You may have recently come across various Reddit posts about children cutting off their parents or news surrounding celebrities pulling the plug on their relationships with their parents. Celebrities like Jamie Lee Curtis, daughter of Tony Curtis, or Prince Harry, who stepped down with his wife, Meghan Markle, and moved to the USA. This is not a new phenomenon and has been around for a while but today, it is estimated that 10 percent of Americans are estranged from their parents or their children (Yes, Britney Spears isn’t the only one!).
So, the question arises: why is this happening, given that parental figures are generally the people you can always rely upon? With these rifts in familial ties becoming more and more common, what is the reason behind this, and what can be done to resolve this issue? If you are interested in learning more about this, then keep on reading.
What Does Research Say?
Researchers and Therapists alike have started to believe that adult children are halting contact with either one or both parents. A 1997 study discussed family relationships, and it concluded that 7 percent of adult children had cut ties with their mothers while 27 percent had stopped contact with their fathers. In a recent study conducted in 2020, 1 in 4 Americans has estranged relationships with their parents, which makes up around 67 million people only in the United States of America.
Meet Simone Bose
Simone Bose is a London-based relationship therapist who specializes in family issues, including estrangement, with her diverse clientele. Despite the common opinion, Bose explains that going no-contact or low-contact with your parent(s) is the most difficult thing to do. She explains that when you are younger, your parents are the persons you can count on no matter what and no matter how old you are. So, generally, there has to be an extremely strong force that leads to people deciding to cut off their parents.
What Are The Main Reasons?
Since the new generation has a lot of knowledge at their disposal, they also understand when relationships become toxic and the fact that toxicity can enter any relationship. Generally, when younger people feel like they're being controlled or their boundaries are not being respected despite the constant communication, cutting off contact is the only choice they’ve got left. If they continue to live like this, then it is their self-esteem that is highly impacted.
Another reason is abuse, which can be physical, emotional, or even sexual. The most common abuse happens to be emotional abuse, which leaves lasting scars on the mental health of the children who grow up resenting adults, leading to eventual estrangement between the adult and their abusive parent. Different values also play a major role in estrangement mainly because your values make you who you are, and if you have a parent with different values, then it subsequently opens doors for conflicts.
As you grow old, your personality, belief system, and values change, and if your parents don't respect it, then it is bound to cause some issues.