Parent-child relationships aren't always easy, particularly when the kids grow up. Whether a rift is caused by the parent or child, an estranged relationship can cause sadness and regret. Working to repair a broken relationship is beneficial for both parent and child. And while it might not be easy, reaching out to your child will spark a process of restoration to the broken relationship.
Talk to your child about the issues. Make time to sit down together without distractions and discuss what is going on and what happened in the past. Talk about your own emotions and perspective and allow your child to do the same. Acknowledging the problem is often enough to make you both feel better about moving forward and fixing your relationship, according to Psychologist Meredith Fuller, for News.com.
Work through your emotions with a neutral party. If your child made a mistake or distanced himself due to a mistake you made, chances are you may be struggling with feelings of anger, sadness, fear, guilt or a combination of these emotions. Look for a family therapist who can help you face your feelings and work through them so you're better equipped for interactions with your child. A support group is another good option, according to Parental Support Advisor Tina Wakefield on EmpoweringParents.com.
Reach out to your child any way you can. Perhaps he refuses to take your calls or won't come visit. That doesn't mean you can't still contact him and let him know you want to talk or see him so you can fix what's wrong. You can write a long hand-written letter if you'd like, but you can also send a quick text message to reach out.
Spend time in neutral locations. The chances that you'll get into a heated argument in public are lower than if you hang out together at your house. Go to the movies, the grocery store or take a walk together. These activities give you the chance to interact without the pressure of being alone, and they provide a simple way to be together as you work on repairing the rift in your relationship.
Work together to fix your relationship rather than letting one or the other take the reins. One of you can't carry the entire load, so coming up with a plan that gives you both actionable steps to take lets the other person know that you're each committed to the parent-child relationship. Perhaps one of you plans activities and the other reaches out with a phone call regularly. Knowing that your child is just as ready to make changes, and vice versa, provides you both with the motivation to move forward.