Talk dating your parents

"When that's broken, parents feel they've failed as human beings." In Vagnoni's survey, 61 percent of alienated children said they would like to resume relationships with their parents, but only under specified conditions. Nearly half of the young adults said they bore "no responsibility" for the estrangement. Manhattan therapist Irina Firstein says backing away from a parent is sometimes the best option: "When a grown child gets nothing but disapproval from an overpowering and controlling parent, he or she needs to separate to develop a healthy sense of self." Next: The problem with growing up.» But are psychotherapists partly responsible for the increase in family fractures? "The role of the 21st-century therapist is to help the individual experience deeper feelings of freedom and well-being," he says."I think partly it's due to my decision to let him live his life, and partly to his own understanding and growth.

"I seem to have moved forward with my son," she says.

"A lot of boomers came from very restrictive families," Sichel says.

"We didn't make the kinds of demands on our kids that our parents placed on us, and that fostered dependency and helplessness.

"Today, people decide whether to remain close or distanced based on how immediately fulfilling the relationship is.

What concerns me is, what are we sacrificing for that freedom?

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