagree with some of the things they consider right. However, as a parent, you should never blindly disapprove of them—especially when you don’t fully understand how they came to that decision. Doing so will make them feel like you don’t love them just because of that one choice, pushing them to put distance between the two of you.

You Don’t Acknowledge That They’re Capable of More Things Now

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Letting go of one’s kids is a normal yet scary part of life. Parents feel fear, worry, and anxiety whenever it’s time to let their children out into the world. However, no matter your reason, you must understand that your kids need to learn to stand on their own two feet. Don’t hold onto them too much to the point that they start resenting you for things they can’t do!

You Hold Onto Grudges Too Much

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People make mistakes, and there’s a high chance your kids may have made a mistake or two when they were younger. However, as a parent, you have to accept that and move on, especially when they’ve shown signs of improvement. If you can’t do so and still hold onto grudges when they’re older, your children might lose the tolerance and patience they have for you.

You Let Your Substance Abuse Get in the Way of Your Relationship

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Substance abuse or addiction is detrimental to the health of the person involved. However, it’s best to remember that what you do as a parent also affects your family and kids. If you’ve been under the influence of drugs or alcohol during their childhood years and they’ve suffered because of it, the last thing they want to do in their adulthood is to rehash everything that has happened in the past. It’s a painful time for them, and they might not be inclined to relive those moments, especially if they’re already doing well in their lives.

You Think Your Divorce Didn’t Affect Them as Much

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A study from the National Library of Medicine notes, “Children are especially affected because divorce occurs within their formative years. What they see and experience during the failing marriage becomes a part of their view of themselves and of society.” So, though you, as the parent who got divorced, feel like all is well in life, it might not be the same for your kids. They may still be living through the same trauma, making it hard for them to fully accept and connect with you in their adulthood.

Your New Partner or Spouse Was Unkind or Mean to Them, and You Didn’t Catch On

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Another issue related to divorce is finding another partner. Sadly, there are many Cinderella stories out there about kids getting abused or hurt by their parents’ new partners. As kids, they might find it hard to be open about these things with their parents. So, now that they’re adults, they’ve built up resentment through the years; they might have even put up walls so as not to relive their past.

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Poorly educated individuals may exhibit certain noticeable characteristics that set them apart from others. On the flip side, some may also compensate for their lack of education by pretending to be knowledgeable in certain areas. This behavior is often a way for poorly educated individuals to maintain their self-image and self-esteem.

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20 Behaviors and Traits That Are Dead Giveaways of Having Low Intelligence

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Speaking loudly, being overly confident, or even gossiping can all be signs of someone having low intelligence. However, by recognizing these markers, people can become more proactive in addressing their limitations and weaknesses, eventually improving their overall mental and emotional capacity. Read on and learn more about the top 20 dead giveaways of low intelligence!

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20 Things You’re Doing That Make You a Bad Neighbor

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People have different personalities; that’s a fact. When you move somewhere with a tight-knit community, you will get to know many people who will either clash with your personality or make you feel like you’ve found a new friend. However, no matter what it is, remember to establish boundaries. If you don’t, you might soon see a lot of bad blood between you and other people in the community!

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20 Signs You Have Little to No Emotional Support in Your Relationship

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Navigating a relationship without enough emotional support can feel like being caught in a storm without shelter. Constant feelings of isolation, misunderstanding, and loneliness indicate a loss of balance in the emotional aspect of your relationship. Thankfully, it’s not too late to get help because we’ve gathered the top 20 signs that can help you determine whether or not you’re receiving the emotional support you need for a healthy, thriving relationship.

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20 Christian Practices That Confuse and Puzzle Others

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All regions differ in some way. Catholics collect saint cards and plan their vacations around religious sights, and Buddhists believe in karma and reincarnation. Like them, Christians also practice some things that are simply unheard of or puzzling for others. They practice tithing, cast out demons, and more!

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Author: Karen Danao


Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.