Abandoned Parents by Adult Children

Our Mission

List of Abusive Behaviors Perpetuated by Adult Children

Living Without your children

A Reconcilation Place-Neutral Ground


            I would like to welcome you to a web site where one of the most painful experiences in life – that of abandonment by your adult children—is talked about and explored.  First you are not alone.  Abandonment by adult children of their parents at all ages is a growing global and cross cultural phenomena.  Talking about this very personal experience is filled with shame, guilt and despair which often negate the possibilities of hope and healing.  Here it is my hope that you will find a path to expression and healing and understanding. 

           While this author is well aware that generalizations are just what they are and that there are always exceptions to the general observation, it is felt that some insight into this social ill can be gained by beginning where we can begin - with general observations. This author is also well aware that abusive behavior both to the perpetrator and to the recipient is steeped in deep psychological mediators that often justify the behaviors, moderate them or rationalize them. Nonetheless it is believed that abuse is never acceptable, never ok, and never justified. Furthermore, this author also believes that through tolerance, insight and mediation that reconciliation is almost always possible through forgiveness and love. It is in this vein and belief structure that this book is written with the greatest of care, concern and hope. 

S. Ann Wildey


This website is dedicated to global phenomena known as abandonment of parents by adult children. Being abandoned by your adult children is the most painful grief that a parent can experience. And as the world becomes more complicated and global this experience becomes more prevalent. You are not alone by any means.

 Not much has been written about this outcome of parenting and certainly there is little social study of the issues involved. The causes are as complex as human life experiences can be. Certainly contributing to the lack of information is the powerful shame and embarrassment felt by the parents who are no longer in relationship with their children. Parents are riveted into silence by the mind numbing questions that constantly look for fault finding on their part. Blame, shame and the embarrassment form the basis for many days of irresolvable grieving.

           The causes are as complex as parent/child relationships can be. They range from benign neglect to intentional death dealing abuse. Emotionally children can place parents into a status of "walking on eggshells" to one of actual endangerment of mental and physical well being.

To be clear, abandonment is a form of abuse and is it unjustified and not acceptable under any circumstances. This social ill has gone by many different names such as targeted parents, alienated parent syndrome, elder abuse and transnational abandonment. By whatever name it is called, it is at its root shunning: the act of terminating critical social and personal relationships. Shunning is natural to the human being as a primitive and intuitive way of solving problems.  

In this website we propose to offer first of all comfort and information to the targeted parent in the form of a blog and links to healing and informational sites. Secondly we propose to offer to professionals a data base for research in furtherance of the understanding of this global and cross cultural issue. Thirdly we propose to offer to adult children some insight and options into the consequences of their behavior. In the future we propose to offer some reconciliation opportunities for estranged adult children with their targeted parents.

So let's talk about our children, our pain, our estrangement and our grief and let us pray that in the course of our dialogue that we are able to help at least one parent or one child find some peace in the midst of heartache.

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  1. Threats of and/or physical violence with or without weapons of objects used as weapons, including hitting, punching, kicking, pushing, slapping, biting, hair pulling, shoving, shaking, choking, pinching, and burning. This may include the inappropriate use of medicine or physical restraints, force feeding and other physical punishments of any kind. 

  2. Intimidations including a constant refusal to do as been asked such as going to bed, coming home, asking friends to leave, cleaning up after themselves, not attending school/college/work or contributing to the household or participating in family activities. Adult children may also use humiliation and harassment, silent treatment, babying, and isolation from family and friends. 

  3. Swearing at the parent. 

  4. Name-calling Publically, privately or on line. 

  5. Bullying Including by text or phone. Bullying may also include the feeling of "walking on egg shells" around the adult children. 

  6. Stealing money or property or misuse of parents credit cards/phones /computers, illegal or improper use of the parents funds, property or assets including forging signatures, tricking a person into signing documents. 

  7. Deliberate damaging of property  

  8. Threats or actual violence to pets or other children  

  9. Emotional blackmail such as the threat not to allow grandparents to see their grandchildren, of leaving and never coming back and revealing family secrets that would embarrass the parents or threatening to lie about the parents conduct toward them. 

  10. Drugs and alcohol abuse in the home  

  11. Belittling Parents in the presence of friends/other family members or in public. 

  12. Benign neglect Withholding or failure to provide the basic necessities of life (especially for the dependant elderly) or to provide these necessities in adequate quantity. 

  13. Abandonment The termination of the parental relationship characterized by the withholding of love and affection, care and concern. The failure to stay in touch, attend family events or remember birthdays and other holidays. 

  14. Desertion The failure to return phone calls, answer emails/letters, remember birthdays or holidays. The withholding of presence for family events. Short and clipped answers to questions and the failure to engage meaningfully in conversation by giving the impression that the conversation is unwanted, untimely or grudging. 

  15. Forced sexual contact with any parent incapable of giving consent such as unwanted touching, assault, battery, rape, sodomy, coerced nudity. 

  16. False accusations such as falsely accusing parents of neglect or abuse. 

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Most Important Books (Click on the name on how to buy):

  1. Healing From Family Rifts : Ten Steps to Finding Peace After Being Cut Off From a Family Member , Mark Sichel, and CSW.

  2. The Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Guide for Mental Health and Legal Professionals , Richard A. Gardner, M.D.

  3. *** This book is hard to find but check with Amazon for used copies.

Books (Click on the book name on how to buy):
  1. Adult Children Secrets of Dysfunctional Families: The Secrets of Dysfunctional Families , John Friel & Linda Friel

  2. Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Breaking the Ties That Bind (Norton Professional Book) , Amy J.L. Baker

  3. Family Estrangements: How They Begin, How to Mend Them, How to Cope with Them , Barbara LeBey

  4. Elder Abuse: Conflict in the Family , Karl A. Pillemer and Rosalie S. Wolf

  5. BAD MOTHERS: The Politics of Blame in Twentieth-Century America , Molly Ladd-Taylor and Lauri Umansky

  6. The Lives Our Mothers Leave Us: Prominent Women Discuss the Complex, Humorous, and Ultimately Loving Relationships They Have with Their Mothers , Patti Davis

  7. The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement , David Brooks

  8. The Lonely American: Drifting Apart in the Twenty-first Century , Jacqueline Olds, M.D.

  9. Stop Walking on Eggshells 2nd (second) edition Text Only , by Paul T. Mason & Randi Kreger

Articles and Links:
  1. The Silent Suffering of Parent Abuse: When Children Abuse Parents By Lou Purplefairy

  2. Mothers suffering abuse by their kids, The Sun-Herald by William Birnbauer May 22, 2005,

    "Seventy per cent of mothers have experienced violent behavior or threats from their adolescent children, a study reveals."

  3. Older Women's Emotional Safety Plan, Calgary Women's Emergency Handbook

  4. How Women Resist Abuse, Calgary Women's Emergency Handbook

  5. Difficult Conversations, by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen

  6. Crucial Conversations, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler (http://www.crucialconversations.com)

  7. Parents Reconciliation with Children, http://www.sorrynotes.com/parents

  8. The Power of Vulnerability, A study of wholeheartedness, Dr.Brene Brown,

  9. Happy images trigger sad reactions in the brains of people with severe depression, researchers have found.

  10. Brain scan shows rejection pain, being snubbed socially provokes exactly the same brain response as being physically hurt, say US researchers.

  11. About.com/Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Discussion Group E-mail: abandonedparentsnetwork@yahoogroups.com

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Resources for Healing / Bibliography / Links

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Text Copyrighted 2012 S. Ann Wildey